Saturday, October 13, 2007

God is Imaginary: #1 "Try Praying": Part 1

Try Praying.

In syllogism form, their argument is as follows:

1. If God is real, he will do what he says.
2. God says he will answer prayer.
3. Therefore, if we pray for God to cure all cancer, he should do so.
4. God does not cure cancer, therefore he does not exist.

Now consider, why is there cancer in the first place? In Romans 8:22 St. Paul says, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth up to the present time." As I just assisted in the birth of my son, this verse has taken on new meaning to me. Even though she had a relatively easy labor and delivery, the groaning of my wife was beyond anything I have ever experienced.

Why? Why should all creation be in such pain? If you return to Genesis 3:14-19, you will read that creation is cursed, and it is cursed because of man's sin. In verse 21, God makes coverings of skin for them--the first blood sacrifice (See Hebrews 9:22). What purpose does The Curse serve? In the book of Job, Satan describes God as having built a hedge around Job (1:10) which protected him from evil. When God lowered the hedge slightly, Job suffered terribly. So why did God lower the hedge in Genesis 3? He didn't. He raised the hedge. With the first sin, we had rejected God completely. A complete rejection of God, as you know, is hell. Adam sinned and we plunged into hell. God cursed the world, not by corrupting it, but by partially sustaining it. Rather than letting all creation be destroyed, which is what we deserved, he gave us a second chance--the life we are living--to understand what we had done.

So why can't we cure cancer with a mighty prayer? I think Christ's response to the mother of John and Andrew in Matthew 20:22 is the answer: "You don't know what you ask." What if Christians prayed and God removed all pain and sickness? Leaving aside the issue of the justice of God, our second chance would be worthless if God did what we asked. We would never understand the consequences of sin, and we would be damned.

I blogged earlier about "What Would Jesus Do." In that short essay, I concluded that God seeks our salvation above all else. If it takes cancer to drive us from our sins, then cancer is a small price to pay, and may even be considered a blessing from God. Is praying that God remove a blessing really an appropriate prayer? I have a better solution. To get rid of all cancer, pray "Thy kingdom come."


Back to The Fifty Reasons.

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