30 Replies to “2 rooms 2 theologies”

  1. For me the easy answer was…there is no God. Now when bad things happen it’s just life and nature and nothing personal. I don’t have to think, did I pray enough or why me? It is what it is (except of course things that are within our control).

  2. Should have one with a doctor next to the bed. They are often the one that will manifest the miraculous and be the answer to that prayer.

  3. Sheila I am actually closer to your thinking than you might suspect. I do believe in a personal God. But I happen to believe life (shit) happens and God rarely intervenes in the natural order of things. Jesus did say the sun and the rain fall on both the righteous and the unrighteous. I don’t buy into the whole notion of God giving Christians some sort of pass regarding the trials of this life. In fact if God were to intervene…then we would not have the opportunity to manifest His love towards each other by being His miracle in somebody’s life.

  4. Growing up, I had a fantastic, thoughtful, engaging minister who taught “God always answers prayers. The answer is either Yes, No, or Wait.” I’ve tapped into that wisdom a lot. As Christians, I think it’s important for us to remember that we won’t always get the answer we want. What we want isn’t always what’s best, what’s healthy, or even what is physically possible.

  5. The way the whole doctrine behind healing is treated in much of the Church has a lot to be desired. Whenever we read stories of Christ healing, it was on his terms: his was the gift, he chose when to give, and the healing served a purpose to demonstrate something: rather than just for the sake of it. It’s about God’s plans, not ours. The moment we begin to see it that way: and also accept the notion that suffering entered the world (Romans 1&2), and that ultimately there’s another plan at work to redeem creation (also Ephesians 1): then we begin to switch from pursuing healing for the stuff WE prioritise, and switch to “Your will be done”… which is, after all, what we were told to pray for. I know too many people who have been made to feel defective or somehow responsible because God appears not to have healed them yet. By the fruit then: the attitude of entitlement on our terms, must be wrong. God has used allsorts to help heal me personally: Doctors, medication, books, friends, acquaintances, even sometimes Church! Yet I often am made to feel condemned by others from more evangelical backgrounds, (although some of it is societal attitudes towards the condition, I have non-religious things who still see medication-free life as an aim), because I don’t tend to assume… or necessarily even aspire to, ever be completely well in this lifetime. Of course, I’d love to be suprised, yet my experience is, that an “instant” miracle, doesn’t seem like the best idea anyway, and I’ve come to see that it is through suffering and illness that I have gained both empathy and wisdom. Perhaps we should spend more time letting people know that the community is there for them: sometimes less praying and more people showing up with reading material, DVDs, fruit squash (for that jug of water they leave on the table all day and expect patients to drink lots of), fruit, chocolate, their favourite food, something homecooked (depending what they can have), or feeding and giving lifts to family who are run of their feet etc etc. Walk with them two miles, give them your spare coat… and perhaps praying for strength to endure, for the wisdom to see God, even in the darkness- and who understands suffering, and only for an “instant” miraculous healing if that is God’s will… and that many people would believe and find a way to connect with God as a result if that does happen. (After all, in Scripture it was generally a sign for unbelief… God’s purposes, not ours. We know that one who refused to believe until his own flashbangwallop experience and healing, subsequently wrote most of the New Testament…) So I’m not saying it doesn’t happen… just that we often look at it wrong, and sometimes it’s our attitude and outlook that need to change (and perhaps that IS a form of healing for us too…!)

  6. i am not sure, but i don’t think any two miracles of Jesus ever looked the same. man, do i know the theological dance i have tried in the past to explain those two realities. at this moment at least i just shrug, i have no idea how that works.
    nice cartoon

  7. I do not understand the mystery of unanswered prayer. I do know God is not some sort of cosmic vending machine, where if we just put in the right change we can punch the button and get what we want. I also know that healing and cure are not the same thing, and sometimes God grants one without the other.

  8. Could it be when it was spoken “greater things then this you will do” Jesus was looking into the future of mankind. Have we as humans created in the image of God done amazing things? And those amazing things taken for granted because we are human. Wouldn’t our forfathers thousands of years ago call our achievements in comparison to those in their times miraculous…

  9. We will all die, sooner or later. The one that walks out of the hospital will return someday and never walk out.

    The wages of sin is death. And the price will be paid by all.

    But that’s not the end of the story. There will be a resurrection. And those whom He knows,will have a unbelievably wonderful eternity with Him.

    That’s good news for sinners. Because that’s who He died for. Those who know their need of a Savior. Christ Jesus is that Savior and He loves to raise people from the dead.

  10. Nice made me think… for all sinners will suffer physical death and all will live in Christ Jesus! Thanx Steve that is awesome and true. =)

  11. AS in Adam ALL die
    SO ALSO in Christ shall ALL be made alive.
    Now that is a ah ha moment for me!

  12. Not to beat a dead horse just curious do you think ALL in dead and ALL alive are not the same in Greek or Hebrew …. Just wondering

  13. @ Gary
    You said, “In fact if God were to intervene…then we would not have the opportunity to manifest His love towards each other by being His miracle in somebody’s life.”

    That is a classic theodicy reflex — Voltaire in “Candide” dealt with this pretty well. Are you saying, we have horrible suffering even though an all powerful good could intervene just so we can show each other we love each other. And then you can that love “His Love”???

    Doesn’t that strike you as the least bit odd?

    How does that differ from, “There is no God, so when shit happens we only have each other’s love to depend on. So please love!”

  14. @Sabio – You said, “That is a classic theodicy reflex — Voltaire in “Candide” dealt with this pretty well. Are you saying, we have horrible suffering even though an all powerful good could intervene just so we can show each other we love each other. And then you can that love “His Love”???”


