This post is the last in this miniseries looking at the problem of evil. The previous posts are linked below. This last post begins below the linked posts:
This interpretation offered over the above previous posts in the miniseries regarding God as evil/stupid is related to what we find in the ancient Gnostic interpretation of Christianity. What did the Gnostics teach? One commentator explains:
In the arch-dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world is good. According to some strains of Gnosticism, the demiurge is malevolent, as it is linked to the material world. In others, including the teaching of Valentinus, the demiurge is simply ignorant or misguided. Gnosticism attributed falsehood or evil to the concept of the Demiurge or creator, though in some Gnostic traditions the creator is from a fallen, ignorant, or lesser—rather than evil—perspective, such as that of Valentinius. Whereas Plato’s Demiurge is good wishing good on his creation, Gnosticism contends that the Demiurge is not only the originator of evil but is evil as well.
How can we summarize this for ourself? Another commentator suggests:
The demiurge (Greek demiurgos, “craftsman”) is the being who created the world in Gnosticism. The Gnostics identified him with the god of the Old Testament. The Gnostic scriptures portray him as ignorant, malicious, and utterly inferior to the true God who sent Christ to earth to save humankind from the demiurge’s evil world.
So, in agreement with this ancient Gnostic interpretation, the interpretation being put forth in this mini series of posts is God sent Jesus to awaken the divine Law written on our hearts through dis-closing (“a-letheia,” truth) our hidden vileness so as to inspire repentance. This Law written on our hearts that Paul describes (Romans 2:15) is what the Gnostics called the divine spark.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 declares that God has “set eternity in the hearts of men.” In Luke 17:21, Jesus proclaims, “The kingdom of God is within you.” The New Testament teaches that every human being possesses an immaterial soul-spirit, and it is this part of us that connects with God (Hebrews 4:12).
The dual function of the cross was this awakening as a path to redemption for humans, as well as God punishing himself for the mess he created. God planned the horrific torture and execution of his beloved Son because God was eternal and hence unable to torture and execute Himself for the monstrous world he created. In the terrible death of his beloved son Jesus, God the Father experienced an event worse than death – as any father would at the death of their beloved son.
When people realized what they did to God’s chosen one Jesus, this was the catalyst for the divine spark within to awaken and inspire repentance (Truly this was the son of God/an Innocent man, Mark 15:30, Luke 23:47). This allows us to understand Christ is understood as fulfilling the prophesy of Jeremiah 31:31-33:
31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jer. 31:31-33)