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  • Erik
    briancrc-@aol.com wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/findingfaith/?start=90 ... that ... It seems to me there s a number of interesting
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 3, 2000
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      briancrc-@... wrote:
      original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/findingfaith/?start=90
      > > ...But doesn't it seem that God does show
      > > favoritism in the different blessings/talents/abilities/situations
      that
      > > he gives to each of us? ...

      It seems to me there's a number of interesting aspects involved here.
      A main question is, are those we may considered "favored," really
      favored?

      What would the world consider to be considered favored? Good looks, a
      good education, athletic/artistic/musical ability, a lot of money,
      widespread fame, power...

      Perhaps musical talent, or success and fame makes you happy? Just days
      ago a concert by Fiona Apple at a sold out NY club ended when she left
      in the middle of a song in tears.

      Perhaps those with athletic ability are more at peace with their lives.
      Has athletic ability made Rae Carruth or John Rocker at more peace?

      Perhaps success come with a lot of power... did Bill Clinton's power
      bring him success?

      Perhaps it's all in being famous and influential. Where did this lead
      Kurt Cobain?

      World-famous good looks, world-famous spouses? Marilyn Monroe.

      It must be money then... There certainly exists a
      higher-than-may-be-expected rate of suicide among the rich. Think you
      get what I'm saying here.

      It seems to me then, that the issue here is not GOD FAVORING certain
      people... it's that those who are favored -- are those certain people
      who ACKNOWLEDGE HIM.
    • Marc Nestor
      I fully agree that none of these things bring happiness or define success. I also agree that we must acknowledge God. But my question is more about that
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 3, 2000
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        I fully agree that none of these things bring happiness or define
        success. I also agree that we must acknowledge God. But my question is
        more about that there are some things that would appear to some as God
        showing some favoritism. For example, I would rather have food to eat
        than not have food to eat. But there are those in the world that hardly
        have anything to eat, and what they do have is barely eatable. People
        in both of these situations may acknowledge God and that He's provided
        everything they have, but I'd rather be in a situation to be able to
        eat.

        Brian had some good comments and stated that we are blessed so that we
        may be a blessing to others. I completely agree and think that hunger
        provides an opportunity for those with food and resources to bless
        them. But not everyone out there w/o food is "blessed" by those of us
        who are blessed, and they still go hungry. They may both acknowledge
        God, but one has to endure the pains of hunger and the other doesn't.
        So why would that not indicate that God has shown favoritism to the one
        with food?

        I hope that made sense...I've been in front of a computer too long.

        Always eager to hear the input of others...


        > briancrc-@... wrote:
        > original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/findingfaith/?start=90
        > > > ...But doesn't it seem that God does show
        > > > favoritism in the different blessings/talents/abilities/situations
        > that
        > > > he gives to each of us? ...
        >
        > It seems to me there's a number of interesting aspects involved here.
        > A main question is, are those we may considered "favored," really
        > favored?
        >
        > What would the world consider to be considered favored? Good looks, a
        > good education, athletic/artistic/musical ability, a lot of money,
        > widespread fame, power...
        >
        > Perhaps musical talent, or success and fame makes you happy? Just days
        > ago a concert by Fiona Apple at a sold out NY club ended when she left
        > in the middle of a song in tears.
        >
        > Perhaps those with athletic ability are more at peace with their lives.
        > Has athletic ability made Rae Carruth or John Rocker at more peace?
        >
        > Perhaps success come with a lot of power... did Bill Clinton's power
        > bring him success?
        >
        > Perhaps it's all in being famous and influential. Where did this lead
        > Kurt Cobain?
        >
        > World-famous good looks, world-famous spouses? Marilyn Monroe.
        >
        > It must be money then... There certainly exists a
        > higher-than-may-be-expected rate of suicide among the rich. Think you
        > get what I'm saying here.
        >
        > It seems to me then, that the issue here is not GOD FAVORING certain
        > people... it's that those who are favored -- are those certain people
        > who ACKNOWLEDGE HIM.
      • BrianCRCC@aol.com
        In a message dated 3/3/00 10:17:33 AM Eastern Standard Time, rmerik@aol.com writes:
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 6, 2000
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          In a message dated 3/3/00 10:17:33 AM Eastern Standard Time, rmerik@...
          writes:

          <<
          It seems to me there's a number of interesting aspects involved here.
          A main question is, are those we may considered "favored," really
          favored? >>
          Erick -- some really great insights here, man! Thanks -- Brian
        • Mary Beth Boswell
          Hi, I ll jump in. Marc, based on your second post, it sounds as if you re question is being rephrased a bit to sound like this: Why is it so much easier for
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 7, 2000
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            Hi, I'll jump in. Marc, based on your second post, it sounds as if
            you're question is being rephrased a bit to sound like this: "Why is it
            so much easier for some than others? Why would God set things up this
            way?" At first glance it sure does smack of favoritism.

