I Lost My Precious Mother On Mother's Day


#1

[Admin note: an early and much shorter non-biographical version of this post, where Rachel who loves to speak the truth calls herself Tamara White who loves to speak the truth, can be found here at a different site (bible-knowledge.com/does-god … ent-516011). Be aware there is [u]some level of biographical deception going on. How much and why, I don’t know. JRP]

Greetings my fellow Christian brothers and sisters,

I love to speak the truth and I have very serious questions that I think many believers would like to know the answer to. Can you tell me please why does God’s word promise so much and yet fulfils so very little to nothing in the lives of many devout Christians, in terms of, for example: long life, health, peace, joy and happiness, etc? Instead, I’ve seen many atheists who live very healthy, prosperous and happy lives and they obviously don’t believe in keeping God’s commandments. Doesn’t the Bible lose credibility in this way? Isn’t this part of the reason why many people don’t take God, His commandments or the Bible seriously?

In other words, why do not all devout Christians live long lives and have optimum health as countless scriptures promise, such as: Psalms 84; 90, 91; 103; Pr 10:27, etc?

There are many scriptures about healing:

Exodus 15:26 - “…I am the Lord who heals you.”

The scripture in John 10:10: states: “… *I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” *
Doesn’t this scripture mean that God desires for us faithful Christians to be in optimum health?
Only when someone is healthy can he or she have life to the full.
Not when our bodies are incapacitated or debilitated by pain, sickness or disease.

Psalms 103:2-3 - *Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.
*
The verse in Proverbs 4:22 refers to God’s word and states: *“for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.”
*
Many other scriptures state that God wants us healed and whole:

For example: Isaiah 53:5 -* But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
*
Jeremiah 30:17 - *“I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the Lord.
*
1 Peter 2:24 - *"He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

*Romans 8:11 - *And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
*
Romans 8:32 - *He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
*
There are many examples of miracles and healings as recorded in the bible. Here are just a few scriptural examples: Leper in Galilee **(Mt 8:1-4); **Paralytic (palsy) at Capernaum (Mt 9:2-8); Man with a withered hand in Galilee possibly Capernaum **(Mt 12:10-13); Women with issue of blood (hemorrhaging) healed at Capernaum during first preaching tour through Galilee (Mt 9:20-22); **Two blind men at Capernaum (on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee) (Mt 9:27-31); Two Blind Men Departing Jericho (Mt 20:29-34), Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman (Mk 5:21-43); and many others as we read in: Mt 4:23-24; Mt 8:5–7, 16-17; Mt 9:6-7; Mt 15:30; Mt 20:34; Mk 3:1-5; Mk 5:25-29; Mk 10:49-52; Lk 4:40; Lk 6:19; Lk 7:12-15; Lk 13:11-13; Jn 5:5-9; Ac 10:38, etc.

Psalm 107:19–20 - “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent out His word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.

Psalm 91:3 - For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.

**3 John 1:2 **- Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Here is another example: Psalm 91: Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

The promise of blessings, including: peace, protection, happiness, healing, long-life and prosperity is not just in the Old Testament (Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16; Ps 34:12-16; Pr 22:9), but reaffirmed in the New Testament (2 Cor 9:10; Eph 6:2-3; 1 Pe 3:9-10).

Innumerable scriptures promise peace, joy, strength, protection, provision and prosperity. Here are just a few:

Ro 5:1 - Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ps 1:1-3 - Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Ps 4:8 - In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

**Ps 12:5 **- “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”

Ps 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Ps 29:11 - The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Ps 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 105:37 - He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes.

Ps 119:165 - Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Ps 138:7 - Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.

Pr 10:22 - *The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. *

Pr 22:9 - The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.

Is 32:17 - The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

**Is 41:10 **- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Jer 17:8 - *They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
*
Php 4:7 - And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Php 4:19 - And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Ro 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Cor 9:8 - And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Cor 9:10 - *Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
*
2 Thess 3:3 - But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

