Does this cartoon challenge your tidy theology?

"The Two Doors" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“The Two Doors” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

I used to think that when someone, including myself, has a real tidy theology with everything making sense, that it took some sort of trauma to shake it. Now I realize that this is not necessarily the case.

We find ways of making reality bend to fit our thinking.

Our ideology is stronger than the truth.

*** Is your theology shaking? So’s ours at The Lasting Supper. Join us. I’ll personally welcome you.


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16 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    I was talking to a new physician colleague last week and it ends up he is a creationist. We exposed some of his deep misunderstandings of evolution and then moved on. He asked, “Do you believe in God.” So I said, “Well, you have to tell me exactly what sort of god?” He said, “hmmmmmm”. So I replied, “Well, you don’t believe in Zeus, Krishna or Shiva, do you? So, you see, you don’t believe in certain types of gods. So tell me the type you are asking about.”

    I said, “Does your god heal people if you ask him with deep faith and love?” He said, “Yes!” And I said, “Can your god he heal someone who just lost an arm by growing it right back?” He said, “Hmmmm”. I said, “Well if you believe in that sort of god, then I don’t believe in your god. You see, the list goes on.”

    I am amazed at how otherwise smart folks can partition their brains.

    (ps – for a change, I will link my name to my amateur poetry sandbox)

  2. Caryn LeMur says:

    Sabio: great question to ask someone! That question helps people to grapple with the concept of a God that may intervene, but normally does not.

    And… I am ok with that part of God.

    Not ‘thrilled’… but ‘ok’. 😉

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    Thanx Caryn,
    Question: So if I understand you, you feel your god does not heal amputees, but how about cancer? I was listening to a preacher on the radio three days ago, talk about how his god hides himself [sic] so that believers have to have faith. So for him, not healing amputees is because it is too obvious and thus not testing faith, but healing cancer is not so dramatic and his god does not mind healing like that.

    But maybe your god is not a physical healer and but only a mental healer?

  4. Brigitte says:

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    Paul. Letter to the Romans. Chapter One.

    Though faith healing may often be a crock, it is better to live with worship and with gratitude. Contentment with godliness is a great gain. It is just a fact. Even in the face of tragedy. Easy to say but we all get into the predicament sooner or later. None excepted.

  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    Wow, being “godless” sounds bad. Am I godless if I don’t believe in Krishna, Allah, Zeus or any of the many others, or does it translate here as “immoral”. Paul was into believism, wasn’t he — believe right, and you won’t be burnt in hell.

    So if it is belief, then I am godless. So my illness is from God’s wrath, right?

    I’m scared.
    OK, I’ll convert again Brigitte.
    I don’t want the mean god to hurt me.
    Yikes !

  6. Sabio Lantz says:

    PS, bridgitte, love the Christian bible quotes — it is such a huge source of authority, power and knowledge here. We all really think Paul had a direct line to absolute truth. We are all Paulites ! Yeah, right

  7. Caryn LeMur says:

    Hi Sabio: that is an area of great relationship tension for me. A long answer for you:

    In the Garden of Eden, God puts Adam in charge of the world. This narrative strongly implies the Deist theory that ‘god made the earth like a good clock, wound it up to run well, and then walked away’.

    Job’s statement, “Though God slay me, yet I will still trust Him.” seems to also imply a 90% Deist opinion, with a God that intervenes with negative and positive actions…. but stays in the background ‘blessing’ people that seek Him.

    Then, I find Jesus’ viewpoint: “How often I would have protected you [City of Jerusalem] – like a hen protects her chicks, but you were not willing.” which seems to imply a 10% Deist viewpoint, and 90% Interventionist viewpoint with only positive actions.

    Likewise, Jesus’ statement, “If you ask for a egg, will your earthly father give you a scorpion?…. how much more will your Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit [that at that time, resided only in the Temple]?’ This implies a extremely ‘positive actions’ viewpoint.

    And then… the famous passage in John Chapter 9, “Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” This strongly implies a change back to 99.9% Deist, and to .1% Interventionist.

    What do I do?

    My heart screams for a God that intervenes. My heart dislikes the Deist viewpoint… after all, the ‘clock’ that God wound up has some real issues that need real miracles.

    The ‘clock’ needs physical and mental healing, a lot.

    My logical mind says ‘but….the last change in the contract was John Chapter 9’.

    So, I end up praying, trusting in His love, yet very dissatisfied with a .1% interventionist rate.

    I mean… How do I love someone that has such strong boundaries? Yet, I do.

    I use the human analogy: my relationship with my wife has some areas of great tension, and we cannot reconcile our boundaries in those areas. Nonetheless, I have decided to love my wife, rather than divorce her.

    So, you hit on a sore area in my relationship with God. I do not think that He and I will ever reconcile in this area.

    But I do not think we will divorce over it.

  8. Sabio Lantz says:

    Caryn: You said , “My logical mind says ‘but….the last change in the contract was John Chapter 9’.”

    But I think a logical mind would say, “These are just a bunch of men fumbling with no real knowledge at all proposing their idea.” No change in contract (dispensationalism), no unified Bible (but an anthology of human writers). And wrestling with god-healers exist in every religious tradition.

    So, to avoid divorce, just change your image and expectation of your wife or god. Easy enough if you want to stay together for whatever reason.

    I get it.
    Thanx for your honesty.
    Changing a god to 99.9% non-interventionalist but emotional comforting, is the kind of god that I would not argue against — well, unless it damns people. 😉

  9. Caryn LeMur says:

    Hi Brigitte: I listened to the 1941 Lutheran hymn sung by the quartet. All the verses. Same tune. Parts never changed. Sounded like an organ.

    So… you did not post this as an example of excellent acapella music…. but for some other reason?

    Seriously, why did you post that particular song? What does it mean to you?

  10. Caryn LeMur says:

    Sabio: you are welcome.

  11. Brigitte says:

    Caryn. We memorized it in school. I sing it when things are bad.

  12. Brigitte says:

    The man who wrote it was a pastor who had lost his entire family.

  13. Brigitte says:

    Pietatis melica. Something like “it is well with my soul”, in English, in spite of all that has happened to me.

  14. Brigitte says:

    Caryn, here is a more competent arrangement by J.S. Bach:

    There are some biblical texts interspersed. Here is an English translation from the San Fransisco Bach Choir.

  15. terri jo says:

    Brigitte: thank you for the beautiful choir music, enjoyed it, beautiful