Monday, July 23, 2007

Worthy of Anger and Tears

William Lobdell felt called by God to report on religion for the Los Angeles Times. That was the beginning of the end of his faith, which could not survive seeing how the sausage of church is made. Catholic sex abuse scandals, the callousness of Mormons to those who question the faith, and outlandish evangelical financial abuses--along with apologism from the members of each faith for their leaders' abuses--wrung Lobdell dry of his belief:
The questions that I thought I had come to peace with started to bubble up again. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God get credit for answered prayers but no blame for unanswered ones? Why do we believe in the miraculous healing power of God when he's never been able to regenerate a limb or heal a severed spinal chord?

In one e-mail, I asked [a former pastor], who had lost a daughter to cancer, why an atheist businessman prospers and the child of devout Christian parents dies. Why would a loving God make this impossible for us to understand?

He sent back a long reply that concluded:

"My ultimate affirmation is let God be God and acknowledge that He is in charge. He knows what I don't know. And frankly, if I'm totally honest with you, a life of gratitude is one that bows before the Sovereign God arguing with Him on those things that trouble me, lamenting the losses of life, but ultimately saying, 'You, God, are infinite; I'm human and finite.' "

John is an excellent pastor, but he couldn't reach me. For some time, I had tried to push away doubts and reconcile an all-powerful and infinitely loving God with what I saw, but I was losing ground. I wondered if my born-again experience at the mountain retreat was more about fatigue, spiritual longing and emotional vulnerability than being touched by Jesus.
Sounds a lot like a recent SCP post.

The article is here.


At 1:17 AM, Blogger Steve said...

That was a great article wasn't it? And it was plastered all across the front page of the LA Times Sunday edition....

It does make me feel not so crazy at times.

At 5:57 AM, Blogger dorsey said...

It seems a shame that, under most dogmatic systems, such a sincerely truth-seeking fellow would be condemned to hell.

At 11:36 PM, Blogger ninjanun said...

I've been condemned to hell loads of times lately by people who don't approve of my lifestyle/beliefs/friends.

Good thing those people don't have the final say on my eternal destiny. And the sooner they come to terms with that, the happier we all will be. :)

At 7:03 AM, Blogger dorsey said...

Well, that seems to be a two-way street, at least for me.


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