So, I broke this topic into two divergent discussions. As I said in the last post, we were talking about pain. To clarify, we were in a small group setting in a church that we have been attending. So, here’s the picture; 1. this was our first visit to this group, 2, we didn’t know anyone in the group, 3. they were reading a book to guide the discussion 4. Everyone seemed to be literary giants with the ability of total recall from any text they had ever read from birth.
It was interesting, beyond the book, we were given a handout of verses to be considered, we broke into small groups and addressed the initial portion of the hand out; sovereignty of God and Grace. After covering this, we got back together, capsulized our thoughts and pushed on to the subtopic; Evil (sin, pain and death). However, we proceed to PAIN and never got past it.
Hence my pondering the topic of Pain. Let me confess, there isn’t anyone that can side track a group discussion faster than me! I justify my actions by saying (or believing) that I’m doing this to make people think! Too often in the church, people just use the “rote” system when discussing the bible. It seems to be my goal in life to; “Open your mind, look at big picture”.
As I said, we skipped sin and death and were lead straight to the topic of pain, BANG! Before I could catch my breath, three people side tracked the topic by giving a statement that some author wrote, and like bobble head dogs in the back car window everyone nodded their heads. From pain we moved into the actions of goodness by non-believers, never coming to any conclusion on this, BANG! We were off somewhere else! My head was spinning, RING the class was over.
And so, I’ve been pondering the topic called pain. Why didn’t we understand about Sin, the sins of the father. Before Adam’s fall, we were in God’s palm under his protection, we didn’t have pain. Because of the sins of our father (Adam) we were removed from Paradise given pain as our punishment; Pain of child birth, and pain of toil for our subsistence, and existence. We never got to the questions of Why God allows pain in some instances and not in others? Nor did we discuss why non-believers and some believers believe that you are pained because you’re not good enough. We never got to Why some are cured and some are not. We never discussed the results that our own poor choices (free will) create. And we never discussed the non-believers attitude that IF THERE REALLY WAS A GOD HE WOULDN’T ALLOW ALL THIS PAIN and DEATH ON THE INNOCENT.
So, I came to this conclusion, it may be right or it could be wrong, but follow me here. All of the plagues upon Egypt during Moses time was to show that the gods that men were following had no power compared to that of the One True God. That example is as true today as it was then. In a parallel picture in the New Testament, all the healings of Jesus confirmed that the day-to-day physical afflictions of our bodies were (are) of no magnitude compared to the power of God. All of our pains will be inconsequential when it comes time to receive the new bodies we are promised, if we merely walk the course.
So much more could have been accomplished in this small group if we had just not tried to “out author” each other and stuck to the Big Picture in God’s book.