Sunday, May 2, 2010

Petting the Peeve

I'm not going to spend a lot of paragraphs saying, in essence, "nothing much has changed" this time, but I also notice it's been a couple of weeks so I need to contribute something to keep this thing alive.

So I think I'll pet one of my peeves. I do this, I think, at considerable risk of being misunderstood, or being accused of being insensitive, but I don't mean it to be. On the contrary, I'd like to think that this would serve in some tiny way to refine the thinking on the subject at hand.

Let me first just describe in plain terms what it is that's bothering me. Rather than refer to the reaction to the recent bad weather, I'll pick a more neutral example. Let's say that some local factory is cutting it's workforce in half, and Mr. Smith gets laid off and Mr. Jones is kept on.

In a lot of cases Mr. Jones will tell everyone "God was looking out for me! I sure was blessed that God had his hand on me and didn't let me lose my job! God sure is good!"

Now, to be clear, I agree very much that God is good - but God is good to Mr. Smith too! Do we not realize that when we offer evidence that God is good to us by citing some random bad thing that he "didn't let happen" to us we are logically implying God is NOT good to those who suffered the fate? We are - if we think about it - implying that God chose not to protect the person who suffered.

None of us would actually state it that way, of course. A storm comes through and our neighbor down the road loses their home and we don't we don't say "Too bad God wasn't good to them" because it's not what we mean.

But it is, essentially, what we are saying.

I see such comments online, and hear them on the street, all the time. "Bob's tooth hurt for 48 straight hours but it quit this morning! It was such a blessing praise God!" Well, frankly, if God acted to stop the toothache, why did he wait 48 hours? Heck why did he let it start to begin with? it's just silly.

YES God is good, and YES he sometimes intervenes miraculously in the events of our lives - but he does it for HIS purposes and there's no pattern that mere humans can recognize. I don't think for a minute, by the way, that the God of the universe intervenes in our live to stop a headache or whatever, either. When he acts it's for some greater purpose. Something that goes beyond the circumstance of the moment that we can comprehend. Think about it - if God stops headaches, then how do you explain the dear Christian lady at church who has week-long migraines?

The truth is, we live in a fallen world and bad things happen. Whether it's as minor as a toothache or as major as a tornado, they happen and within the laws of nature, they happen pretty randomly. As much as I'm glad no one I loved was hurt this weekend, I'm not about to suggest that God selected and preferred my loved ones over those who did get hurt or killed. Be mad or offended if you want, but that's not how he operates. Those who suffered loss did so by random chance, they essentially won a reverse lottery. They were not those who failed to enjoy God's favoritism (of which he has none).

So, there, that should alienate a bunch of folks but I don't care. I'd rather seem him praised for what he DOES rather than hear people attribute to him actions and motives which, if they were actually believed, would make him something much less than what he really is.


  1. Do not question God. Your fog will just remain. What HE does is a miracle compared to what we do to our own life when left on our own. Nothing is random chance. God shows no favor.
    You not caring is the first problem I boldly see on this page. Nothing is random. Divine Selection is what it is called. God is in complete control and u don't seem to like it. Offended me... never. Get down into some real deep Bible studying authority..Oswald Chambers, Watchman Nee, C. S. Lewis....Read Pilgrim's Progress again and again...teach it to yr boys with an in depth read aloud....tearing the characters apart til they stand no takes a lifetime to see the LIGHT that HIS SON gives us every day to peek into what our LORD is all about and then we like sheep will still scratch our our heads and say....what? Then we read again and again. Knowing we must go on faith because of who God is to us. Conclusion....our heart is deceitful among all things...who could know it....He said this...many believe you??? Our brains are limited and u are trying to make sense out of God when all the time you know His power and mystery is unique and lasting. Study, read, believe, love, live your life for an audience of one HIM....and you will be HAPPY.

  2. ...

    I love this Jordan person telling you to read other people's opinions of what God means like they are some sort of authority.

    CS Lewis' opinion is no more valid than Laura's or mine, for example.

    God is in complete control of the overall plan and creation...that doesn't mean he's micro-managing every event. What do you think it meant when he cursed the Earth in Genesis for Man's folly. Randomness was introduced to what was perfect in every way as a punishment for disobeying God. Humans have this flaw of needing to learn things the hard way, and that began back in Eden.