Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith

ALS has been a blessing to me.

You read that right — a blessing. Oh, it has been many other things: ordeal, handicap, curse, millstone, scene-stealer, tormentor, humiliator, predator, interloper, income garnisher, bully, danger, satirist, infidel, and terrorist. It strives, ultimately, to be my terminator. But, if not for ALS, I would not have returned to God when I did, and maybe not at all. The implication should be obvious.

For me, faith has been indispensable in my war against ALS. It is, by far, my most potent armament, the one never-failing constant. Both a defensive stalwart and an offensive juggernaut, it is, amazingly, self-replenishing. I cannot imagine staring down a terminal illness without God in my corner. He gives me the “peace which surpasses all understanding.”

Knowing that “peace” greatly aids me in vanquishing anxiety. With ALS, anxiety can be a constant companion. When the accomplishment of anything is not a foregone conclusion; when your safety is in jeopardy with each passing moment; when yesterday’s successful survival tactics can, without warning, no longer be counted on today; when the slightest change in routine can result in traumatic turbulence … angst is sure to come calling.

Our reality is that we are forever adapting to our body’s changing landscape. Yesterday I could make it to the bathroom; today I soiled myself twice. Last week I could grip a glass of water with ease; this week I dropped three of them. One time, I inexplicably sprained my wrist. This morning I transferred myself from bed to wheelchair, this evening, when attempting the reverse, I ended up facedown on the floor in a pool of blood. Our margin for error in completing daily tasks is infinitesimal.

Our reliance on environmental constants is cartoonishly gigantic. One year I changed units within the same condominium complex. The units, built one year apart, had the same floor plan. They had, very nearly, the same dimensional footprint. I found out the (literally) hard way that the shower in my newer condo was four inches longer. With a head full of shampoo, and my eyes closed, my trust in spatial certainty failed me when I attempted to avail myself the security of a grab bar, only to find a handful of air.

Faith can assuage the stress that would normally accompany these real (and fretted about, potential) occurrences. During my run-in with ALS I have suffered four serious falls, and three rather frightening choking episodes, not to mention the various and sundry, less precarious challenges. Through each of them, the moment I remembered that God is with me, calmness overcame me. I gained control over the situation and solutions presented themselves. Faith, and the resulting “peace,” gives me a measure of control.

Faith also provides purpose in an otherwise senseless and unpurposeful time. The emptiness, uncertainty, dumbfoundedness that sets in can at times be paralyzing. There are no answers, not even partial ones. You can’t even lament having put yourself at risk, because the cause is unknown. The temptation to merely acquiesce to your newly dispensed fate, and simply give up, or, worse yet, unleash one’s hidden demons, looms large. What do you do? How do you spend your remaining days, as measured by an uncalibrated, upside-down timeglass?

I ask God that question regularly. Often He will direct me to someone in need. Helping someone may, at the moment, be selfless, but, for me, in the grander scheme, the gesture carries with it a Pavlovian selfishness. I always get back more than I put in. In fact, I’ve received an exponentially greater amount of goodwill in return. By then “praying it forward,” the exponent itself increases. I try to be on a vigilant look-out for those needful of emotional assistance.

God also always instructs me to be an example. What beautiful motivation to strive to rise above the woes of today! I tell myself to, whenever possible, laugh, don’t cry. Be cheerful, not bitter. Exhibit stoicism, not turmoil. Be content, not resentful. Be at peace, not in conflict.

Remember that ALS (as Stephanie Hubach said about disability, in general) “is just a more noticeable form of the brokenness that is common to the human experience.” It’s just a difference of degree, on a spectrum that contains difficulty along its entire length. Due to God’s common grace, no one exists in a state of complete brokenness.

Regardless of your flavor of god, or if you live god-free, a strategy worth considering is this:
1. Find your “peaceful” center
2. Assist others toward theirs
3. Elevate your center despite the disease’s gravity

All that, and identifying and celebrating blessings, have helped to keep me valid and vital.

***

Note: ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of ALS News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ALS.

