Tuesday, March 27, 2007

problem: he's just too happy

If I pray for some heartbreaking tragedy to befall my half-brother leading to a spiritual cirsis, will God answer my prayer?

I googled "unitarian minister" (yes, I was ego-googling) and found this interchange between a parishoner of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA and their pastor, John MacArthur, Jr.

Question: My half-brother is a Unitarian minister, and he’s been a Unitarian minister for many years. How do I witness to him? He knows more about the Bible than I do.

Answer: No, he knows less about the Bible than you do. Much less, because, if he is not a Christian, then he has no way to comprehend the Bible. He can use the Bible to articulate his false system, but he does not know the Bible. But, the key thing, you see, people never become Christians until they have a deep felt need, and you can’t create that need. That need has to be created in his heart through circumstances that are brought into his life by God himself. Therefore, the best thing you can do for him is pray for him. Pray that God will somehow create an utter dissatisfaction in his life with everything he’s involved in. You see, we say that these people know the Bible, but, the fact is, they do not know the Bible. They simply know how to use the Bible, by misinterpreting it, misapplying it, and arranging it in a way that teaches error. So don’t be intimidated by it. You cannot argue a person into becoming a Christian. There’s no way. A man convinced against his will is unconvinced still. What has to happen is a desperation in his life, a dissatisfaction that drives him to look for something other than what he has. And, you see, in order to do that, he’s going to have to deny things he’s been teaching all his life. He’s going to have to step down from his position, which is a big blow to his ego and all of those kinds of things. That’s why it’s so difficult when someone is in [an apostate] system to get them out.

Here's the scene I imagine later that night as the parishoner kneels to pray.

"Dear God, you know my happy half-brother? Please make him miserable. As my pastor says, please send him "utter dissatisfaction." Please make my brother's life desperate. You who want the best for all your children, create the worst for my brother. Please destroy the faith that has supported him all his life. Please make him doubt everything he's ever taught his congregation or preached from the pulpit. Because I care for him, make him suffer. In your compassion cause him to leave the job his livelihood depends on. In your infinite kindness, shatter this guy, so that once you've thoroughly abused and defeated him he will want to follow you in the right way."

I might go to Hell for ego-googling (well not really) but I'm not worried that God might damn me for not choosing the right religion. And I'll spend my prayer time praying that suffering persons find happiness, not praying that the happy start suffering.

1 comment:

Edward said...

I liked the part about you knowing the bible better. He should have stopped right there and your googling need would have been satisfied. How else can you build you own theology if you stop with Jesus? Stop googling and get to work writing...we can't wait until Sunday!