            I suggest the rephrasing of your question because of your analogy of
            those of us who have enough to eat and those who don't. Clearly, here
            we're not talking about the smaller comforts of life that make our day
            go a little easier.

            I appreciated Brian's focus on community (his second point) as a way of
            looking at blessings. I happen to have a sister who is pretty
            incapacitated, both physically and mentally, and through the years I
            have had to come to terms (and am still coming to terms) with the
            question of Why would God let this happen to her? Or, if it happens to
            her, then at least make it happen to everyone else so that we're all
            dealing with same deck of cards here.

            There's no question that her life has been a blessing in countless ways
            to many people. I really support Brian's perspective on this. (And I
            know that he didn't share that perspective lightly!)

            But to add to this....certainly I don't think that if I sat down with
            Lisa right now and said, "Lisa, could you tell me about how your
            predicament in life has been a blessing to others?" that she would
            agree that her predicament in life has been a blessing to others. Of
            course that's not what Brian was suggesting!--you have to look from the
            outside in to see that kind of blessing. Unfortunately, she's not able
            to look from the "outside in." And she would trade places in a second
            with someone who can walk, talk, and function normally. I would imagine
            the same thing would happen if you sat down with a starved child (or
            adult!).

            I am deeply sorry for her that she has to live with this situation that
            neither I nor many others have had to live with it. And you know what?
            I know that God is, too. Somehow, in a way I don't understand (nor do I
            expect I ever will), I *feel* that God is deeply sorry for her, that
            he's deeply sorry that some of us suffer horribly while others of us
            don't. Could God have prevented this tragedy from afflicting my sister
            (and my family)? I believe it is within his power at this very moment
            to make her a whole human being, like you and me. I used to pray for
            this when I was very young.

            But I don't anymore. Yes, part of me doesn't believe that God *will* at
            this point because he hasn't over the past 35 years or so! But in a
            strange sort of way, he has assured me (time and again) that he doesn't
            love Lisa any less than any of the rest of us. In fact (and here I'm
            probably really off base theologically), I sense that he loves her
            more. In that sense, maybe God does have favorites! Indeed, I really
            believe that, after this life, when we are with Christ, somehow people
            like her are going to be spending a lot of time teaching people like me
            what it means to be whole. Because then she *will* be whole (I'm
            convinced), and will know the difference, whereas people like me will
            have just meandered through life pretty clueless on that point.

            My experiencing the above, and knowing the above, does not make it
            easier to watch her suffer. I don't expect that will ever change.

            Am I angry at God for "allowing" this suffering to take place in her
            life (and in our family's)? For not being "fair"? Maybe, at some level
            that I'm not aware of. Maybe I already went through that phase--I don't
            know. It's been a long journey.

            So yes, maybe I'll conclude here by saying, Yes, God does have
            favorites --- the most unfortunate ones! Because I believe his heart is
            weighted down with compassion for them, beyond what we can understand.
            I also don't expect to ever understand why he "allows" this reality to
            be as it is. But he also makes it real clear throughout the Bible that
            the reality in this life is going to be different from the reality of
            the next life, and perhaps that is where I derive my most comfort when
            I consider the suffering (the "nonblessed", I guess).

            That's all for now.

            Mary Beth
          • BrianCRCC@aol.com
            Mary Beth -- I m not sure why, but as I read your posting telling about your sister, my eyes filled up with tears and I almost started to cry (which is pretty
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 8, 2000
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              Mary Beth -- I'm not sure why, but as I read your posting telling about your
              sister, my eyes filled up with tears and I almost started to cry (which is
              pretty rare for me). What a powerful insight. I thought of Jesus' parable
              about the rich man and Lazarus, and how (in Jesus' vision of the afterlife),
              "disfavored" Lazarus is gathered "to Abraham's bosom." I thought of how
              Jesus said those who mourn, are hungry, thirsty, etc., will be comforted,
              filled, etc. I thought of how Jesus said the last will be first.

              I have felt this so strongly with mentally ill people here in the church.
              When they are released from the burdens associated with our flawed bodies,
              etc. (however that will happen), I know (i.e. strongly believe) these people
              will have a courage and strength far beyond us "normal" people.

              Anyway, thanks for your words. I hope they help and touch others as much as
              they did me. -- Brian
            • Marc Nestor
              Great comments from all. Thanks for the time and thought you put into them.
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 16, 2000
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                Great comments from all. Thanks for the time and thought you put into
                them.
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