Monday, August 28, 2006

job's last and greatest trial

discussing job in sunday school yesterday had me imagining a discussion job has with god after he dies. i was originally going to write it in verses like scripture, but i decided a screen play would be more fun.

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god: hey job!

job: oh, hey.

god: you handled your trials pretty good down there.

job: yeah, i was going to ask you about that... why exactly did all that crap happen?

god: oh. i made a bet with satan that you could take all that crap and not go against me.

job: a bet?

god: yeah.

job: a bet!?!?!

god: yeah. i just new you were so awesome and could handle it. you're the greatest job!

job: wait a minute. am i understanding this correctly??? you let all that crap happen to me to see if you could win a bet with satan????? how much was this bet for?

god: well... it really wasn't a bet. i'm god. i can make all the money i want. it was really just for bragging rights.

job: what??? bragging rights?????? i can't believe this!

god: you survived didn't you? i knew you would. i'm god. i know everything.

job: but, but, but... you had my family killed off. my skin was rotting. everything i had was destroyed! my friends abandoned me. i hated my life and wished i was never born!

god: yeah. but i knew you would survive. it's all cool. the important thing is that you never said anything against me. you always stayed true to me.

job: i feel sick.

god: well it can't be as bad as you had it then...

job: that's not funny.

god: look job. i knew you could handle all that suffering. you're the man!

job: i'm out of here. this is so not cool.

god: what? i don't get it. what's wrong?

job: bye god. bye.

21 comments:

  1. That was awesome.

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  2. Bravo!

    Not enough readers of Job consider the implications (esp. those who take it as literal history). Way to extrapolate.

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  3. who is this anonymous person...have you ever thought that loyd tracks IP addresses and knows who you are...why don't you be bold and at least state why you thought it was pathetic and who you are. how can anyone objectively take criticism if he doesn't understand the basis for your comments

    for example, if I say...you suck...wouldn't you want to know why I say/think/feel that?

    but i guess i have already stated my reasons why you suck in the first paragraph...you suck
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    And for the other readers who are thinkers...my wife and I were discussing this and a comment made by our sunday school teacher last week on punishments and blessings. If someone says that they are blessed to have a roof over their head, does that mean that God is withholding blessings from someone without a roof over his head. And the opposite with punishment, if a man is hit by a car after he robs a bank, someone might say that God punished him. But when a little boy walking to school is hit by a car, is God punishing him or his mom? Spiritually speaking, I can easily see how God would punish by removing the Spirit from their lives, but physical punishment is something I think we need to rethink.

    As far as the Job thing, our teacher brought out how many historians thought that the story was from a poem showing one man's devotion to God, and not a real occurance...I prefer to think of it that way instead of one man's family being innocently killed by God (or allowance by God for Satan to do such).

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  4. thanks all, except the anonymous coward. seriously, if you are going to toss out some 'pathetic' insult or criticism at least have the nerve to come out of your cowardous guise of anonymity. and in the process, actually try laying out a criticism instead of tossing out meaningless vomit.

    chris, i should drive up each sunday and go to your sunday school. i think a lot of sunday school teachers would find themselves tarred and feathered for saying something like that in happy valley.

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  5. If someone says that they are blessed to have a roof over their head, does that mean that God is withholding blessings from someone without a roof over his head.

    great example.

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  6. I think I get the point to this, but I don't agree with it.

    Setting aside for a moment the arguments that Job is the ontological equivalent of an imaginary friend, the truth is sometimes God makes harsh examples out of people. A few examples off the top of my head are instant death to Sabbath breakers, ark steadiers, and thieving liars.

    And with that, I don't think it's completely outside the realm of possibility for God to make it up to someone in the hereafter.

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  7. I can't help but think that a lot of OT stories are purely allegorical.

    Last Sunday someone raised their hand and said that they were "troubled by the doctrine" presented in the interview between God and Satan. The comment kind of surprised me, because I had never considered the account to be literal.

