Blair vs Hitchens: a comment

Mr Hitchens, 61, said: “Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects, in a cruel experiment, whereby we are created sick, and commanded to be well.”

I can think of one religion in the world which is somewhat represented by Mr Hitchens’ statement (there may be others), but it’s not the Catholic Christianity of his debate partner Tony Blair. It certainly isn’t representative of the narrative found in the Bible.

The Biblical story says that God made humanity “good”. In fact, the male/female aspect of humanity is described as “very good” by the Creator. Whatever the original Hebrew words means, it is highly unlikely that they have any connection to something negative like “sick”. Yet, Mr. Hitchens is (unwittingly?) right: humanity is sick. How did we get this way?

The Christian answer is called “The Fall”. It’s the story of how the first humans (called Adam and Eve) disobeyed God thereby introducing sin and death into the story. Staying with Hitchens’ metaphor of physical sickness: humanity’s choice to disobey God resulted in our exposure to the infectious disease of sin. The ultimate prognosis for sin is death. The good news is that there is a cure. And God, as the Healer, dispenses the cure freely to those who come to Him in order to get well. God’s doesn’t command humans to be well, but rather offers them the cure. It’s up to humans to avail themselves of it.

Consider Mr. Hitchens’ own illness. He has cancer. He can either submit to the various therapies or he can refuse. Both choices come with a set of consequences which are directly dependent upon his decision. True, the end result ultimately will be that Mr. Hitchens dies. However, if he submits to God’s prescription for both his physical and spiritual illness, then as Jesus said, “Even though he dies, yet he will live.” And that is really the Creator’s plan: that whosoever calls on the Lord will be saved from the sickness of sin and death.

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Filed under Reflection, Religion

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