Philosophy of Christian Faith
Bad things happen to good people, and vice versa.
This is not theology, but Christian logic. There are certain things we consider given. For us, there is a God in Heaven, and Heaven is a entirely different realm of existence than this one. What may seem reasonable here has little or nothing to do with that Other Realm. We can’t even understand it, but some bits of revelation have been granted. That is, we assert God has revealed as much as we need to know to find His favor. We further assert this revelation is recorded in the Bible. There isn’t room here for discussing how we arrive at what is and isn’t canon Scripture, but I’m going to run with the minimum standard Protestant canon. Christians take the Book seriously.
Too bad most of them ignore critical points, but that’s another discussion.
The fundamental assumption about this level of existence is it’s fallen, permanently broken and God has no plans to fix it. That it’s broken offers the first explanation for why people suffer. From a human point of view, it’s entirely random. The second explanation has to do with ignoring His revelation about how this broken world works. Thus, most people suffer an extra dose of suffering for that, and some who obey suffer less. Nothing in this is meant to be precise and neatly packaged.
But it stands to reason even Christians can’t really count on much regarding this life. The whole purpose is to participate in His revelation, and He holds all the cards. Revelation is whatever He says it is, and our part is mostly doing what He said we should do regardless of what happens to us. Our actions are not conditioned on success by any human measure, but adhering to a standard from the Other Realm.
Thus, it is entirely at His whim whether any good thing is granted, denied or taken from anyone, particularly Christians. We aren’t supposed to care all that much. Random bad luck, human cussedness and any number of other factors can make life tough for everyone. Nothing ever promised Christians an escape, except by deciding we don’t care about this life because we care about the Heavenly life which we were promised. Sometimes that includes a little relief from the ills of this plane, but only if He considers it revealing. Miracles are the same. So is death. We are told to regard human death as our best friend, because we are supposed to keep looking forward to our exit from this life.
We have to stay until He provides that exit. For us, it’s the ultimate good news, because life here below is just a big fat lie, a prison, a place of suffering. Again, we are here only so long as we serve the purpose of boosting revelation, particularly about what’s on the other side of death. We say those who embrace Him go to be with Him as friends and family. Everyone else goes before Him as enemies, and something about how things happen on that other side makes a huge difference whether you pass over as friend or foe.
Meanwhile, so long as we are stuck here, our friendship with Him should be obvious in how we react to the same crap everyone else faces. Now, if only I could get the rest of those claiming to be His friends to keep this in mind and stop chasing the same stuff everyone else wants.