    I just love how you put words in my mouth and throw some boorish psycho babble at me to challenge your misrepresentation of my views.

    LOL – Not going there with you this time.

  15. As often, Gary, you offer no discussion, just rhetoric. I restated your words to make them clear. Then I checked in and asked you to correct if your thought they weren’t. This is a common discussion skill. You just dislike anyone trying to clarify your position — especially if they clarification makes obvious some confusion.

    So, without discussion and only rhetoric, I think it is clear that you are saying:

    “Wow, God is so great because he choses not to help us [though he could] because he wants us to love each other. God gives us disease, famine, murder and all those other apparently bad things in our lives so we can hug each other like he would hug us (if he were here).”

    When I look around at the suffering in this world, that would be a very horrible god. That is the classic Theodicy. Tell me how I am wrongly typifying your statement — it seemed to say clearly that. Tell us how much more sophisticated your view actually is.

  16. BTW, Gary, the reason I made my comment in the first place is because after Sheila made her comment about no god making sense, you countered say, that your views agreed with hers somewhat but that god made sense to you because ….

    So I was trying to show that your “because …” did not appear reasonable at all and would probably offer Sheila no better view of your god.

  17. No Sabio – Been down the road of your continuing to twist my words and present your challenges to your perversions of my statements too many times. Your style is both disingenuous and often offensive.

    Now you throw in a statement like

    “So, without discussion and only rhetoric, I think it is clear that you are saying:”

    which you then followed by some ridiculous and insulting further perversion of my view as if it can somehow goad me into playing your game anyway.

    I really don’t care what you claim you were trying to do or show…I told you plainly that I would not go there with you this time. You don’t get to set the rules of discussion here…it is not your blog. Now you can continue to rant and whine and come back yet again with more false statements about my views…or you can simply grow up and leave it alone. I don’t know how to make it any plainer than that.

  18. (1) I am not perverting your statements until you show us how. Until then, they seem to be perfect representations. I offered a good dialogue tool. That you took offense tells us more about you.

    (2) The ranting person is you. Look at your language in this exchange: “ridiculous, insulting, perversion, goading, immature (“grow up”), whining, boorish, ranting”. Man can you sling the insults! Seriously, I think we can see who needs to get a hold of themselves?

    (3) I got a kick of your accusing me of psycho-babble since you are throwing-out theology-babble and Christian-pablum. And when it is challenged, you go rabid.

    (4) I am not trying to set rules on this blog at all. Your misrepresentation again. Go ahead, make more personal attacks — show us those Christian dialogue skills.

    (5) We get that you left your Fundamental Evangelicalism for a new Universalist, rarely-intervening-god Christianity. But it seems like your “I-got-it-right-now” attitude of your Fundie days persists but a different sacred cloak.

    (6) When you offer reasons for your new Christianity, I question those rationalization. I am cool with people having their own religion — but when they publicly try to tell us why their religion is rational and reasonable, they are open to questioning — don’t you think?

    When you try to make your Christianity seem consistent, I step in to question it. If your intent is to not engage and not just ignore my questions, why do you instead keep coming in and throwing insults instead just letting it go. If you don’t want to engage, why start a fire with all your insults? I think your insults speak volumes but not in the direction you are intending, I fear.

  19. Sigh

    I really thought I was as clear as I could be. Let me try to be even clearer…

    Hey Sabio…seriously man…just fuck off.

  20. @ Kathy Makus ; can i give you a virtual high five for your comment?! It made me smile and felt like such a true observation.
    The church i go to is pretty heavy on praying for healings. I get sooooooo frustrated with the stuff that people claim as healings, so much of it is unverifiable, or could easily explained as psycosomatic (Guy with broken ribs get prays for… still has broken ribs, but hey they are ‘40% less sore,’ WTF????)
    My own life has been a catalogue of not being healed. I am a thorn in the side of my own family.

  21. Sabio for real at least have some respect. I guess it kind of sucks when the one you choose to use as a platform to further your agenda bows out but he did just that.

  22. I agree totally with Sheila. The total absence of god is the only “easy answer” that doesn’t fail further investigation. It’s a bitter pill to swallow at the time, but then it sets you free to get on with your life, and help others wherever you can, in real ways.

  23. Really rod you have to believe there is no god to truly engage and be of value everyday in the lives of others? Just curious. I could never only because I’ve experienced God most of my life. Religion is the disease that keeps us from engaging in a way that enriches others. God is not theory but an experience.

  24. @ Rod,
    I’d have to agree with marcie’s first question (though not her conclusion). I think people can believe in a god and have true relationships, rich lives and deeply enrich others — all in a real enough way (in that all of our lives are full of self-deception.)

    In fact, I’d go further and say that for some, living a religious life makes life fuller than if they did not.

    Instead, I think we need to look more finely at religion when we criticize.

    For instance, those who believe that only believers go to heaven or paradise, have a harmful belief that does harm their truly relating to others or even to themselves. I think many Christians visiting the nakedpastor may agree with this atheist on this point.

    So, I think it is best to keep criticism focused — both those on others and ourselves. That way, they are more helpful and more accurate.

    But I agree with you and Sheila that for many “no believing” is often a much more genuine response to life and allows them to live in deeper relations to others — it all depends on what they are not believing. There are lots of different versions of Christianity — almost as many as there are believers. Best to evaluate belief by belief.

  25. The problem is “There are no answers” is also a theology. When we accompany others who are in pain, we need to meet them where they are, not pull the rug out from under them. Even if we think their rug is flimsy. In order for my rug to be of use to me, I have to weave it myself.

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