[Editor’s note: we’ve managed to talk about politics without losing all readership; it will be interesting what kind of thinking the Peculiar Parson can stimulate. –SS]
Purely coincidental (unless you believe everything happens for a reason) to Sandstorm Scholar’s Chik-fil-A “everything happens for a reason” post the same week a vendor called who missed a deadline and had to delay work for a week. It wasn’t an issue and caused no problems but that didn’t spare me having to listen to several minutes of “God has a plan and everything happens for a reason” excuse. For the record here, I give more credence to the “my dog ate my homework” justification.
Why does he think him missing his deadline was God’s plan? Don’t blame that on God…it isn’t God’s fault. Stuff happens. When the youth minister wins the coin toss in tied election he capriciously attributes the results to God. Really? Who made him the good guy in the race? Why didn’t God arrange one more vote and save us the coin toss? Why was God mad with his opponent?
“It’s all in God’s hands now.” Explain that to a seven year old when her grandmother dies. You’re telling her that “God did it.” Harder yet, explain it to the grandmother when the seven year old runs out into the street and is hit by a car. “It was God’s will.” How do you know that? Does God will babies be killed? Where did you read that? It is superstitious nonsense. And it is wrong. People die. God put those laws in place long ago. You can’t avoid it. There’s only one way out of this world. Sometimes it is through accidents, sometimes through aging, sometimes because you drank too much.
Preachers use the “God told me so” spiel all of the time to manipulate people into giving. “If you give to me God will bless you.” Really? Where did God say that? Did he whisper that into the preacher’s ear? And why, if that’s the case, didn’t he whisper it in mine? To quote an old politico, “God never told me to do anything but Meals on Wheels.” The point being, it’s funny God rarely tells people to sell it all and to serve. Usually he’s telling people to run for office, or he’s telling the television evangelist something to tell me that most directly benefits the preacher. “God laid this on my heart”…are you sure it wasn’t that extra helping of mashed potatoes you had that putting that pressure on your chest? And how do you know God did it and not the Devil?
What does God say about life and living? About who wins and who loses? About whether God acts as the big Referee in sky choosing the winner in every life and death struggle? Does God say that spiritual purity translates into physical prosperity? Stuff just happens. That’s what God says. The laws of nature are laws He put into place…and they work the same way every time.
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9.11.
Time and chance happens to everybody. Ecclesiastes chapter nine is a great read. Don’t attribute your good fortune to righteous living nor your bad luck to some sin in your life. Stuff happens. It isn’t God’s fault.