Friday, April 26, 2013

Therapeutic Theology IV: A New "D'oh!"

Hi folks. Over on the left here, you'll see another one of those little images we've reviewed before, with text saying "Faith; It doesn't make things easy; It makes things possible," citing Luke 1:37 as the source of the quote. Is this what the text actually says? Well, as we always do with these posts, let's see the actual context:
For nothing will be impossible with God. [Luke 1:37]
Wait, where's faith being talked about? Where are we talked about? Huh?

Let's now see the real context:
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. [Luke 1:35-38]
Here we see the angel's response to Mary's famous question: "How can I get pregnant if I'm a virgin?" The angel explains the machinations of the virgin birth, the pregnancy of elderly Elizabeth, and ends it all with "for nothing will be impossible with God."

Now let's answer some simple questions:

1) Is this verse about faith? No, it's about the virgin birth and Elizabeth's own child-bearing, despite her old age - both of which wasn't reliant upon faith, but the actions of God.

2) Does this verse say that faith doesn't make things easy? Again, it's not about faith. We're not even the subject, but God is.

3) Does this verse say faith makes things possible? Yet again, it isn't about faith, let how faith effects our lives.

In summary, what we have here is a verse actually about the power of God being made about us, and for the sake of making people feel better upon reading it. Bluntly put, this is a terrible - and disrespectful - use of God's word.