**3 John 1:2 **- Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

My mother and I both repented, lived holy lives, with clean hands and pure hearts. God was first love and first priority. We prayed for at least 3 hours each and every day, and studied the Bible for at least 1 hour every day. Prayer was the very first thing in the morning. Our faith was very strong. We strove to obey God’s commandments, including keeping the Sabbath day holy. We attended Sabbath services. We served God. Preached the true gospel. We both practiced abstinence, self-sacrifice and self-discipline, so we didn’t spend money on holidays, restaurants or other pleasures. We were truly faithful disciples of Christ, by striving to live according to His word. Out of the little that we had, we donated money to charities and helped homeless people. We were never ever involved in occultism. My mother was totally faithful to my father in marriage, although he was very abusive towards her. Although, she forgave him many times, the abuse didn’t stop. On the contrary, the more she forgave, the worse the abuse became. It reached a point where she had no choice but to divorce him. From then on, my mother never remarried. She lived the life of a widow for twenty years. We lived a very modest and quiet life. We practiced celibacy and sexual abstinence. Our lives resembled those of nuns. My mother was very protective of me and she taught me to pray since I was two years of age. While parents usually read fairy tale stories to their children, I slept with the Bible under my pillow, which I took with me to the private school that my mother enrolled me in, and I learned about God. We put so much faith and trust in God and I feel like He has really let us down.

The verses in Psalm 103:1-5 state:* “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.”*

My mother suffered from colorectal cancer which spread to her liver and kidneys, heart failure, pulmonary edema and anaemia, including numerous other medical issues. I was completely shocked, devastated and heartbroken when my mother passed away at an early age, and I read her long medical report, which went on and on. She was in terrible pain and had near fatal falls on a few occasions. Despite praying to God continuously, from early morning until late at night, with fasting and begging for my mother to be healed, my prayers returned unanswered. The more I prayed and fasted, the worse her health became. It deteriorated so much that she was bed-ridden for one year and couldn’t see the light of day. None of these illnesses run on my mother’s side of the family. We both took care of our health by drinking fruit and vegetable juices, exercising and more importantly, absolutely NO smoking, drugs or alcohol. While other people were celebrating Mother’s Day with gifts like cakes, chocolates and flowers, as well as dining with their mothers at restaurants or taking them on luxury cruises, my mother was in the morgue awaiting cremation.

I was extremely offended when my mother’s stepsister rang me up saying that she won’t be paying for some bones. It would’ve been a kind gesture to offer some financial support on her part, since she is: 1) my mother’s sister, and 2) very rich. She didn’t come to visit my mother at the hospital, although it would’ve taken her approx. 2 hours by train, and said she was busy walking her dog at the beach.

God’s people are plagued by an entire series of extremely serious illnesses—including a number of leading people directly involved in the work. During the 1980’s there was a huge number of ministers wives that were stricken. It has always been a fact that wives of so many ministers and church leaders have been stricken by cancer.

In 2016, Cornerstone Contact Centre pastor Don Cameron died at the age of 45 years, after a battle with cancer.

Jeffery Largent, pastor of Culver flock passed away in 2016, at the age of 59 years, after his second battle with cancer.

Church of the Highlands Greystone Campus Pastor Keith Lindsey passed away in 2016 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Kara Tippetts, wife of PCA church pastor Jason Tippetts of Westside Church, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a devout Christian mother of four, who had stage-four breast cancer and passed away at the age of 38, in 2015, after a long battle.

In 2014, Steve Hill, the evangelist of the Brownsville Revival, passed away at his Alabama home Sunday after fighting a long battle with cancer. He was 60 years old.

LaKisha died in 2014, at the age of 40 after an 18-month battle with breast cancer. She was the wife of Pastor Breonus Mitchell of Greater Grace Temple Community Church.

A Wesleyan pastor, Daniel “Danny” Eiler, age 30, passed away in 2014, after battling leukemia. He served as senior pastor of The Springs Community Church in Ringgold, Georgia.

David Landrith, senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, died at age 51. Landrith was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer known as colorectal melanoma in 2013.

In 2009, founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Billy Joe Daugherty’s battle with cancer took a turn for the worse as he fought an infection at Houston’s M.D. Anderson Hospital. He passed away at the age of 57 years.

The list goes on and on …

My mother’s faith was very strong right to the very end when she passed away, and I wish to point out the fact that I even called for the elders of the church to anoint my mother with olive oil, as the following scripture states in: James 5:14-15 -* Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
*
The scripture obviously wasn’t fulfilled in my mother’s life who was a faithful Christian, and the lives of many other faithful Christians.

As stated previously, God’s promises are not just found in the Old Testament, but reaffirmed in the New Testament, as we read in James 5:14-15 as well as many other scriptural references that I’ve already quoted previously.