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  8. When my class had this lesson I was blown away when a woman said, "I think that God did this to Job so that we can learn from it and be comforted by it." I just thought that was completely self centered and missed the whole point of the story.

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  9. I stumbled upon your blog today at work and have been reading it on the sly. (Don't tell my boss!) Love your blog entries. So refreshing.

    I lived in Provo for 5 years (I went to BYU) and I wish I met more people like you while I was there. Now I live in DC and I love the smell of liberalism that welcomes me wherever I go. Ahhhh...

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  10. Now I live in DC and I love the smell of liberalism that welcomes me wherever I go

    Must... resist... cheap... shot

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  11. Don't worry about Silent Observer, Caroline. You're more than welcome here.

    And way to be awesome, Loyd. That dialogue was really funny. I don't see anything "pathetic" about it.

    Literalism is an interesting topic. Last week I had a really good conversation with a devout Christian who has been struggling recently with his religion. (Just to clarify, he's not LDS, not that it matters; this could be anyone's story--it could even be an allegory!) It seemed to me that one of his major hangups is that his church teaches a literal interpretation of the Bible. I'm not sure that that's *really* his church's official doctrine, but literalism certainly appears to be the culturally accepted view. In an event, it shakes his faith. He said things like, "How could I feel okay teaching my children that the flood really happened, or that it covered the whole earth, when I don't believe it did?"

    My assertion is that we don't have to read the Bible as a literal document in order to glean it's goodness. So... don't teach your children that the flood really happened if that makes you feel like a liar, but you still can teach the story without forcing a literal reading. Does it ruin the story if we view it as an allegory? I suppose some people might think it does, but I personally don't. The Savior taught in parables, but that doesn't make his teachings any less potent or any less true.

    Maybe I'm too much of a relativist for some people's comfort, but I don't feel conflicted if one person reads the Bible as an allegory while the person next to her reads it literally. I think any document/song/piece of art can have many valid interpretations. Certainly, the author or artist has her own interpretation and/or reason for creating a work. But if a person finds it useful or enlightening to read it another way, that doesn't make it wrong, and it doesn't have to be threatening to your own alternate beliefs.

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  12. Kel: I must admit that I see much of the Bible (especially the OT) needing to be read as an oral tradition specifically constructed to be read allegorically. This does not mean that the stories are not true but that they need to be read in the context of such a tradition.

    As I will hope to show in later BofM posts, I think much of the BofM needs to be read in the same light.

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  13. As weird as this is - I'm actualy going to agree with the narrator on this; to a degree. I'm not sure how much of the bible is real, and how much is an allegory. In the end, I'm not sure that it matters. B-of-Mormon is a prime example. Joseph Smith himself said: A man will draw closer to God by abiding by it's precepts. So, did all the stories (or any) happen exactly the way they are presented in the BoM? Does it matter? We were instructed by the Prophet to abide by it's precepts, not it's literal translational word. I'm sure it isn't to much of a stretch for anyone to the apply the same principle to all the cononical scripture. Which helps some understand why the account in Abraham, of the pre-exsistence, Doesn't actualy say Christ was the one to stand up and say "send me".

    Christ = Son of Man. But reading the account in Abraham it says one like the Son of Man. Hugh Nibley believes it's b/c Abraham is more of a "play" that is, in one sense or another, re-enacted for each .... etermal family .... I'm not sure I phrased that correctly

    There are times to take things literaly, there are times not to.

    ryan ostler

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  14. sometimes you surprise me ryan.

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  15. LMAO... great story brah! I'm going to print this out and stick it in my scriptures nxt to Job.

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  16. Is that good or bad Mr. Narrator?

    r.o.

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  17. ryan:

    anytime my perceived certainties can be questioned is a good thing.

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  18. ben & i have had this discussion before, your dialogue is an excellent representation of our thoughts...i always found the disturbing part of the Job story to be the part where god "replaces" all of job's lost things...his house, his CHILDREN...as if one was the same as the last. "eternal perspective" or not, it offends what sense of individualism i maintain.
    edr

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  19. Dont quit your day "job."

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