Christendom Challenged Links
Site Section Links
The Blessings from God
What a day may bring a day may take away. - Thomas Fuller
If the plan of God is for us to come out of denial, to wake up to an awareness that something is deeply wrong with our theology and thinking, to start listening to the J-person as the ONLY authorized spokesman for truth, to come into a knowledge of ALL the pertinent truth, to follow the reasonable instructions and to come into unity of purpose, plan and values, and to deliver to us the package, then the most unproductive thing that God could do would be to affirm us in our insanity by "blessing us." By making our lives, which according to the J-person we are supposed to HATE, more comfortable and more acceptable he would be making it almost impossible for us to challenge our deeply held convictions based on myth and would be guilty of helping us to maintain the status quo. Ne would be encouraging "business as usual", as in the ancient Hebrew sayings of "eating and drinking" and "marrying and giving in marriage."
One noteworthy and illustrative incident happened to an evangelist friend of mine. When visiting a mojor metropolitan area to make a presentation, he was invited to dinner by a wealthy Christian doctor, whose wealth was swollen by his making about a quarter of a million dollars a year from his exorbitant surgical fees and his real estate and stock market investments. Upon arriving at no less than an imposing mansion, he was ushered into the parlor where sat not one but TWO Steinway concert grand pianos. Knowing that the doctor had a new Cadillac and a Beamer for his wife and noting the surrounding opulence and the TWO grand pianos, my friend remarked that the doctor seemed to be doing quite well for himself. Thereupon the doctor remarked, "The Lord has blessed me greatly." What are we to say about such egregious hypocrisy that so many live with?
On the other side of the coin, I met a former schoolmate of years ago—I will refer to her as "G"—at an afternoon picnic to which I was invited. Through the mutual friends that had invited me I had already learned some things about her. Her husband was a somewhat insensitive brute who was a housing contractor and budding real estate magnate on a small scale, and he made no secret even from her about having multiple girl friends and a private nest where he could dally with them. The woman and I chatted and I naturally canvassed her about how she was doing. During the conversation I learned that she was suffering significantly from arthritis and her hands were partially crippled and curled up, and that she had other maladies that were troubling. I also learned that "G" was having to do menial labor—cleaning houses—because her husband was so pedal-to-the-metal with his expanding investments and couldn't provide her with any money beyond food and utilities. I learned as well that she and her husband were living in a large but only partially finished house, and she was anxious about it ever being worked on and finished. All of this was duly complained about.
At some point I asked her if she was still a Christian and still believed in the "second coming", and got an enthusiastic positive response. When I pointed out the checkered past of Christendom, the splintering of the apostles, the oppression of Papal Rome and the great Protestation, the 2000 years of waiting, and the multifarious denominations and sects and squabbling factions within, some of the egregious disagreements over dogma, etc., her response was that was all due to other Christians not having a personal relationship with the lord.
Asking her as to why the "Lord" had not come, "who was waiting for who?, were we waiting for the Lord or was the Lord waiting for us?" her unequivocal response was that he was waiting for us. To do what? I asked. "To have a personal relationship." was her reply. I said, Well, "G", you seem to have a boatload of problems in your life, and the "Lord" doesn't seem to be blessing you or making these any easier. Her rejoinder was, "Not true! The Lord is blessing me greatly in helping me cope with my problems."
What is even more troubling is the situation, which has happened probably millions of times in our world, where a man or a woman works—taxing their health—6 days a week for 12 to 16 hours a day under harsh or demeaning conditions in order to eke out a living and put food on the table for the family; only to then have herself/himself or some other family member or guest at the table "give grace" and say, "Dear Lord, we thank thee for the food that thou hast provided for us and ask thee to bless it for our bodies. Amen."
So, many people are willing to think that the good things that happen to them come from God and the bad things from the Devil. God gets all the credit for whatever goes right and we and/or the Devil get all the blame. God even gets credit for our normal human resolve and our ability to cope with significant problems and troubles, even in the face of it being obvious that NOT coping would lead to greater trouble and disaster. And so it goes!
Bottom line? It's not that God doesn't want to bless us but he would be derelict if he did bless when the end result would be to harden us in our sin.