It’s one thing to experience tragedy. It’s another to have it followed by a sermon.
Why is everyone so smart? Why are there so many answers to such a deep, unspeakable mystery?
It didn’t take long for John Piper to tweet his answer:
“Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead (Job 1:19)”
Or for Westboro Baptist Church’s Fred Phelps, Jr. to tweet his:
“OK Thunder’s Durant flips God by praising fag Collins. God smashes OK. You do the math.”
We may try to dismiss these guys as marginal minimal voices. But they’re not. They have lots of followers. More than that, they focus on the fears people already harbor about their own worth, God and punishment. That we get what we deserve has a long and successful theological history. Read Rachel Held Evans’ thoughtful post, “The Abusive Theology of ‘Deserved’ Tragedy”.
In the dark corners of many hearts terrified people are wondering, “But what if it’s true?”
That fear is added terror in the wake of tragedy that I think is unnecessary and harmful.