“You Prayed and Believed Your WHOLE Life…”

I was watching a YouTube video about the Christian movie, God’s Not Dead.  Many people focus on the part of the movie in which a Christian student challenges his atheistic philosophy professor.  But there are other sub-plots to the movie, as well.  Dean Cain, of Lois and Clark fame, is part of one of those sub-plots.

Dean Cain plays a well-off businessman who, well, is not a very nice person.  His elderly mother was a life-long Christian, and she now has dementia.  In a poignant scene, the Dean Cain character asks his mother why God let that happen to her after she served God her whole life, when she is one of the nicest people he knows.  Meanwhile, the Dean Cain character acknowledges that he is one of the meanest people, and yet his life is peachy.  His mother responds to her son that Satan has built him a comfortable jail cell, and that he can still get out if he wants.  The mother then reverts back to her dementia and asks her son who he is.  Did that plant a seed in the Dean Cain character to cease his wicked deeds?

The Dean Cain character asked a good question.  Or, more precisely, his question was half-good.  Why would God allow someone who served God her whole life—-a nice person—-to have dementia?

The Dean Cain character was very presumptuous, however, when he pointed to his own life being peachy, even though he was a mean person.  Why do I say that?  Because he is not old yet.  Who knows what health problems he will get once he is old?

There is so much in life that can humble a person.  If you don’t find that to be true now, wait a bit.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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6 Responses to “You Prayed and Believed Your WHOLE Life…”

  1. Thanks for summarizing the movie a bit. I’ve not even read reviews of it yet. If you go into it further in future posts, I’ll be notified and try to read them.

    As to the question, which so commonly comes up, as to “Why” (a disease or other terrible circumstance hitting someone who’s been very godly)…. Why do we feel the need to ask “Why?” so much? Do conservative believers really believe God should be in the business of protecting some people and not others, from the nastier things of life? Things which it seems He/She has either designed or allowed to be built into just the way life is? I’d submit, that believers with more mature faith don’t have those kinds of expectations and thus don’t labor over “Why me?” or “Why them?” questions. And that doesn’t mean they can be expected to enjoy the tough things of life, either.

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  2. As to my just-submitted comment, I quickly realized I should add that unbelievers have no right to put the “Why me (or you)?” question on the lips of believers, either. Their skepticism or unbelief may be as immature as is the kind of faith of some Christians. We might be wise to look to the more developed among Jewish people for some good wisdom on this kind of issue, and to the book of James.

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  3. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Your comment reminds me of a book that I’m reading, When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Relationship with God. It gets into how some evangelicals deal with unanswered prayer, and see believing in God even when prayers go unanswered as a sign of maturity.

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  4. I have noticed that there is a whole bunch of angel shows and books that write about God going away, I know that these are all flights of fancy, but I wonder if it’s a response to some feeling that God may not as involved in people’s lives as they prayed for. The questions that you wrote about are good and they make sense. The movie sounds like a nice move; Dean Cain is a nice actor, I always liked him. 🙂

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  5. Funny thing, James… I have that book sitting on my nightstand. However, I set it aside some time ago for more pressing reading… not out of lack of interest entirely. I was long an Evangelical (to about 45) and was involved in several Vineyard seminars and services and Vineyard-influenced churches in the 80s. (Haven’t traced it much since the early 90s.)

    As to your comment, I’d agree with them in general re. maturity. However, I believe they (generally) fail to make appropriate adjustments in their prayer style and expectations of prayer, or how God chooses to interact with humanity. So the “cognitive line” (per Ken Wilber’s Integral system) is not keeping up with some of the others…. This is a result of having tight doctrinal systems, at least in part.

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  6. jamesbradfordpate says:

    I watched a documentary about Lonnie Frisbee last night. It was interesting.

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