The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue
"Oh PLEASE say I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury!"

Friday, 18 June 2010

A Parable For Those Who Blame God


For many years my Mother would say, "There is no God!" only to follow up with, "Why does He let people suffer....?" and I would ask,"Who?". I am pleased to say that she has now left atheism behind her and is calling herself agnostic! So the following 'story' is for my Mum and all those like her. So do pass it on.
All the people who had ever lived were assembled before the throne of God. They were a sullen lot. They all had complaints, and they began to murmur among themselves. Who does God think He is, anyway?

One of the groups was composed of Jews who had suffered persecution. Some had died in gas chambers and concentration camps - and they grumbled; how could God know of the suffering they had been through?

Another group was slaves - black men and women with brands on their brows, great hosts of them, who had suffered indignities at the hands of those who called themselves "God's people" - What could God know about their plight?

There were long lines of refugees driven from their lands - homeless people, who had never on this earth been able to make ends meet.

There were sick ones and sufferers of all kinds, hundreds of groups, each with a complaint against God. What could He know of what human beings were forced to endure?

From each group a leader was chosen and a commission appointed to draw up the case against the Almighty Himself. Instead of God judging them, they began judging Him. And the verdict was that God should be sentenced to live on earth as a human being with no safeguards to protect His Divinity. And here was a bill of particulars:

Let Him be born a Jew. Let Him be born poor. Let even the legitimacy of His birth be suspect. Give Him hard work to do and poverty that He might know the pinch. Let Him be rejected by His people. Give Him for friends only those who are held in contempt. Let Him be betrayed by one of His friends. Let Him be indicted on false charges, tried before a prejudiced jury, convicted by a cowardly judge. Let Him be abandoned by His friends and see what it is to be terribly alone. Let Him be tortured, and then let Him die at the hands of His enemies.

As each group announced its sentence on God, roars of approval went up from the throng. When the last had finished, the raucous noise had become almost deafening ... and then everyone turned toward the throne. And suddenly heaven was filled with shocked penitent silence. For where there had been a throne, now could be seen a Cross.

- Andrew Armstrong

From Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR book "Arise from Darkness" - (ISBN - 0898705258) and "The Cross atGround Zero" - (ISBN - 1-931709-30-0).

Father Groeschel notes - "I have been unable to discover any information about the author [Andrew Armstrong], but surely a Christian capable of writing this will rejoice to have it shared. - BJG."

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