Every now and again I get frustrated with what, henceforth, I think I’ll ironically refer to as “faithful” fatalism. Maybe you know what I’m talking about?
It’s the reassurance you get from fellow Christians that … the leadership position that failed to be filled? God will fill it! That miscarriage you just had? God has a lesson for you to learn! That president that just got elected, whom you have doubts about? It happened, so God obviously wanted it!
Sometimes those un-reassuring reassurances just make me want to scream. Guess what? Some pastors turn out to be pedophiles, despite your hopes. Some churches split and collapse, despite your faith. Some people are driven to suicide, despite your love. Do you think God wanted that!
When I look at Jesus, the image of the invisible God, I have to say no. The Son was no sadistic schoolmaster, he was not tolerant of unjust religious leaders, so why should I imagine the Father is? Then when I look to the story of Job I have to ask, have we sometimes confused God with Satan? Have we over-interpreted God’s sovereignty to the point we’ve forgotten God is not the only power at work in this world?
Sometimes the faithful thing to do is not to take this crap lying down but to actively resist it. Resist it as if it is coming from the enemy. Faith is anything but fatalistic. Faith is the ability to see alternative realities … and act accordingly.