Monday, August 20, 2007

crisis of faith

We’ve had a number of those tragic situations lately where people bring up the phrase “crisis of faith.” The earthquake in Peru, the mining accident in Utah. The newspapers are fond of asking folks struggling through these situations, “What does this do to your faith?”

The question assumes that painful life experiences should be evidence that God doesn’t exist. But that’s only true if a person believes that God has the power (and the will) to end all human suffering. Many people believe in that sort of God, but other beliefs are possible that don’t present that problem.

I believe in a companion God, not a supernatural savior God. I sense a God that suffers with us through our painful experiences and who helps us find our own way out of hard times (when a way out is possible), but who does not have the power to contradict the laws of nature in a way that would prevent all suffering.

To me, theologies are not right or wrong but healthy or unhealthy. When faced with hard times do your beliefs help you heal and move forward, or when you really need the comfort of faith do your beliefs throw you into a crisis?

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