Thursday, September 27, 2012

Only a Mountain?

I've had that Jason Castro song "this is only a mountain" stuck in my head for the last couple days. After talking with Belinda and consulting my Bible (shock and horror!) I think the song is just bad theology. It perpetuates a rather poor understanding of suffering on the part of protestants in the west for the last century or more (I'm finding it rather easy to beat up on protestants these days, as if I'm not part of the problem. Don't let me fool you!).

Castro's song basically encourages the believer who is confronted with what sounds like a rather bad day to simple ask God in faith to make it better, and promises that he will. God certainly does respond to the faith of his people. But he's not in the business of making bad days go away, of eliminating suffering from our lives. "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me," Paul wrote. "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'"

It seems to me that our prayer of faith does more to change our perspective on the mountain than it does to eliminate our problems. I fear that Castro's attempt to provide encouragement may lead to deeper despair for the brother who prays in faith and doesn't see his problems disappear. His heart is not ready to hear "My grace is sufficient for you."

I think that most of us would rather have a comfortable life than know the fellowship of sharing in Christ's sufferings, and our eschatology hasn't taught us otherwise.

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