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I hear what you're saying, Elaine, and there's no question people in general often have misplaced priorities. But while I believe we can find God in any situation, I believe God wants us to be happy, and to reveal Him/Herself through joy, not misery ("on earth as it is in Heaven").
But then, I've always had a problem with church teachings that elevate suffering to a kind of stepladder to holiness (having been raised Catholic, I'm very familiar, and such teachings caused my turning away at a very young age). I will never believe suffering is a necessary component to have a "real" relationship with God. I daresay no human is closer to God than newborn babies and little children who don't even have the conscious awareness -- it's purity of heart. I don't think the purity of heart we may come to lack is because we don't suffer. We either understand that we can't even take our next breath without God, or we don't, but I can't believe being tortured into that understanding is the key. If it is, I'd have to call that pretty pitiful as well.
Go on to: Comments by Lexie - 12 Jan 2009
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