“A tiny foretaste of the eternal delights”
Here on day three, I've decided to start titling these posts with the most cringe phrase in each days reading. Today's message is that you have value! In the sense that I [Jesus] have value and you kinda look like me (“made in my image”).
Statistically speaking I am going to have to connect with one of these readings. I really don't hate the idea of Jesus. He seems like a cool guy... but today isn't that day.
Today's reading starts out by negging the reader:
I MADE YOU A LITTLE LOWER that the heavenly being and crowned you with glory and honor.
You know, you're not like an angel or anything, but you're alright, I guess.
I gave you dominion over the fish of the seas, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves on the earth.
Can't drop the thread of entitlement. Murder all the moving things, chew their flesh. Do whatever; God says it's cool, and hey... you're created in God's image so basically God would drive all these beings to extinction too, if they were in the habit of intervening physically on our plane.
I crowned you with glory so you can reflect My glory
Of everything I created, only mankind is made in My likeness ... it makes every moment of your life meaningful.
In the final calculus, the Jesus of Sarah Young manages (in a single page) to “casually” drop the fact that they created me six times. That's a lot... approximately once every other sentence. Why did Sarah's God create me? To “reflect My [God's] glory”, “glorify me [God]“, “helping others come to know me [God]“, to “enjoy me [God]“.
I certainly don't claim to understand anyone's God's plan, but why create weird, confusing, and often shitty humanity if God just wanted a glory mirror. Don't the angels say enough nice things about God? Can God not create a very large mirror? Instead, we have generations of beings who experience turmoil, death, suffering, scarcity and pain (all things traditionally not in God's image)... The vast majority of theses being don't even believe in the “correct” flavour of God and therefore (presumably) cannot reflect the glory very well, if at all. It's a very inefficient system; all these violent deaths... why not robot yes-men? It's hard to connect with a God that is presented as being so vain.
I can imagine a world where it is the good deeds of humanity that bring glory to a God. Where the sacrifices, selflessness, struggle and pain endured for others inspire pride in a father-like figure. It how many of us feel about our kids... but there's a few differences. We humans cannot spare our children pain. Living is a death sentence and suffering is inevitable. An omnipotent and loving God could spare all of their children from the pain and horrors of our world. Yes, maybe we're in a “simulation” and heaven is blah blah blah... This idea is not interesting for several reasons, most pressingly: Why host a system of “fake suffering” and enforce compliance with eternal “real suffering” (hell). Either you care about the kids not suffering or you don't. This line of thinking is nonsense all the way down.
Perhaps more importantly, we could never be made in the image of such a God as I describe. Even if God is proud of our good works... the works of valor that we perform are by definition the sacrifices that such a God couldn't perform. We can die for another human, but God can't. Yes, “Jesus died for us”, but Jesus knew he was going to spend eternity in heaven with his family and “God the father” knew that his son's death was an illusion. God cannot perform selfless acts of faith and sacrifice because for God there is no uncertainty nor is there anything God could lose forever.