At the beginning of the chapter in 1 Cor 12, we read that Paul is addressing brothers and sisters.* “Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.”*

**Verse 7-10 *mentions: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
*
One of the important ministries of the Holy Spirit to believers today, is His bestowal of spiritual gifts on Christians at the time of their conversion.

Ephesians 2:10 mentions: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The only way we can do good works is if our bodies are not incapacitated or debilitated by pain, sickness or disease.

If gifts of healing and miracles are operating in the lives of Christians in these churches, then there would be NO sicknesses, suicides, and crimes such as murder happening there.

Suicide is happening at an alarming rate in the Churches of God with so many pastors committing suicide.

Living Church of God - Joplin, Missouri pastor Karl Beyersdorfer killed himself on 5/27/2016.

Others who committed suicide in the Worldwide Church of God are mentioned in the below article:

hwarmstrong.com/suicide-statistics.htm

The following verses refer to believers in Christ Jesus:

Mark 16:17-18 - *And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
*
The following link displays an article on miracle workers who couldn’t heal themselves:

** bible.ca/tongues-miracles-fake-pentecostal.htm**

The list goes on and on.

The verse in Exodus 20:12 states: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. It is reaffirmed in the New Testament in: Ephesians 6:2-3 - *“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
*
During my lifetime, I’ve seen mothers who honoured their parents and yet lived short lives, like my mother who honored both her parents and grandparents. On the other hand, mothers who dishonoured their parents and yet lived to ripe old ages of over 80 years of age. There are even criminals, such as serial killers, rapists and paedophiles who live long lives on the earth. While at the same time, a shocking number of innocent people are sentenced to death. One of the ways in which we honor our parents is by having a clean criminal record.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “tells you that a surprising number of innocent people are sentenced to death,” Samuel R. Gross, the lead author, said in an interview with Newsweek. “It tells you that a lot of them haven’t been exonerated. Some of them no doubt have been executed.” The headline on newsweek.com is “One in 25 sentenced to death in the U.S. is innocent, study claims.”

Do all these convicted criminals deserve to live and my mother who was a godly, holy, righteous mother deserve to die, along with all these other devout Christians?

Charles Manson, the convicted American serial killer is still alive today at the age of 82 years. Charles Albright, known as the eyeball killer, is 83 years. The nurse Jane Toppan, a serial killer, lived to be 81 years of age. Edward Theodore Gein was an American murderer and body snatcher. He died at the age of 78 years. Ian Brady, the child killer is 78 years. Robert Hansen, the serial killer died at the age of 75 years. Dennis Rader is 71 years of age. Phillip Jablonski, another serial killer is 70 years of age, and the list goes on and on. Incarcerated criminals enjoy the fresh air and sunshine with fitness and recreational activities, including sports, gym, pool tables and so forth. These prisons are more like holiday resorts.

Charles Manson, the ringleader of the killer cult still remains unrepentant even at the ripe old age of 82 years, just like many other criminals. I’m puzzled as to why God allowed all these criminals to live long lives. Was He waiting for them to turn to Him and repent? But God has foreknowledge. We find instead, that they committed more and more crimes, while growing old without any sign of remorse?

Psalm 91:16 states: *"With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” *This verse is supposed to be referring to devout believers. Instead, we see that the criminals are the ones who are living long lives. Why would God want to satisfy scum of the earth with long lives?

The Bible also states that God has foreknowledge. Therefore, He knows in advance whether anyone will repent.

Isaiah 46:9-10: * “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”

If God made us for a reason and that is to begin a relationship with, serve and obey Him, then why doesn’t He grant long lives to those devout Christians who do good deeds. It is God who decides when we are born and how long we live according to:

Psalm 139:16: *“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
*
God is the one who planned the days of our lives in advance, choosing the exact time of our birth and death. This goes for criminals too, as well as many famous atheists who have lived to ripe old ages including: Diana Athill (99), Katharine Hepburn (96), Baba Amte (94), Uri Avnery (93), Julius Axelrod (92), Marlene Dietrich (91), Kai Nielsen (90), Henry Burstow (90), Jorge Amado (89), Eric Ambler (89), Tom Lehrer (88), James Randi (88), Paul Kurtz (87), Edward O. Wilson (87), Larry Adler (87), Mary Adams (86), Jemima Blackburn (86), Michael Martin (84), Philip Roth (83), Steven Weinberg (83), Victor Stenger (81), Robert Altman (81), Woody Allen (81), and many others.

