Suffering and Stupid Theological Explanations

"Suffering and Theology" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward Maybe it goes something like this: 1. Stub toe: God's too busy to bother with that. 2. Get the flu: God's trying to get you to rest. 3. Get cancer: God's testing you. 4. Spouse dies: You loved her more than God. 5. Tornado levels home: There's sin in your life. 6. National disaster: Same-sex marriage allowed in your State, Province, Country. 7. Ice-cap melts: Jesus is coming back soon. You get the idea. Theodicy, as defined by Plantinga, is the "answer to the question of why God permits evil". It's obviously not easy. Although there are "easy" options, like... 1. There is no God. 2. God and Satan are locked in a cosmic battle in a dualistic universe. 3. God doesn't care. 4. We're in the end times left to ourselves. 5. Denial: there is no suffering. 6. and so on and so on. So I made this easy chart to show how the more severe is the suffering the more stupid are the theological explanations... because the more profoundly incomprehensible the evil is the more profoundly far does the explanation must reach. The darkness clouds our thoughts. As we deconstruct... change our beliefs or lose our faith... as we evolve spiritually... we learn to embrace mystery. It doesn't mean we stop thinking about it and trying to understand it. But we are okay with abandoning silly, stupid, concocted answers to profound questions. We are willing to take the risk of saying, "I don't know". We can even find peace of mind in the middle of confusion. This is what it means to grow and become wise beyond belief.
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1 comment

I’m deconstructing. Have been for over a year. I’ve been through hell in the past few years. And now my mom has terminal cancer and my youngest’s alopcea is coming back and I’m just having such a hard time trusting god right now. Why would he make us if he knew we would just be in pain. And why would he allow this suffering to happen to my mom and my child and me and countless others. I mean I don’t get it. And I don’t want to hear another person say “ this is not our home and we chose sin “ I just can’t hear another word of it because if that’s true then the hell or heaven theory is true and how would a loving father do that.
I would love to hear how you deal with these things. I appreciate everything you post and say.


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