Spiritual Progress through Suffering and Catastrophe


“Nothing could be farther from the truth than the facile belief that God only manifests Himself in progress, in the improvements of standards of living, in the spread of medicine and reforms of abuses, in the diffusion of organized Christianity.  The reaction from this type of theistic meliorism, which a few years ago had almost completely supplanted the faith of Moses, and Elijah, and Jesus among modern Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, is now sweeping multitudes from their religious moorings.

Real spiritual progress can only be achieved through catastrophe and suffering, reaching new levels of profound catharsis which accompanies major upheavals.  Every such period of mental and physical agony, while the old is being swept away and the new is still unborn, yields different social patterns and deeper spiritual insights.”

William Foxwell Albright in From the Stone Age to Christianity, p.402

Much of contemporary Christianity is absurdly Disney-like when suffering occurs, which it will.  That we confuse peace and joy with the absence of suffering is the complete opposite of biblical faith.   I don’t mean to rant like a buffoon, but too many people are not reading their Bibles, and they’re the ones who ask where God is when suffering hits.  God is in progress I’m sure to some degree, but He is not in it in the way utopian political views are expressed, under the banner of the relentless march and unquestioned triumph of technology in our world – not to mention the pathway paved with gold for science!

Both these Molech-like gods of our age demand more and expect us to ask less.  And yet, these bastard-children of humanist utopian dreams are creating a dystopia of misery in addictions and false beliefs, and they don’t, can’t even answer the question of suffering and evil in an age that has mastered the art of evil, both in rhetoric and practice.

Anyway, I’m off to have the small collection of cancerous cells in my neck cut out.  Praise the Lord for medical science!  Praise the Lord whether or not it works.  Praise the Lord because the Lord is the Lord.  I remember reading this most excellent line, “We do not praise God because He has caused us to triumph, but rather, to praise God is to triumph.”

Joy and peace to you all.

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