The verse in Isaiah 30:18 states that the Lord is a God of justice. *“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” *Where is the justice? I’m absolutely appalled and disgusted by the injustice not only in the Christian community, but in the world today. I believe these injustices promote and encourage evil all the more.

Many devout believers have been martyred who were very faithful to God, like Stephen and all of the twelve apostles who died as martyrs during the first century, with the exception of John, the writer of the Gospel with his name and the Book of Revelation who died a natural death, at 94 years of age, close to the year 100 A.D.

A report issued by a Christian organization fighting religious persecution states that a Christian is killed for his or her faith every five minutes across the world. It has escalated dramatically over the centuries, with more Christian martyrs in the 20th and 21st centuries than in the preceding 19 centuries — going back to Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry. The situation is only getting worse.

Over 75% of Christians persecuted in North Korea who are subjected to torture, imprisonment and all sorts of punishment do not survive to tell their stories.

Currently, more than 200 million Christians around the world are threatened because of their faith. Is God pleased with martyrdom? Does it give Him satisfaction to see many Christians martyred for their faith. Does God consider it a sacrifice that brings glory and honour to Him, thereby pleasing and acceptable?

Thank you.

God bless you,
Rachel Henderson*


#2

Welcome to the group, Rachel, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I may comment on this later, but I wanted to just let you know that you’ll have to make one or perhaps two more comments before they start posting automatically. In the mean time, please be patient with us. We don’t always see comments right away to approve them, but we will come around eventually and get them put up.

Blessings, Cindy


#3

The scripture in John 10:10: states: “… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Doesn’t this scripture mean that God desires for us faithful Christians to be in optimum health?
Only when someone is healthy can he or she have life to the full.
Not when our bodies are incapacitated or debilitated by pain, sickness or disease.

HI Rachel,
I too am sorry for your loss and my mother died of cancer also. It’s a big subject which is “Why do bad things happen to good people?”. IMHO part of the frustration is the belief that physical healing is guaranteed in the atonement and often these references in the OT and references to it from the NT sound like it is. But most of the time the sickness referred to in the OT was a spiritual separation that Israel had from God and the healing referred to was Israel returning back to God. Taking the verses alone and out of context can often create a different impression. Of course God can heal us if He chooses but as hard as it is to take, this life is temporal and your mom’s relationship with God & Jesus will really matter when we are all judged. There is justice out there but not necessarily today.


#4

Hi Rachel,

Life can sure be painful and challenging. I address your dilemma in my attached paper on how Jesus seems to change traditional Biblical views: How Jesus Changed Some Traditional Beliefs. The most relevant section is the first on the Bible’s approach to “External Prosperity.” I’d be interested in any questions or reactions it raises for you. Grace be with you, Bob Wilson


#5

Thanks Steve, Cindy, Bob and Rachel for bringing these issues to light. Having had an awful year recovering (I hope?!!!) from hi grade lymphoma which has left me with very weak reflexes and somewhat locked in at home and has affected my dear wife, I think sometimes to the point of lost faith, I can relate to what has been posted. There is a story which appears In all of the synoptic gospels which has a bearing on this. To be in all three is perhaps an indication of its importance. It concerned the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Not a bad question and we know the challenge Jesus gave him. It concerned the Law and any rabbi of Jesus time would have said the same. Keep the law! The man knows the stock answer but pushes because he feels there is more. Of course that is where the wheels fall off. It is where they fall off for all of us in one way or another. But it is not with the young man that I want to explore so much as the reaction of the disciples. Who then can be saved? Who can get through the eye of the needle? Remember to be rich in those days was generally to be considered blessed by God above ones fellows (OT prosperity doctrine). Not the tax collectors of course and others in receipt of ill gotten gain- sinners! This man was high up in the religious sense. Given this prevailing understanding of everyone it’s natural for them to ask “who then can be saved”. Jesus answered “with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible!” Man,we, us - we grade on the curve, winners and losers - that is mans thinking and the Law is given graciously by God, not as the be all and end all but as a minder to bring us to Christ. Just about all that Jesus said in reference to the law was to highlight that keeping it was impossible. We needed a saviour! With God all things are possible. So we come to the end scenario that finds its yea and amen in Jesus the saviour. This is why I came to understand that God is good and his love endures forever. It is why I am a Universalist. We believe the Gospel and so live in its assurance and in the light that enlightens everyone John 1 vs 9 - eventually.


#6

I know I’m going to sound cold-hearted, Rachel, but I’m surprised someone who has spent so much of her life in Bible study (to the extent of sleeping with a Bible under your pillow at night) would write such a highly detailed and lengthy post without even once slightly acknowledging that the topic of ‘Why do faithful Jews and Christians suffer unjustly and accidentally despite God’s frequent promises of salvation, while evildoers often live long lives, even in comfort and health?’ isn’t exactly a foreign topic in either the Old or New Testaments.

The complaint may show up a lot more often in the OT (including many of the books you quoted from) than in the NT, but even when NT Christians don’t register as many complaints about the situation they still acknowledge it with some frequency. That guy nailed to death up on the giant plus-sign after being torn to shreds within an inch of his life, stands as the chief possible example of bad things happening to good people, and he even prayed for it not to happen if God’s will for saving sinners could still be fulfilled without it.

That doesn’t mean I’m making light of the complaint – even if I wanted to make light of it, the Bible doesn’t make light of the complaint, nor of the horrible situations when people manage to soldier on anyway. And I could understand if the juxtoposition of the Bible’s own recognition of the problems along with the promises wasn’t sufficient for you. But to treat the Bible, in great detail, as though it never acknowledges the problems at all? – in order to ask “Doesn’t the Bible lose credibility in this way? Isn’t this part of the reason why many people don’t take God, His commandments or the Bible seriously?”

Combined with coming to a forum primarily dedicated to discussing universal salvation of sinners from sin (a rather different main topic), and posting this first out of the gate (albeit in the more general “Biblical Theology” category, where it does properly belong)… well, I’m being an overly protective administrator, who has been on the internet a lonnnng time, but maybe entirely by accident (I want to emphasize that to be fair) this seems suspicious.

But, leaving aside my suspicions: the overly short answer, is that the Bible would only lose credibility along this line if the authors didn’t often address the problem in light of those same promises. It may not strictly be a solution that “the Bible” is just as critical about those promises as you (if not even moreso), but “the Bible” cannot be fairly faulted for sailing blithely along on those promises as though the harsh and horrifying reality didn’t also exist. Christians for a few thousand years (back to Christ Himself), and Jews for a few thousand years before Christ (arguably, via the Book of Job, before there even were any Hebrews or Jews), not even counting after Christ (sometimes thanks to Christians, I’m sorry to say), have suffered and lived and died and wished they were dead, in no surprise at all that these things happen – and knowing that our forebears in “the Bible” knew these things happened, too. We often read their complaints in solidarity with them, when we’re being shattered by life; if we have some knowledge of the writing of Christians after them, down to today, we may read those cries in solidarity with them, too.

That solidarity, of God Himself voluntarily suffering with us, is also what Christianity is largely about (disputes about Christology aside). Even in the OT, God suffers along with the innocent – and to some extent (moreso in the NT) even with the guilty.

When I have been lying in bed in so much pain I just wanted to stop breathing, begging God to let me die so it would be over with (or dealing with any more minor suffering – and I am fully aware that even my worst suffering is still better off than 99% of humanity throughout history, and 3/4 of humanity today), that isn’t something that catches me by surprise, nor something I ever thought “the Bible” had let me down on (having studied the Bible since before I was six). Do I complain to God when that happens? Sure! Am I serious about those complaints? Absolutely! Does it affect my Christian beliefs? Not one jot – my beliefs, like those of most Christians, have never depended on everything always or even ever turning out all right. Does it affect my trust in God? Sure it does, often not for the better. Does my belief in God Most High suffering with me on the cross affect my trust in God, too?

Yes. It sure does.

And I know that belief doesn’t always help everyone continue to trust in God. I have nothing at all, less than nothing at all, against anyone who in great tragedy suffers a shattering of faith that they not only cannot repair but maybe don’t even want to repair. I also don’t have anything against anyone who can’t bring themselves to trust God in the teeth of natural accident and moral evil either.

But treating the Bible as though it doesn’t even remark on the disparity between the promises and the true horrors of reality, in order to ask “Doesn’t the Bible lose credibility in this way? Isn’t this part of the reason why many people don’t take God, His commandments or the Bible seriously?”

That, so far as it goes, isn’t a valid critique.

So don’t be surprised if vastly many Jews and Christians in all of human history (including those in the Bible) somehow aren’t impressed about that kind of critique.

(I wouldn’t be impressed about that kind of critique if I was an atheist either: I know the biblical authors address the disparity a lot, they don’t only make a lot of idealistic promises like the actual reality of universal human experience doesn’t exist.)


#7

Very well put, my dear fellow! :smiley:


#8

Hi Rachel. I know you are hurting, and want answers. I pray God’s comfort and revelation for you. Your heavenly Father wants you to know and experience that He is only good, all the time. He sent Jesus that we may have abundant life.

Rachel, Satan is the one who kills, steals, and destroys*—not God* (John 10:10).

Here are two brief, related teachings from Pastor Joseph Prince of Singapore that have brought revelation to me.

“One finger at a time,” Sister Rachel.

I have struggled with overwhelming health and financial issues. Here are some verses that I personalized and say aloud:

-I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done. Ps. 118:17.
*
-By His stripes I am healed.* Is. 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24.

-Yes, we will be enriched in every way so that we can be generous on every occasion, and our generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor 9:11.

Blessings.


#9

Thanks Hermano.


#10

Rachael said:

Sorry about your lost, Rachael. I lost my mom in October 2013, at 92.5 years old.

Let me comment on your article. I did give a detailed response to someone, regarding gifts of the spirit.

Gifts of the Spirit

If these “miracle workers” are saying to ignore modern and ancient medicine…or that gifts of the spirit “always heals”, then they are wrong. Luke was a physician and witnessed all the miracles. But he never renounced being a physician.

I have been hanging around someone I call Father A. He is a Roman Catholic priest, with the gift of healing and hearing the voice of God. But in his healing services, some are:

Completely healed.
Partially healed
Not healed at all
Healed at a later time

And when he is ill, he uses:

Spiritual healing and prayer
Conventional medicine
Herbal medicine

These things don’t work, like you see on TV - like Benny Hinn. Where a lady comes in a wheelchair and the next thing - she is playing football. And all are completely healed in seconds. :laughing:

Once Father A. shared a story. He wanted a person to be healed (and this person was also receiving conventional medical treatment). But she died. And he asked God “why”. God answered with a question:

“Son, have you ever known me to make a mistake?”

He heard that question a couple of times. And Father A. had to say “no”.

What’s interesting is what I’ve learned, from hanging out with the Lakota, Ojibwe and Ute tribes - especially their medicine men and women. They use the term Medicine, to encompass all that heals. So I can expand on this, outside its Red Road or Native American context. Medicine could mean modern medicine (with all its tests, surgeries, etc.), ancient medicine (i.e. homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda), prayer, gifts of the Spirit, spiritual healing, Native American ceremonies, etc. It’s all medicine.


#11

Yep, good follow up posts. Also much nicer than mine. :slight_smile:

(I have to be suspicious, it’s my job. :mrgreen: )


#12

I have to be suspicious, it’s my job. :mrgreen: )

It is an interesting post from Rachel, in that it was emotional yet also listed tons of specific scriptures so i’m curious about a response from her.


#13

I’m sure one way or another it’s a form-letter so to speak. “Rachel” might have written it over some period of time and then started shopping it around (for whatever reason, which might have changed to other reasons along the way, who knows). Or she might have copy-pasted it from various internet sources, maybe before her mother died, but still originally wrote the framing narrative parts. There are several options.

Being the suspicious admin, I have to say it also looks like a sceptic pretending to be “Rachel” in order to troll Christian forums with a sort of sceptical counter-evangelism. I’ve seen hardcore anti-Christians do this sort of thing before.

If I was less lazy, I’d do a google search for key phrases and see if I could trace the history of the post in other forums. I reaaaaallllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy doubt that we’re the first forum Rachel has ever posted this to: that wouldn’t make sense as a conscious choice; nothing in her letter even slightly connects to our forum; and the level of improbability for randomly choosing us first is ludicrously high.

Still, just because I’m suspicious from detecting similarities to patterns from experience doesn’t mean Rachel is faking or otherwise trolling. I think it’s perfectly fine to reply as though she’s real, because even if she happens not to be the type of problem she’s talking about does happen!

Which, I mean, we’re all aware of, if we’ve been Christians longer than one or two months. :wink: But people can and do often reach a breaking point with it. That’s a normal part of human experience, too.