57 comments

  1. Charlie says:

    Strange isn’t it?
    God destroyed Sodom & Gommorah for the sins of their inhabitants and yet he couldn’t find it in himself to destroy the Nazis and their mechanised death camps.
    God didn’t help his own son, who cried out on the cross,’Why have you forsaken me?”
    Let’s examine two possible scenarios:
    1) God exists, but as we all know so painfully, he does not intervene or help us with the horror of ALS and all our ‘fight’ takes place from within ourselves, in his presence but without his help of any kind,
    and we lose
    2) God does not exist. We ‘fight’ ALS and we lose.

    See how those two worlds are exactly the same?

    So if God exists he has completely deserted all pALS and any thoughts of ‘his’power or energising strength come from manufacture within the patient, and not from an exterior deity. Perceptions of ‘his’ help are therefore a self-produced placebo.

  2. Charlie says:

    This pALS -afflicted family has enormously invigorating and inspiring atheism. The universe, the planet, our home-towns, even our own homes are full of things that will kill us. This is the antithesis of an all-loving God.

    ‘Intelligent design’ ? I don’t think so.
    God made man in his own image? Bunions… cancer..fatal diseases…?
    This part of the bible must be from its comedic chapters.

    If we simply employ rationalism and realism we can find abundant peace in recognising that affliction with ALS is just a very random but cruel trick of nature, and nature is what rules the universe via the Natural Sciences.

    We do not need to lay-off our fears and trepidation of life and death onto an imagined ‘Big Brother’ because we can, if we try, know that whilst we happen to be at the unfortunate end of the illness scale, death, which comes to all of us in time, will reveal a trans-dimensional journey that requires no deity.

  3. Charlie says:

    “I cannot imagine staring down a terminal illness without God in my corner. He gives me the “peace which surpasses all understanding.”

    That wonderful courage, Rick, is born and nurtured within YOU. It does not come from elsewhere, or from a perceived Big Brother.
    Have the additional and wider courage to claim its ownership for yourself. You deserve to own it, as do all pALS with such inner strength.

  4. Charlie says:

    “Often He will direct me to someone in need. Helping someone may, at the moment, be selfless, but, for me, in the grander scheme, the gesture carries with it a Pavlovian selfishness. I always get back more than I put in.”

    That’s not God Rick. That’s YOU and your wonderful supportive nature and altruism. It comes from within YOU, not from a ‘God.’

    Take a full credit for being so supporting of your fellow human beings. YOU are doing good deeds, because you are intrinsically a good person.

  5. Rick Jobus says:

    Charlie….l applaud your ability to navigate this tortuous path in a God-vacuum. However, l am clueless as to why you choose to. l am, plainly, not strong enough. The fact that l entered into this fray not fully appreciative of God’s omnipresence and omnipotence, is testimony to His grace. Indeed, God had to offer Himself, and His succor, numerous times before l, somewhat grudgingly, began to accept. Perhaps because l finally was completely sincere and candid during our dialogue, for the first time l fully experienced His peace. Karl Marx derisively wrote that religion is the opiate of the masses”. I proudly aver that faith is my opiate. It is the salve for all of my wounds, ALS-induced, and otherwise.

    The presence of science is, for me, cementing proof of God, as it illustrates that nothing in the universe is random. If we allow it to, science draws us nearer to God, and His Divinity. It partially unveils his work. As Albert Einstein concluded, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science Is blind”.

    In the midst of my body’s tortuous decline,

    Blessings still pour from God the Divine.

    Foremost is family, the rock to which I cling,

    Their boundless love causes my spirit to sing.

    Then friends, old and new, from all walks of life,

    Whose concern and support lessen my strife.

    To the amazing folks who share my plight,

    Strength from numbers helps fuel my fight.

    Just being alive provides wondrous interaction,

    Sampling daily miracles prompts daily traction.

    Hearing laughter, seeing smiles,

    All the choices, all the aisles.

    Smelling perfume, feeling heat,

    Tasting sour, tasting sweet.

    Hearing birds, watching lizards,

    Petting dogs, remembering blizzards.

    Television, movies, and music galore,

    Availing the internet to tour and explore.

    Reading, writing, thinking, learning,

    In constant awe, curiosity burning.

    Being moved to tears, being moved to elation,

    Being the witness of God’s great creation.

    These gifts abound despite faith often bowed,

    And that I’ve strayed from the true righteous road.

    No matter your distress, or how weakly you stand,

    God yearns to guide you, hand in hand.

    As I thank God for my blessings, I ask for one more,

    That you invite God in and open your soul’s door.

    Through thoughtful prayer and candid talk,
    Draw nearer to God, run do not walk.

    • Charlie says:

      There have been times in my life Rick when I invited God in.
      His reply must have got lost in the post. I heard nothing and never, never have. Same as Jesus on the cross.I think Jesus was a truly altruistic person whose message, which is so valid, does not actually require a God to be effective. It’s called Humanism.

      All logic, realism and rationality say there is no God and there can be no God. We all the need the personal strength and courage to accept that we can choose to be decent people for its own sake, and not because we will go to hell if we don’t behave properly.

  6. Charlie says:

    “ALS has been a blessing to me.”

    Nothing about this barbaric disease is a blessing. Nothing. All the good things it has made you do and believe have always been there within you. Like all the rest of us, life had previously been so busy and demanding that those good things didn’t get a chance to shine as often as we would have liked.
    Those good things no find an outlet from you – they do not come from elsewhere – they come from YOU.

  7. Charlie says:

    “Blessings still pour from God the Divine.
    Foremost is family, the rock to which I cling,
    Their boundless love causes my spirit to sing.
    Then friends, old and new, from all walks of life,
    Whose concern and support lessen my strife.
    To the amazing folks who share my plight,
    Strength from numbers helps fuel my fight.
    Just being alive provides wondrous interaction,
    Sampling daily miracles prompts daily traction.
    Hearing laughter, seeing smiles,
    All the choices, all the aisles.
    Smelling perfume, feeling heat,
    Tasting sour, tasting sweet.
    Hearing birds, watching lizards,
    Petting dogs, remembering blizzards.
    Television, movies, and music galore,
    Availing the internet to tour and explore.
    Reading, writing, thinking, learning,
    In constant awe, curiosity burning.
    Being moved to tears, being moved to elation,
    Being the witness of God’s great creation.”

    All those things occur in the natural world and do not have to spring from an imagined Big Brother. Atheists are perfectly capable of reading, hearing birds and petting dogs etc. These are not the sole monopoly of believers.

    Non believers can and do behave decently, and respect their fellow human beings.

  8. Charlie says:

    “l applaud your ability to navigate this tortuous path in a God-vacuum. However, l am clueless as to why you choose to.”

    It’s really quite easy Rick, once a person adopts rationality reason and logic. I may never have your altruism but if I do, it will have come from within me and not from the fantasy world of religion.

    Not everyone has the strength to adopt rationality reason and logic because for them it is just too much hard work and much easier to abdicate all responsibility and leadership to a fantasy Big Brother.

    If God were to actually exist and was ‘right beside me all the way’ but does actually nothing then what use is he? Is he unwilling? Then he cannot be all-loving. Is he unable? then he cannot be a ‘God.’

    • Rick Jobus says:

      Faith in God is simple. Some steadfastly believe, without requiring empirical evidence. Some summarily dismiss concepts like salvation and eternity out of fashion, or incredulity regarding the necessity and possibility, respectively. A third option is personal due diligence. It takes some effort, but there is ample information to investigate. Given what is at stake, the time invested may be worth it. I know that it was for me. I believe.

      • Charlie says:

        I have expended a lot of due diligence and clearly there is no God. Believers have a weakness and that weakness is to depend on a kind of celestial Big Brother. It is a mistake. You can lead a perfectly decent life by being strong minded and respectful of your fellow human-being.
        There is nothing wrong in believing. Each Springtime I believe my team will win the Championship. At the end of each season I examine the evidence and there is plenty that show my belief was incorrect. There is no evidence that God exists.

  9. Charlie says:

    “If we allow it to, science draws us nearer to God, and His Divinity. It partially unveils his work.”

    Science and its gradually increasing knowledge shows us ever more clearly that a world based on logic, reason and rationality plus research, is reliable and that we do not need the fantasy of a deity. Science eradicated smallpox, it fights a host of other diseases, it will eventually defeat ALS.
    It will do all this without the supposed help of a perceived Big Brother in the Clouds.

    Have the courage to accept all the success and failures of the Natural Sciences and how victories are won without the ‘God.’

  10. Alexey Grachev says:

    God is amoral unconscious sadist. Before you dead read “Answer to Job” by Carl Gustav Jung or “The creation of consciousness” by Edward F. Edinger and be proud that you are just a man but have a consciousness and morality which God does not have.

    • Rick Jobus says:

      l suggest The Pursuit of God by Tozer; Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis; and The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God by Strobel; instead.

      • Alexey Grachev says:

        You’re welcome, Charlie. Before I’ve read that books, I supposed something like that. That books opened my eyes finally.

        Regards.

  11. Charlie says:

    “But, if not for ALS, I would not have returned to God when I did, and maybe not at all. The implication should be obvious.”

    I’m afraid to tell you that your obvious implication remains concealed. However, if I speculate on your comment, it would be to say that when you refer to ‘returning to God’ you imply that previously you had got along quite well without him.Speculating furthermore that when you discovered that science will be too tardy to help you and no treatments were worth their weight in detritus, you turned in despair to God as your last resort. As pALSs’ condition is one of ever-declining abilities, does it not strike you that God therefore has deserted you as he does nothing whatsoever to treat your illness, or more than likely, he does not exist?
    God, or rather a misplaced faith in a non-existent being, may well assist any of us in terms of our soul or mood, but he fails to show up for work he is slated to easily achieve should he want to in treating our illness.
    To assist my mood I can easily enjoy a good book, or a movie or a family gathering and I can go help others afflicted by ALS to manage their way through the day. The latter comes from within me and requires no placement of faith in a non-caring or rather non-existent ‘God.’

    • Rick Jobus says:

      Actually I did not turn to God. God sought me, and was persistent. It took some time for me to fully listen. I am praying for you Charlie.

      I am ashamed to say,
      that there became a day,
      when I turned my back on God,
      with a wink and a nod.
      My parents early passing,
      sent my doubts amassing.
      Not seeing forests or the trees,
      my faith severed at the knees.
      Hunkering low into a shell.
      a crippling spiritual hell.
      Thankless for gifts richly planted,
      taking everything for granted.
      Moved not by life’s magic,
      or conversely its’ tragic.
      No peace would l know,
      like a sad hobo.
      Two decades this spanned,
      I was Paul Simon’s “island”.
      Then I became weak and sick,
      and the devil tried a trick.
      But Jesus’s constant urging,
      led to a different merging.
      In my bluest moment He was there,
      as He is now here, yet everywhere.
      Now fully back on board,
      hand-in-hand with the lord.
      Despite countless sins and harms,
      God welcomes with open arms.
      I found a blessing in turning ill,
      it’s not a completely bitter pill.
      Though I’d opt for some other plan,
      I have emerged a better man.
      Celebrating all of life’s rich beauty,
      worshiping God a treat, not duty.
      With my loudest inner voice,
      I thank the Lord and rejoice.
      This is my testimony,
      God’s sacred grace rescued me.

  12. Charlie says:

    (ALS) “is just a more noticeable form of the brokenness that is common to the human experience.” It’s just a difference of degree, on a spectrum that contains difficulty along its entire length. Due to God’s common grace, no one exists in a state of complete brokenness.”

    It is hard to imagine more patronising, fatuous and condescending comment about the fate of pALS than this by Stephanie Hubach, whoever she is.
    Clearly not a person belonging to a family having experienced ALS.

    “Broken” ? WTF ?

    I think she seems to be saying something like “You wrench your elbow, then the postman delivers the electricity bill, and then, to top it all, you get ALS !”

    “Due to God’s common grace, no one exists in a state of complete brokenness.”
    What pompous claptrap. It is due to medical staff and support systems in the health structure no one is completely ‘broken.’
    It is a disingenuous manipulation of the true state of affairs that seeks to place ALS victim’s underpinned mental or physical state as having resulted from the intervention of the ‘God’ fallacy.

    Comments from Sociopaths like this should be consigned to the dustbin of idiocy.

    • Rick Jobus says:

      Stephanie Hubach is a Research Fellow in Disability Ministries, with Covenant Theological Seminary. Her youngest son is disabled. The quote I selected referred to generic disability. I am the “patronising, fatuous and condescending” person who applied it to ALS.

      • Charlie says:

        Her words are fatuous. She simply does not understand what’s going on with ALS. You should have less to do with this ‘broken’ sociopath. AlS ‘just’ a more ‘noticeable form’ of ‘brokenness’ ?

        BS Central.

        Flue…’just a more noticeable form of a slight chill.’

        ‘Brokenness’ from ALS are not ‘common to the human experience’

        This stupidity of trivialising ALS is insulting to all pALS everywhere and she should be thoroughly ashamed of this frivolous,patronising, and condescending throw-away remark.

        Do yourself a huge favour Rick and have nothing to do with this rabid sociopath.

        • Rick Jobus says:

          Again, her words were not intended to refer to ALS. I chose to apply them. Your argument is with me. At least, it can be safely said, that I do understand what’s going on with ALS.

          • Charlie says:

            Her words are related to Disability. ALS is a neurological condition resulting in PROFOUND Disability.Possibly the worst of all.
            Hubach seems to be completely unable to contemplate the effects of ALS and therefore her words have no ameliorating affect on pALS.
            “Broken” ?

            Like an ankle? I only hope there is a huge distance between my and this jabbering sociopath.

            Do yourself a HUGE favour Rick and give her the elbow when it comes to ALS.

  13. Charlie says:

    “Dear God…Why have you forsaken all ALS victims?”

    Yours Sincerely
    Charlie

    ps I have asked you this several times, multiple times, now,and have received no answer. I now sense you are uninterested or, more likely, you do not exist.

    • Francis Farrell says:

      Sorry Charlie. You’re entitled to say that you think God abandons whomever, although that seems to contradict your atheism. But you’re not speaking for me when you say She has abandoned all Pals.
      Rick, your observations help those of us who welcome your insight, but I’m afraid neither faithfulness nor atheism can be sold on provable grounds.
      your thoughts were useful to me. Thank you.

      • Pietros says:

        This is the fundamental logical phallacy – you do not need to prove atheism, because atheism is consistent with the world as we know it (including natural laws) and we can scientifically confirm that. You only need to prove claims that seem to contradict or break this consistency, which is any kind of religion.

        Look, centuries ago, Christians (not only them, of course) were killing poor people suffering from mental diseases because they believed they were possessed by daemons. Epilepsy was another reason why thousands of innocent people died. The reason? Lack of knowledge. The primitive tribes in Africa or in jungles in South America believe that white men were gods and they would die for their faith. Again, it is simply the lack of knowledge and experience. From psychological perspective, any culture invents some kind of higher power that can be worshiped and that can control uncontrollable – weather, health, crops…

  14. Charlie says:

    “Actually I did not turn to God. God sought me, and was persistent. It took some time for me to fully listen. I am praying for you Charlie.”

    Tell me Rick, what did God say to you? Did you hear his voice in your head? What did he say, exactly ? Did he give you any explanation as to why he lets you suffer? Why he tortures pALS so barbarically while he lets others live on peacefully until they are 100 years old?

    Don’t bother praying for me Rick, save your breath, because like this family’s pALS you’re going to need it before long. Anyway, no-one is there listening. You’ve backed the wrong horse. Back Science, researchers are at least trying hard. The ‘God’ fantasy isn’t.

      • Charlie says:

        No he didn’t. It was YOU who decided to do that. Take credit for your own altruism.
        Are you saying you can only love if God instructs you? BS, utter BS.
        It all comes from within you, yourself.
        We have evolved so greatly as to be able to do that.
        You don’t need ‘the God fallacy’ to do decent things.
        God has never spoken to anyone, because he simply does not exist.
        When people think they hear God’s voice they are receiving messages from their sub-conscious.

  15. Charlie says:

    By the way Rick, if I am wrong and God does really exist, I will, I am told by the devout, be sent to hell. Then I will at least know that he is the vindictive, barbaric entity I imagined him to be.
    I am reminded of the old Jesuit standby cheerer-upper:-
    “God Loves You and You Are Going To Hell.” lol

    • Rick Jobus says:

      Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Perhaps Jesus will grant you entry into heaven, despite your disbelief. My trust in Jesus Christ, as the “gatekeeper”, to pristinely adjudicate such matters is unshakeable.

  16. Charlie says:

    “It takes some effort, but there is ample information to investigate.”

    I took the effort many times, and there is indeed ample information to investigate.
    I investigated it all, and none of it stood up to examination.

    By the way Rick if you are ever taken to court by someone, try the defense of ‘I believe, despite lack of evidence.’
    Hint: the judge and jury will not be inclined to believe you. You lose.

  17. Pietros says:

    It is common for seriously ill patients to become religious and actually this is why all the past cultures invented their gods- it is so much easier to think there is something bigger than us, it is in the human nature to seek answers, purpose and order where there is none. The hope it gives is soothing, even when based on disproved Bible stories that were changed and twisted in the last 900 years (I actually studied the original Dead Sea Scrolls and I was horrified how much it is different from what we call Bible now).
    A perfect example is the sin of suicide – did you know that it was added to the Bible around the 12th century, after too many peasants had killed themselves, leaving their lords with no labor force?
    And while there are no fairy tales, there might be quantum physics at work that causes one’s conscience to appear somewhere, or transfer, or whatever..there is so much more we do not know yet.

  18. Charlie says:

    Rick, have YOU studied the Dead Sea Scrolls ? Along with that Aramaic and Hebrew stuff?
    I’ve been busy this last few minutes studying the latest flyer from Walmart. It is far more instructive and up-lifting than Hubach’s ‘brokenness’ diatribe on disability.

    • Rick Jobus says:

      No, I have not. I didn’t claim to have examined all of the evidence. I have studied some of the translational differences of certain Bible passages for context, and clarity. In those cases, the exercise has served to strengthen my faith.

  19. Charlie says:

    Rick says :”Perhaps Jesus will grant you entry into heaven, despite your disbelief. My trust in Jesus Christ, as the “gatekeeper”, to pristinely adjudicate such matters is unshakeable.”

    TO the best of my knowledge I’ve never been ‘pristinely adjudicated.’ I wonder what that feels like?

    SO Jesus will say’Charlie…you didn’t believe in Dad so you can’t come in. Take the elevator to the lowest level, and don’t bother with warm clothing.’

    There you said it, above. God loves me and I’m going straight to hell….’ In one short sentence , all the idiotic contradictions of the ‘God’ fallacy.

    And ..Pietros is correct. Death is trans dimensional. I bet you haven’t examined that one have you? Probably because it has scientific merit and some evidence.

      • Pietros says:

        And what about people who are born disabled and cannot believe (because their cognitive level is just poor)? What about people with brain tumours, that can turn a loving father into a sadistic monster? Would it be a sin if a person, whose behaviour and cognition is impaired because of a brain damage, kills somebody? In the end, it is not their fault and you can even blame god for allowing a tumour to grow in that person’s head.

        The ultimate question would be: Why Christianity would be true if it is so young? If there was a god, would it not be more likely that the oldest religion would be true? Hinduism, for example? And it is SO different from Christianity that you can see both are obviously made up to fit the culture that invented them.

        Another funny thing to think of: Bible speaks about the Earth and eternity but we already know that the Sun will destroy our planet in the long term, during its expansion that precedes its destruction.

        God is IN you, if you are a good person, if you feel “approached” by God – it is all you, and that is much better. All this strength is in you and THAT is amazing.
        We do not worry about the time before we were born (which is eternity), when we die it will be the same.

  20. Charlie says:

    “The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God by Strobel; ”
    Nope. Sorry.
    It’s not objective. He’s a God fallacy guy who ‘talks his own book.’
    Can’t be relied on.
    We need something objective…like rationalism, reality, and logic. (Won’t find that in believers)

      • Charlie says:

        Look Rick, your side of the argument needs more than just a bunch of believers who believe because they choose to believe and cannot understand the Natural Sciences. All the way through that video they repeat the mantra “I believe because I cannot myself believe that all this wasn’t created by the “god.'”

        It’s like asking a bunch of priests if they believe in a God.

  21. Charlie says:

    Rick, why did Jesus advise those guys to jump into the Sea of Galilee with a mill-stone round their necks?
    He doesn’t sound so all-loving there does he?
    ‘Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord’
    Oh dear, more violence.

  22. Charlie says:

    Hubach: ‘The biblical view of disability is that
    disability is a normal part of life in an abnormal world.’
    And yet – no reference to a Bible entry is given by her.
    Another bible thumper who takes a straightforward book and reinterprets it steadfastly in the direction of their own personal preferences and suppositions.

    • Rick Jobus says:

      I believe the original word of God to be pure, unadulterated, and sacred. However, I am completely skeptical about the chain of custody, once man got our hands on God’s Word. One of great challenges is discerning what was God’s original word. The task is so daunting that I’ve elected to accept the Bible at face value. I don’t attempt to debunk any of it. I have, however, self-categorized some Biblical episodes, within the constraints of my ability to reason and deduce, as not explainable. And l will admit that, in the case of an oral rendition, handed down from generation to generation, later committed to writing, then undergoing myriad translations; if anything, the fish will only get bigger.

  23. Charlie says:

    ‘…within the constraints of my ability to reason and deduce, as not explainable….’

    So you have some ability to reason and deduce but insufficient to apply that reasoning and deductive ability to accept the huge contradictions explicit in religious faith. Very interesting. And also illogical and without the application of logic and rationality. Fascinating, in fact.

  24. Charlie says:

    This ‘blessing’you say you have received by getting ALS, Rick…
    We need to test this concept scientifically to see if it has any logic, reason or rationale.

    I suggest we both ask 100 people of normal health if they would consider it a ‘blessing’ if they were shortly to be diagnosed with ALS.

    I may well be proven wrong but I’m willing to speculate that NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM would consider it a ‘blessing.’

    Shall we do it? What do you say?

    • Rick Jobus says:

      If we add the following context, sure.

      The 100 people of normal health must be uncertain of their fate following death. Then we shape the question like this. Would you consider it a blessing if, after being diagnosed with ALS, you were guaranteed of a life everlasting?

  25. Rick Jobus says:

    This came to me from someone preferring to remain anonymous.

    Sorry Charlie. You’re entitled to say that you think God abandons whomever, although that seems to contradict your atheism. But you’re not speaking for me when you say She has abandoned all Pals.
    Rick, your observations help those of us who welcome your insight, but I’m afraid neither faithfulness nor atheism can be sold on provable grounds.
    your thoughts were useful to me. Thank you.

  26. Charlie says:

    ‘But you’re not speaking for me when you say She has abandoned all Pals.’
    I speak only for myself.
    If anyone is nuts enough to believe in the Tooth Fairy or similar it’s their own lookout.

  27. Charlie says:

    ‘…nor atheism can be sold on provable grounds.’

    I beg to differ,.
    Atheism is profoundly provable because not a shred of
    evidence exists of the ‘god’ thing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *