The Faith of Mahabra

Disembodied voice: Kill your son for me.

Mahabra: What? Um…no? Where are you? Who are you?

Disembodied voice: Don’t look for me around you. I am God. I am above you.

Mahabra: I’m looking up and I still don’t see you.

Disembodied voice: That’s because I am God. You can’t see God.

Mahabra: You are God?

God: Yes.

Mahabra: [to himself] God is talking to me?! This is so exciting! I’ve always dreamed of what this would be like. I’ve always wanted to have an experience of the Divin-…wait. [to the ceiling] What did you tell me to do?

God: Uh…kill your son for me.

Mahabra: What? That doesn’t make sense. God doesn’t tell people to kill people.

Disembodied voice: Oh really?

Mahabra: Yeah really! Who are you really? Haras, are you messing with me again?!

Disembodied voice: Go ahead and check behind the curtains, under the couch and in the closet. You won’t find me there.

Mahabra: Oh I see. So then you are a demon.

Demon: Uh…no. I’m God.

Mahabra: No, you’re not. God wouldn’t tell me to kill my son.

Demon: Oh? Well, since you’ve cast me in the role of demon here, let me play devil’s advocate. How do you know that God wouldn’t tell you to kill your son?

Mahabra: That’s a ridiculous question. Everyone knows that God doesn’t tell people to do things like that.

Demon: Oh, I see. Well, how does everyone know what God does and doesn’t tell people to do?

Mahabra: Because everyone knows that commands like that are not in keeping with God’s character!

Demon: Is that so? What exactly do you mean “in keeping with God’s character?”

Mahabra: You are the stupidest of demons! Why do you trouble me with your silly questions? What do you really want from me?

Demon: Right…so I’m not a demon. And I want you to obey my command, but I’m beginning to see that that is going to be a problem. Tell you what: If you can tell me why I’m not God, I’ll leave you in peace.

Mahabra: Fine. What was I explaining to you, O demon of lowest intelligence?

Demon: Well, I was wondering what you meant when you said that my command was “not in keeping with God’s character.”

Mahabra: Look. God is loving. Love doesn’t involve killing innocent children. Therefore, God wouldn’t tell me to kill my son.

Demon: Oh I see!

Mahabra: Fantastic. Can you leave me now? I’ve got more important things to do.

Demon: Not quite. I’ve got another question: How do you know God is loving?

Mahabra: Because God told me so.

Demon: Hmm. So, what if God told you he wasn’t loving?

Mahabra: What? What do you mean?

Demon: What if God told you at one point, “I am loving” but then told you later that he was not loving.

Mahabra: Well, that’s impossible.

Demon: Oh yeah? Why’s that?

Mahabra: Because God does not change His mind.

Demon: Well, that’s an interesting explanation. And God doesn’t change his mind because?

Mahabra: God doesn’t change his mind because it is not in His nature.

Demon: Well, your explanation is all quite rational and well-ordered. I guess that I’m not going to get you to do what I told you to. So, there’s no chance that you’re wrong about any of this?

Mahabra: Nope. I have faith that God is an unchanging God.

Demon: Indeed you do. Well then, I suppose I’ll have to leave you with your faith then.

Mahabra: Yes you will. Now good riddance!

Abraham: Who you talking to?

Mahabra: A demon, but don’t worry. He’s gone now. Ready to go grab lunch with our sons?

Abraham: Sure. Isaac and I have a crazy awesome story to tell you while we’re eating.

Mahabra: Oh yeah? What about?

Abraham: Well, let’s just say that the other day God told me to do something crazy.

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