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Jesus Cares? Help is Just a Prayer Away?

That’s what roadside church signs tell me on my drive through central Maine today:

Help is just a prayer away

Jesus cares about you

There are a lot of good people suffering in the world. Jesus (and God the Father of whom Jesus is supposed to be one mysterious aspect) are supposed to omniscient and omnipotent. If they exist and they care about the suffering of good people, why don’t they relieve that suffering? They could, you know, with no bad repercussions. That’s what “omnipotent” means. But if they exist, they don’t relieve the suffering of good people. What does that say about the character of Jesus and God?

In communities all over the world, many people are praying to an omniscient and omnipotent God for the relief of the suffering of good people. Some of those good people are going to go right on suffering. If God exists and God is good, how can anyone say that “help is just a prayer away”?

5 comments to Jesus Cares? Help is Just a Prayer Away?

  • Tom

    You might like these articles:

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/muslim-jihadis-persecute-christians-disobeying-direct-order-muhammad.html

    Muhammad – the Founder of Islam – Specifically CONDEMNED AS SINNERS Anyone Who Failed to Protect Christians or Interfered with Christians’ Ability to Practice their Own Faith

    Muslims Who Persecute Christians Are Violating a DIRECT ORDER from Muhammad

    [read it, it’s a bit too long to paste here]

    [and]

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/closest-u-s-allies-middle-east-hotbeds-islamic-fundamentalism.html

    U.S. Backs Hotbeds of Islamic Fundamentalism

    Why Are We Backing the Most Barbaric, Violent, Extreme Muslims … And Overthrowing Moderates?

    Salafis are the most violent, crazed fundamentalist Muslims. For example, both ISIS and Al Qaeda are Salafis.

    ISIS and other salafi terrorists represent a very small percentage of Muslims. PBS estimates Salafi jihadists constitute less than 0.5 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims (i.e., less than 10 million).

    As we’ve been warning for more than a year – long before the old crazies re-branded as “ISIS” – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other American allies have been supporting the crazed extremists who are persecuting Christians.

    Indeed, the majority of the world’s Salafis are from Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Salafis make up:
    ◾46.87% of Qatar
    ◾44.8% of the United Arab Emirates
    ◾22.9% of Saudis
    ◾5.7% of Bahrainis
    ◾2.17% of Kuwaitis

    These are the closest allies of the U.S. in the Middle East. In other words, we are backing the most violent, extremist Muslims in the world … and overthrowing the more moderate Arabs.

    • Dave

      It’s hard to believe that the world is watching these people execute thousands of their countrymen as well as Kurds and Syrians. Genocide in the past could almost be done in secret; now it’s done on YouTube. Every president of our country until the present one at least had the balls to require trading partners and/or human rights violating populations to side with civilisation before we would extend aid or otherwise do business.

  • Dave

    C.S. Lewis – “A truly loving father would rather see (loved ones) suffer much than be happy in contemptible and estranging modes.”

    • Jim Cook

      I appreciate that you’re willing to jump in, Dave, but I find that quote unsatisfying. To start off with, it’s not actually a direct verbatim quote of C.S. Lewis. Besides…

      Me — A truly omniscient and omnipotent Father would be able figure out how to accomplish both happiness and non-contemptible modes. If He exists and doesn’t bother to do so, then we can add laziness to His supposed character traits.

      And what does a poor, innocent baby dying of Ebola accomplish in terms of Lewis’ highfalutin philosophical points about building character?

      • Dave

        I’ve been reading about some towns in Africa where superstitions surrounding the ebola outbreak are accelerating its spread. Shamans are sought to contain it. One might say that idolatry is at least partly to blame for the epidemic in those areas, as people turn to sorcery as a cure.

        I can’t speak for ebola babies, but I have read somewhere in Proverbs that “the foolishness of man subverts his way, but his heart rages against the Lord.” I can’t count the times I have read of judges turning killers loose on the public only to have them kill again, perping bodacious misery on countless families. God’s fault, or the judge’s? Wars fought on bogus reasoning; countless casualties; God’s fault or the bogus reasoner’s? Injury or death by drug overdose, drive by shooting, not enough lifeboats, jealous lovers. Poisonous air. Poisonous food. God’s fault, or the perpetrators?

        To be in the lofty position of being qualified to judge God, I think we would first have to own up to our own foolishness and rebellion that leads to much suffering of the human race. Then we could point the finger and say “Well, God?”

        I will be the first to say that the innocent ebola baby dying does not accomplish much in terms of Lewis’ highfalutin points about character building, and I am amused listening to people talk about what things they are going to ask God when they “get to Heaven”, certain that this will be one of them, along with “why did you make gnats and mosquitos” and “did Adam have a belly button?” Even the Apostle Paul had to answer with “I suppose the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.” (Glory in the NT is related to healing)

        As for me, I came from the dust and perhaps should be raging at the prospect of returning to it, but like EbolaBaby I won’t decide when I go any more than I decided when to show in the first place. My purpose here may be the same as hers, may be quite different, and my purpose isn’t determined by me any more than hers was by herself. I think peace of mind about these things (suffering) for me came when pondering the blink of an eye that this life is when compared to the eternity that eternity is. The why of it was never mine, nor was it EbolaBaby’s.

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