Those of you who know Gerv but don't follow his blog might want to read his latest post. It's called Thank God For Cancer
. And with a title like that, people who don't know Gerv might want to read it too.
Gerv follows the kind of Christianity that most 21st
century liberals, which would be most of my flist, to a greater or lesser degree, despise or even hate. His theology is about everybody going to Hell except him and a handful of people who very precisely share his beliefs (which are not exactly liberal fluffy doctrine, as you might guess). Gerv is also a wonderful person, kind, thoughtful, generous... intelligent too, but lots of my friends are bright; it's in moral qualities that he's exceptional. And he's very sick; he may be completely serene about it, but I'm not!
I'm not saying that post is a fantastic piece of theology; it's really not. But it's a fairly impressive statement of personal faith. Comments on this are restricted, but not completely disabled. I hope I don't need to mention that I do not expect anyone to insult my friend.
|Date:||April 7th, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)|
4 days after journal entry, 11:00 am (livredor's time)
That's very interesting, that you do find his theology appealing as well as admirable. Myself, I don't want to devise any theology which tries to make suffering into a good thing; that's a pretty important principle for me. I don't have a good answer, but in some ways I prefer to admit that I don't know the answer to how God can let people suffer, rather than coming up with some sophistry which doesn't answer real people's experiences. Though it is as redbird
pointed out in another comment, that there's a very big difference between believing that one's own suffering is part of God's plan and believing that about suffering in general or even worse, other people's troubles specifically.
When pressed, I'll fall back on ideas about the brokenness of creation. As a religious person I want to focus on doing something about the evil in the world, rather than arguing about the reason why such evil exists. Myths which empahsize that God made the world imperfect and gave people the ability and responsibility to fix it thus work better for me than myths that emphasize that God is perfect and therefore anything that bad that happens must actually be a good thing in some ineffable way.
Philosophically, it's somewhat of a copout in that it doesn't answer why
God broke the vessels / diminished God's self to make space for creation and so on. But emotionally, it works better for me than the position Gerv is taking.