Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Suffering as Non-Ideal

Various Christian groups have promoted suffering as a Christian virtue. While the bible does suggest that suffering produces virtue, the bible does not promote a life of suffering.

The bible has a great care about the well being and happiness of mankind. Jesus wishes for us not to worry and has concern for the emotional well being of others. The Christian church has often had many groups within itself which promote suffering as the path of obedience. It is going without which is the best path of faith and having which is a lesser path.

Such a position is a philosophical one which greatly distorts the bible's teaching. The bible teaches contentment whatever the circumstances.

The bible teaches sacrificial giving, but it also talks about wise financial management and that it is good for an inheritance to be left to an heir after one dies.

You see the bible never has easy answers to questions. It has significant guidelines. It does not judge circumstance or suggest circumstance has relevance to ultimate reality.

Each of us has our own path in God's plan and the promotion of suffering as the path to follow God is a great oversimplification and thus an errant teaching.

Most errors in Christianity are not additions to scripture, but rather half truths. Part of scripture is taken without the counterbalance in scripture that comprises the whole truth.
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