William Faulkner told writers to “kill your darlings” — that is, they should learn to excise lines of prose or turns of phrase that they had come to love like their own child.* A good creator is a willing filicide, always ready to kill her darlings. And who better illustrates this principle than God himself? The world’s great Creator is also its great Filicide.
The scriptures give many glimpses of a God quick to kill his darlings. This is the God who deluged the antedilivians and rained brimstone on the Canaan plains; this is the God who answered enumeration with infestation. This is the advocate who instills the same attitude in his acolytes — and after all, what is the Abrahamic story if not an invitation to join with God in salvific filicide?
Most importantly, this is the God whose filicidal tendencies find fruition in the Atonement of Christ — the unique product of a God truly willing to kill His Darling. Yes, God is a Filicide, and thank God for that willingness. Without it, all would be lost.
We are commanded to become like God, whose great work is creative. Thus Faulkner’s admonition blends in to our eternal progression: As we become creators, like unto God, we must embrace a principle of Godly filicide. Our experiences in this journey — perhaps even the process of blog post editing — will teach us how best to kill our darlings. As Gods, we will be required to do no less.
*Thanks to Russell for the source of the quote.