Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011.10.05 Bounty By Divine Design?


I recently heard a pastor say with clear firmness something like: “We believe passionately that God has sent all this bounty (good results of a capitol fund drive) by design so that we may fulfill His purposes in mission for the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Well now............

I stopped listening after the words “bounty by design” because all I could think of was my good neighbor who had little bounty by God’s or anyone’s design at all.

I also did not want to be included in the pastor’s use of “we.”

I do not think that such ideas about what Godde does are particularly pastoral. Nor do I believe that God distributes bounty even for the good. Sorry. I think this presumes on Godde and makes those who don’t enjoy bounty of any kind either beholden to the ones with the bounty or feeling excluded from the divine economy of distributive grace.

Some will say it’s Providence. OK. But I don’t think divine providence is arbitrary and this sounds as if God plays favorite for those chosen to do God’s work on earth.

We all are chosen and we all try to live it out in the best ways we can with the resources we have.

What do I believe?

First, I don’t know what God does. I just know that I pray and hope and love and trust, not nearly as “passionately” as I could.

Second I do believe that the wee lassy Christians call Holy Spirit, Sophie for short to me, acts as a massage therapist kneading the soul of humanity and all creation to bring forth (ha motzi) good from whatever disaster or error we get ourselves into by human fault or ignorance, individual or collective.

I experience this in my own life and as a Christian I spends my life at the foot of the cross of Christ and other “crosses” just as horrific—in hope and helplessness waiting on God.

That sounds quite different to me from the suggestion that Godde has a plan and provides certain ones of us the proper resources to carry it out.

The only response to bounty if you have it is gratitude and more gratitude, and after that sharing your bounty with those less fortunate.

Probably the intent of the pastor, but she lost me.