Wednesday, September 11, 2019

PCG's Empty Comfort for 9/11 Anniversary

Commemorating 9/11 PCG's Joel Hilliker has authored an article discussing that terrible act of mass murder so many remember with such sorrow (Joel Hilliker, 9/11 and Beautiful Humility, September 11, 2019). Let us see what Hilliker has to say on this painful topic.
Why did God allow 9/11 to happen? ... God is addressing the fundamental cause of our suffering—not just in 9/11, but all suffering. He is trying to turn us from our evil!
What does Hilliker's words above mean? That America's "evil" caused 9/11 to happen? Does this mean Americans must the blame for this act of mass murder instead of the terrorists who committed the mass murder themselves?

Hilliker insists that PCG's God allowed 9/11 to occur to make Americans turn away from evil.
God could just forget about us and leave us to the suffering that evil brings to ourselves and everyone else. He could let us live out our lives of wallowing in our own vices and gratifying our own selfishness until we become individuals and a society that is beyond all hope. 
Or He could correct us, force us into a stark clarity, and bring us to repentance of our evil.
Hilliker reassures his readers that many more catastrophes 9/11 will soon descend upon the United States.
If 9/11 won’t do it, God will proceed to harder punishments. And the Bible prophesies that this is what will happen. ... This world is about to experience a time of unprecedented chaos. Hundreds, even thousands of 9/11s piled high.
Instead of helping to bring comfort to his readers Hilliker shrilly insists that much worse things will soon occur. Here he tries to make the reader fearful and afraid.
Now imagine not just a handful of terrorists—but world powers unleashing warplanes, warships and ballistic missiles with chemical, biological and nuclear warheads! Imagine nuclear blasts hitting city after city! Imagine the death toll rapidly climbing into the hundreds of thousands, even millions! 
The trauma of that destruction would be unfathomable—indescribable.
Actually it is not unfathomable or indescribable. Such things are happening right now. Returned US soldiers suffering from the ravages of poverty or mental illness and their families and friends suffering from their pain. The wars raging in Afghanistan since 1978, in Iraq since 2003, in Syria since 2011, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the 1990s, the thirteen year old drug war in Mexico and other wars elsewhere. But by getting his readers afraid of what is supposedly going to happen in the future these ongoing catastrophes are ignored and minimized.

While ignoring these ongoing catastrophes he insists these future thousands of 9/11s are necessary in order to make Americans teachable.
As traumatic as the events of the Tribulation will be, it will also serve a tremendous purpose—one that would not be accomplished with anything less. 
9/11 briefly changed the way Americans think and view their daily lives. The coming Tribulation will have such an effect worldwide, and magnified in severity by hundreds or thousands of times! 
That taste of sobriety and humility that Americans displayed after 9/11 will be far outdone by their attitudes after the Great Tribulation. That suffering will create within the whole world—all who survive—a beautiful teachability for what will follow.
Why didn't this happen in Cambodia? From 1975 until 1979 Cambodia was ruled by an astonishingly brutal and blood thirsty regime under the Khmer Rouge. By the time their rule ended about a quarter or even a third of the population had been killed off. Did the long suffering Cambodians become teachable after that? Did they overcome "human nature" after enduring such frightful horrors and change into a nation of saints?

Of course not. They are human beings like the rest of us. Peace eventually returned. The Khmer Rouge were replaced by a Communist government supported by Vietnam. It was changed into a constitutional monarchy in the early 1990s. The Vietnamese later withdrew. And despite inflicting such horrors upon the nation the Khmer Rouge were able to maintain itself as a viable guerrilla force and waged an armed insurgency to overthrow the government until they were finally defeated in 1998.

If the Cambodian people remained as ordinary human beings after the atrocities of Khmer Rouge rule why should anyone expect anything different to occur with Americans even if a nuclear World War III were to occur in the future?

One could substitute many other wars or disasters for this argument. For example the troubles in Northern Ireland, World War II, World War I, the American Civil War, the English Civil War, the Thirty Years War, the Black Death, etc.

If human beings did not change after those events then it is a vain hope to imagine that people will miraculously change after the supposedly future Great Tribulation.

But failing to see this problem with his assumption that human beings will suddenly become teachable after the Great Tribulation Hilliker continues to fantasize in a similar vein.
Those horrors will have softened their hearts, and they will finally be ready to listen to God. That is all God ever wanted—for their hearts to be turned to Him. It is nearly impossible to grasp the severity of the chastening required—but in the end, God will reach them! 
Even those who have been killed (both in 9/11 and in the 9/11s to come) will be resurrected. Even after they have succumbed to physical death, their loving Father will eventually resurrect them and offer them repentance. And the great majority of them, too, will be willing! 
Imagine seeing the injured, the traumatized, the broken and the emaciated coming out of the Tribulation or perhaps the resurrection. They have seen terror. They have felt horror. Yet finally they will be willing to submit to their Creator! And their unhealable physical and mental trauma, He will heal.
Today many people are striving to heal from various traumas they have had to endure. It is absurd to imagine that the suffering that will supposedly occur in this future Great Tribulation is somehow different from the various traumas people suffer today.

Humanity has constantly endured catastrophes throughout history and yet human beings are still human beings. It is absurd to expect people to suddenly change because of some future suffering when so many human beings, each as precious as any other human being, are suffering today.

Let us not wait for some future utopia. Let us not send tithes to people with such flawed expectations. Let us improve our own societies today.

1 comment:

  1. I think you made an excellent analysis. It's not hard for rational people to rip the article apart as you did.

    Since I make it a point that true Armstrongism is right anyway despite detractor interpretations I believe that the overall trauma of human history has indeed led or is leading to leadership that sees that the only solution for man to survive is one world government ruled by the elites and Chinese type of control of the masses through New technologies.

    We will have peace, we will have it brought upon us with a rod of iron and those who will not "voluntary accept it" will work for the others in the bottomless pit if less than first world quality living. ( For instance producing rare materials for our cell phones, cheap clothes or chocolate produced by slaves to pour over our ice cream for our benefit.)

    The agriculture feeding the world evaporating hunger as brought to us by Monsanto and burning down the rainforest.