Sympathy is in the dictionary between...
Earlier this week, my local First Assembly of God Church had on their sign:
FEELS YOUR PAIN
IN HIS HEART
My reaction was: "Then why doesn't he do something about it?"
Of course, I don't expect any god to do anything about my own relatively minor aches and pains, but you'd think that an omnipotent deity might do something about the pain of those who do believe, particularly those who get down on their knees and beg for relief.
But no! The best on offer is just "God feels your pain." Some solace!
As I do occasionally with church signs, I did a web search, but I was unable to find an original source. What came up were a whole lot of links on why God allows pain and suffering to exist. Browsing those pages produced the usual platitudes about a loving God who hates sin, and suffering is all our fault. But one page, from ChristianAnswers.net had a truly horrifying amplification of the concept.
There is really no such thing as the “innocent” suffering.
As far as babies are concerned, and others who may be incompetent mentally to distinguish right and wrong, it is clear from both Scripture and universal experience that they are sinners by nature and thus will inevitably become sinners by choice as soon as they are able to do so.
That's right - if a newborn is suffering, possibly from a congenital condition which will cause her to die after a few weeks of intense pain, then the child entirely deserves it because if she had lived, she would chosen to sin.
If some god feels that kind of pain in his heart and does nothing when he could have acted, then that is one extremely sick god. And those that believe in such a god and justify it are sick also.
- I wish I had a photo, but when I went back the next day with a camera, they had changed the sign to advertise a visiting preacher.