1/5/13 Beong about 25
Who makes the rules? Who decides what is right and wrong? The very fact that morality exists points to an ultimate rulemaker. Spiritual notions of freedom from the idea of accountability and judgment may be popular in our culture, but does this freedom really exist? I asked a graduate student from China, named Beong (spelling?), about his beliefs. He grew up Buddhist in China. He said he doesn’t believe in God but that he does believe people are rewarded in the next life based on a “merit” system in which our good must outweigh our bad. My next question seemed obvious to me but took Beong by surprise – “Who makes the final judgment?” A merit system – call it karma, brownie points, or whatever – may seem attractive to people who want an impersonal system of addition and subtraction of credit, eliminating accountability to a personal God and seeming to give control of our destiny to ourselves. But in the end, there is still judgment. There are still decisions to be made about which of our actions are to be considered “good”, which are “bad”, and what the consequences will be. Beong acted like he had never thought of this before, and he was more open to talking about the possibility of God’s existence and Christianity as a result. I wonder if the gap between Eastern and Western world views is as wide as people say. In Genesis we learn that Adam and Eve (and the rest of the human race) were given the knowledge of good and evil. Anyone who believes in morality must acknowledge that Someone made the rules in the beginning, and Someone will hold us accountable in the end.