What Good is Suffering?

The modern-day Revolution is primarily a rejection not merely of the Christian social order but of God himself. He is, after all, the ultimate object of insurrection. And what is the nature of God’s supposed crime against humanity to warrants such rejection? The most common complaint lodged against him is that he allows pain and suffering in the world, and therefore he must be a cruel God. In light of the accusation we must honestly ask ourselves, is this a valid charge or a mere pretext?

We all experience some degree of suffering throughout life. This is an unavoidable fact of our human existence. And because there is suffering and yes, evil, many people conclude either, a) that God does not exist or, b) then he must be some kind of cosmic sadist bent on torturing hapless souls for no apparent reason. There is another side to the story, however, which is that human beings also enjoy an abundance of the good things that sustain life and give much happiness and joy besides.

We occupy a world of gratuitous abundance which too often we take for granted. The rains fall to water this fertile earth, thus providing us with food, fibers for clothing, medicine and much more. Then consider the countless natural resources which make our technical civilization possible. We have family, teachers, and friends who nurture us and enrich our lives. Most of all, the gift of life itself was bestowed liberally upon each one of us with no cooperation on our part. What about the particular talents, abilities, and creative drives not to mention the countless material goods that we enjoy and find fulfillment in? Consider the gift of time itself which provides us ample opportunity to grow and develop those talents? Do these things also not come from God? If so, he must be a very poor torturer, indeed. Continue reading

In Thanksgiving ~ Lest We Forget

The best kept secret in the media over the past few years has been the 150th anniversary of the most significant event in American history. The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865, yet there has been a strange, deafening silence and the absence of any fanfare commemorating that bitter conflict fought to end racial slavery. One would assume, with the first ever black president in office, that the costly struggle which initiated the long journey toward full civil rights for every American would merit a little official attention. Alas, nobody in today’s smug political establishment seems overly concerned that a few million white guys and several hundred thousand black ones fought and made heroic sacrifices to remove the canker of slavery from our land, while also preserving a tottering Union mortally threatened by sectional strife. In short, this was a war that cemented what the American Revolution had only begun, thus insuring the continuation of the greatest human experiment in self-government that history has ever seen. Continue reading