Can some faithful (religious) person please explain this apparent paradox to me?
I do not mean to be disrespectful. I just don’t understand and need some help from a religious person. If we must do this by PM that is OK. I don’t want to start a debate or flame war. I just need to “get it” enough so I can respond sympathetically to this situation.
Recently a coworker, about 50, passed away suddenly while at home, working out. He (let’s call him Al) was a genuine nice guy: wonderful family man, hard worker, healthy, good build, non-drinker, and, oh by the way, quite religious: bible study, youth minister, etc.
I happened to be talking with another guy in his bible study class about this situation. He said (paraphrasing) “It makes me rethink my faith. I thought I was ready. But then something like this happens and I realize that maybe I am not as good a person as I think. Maybe Al was taken because God thought he had been tested enough and he passed the test. He did not have to prove anything any more.”
I said nothing but was screaming on the inside!!!
About 2 years ago another guy about the same age died. Let’s call him Zack. He was overweight, a drinker, made horrible lifestyle choices, divorced twice, big party boy, and, oh by the way, not religious. Nobody was surprised to hear Zack had died.
Did God think he had been tested enough? Did Zack also pass the test and did not have to prove anything any more?
Did the baby that got killed in the tsunami pass the test too?
How do the “faithful” (he used the term, not me) justify picking and choosing the explanation? Is this not a paradox? Why does that make sense? Do you just say “Well, God acts in strange ways unknown to us?”
My explanation is heart disease and statistics. You can adjust it a little with diet and lifestyle choices. But I am an engineer and not a faithful follower of any religion. If there is a test and death is the reward, I want to fail.
How am I supposed to answer when one of that group comes up to me and wants to talk? Any input would be appreciated. I promise I will not debate. I just need a little help here.