Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of fiction and nonfiction.
Thanks so much for your work, and I offer this short explanation to our terrible question folks have always struggled with; how to make sense out of tragic suffering. For much of human history people believed that gods were responsible and that by following certain laws, undertaking odysseys, sacrificing children, cattle, or virgins the gods could be cajoled into sparing us. When that failed we divided the cosmos into a tenuous balance between good gods and bad gods with people’s actions and will power able to tip the scale of catastrophe in our favor. That spared some cattle and virgins, but did nothing to prevent terrible things from happening. Seemed like the bad gods still kept getting their way and the crops still failed and the rain either didn’t come or came too much, and the volcanoes swallowed up villages and our children kept dying. So we narrowed down the good gods to a more manageable One God, fired up the barbeques again (for just the animals this time, we only covered up the virgins from head to toe), and when anything went wrong we blamed ourselves and let the good God off the hook. But we were never going to be good enough it seems, there was always a few screwups that got even the good God pissed and the rest of us all punished, and then the hot lava would flow, and our enemies would break through, and our children would die. So we took another look at the evil gods, and decided to also personify them into ‘One,’ and gave it a name and a face and blamed all the bad things on him and let ourselves, and the good God off the hook. But the rains still came too much or not at all and the earth shook our houses down, and our children still died. Then we set the smartest among us (theologians, philosophers, pastors and priests) to study the problem (some call it theodicy) and hoped for one grand, final, solution for it all. But they commenced to bickering (even warring) among themselves, so naturally we divvied ourselves up into ever smaller cliques around all the different answers any of them could come up with, and with all the bases covered we then took to blaming (even warring against) each other, as well as the good God(s), or the no-god(s), or the One evil, even each one of us warring within our own selves…searching for the One evil in our own hearts and the hearts of our brothers and sisters…then we looked to the sky, to the smoldering mountain top, to the rising river, to the fevered child, and we pray…...Obliged, Daniel.
Big THANK YOU to you and the other people on the program for straightening out the mess that Pat Robertson's words have made. Thank you for doing your part to help repair God's broken reputation in this world by speaking about who He really is. Thank you so much
All I can say is what the Blind Man said in John 9.. When confronted about who this healer Jesus was, he said ' Whether he is a sinner or not, I dont know, All I know is that once I was blind and now I see" That spiritually speaking, is what every true believer has experienced. Who cares what Pat thinks or to be honest what your really think. Salvation is a personal relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Either you have it or you dont.. Thats what your parents had irrespective of the problems you percieved in their thinking. Ron
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