There was a time that I used to work in the one of the Southern states, known by Americans as an active part of the ‘Bible Belt’. In the organization that I worked, I met quite a few individuals of many different backgrounds. However most of the American citizens there were either of actively religious background or they were active at one time in their life.
One of these people that I met, let’s call him Ken, was one of the latter type. Once Ken and I had a religious discussion and here is what transpired:
Ken: What do you think of Satan worshippers?
Anonym: I always thought that name was attributed to insane individuals.
Ken: No, not so. That has now become an accepted idea by a large number of people.
Anonym: How so? What’s so good about liking Satan?
Ken: Well, it’s not really that some people like Satan for what he is, but more that they think that God is ‘evil’! So the enemy of God, Satan, must be good!
Anonym: I see. So what do base your idea on?
Ken: If you know, God orders Abraham to cut off his son’s head as a token of sacrifice to God. How evil can that be?
Anonym: So I take it that you accept what is indicated in the Bible?
Ken: Well, yeah. How could God ask Abraham to do such a monsterous thing to prove his loyalty to God?
Anonym: You do know that according to Bible before Abraham do the sacrifice, God asked him to stop? (Some believe that the blade of the knife dulled by the will of God so that Abraham was left without any means to do the sacrifice)
Ken: Yes but imagine what went through Abraham’s mind, the suffering he had!
Anonym: Do you believe in Christ and that the Bible is divine?
Anonym: Since you accept the story of Abraham, do you also accept the concept of Afterlife?
Ken: (Shrugged his shoulder as sign of doubt)
Anonym: Why do accept what is written about Abraham and not what is written about Afterlife?
Ken: (Shrugged again)
Anonym: According to the Bible (Qur’an too), God will test all people for devotion. The greater those people are, in case of Prophet Abraham, the greater and most severe is the test. There were two possibilities, one, Abraham would say, “no, I love my son and I will not kill him”, hence fail the test and become a regular person again. Or go ahead to perform the sacrifice and be stopped by God, as it happened. So therefore Abraham proved that he accepted everything that God had revealed to him as the truth and to prove it he would sacrifice the most valued thing in his life, his own son. Because of that, God rewarded him the prophethood and the eternal glory that he would receive in the life to come and allowed him to keep his son too. Is that evil?
At this point Ken really had not much else to say and the break was over so we both went back to work.
The life of this world is like a curtain in front of our eyes and most human beings accept only what their senses, or the machines they invented, detect. There are true believers who believe in God out of sensibility and faith and yet there are also a few people (non-prophets) who know things that most people do not. But that is the subject of another blog.