Summa Contra Mundum: "A cousin of Mrs. Athanasius died suddenly a while back, at the age of 37. She died in the shower, with no cause of death discovered. The body was found by the husband. There are three girls, aged three to nine.

I bring this up because there is a very insidious problem in modern Christianity, something that was apparent at the funeral, and in conversations since the funeral. People will ask "Why did she have to die so young?" "Why would God take her?" "Why would God leave her kids without her?" Some have expressed that it is difficult to keep faith in God when such good people die, for no apparent reason.

Now, these sentiments are understandable. I don't blame anyone who has them. But I think such attitudes are fundamentally incompatible with Christian faith.

See, there is an idea hidden behind these statements: "God won't let bad things happen to her/me/the kids." If I pray and do good things (which is another insidious idea, that there really are good people), shouldn't I be rewarded? Shouln't I be able to die peacefully, full of years, surrounded by children and grandchildren? Shouldn't I just slip into heaven as easily as a hand in a glove, with no intervening discomfort? That's the way things should be, God,and if it doesn't work out that way, I'll be mad at you!


No comments: