The church has bought into a lie. It’s a distinctly Western lie, one that’s intricately intwined into our benefits based Christian faith. We protest loudly when we suffer the harsh realities of life, realities like our own mortality, or the mortality of those we love, or flesh based laws of inheritance, or we become victims of an unjust and corrupt system. Our pleas before our living God can become like fetishes we rub for favor, with no real submission to the God we claim to serve.
What is our response when our child is born with differences that reflect poorly on us, our genetics, or our parenting? It’s one thing to adopt a child with brain chemistry or developmental problems, but it is quite another to physically birth one, or even several. What is our response beyond the horrific dark abyss of grief when we lose a child? What did we actually mean when we surrendered our child to God in the first place? What we meant was never surrender, but actually protection unto perfection. Anything less is perceived as a breach of promise, and a crisis of faith ensues.
On a flight this week, I sat next to a Chinese college student with Christian heritage. She marveled that her grandfather was a believer throughout the Revolution, wondering why he did not lose his faith. I suspect that during that season was when a truer faith was born, a mature faith with abandoned need to control, a faith that lacked the demand for an explanation. The result of fire in our lives is solely dependent upon our own constitution, not the source of that fire as being from heaven or hell. The same fire that consumes stubble, purifies gold.