Wednesday, July 23, 2008

when dobs doesn't make sense...

Because I'm involved in church-stuff, somehow I got signed up for Dobson's "Family News" (Fundraising advertisements). Usually they get ripped in half with the rest of the junk mail, and deposited in my round file without much to do.

But just curious at this envelope's message, "Why does God allow suffering?", and what Jimmy would say, I opened it. At first glace, I was a little surprised. He actually cited sources of those suffering outside of the US. That was short-lived, however, and the message quickly went into a sales pitch for his book on this subject. It was an excerpt from the book.

To shrink the message down so you wouldn't have to sift through it all, it came down to this:

"God purposefully allows suffering, and His ways are too complex for
us to understand, so be okay when you don't get it. He's up to something large."

He then went on to say how he understands how each of us could be suffering through deaths, terrible events occuring, broken homes, etc...because his mother-in-law passed away at an early 97 years. Somehow, he was able to pull up his boot straps and trust in God through it all. Comforted in the fact that she was finally "where she wanted to be", etc.

He mentions that "heaven is our ultimate hope" (clearly not hip to the "life after life after death" stuff), but just in case that doesn't cut it for you, feel free to call his offices, and they'll be glad to resource your confusion. A silver lining here...their staff DOES pray for the people who call them, and their requests. Whew.

I don't know what I would've expected. But I think I was hoping for a little more cake, and a little less icing from someone who has written a book on this topic.

It's a valid question, that many are asking. And every time a believer says "God saved my ___", or "God did _____ for me", it says to other people (believers and non) "God didn't save ___for you"...."God didn't ____ for you". You suffer because other people don't. It must be God's will.

I would agree with Dobson on the premise: This stuff happening is difficult to grasp. But I'm not sure if explaining it by saying "God has something big in mind, don't try and understand why you suffer" is a good approach.

1 comment:

thinkingoutloud said...

I think that we can only make sense of suffering when we live in some sort of solidarity with the people who suffer the most. Otherwise we don't have the moral authority.

If we do that we have the added benefit of pushing aside things that hinder our prayer, and we also have the chance to see real resurrection power manifest itself.