#14

Understood! :smiley:


#15

If you do a search for “I Lost My Precious Mother On Mother’s Day: Overwhelmed With Grief And Sorrow” on Google. The same letter appears, in a couple grief support groups. Since these appear to be secular sites, devoted to grief - I would guess that the grief is genuine. It’s not uncommon for a event to trigger a grief memory (such as the Christmas and New Years holiday).

I would guess that this person cut and pasted the entry. Perhaps from a journal. Keeping a journal is really a good exercise, in working things out. Perhaps this person can join a Christian, grief support group? I recommend Grief Share at griefshare.org/. They are really sponsored, by many local churches. I also recommend their daily emails - for a year. For the record, I did go though them - via a local church.


#16

I found the phrasing to match several posts going back at least as far as September 16th last year, but mostly in December. (Not suspicious.)

One of the fourms was Tentmaker, which may be how she got here. (Not suspicious.)

In the first post I’ve found, Sept 16th, she’s “Tamara White”, does not claim to be a Christian (aside from a “God bless you” at the end) and has no framing story about losing her precious mother etc., no Bible verse list, and is necro’ing a thread already over 4 years old. Somewhat suspicious but not decisively so: giving two completely different but otherwise normal names sounds like the author wants people to think those are her real names not pseudonyms. This comment was picked up and reposted somehow by an ex-Christian newsfeed a day later, possibly but not certainly by “Tamara”. Otherwise, I haven’t found an equally early version of this post.

This post is interesting and brief enough that I’ll quote it in full. “Tamara” is replying to a doctor who tells people to “cut the crap” about living after death and that Christians die young all the time (in response to the original post or possibly subsequent comments). The link can be found here (bible-knowledge.com/does-god … ent-516011), and I’ll be appending it to “Rachel”'s first post.

Dec 2: Tamara White, who loves to speak the truth, is now “Rachel Henderson”, at the Talk Jesus forum, Bible Forum category, Bible Chat subcategory. This is an interesting transition: most of the Bible list and quotes are missing (and not in KJV), but a lot of the dead-Christian / long-live-atheist material remains. The mother story seems full (minus the bad stepsister paragraph). The thread title is “BIBLE PROMISES”, and this stays constant until Tamara/Rachel starts visiting grief management boards. Since this is a major variation and development in form here’s the link for anyone interested. (talkjesus.com/threads/bible-promises.57203/)

Dec 8: King James Bible Forums (Christian site), “Rachel Henderson”, almost the full epic post but missing the paragraph about her stepsister being asshatty. Tamara/Rachel splits the post into two threads (evidently due to the character limit), not a followup comment on the same thread. She posts then leaves despite some comments. (Minor variation of saying the Bible quotes are from the KJV. The verses do seem to be KJV, which means Rachel or someone retyped or recopy-pasted them all for us and other posts!)

Dec 10: Sam Harris.org forum, “Christianity (Specific Issues)” category. Three threads to post the full article (for want of a better word), no followups to comments. No bad stepsister paragraph. (Comments are highly sarcastic anti-Christian, fwiw; not sure I’d follow up there either if I was Tamara White. I mean Rachel. :wink: )

Dec 12: Her comment in Tentmaker seems to be gone although Google still lists it and the quote I was searching for. I don’t have a Tentmaker account, so I can’t search for a shorter version of the quote, “Can you tell me please”. If anyone with a membership there wants to try, let me know the result! Google only reports enough of the paragraph to show it’s a source, not enough to show the form of the post nor what name is being used.

Dec 13th, “Rachel Henderson” at a Christian News subforum of Topix.com. Evidently full article broken into multiple threads, but I haven’t checked the other threads (due to high number of thread posts).

Dec 14th, "“Rachel Henderson” at the (Christian) Jude 2 forum. Usual form, minus bad sister.

Dec 16th, “Rachel Henderson” at the “religion and ethics” forum (possibly a sceptic-founded forum, but not necessarily). The full epic post is there (minus the bad stepsister). She never responds to four pages of discussion (including by supportive sceptics, supportive anti-Christians, and supportive Christians. And a few Christians sceptical of how genuine her post is based on its form. The anti-Christian mod on the thread warns that speculating about Rachel’s identity is off-topic.)

Dec 17th, “Rachel Henderson” at the “Rapture Forum”. Full post minus stepsister. No further comments from her despite some replies.

