In the ten months since I emerged from the black anguish that engulfed me after Tommy died, my soul has remained hungry to discover more meanings of human suffering.
From the simple song that invited me in the early days of shock and trauma to“Cry to Jesus” and the profoundly real and cathartic book Lament for a Son to Corrie ten Boom’s oddly comforting Prison Letters, some deeply searching articles in Christianity Today, and the Biblical books of Job and Lamentations, countless shared words and experiences have assisted me in this journey. To this day I cannot stomach hearing the words of Job’s “friends,” and a short but thought-provoking recent New York Times article, Death, the Prosperity Gospel, and Me, has shed some theological light on why that may be the case.
After you have read the article, I’d love to hear thoughtful responses that grapple honestly with the following question: How has the Prosperity Gospel perspective affected my understanding of God and how He works in His world?
For starters, here’s an excerpt from an email conversation between a friend and me…
“…the “blessed” thing creeped me out, as did the realization of just how much of this sickening perspective I had swallowed without knowing it. Wow, how much harm this erroneous assumption did me! I might never have known it was there if the flesh hadn’t been excruciatingly stripped off the bones of who I was. Yes, God is on our side, but that means something different, BLESSED means something different, than the common understanding of those concepts. God is on our side when we are crushed into a million pieces at the bottom of a black pit and we are blessed when we know that.”