Wednesday, April 18, 2007

the giver and taker of life: reflections on death and who done it

When we speak of God as the giver and taker of life, we speak of him as the Creator. If he had not created, then there would be no life but his own. There would then also be no death. In this we speak of God as the ultimate Cause-creation the effect. Conclusively, God is the giver and taker of life.

There then is no question that God gives life both eternal and human life. But there is a question of whether he is the taker of life. For if he is also the taker of life then he must be called a murderer. But how can God create such as he does then destroy that which he created in a murderous act. Such a being would not be God.

Perhaps we are making to large of a statement when we say, "God is the giver and the taker of life." To say such within the realm of infinity would be to make a correct statement. But to say so within the context of our human experience would result in making an incorrect statement or it would result in calling God a murderer. If God is God he could not be a murderer. For if God were a murderer, he would not be God. Thus, within the context of human finitude, God does not take life. Mankind takes his fellow's life. Man takes his own life. Woman conceives and gives life to another. Woman takes life. A child's life is snuffed our nearly as soon as it speaks. The child is not born. Is God responsible?

Has God taken this life? Is God a murderer? These are inappropriate questions for they force infinity into the confines of finitude. Yet to answer appropriately within the finite context we say, "No, God has not murdered, yet his angels have taken the soul to the Lord's bosom." Yet the body remains lifeless, dead, rotting in the soil. Who then has done THIS thing?

You and I have. Satan has. We have made Satan our god and we have rebelled against God and caused this dead, rotting in the soil thing.

So, whether we pull the trigger or whether we sin and someone dies or I die. We have done murder. Our decision to rebel has taken the life of another and takes our own life as well.


peacefullady said...

My definition of murder /murderer is somewhat different. It's not just that a life has been taken. A murderer is one who takes a human life without proper authority given to do it.

I believe God is the source of all authority. He has authority to know when the moment of death should be. God can take life because he know the proper time, or when justice demands life for life. In Genesis it seems to say that God himself killed the 2 sons of Judah.
I believe he gives officials authority to take a murderer's life for the life he killed.

Not sure if that fits with where you were coming from "realm of infinity/human experience" context.

Brother Dan said...

While I have not used the phrase "God the giver and taker of life," it would seem that there is at least the possibility that what is meant by the phrase might more accurately by articulated, "God the offerer and the receiver of life." Yes God gives all biological but God also offers life in the sense of John 10:10. I can accept or refuse it, even if I continue corporeal existence for many decades. The person returning to God's bosom is received by him in the case of death, regardless of the immediate cause of death, whether it be God's or man's will.

espíritu paz said...

There's some depth to be explored behind the authority of which you speak in relation to life and death. and any other human matter for that matter. Obviously, humans don't have authority over the realm of infinity because we can't time travel or even become infinite of our own doing.

I like the reference to the offerer and receiver of life. It pushes one to focus on how one enters into his/her own life.
I once heard a first hand story from a nurse who was dealing with a dying patient. He was angry and bitter about his dying condition. And he struggled angrily to survive and live as he took his last breaths. Moments after his heart stopped, the clock on the wall was smashed and fell to the floor.