Dec 20th, “Rachel Henderson” at Legacy Connect, an open blog for grief. Title has upgraded from “Bible Promises” to “I Lost My Precious Mother On Mother’s Day: Overwhelmed With Grief and Sorrow”. Full post minus bad stepsister. Can’t tell if there are comments. The new title is also used as a topic header for the brief narrative shift to losing mother which starts about halfway through. (Our version doesn’t have the title reused as a topic header.)

Dec 20th, name unknown, thread evidently removed from the “Much Loved” grief management forum, category “Dealing with the loss of a family member”. Google archived enough to show the typical start of the article. This is also the first and so far only occurrence I can find of the bad stepsister paragraph. (Other than here, I mean.)

Conclusions: well, I have no conclusions other than that “Rachel Henderson” who loves to speak the truth either lies about her name in one place (the first time she posts this article, in a short draft comment) or “Tamara White” who loves to speak the truth lies about her name in a bunch of other places. It is not very likely, but still possible, that Rachel picked up Tamara’s post (as two different people) sometime after Sept and started building an epic extension to it, adding the lost mother early in this process starting early this past December (2016). Consequently it is possible Rachel is a distinct person who did lose her mother, that part of the story being true (the evil stepsister being also possibly true though a recent addition), and is just using material from other people, starting with Tamara’s original post, to build her article around her personal experiences.

Past personal experience however suggests to me that Tamara and Rachel are the same person lying about her (or his) name one way or another; which casts some serious (but not decisive) doubt on the precious mother story being real.

Source criticism yo! :mrgreen:


#17

If not Redaktionsgeschichte, Kompositionsgeschichte or Redaktionstheologie to boot!! :laughing:


#18

But it still reminds me, of a TV murder mystery. “Rachel Henderson” and “Tamara White”, might be one and the same, etc. What are is the motive (i.e. posting here, elsewhere, and anywhere in-between) :question:

I do know that if I receive a Nigerian email, regarding a lottery prize, etc., it’s easy to deduct the motive. And if you don’t deduct the motive, they will soon deduct your bank account. :laughing:


#19

:laughing: DaveB!

Randy, I don’t know if I’ve got enough information yet to speculate about motives, whether good or bad motives. Since neither name is obvious to the reader as a pseudonym, there must be some kind of deception involved if they’re the same person – the author expects the reader to treat her (or him) as being actually named Tamara White and Rachel Henderson. If one is real and the narrative parts are true, my guess would be that Tamara White is her actual name but once she decided to start including biographical information she chose a real-sounding pseudonymn to disguise herself. An abusive father could be a good reason for that, if he’s still around and in reach! – also just not wanting her previous Christian group to see her apostasizing (and the group itself could be abusive somehow.) On that theory I’ve done her a disservice by uncovering her real name, although I seriously doubt the person or people she’s concerned about will be hunting the internet for Tamara White’s de-Christianization.

However, even assuming this theory is true, there’s a pretty strong disjunction between her switching deceptively to a new name and also leading out as someone who loves speaking the truth. That seems more like the action of someone mimicking a particular kind of devotional ‘style’ that he or she thinks we’ll relate to and accept, combined with an impression that we can trust ‘her’ to not be a liar about ‘herself’. It does call into question how far we should trust the biographical details.

On the theory of active deception, the author might still have ‘good’ motives from ‘her’ own standpoint: lying to Christians about some things for emotional effect could be considered excusable to help Christians get out of what the author perceives to be a false belief system and (from the shape of the article, and how its so-far-earliest discovered form was used) a harmful belief system at that. A rather notorious anti-Christian of my acquaintance (I have no evidence this is him, btw, and some evidence from technical data stats that it isn’t – this person is posting from an Australian node) once created an entire false website pretending to be someone else to drum up sock-puppet support for his campaign against a Christian apologist acquaintance of mine. He flatly refused to repent of lying to his own readers about finding this new website, and essentially defended himself on the ground of pragmatic ethics: if it helped de-Christianize someone, lying to them was worth it.

The internet is a pretty messed up place. :wink:

Having pointed that out, allow me to poke some fun at myself and conspiracy theories:

https://cdn.meme.am/cache/instances/folder627/500x/74500627.jpg


#20

My sister, Rachel,

I know the reality of loss to death…death of a mother.
What was it like to know your mother?
You have memories.
I always wondered what it was like for most every kid I knew…who was growing up, just like me, but they all had a living mom, unlike me.

My mother died on Thanksgiving Day when I was 1.
I luv Him, still. I will meet her one fine day because He is alive.
I hate death on any day.
I luv Jesus every day.