I was reading this thing by Hans Fiene — you know, this Hans Fiene:
Hans Fiene is a Lutheran pastor in Illinois and the creator of Lutheran Satire, a series of comical videos intended to teach the Lutheran faith.
He’s writing about the latest mass murder in which a gunmen slaughtered people in a church. He’s explaining that this is not the time to be criticizing religion for the failure of prayer to protect them.
However, we should all recognize that pointing to a couple dozen warm corpses and saying, “Fat lot of good your Jebus-begging did you” is an act of profound ugliness.
OK, OK, I can see his point. This is a tragedy, and it’s a little unfair to chastise the dead for the failure of their faith. I could agree that maybe this is an appropriate time for empathy, rather than mockery. But wait…that isn’t his point at all.
When those saints of First Baptist Church were murdered yesterday, God wasn’t ignoring their prayers. He was answering them.
It may seem, on the surface, that God was refusing to give such protection to his Texan children. But we are also praying that God would deliver us from evil eternally. Through these same words, we are asking God to deliver us out of this evil world and into his heavenly glory, where no violence, persecution, cruelty, or hatred will ever afflict us again.
So those dead church-goers were praying for God to kill them? Dude, that is fucked up. If it’s bad for atheists to mock the sincerity of the faithful, it’s also bad to pretend that the deceased were praying for their demise, and God was being nice by sending a gunman to blow them away.
Next, he talks about how Jesus was mocked by the priests and then killed.
Yet God proved his son’s divinity by, three days later, lifting him up out of the death those men gave him. Despite the chief priests, elders, and scribes doing all they could to silence the one who claimed to be the savior of the world, God turned their hatred into the catalyst of the world’s salvation.
Twenty six people were killed on Sunday. So we can expect them to rise from the dead on, oh, Tuesday?
Despite the horror that madman made the saints of First Baptist endure, those who endured it with faith in Christ have received his victory. Although the murderer filled their eyes with terror, God has now filled them with his glory. Although he persecuted them with violence, God seized that violence and has now used it to deliver his faithful into a kingdom of peace. Although this madman brought death to so many, God has used that death to give them the eternal life won for them in the blood of Jesus.
Dude. Fucked up. Was the terror a necessary part of their ‘rescue’ into heaven? The blood and pain and fear? This Jesus guy is one evil, nasty character.
And, hang on, they had to endure it with faith in Christ to get this glorious reward of a terrible death. What about the ones with no faith, or who lost faith in this moment of unjust torment? If they’re burning in hell, then this was an awful and futile exercise. What about the people who weren’t delivered into heaven, and instead just watched loved ones die? Are the survivors hellbound and undeserving of the sweet, sweet release of a bullet plowing through their lungs so they drown in their own blood?
Those who persecute the church and those who mock Christians for trusting in Almighty God rather than Almighty Government may believe that the bloodshed in Texas proves the futility of prayer. But we believers see the shooting in Texas as proof of something far different—proof that Christ has counted us worthy to suffer dishonor for his name and proof that no amount of dishonor, persecution, or violence can stop him from answering our prayer to deliver us from evil.
We already know that God’s aim is terrible, but now you’re telling me someone could pray to get over their cold, and God will interpret that to mean he should deliver them out of this evil world and into his heavenly glory with a bullet to the brain? STOP PRAYING, everyone — you might be wishing for a puppy, and God will think you’re begging for bears to eat you.
Jesus, Hans. I hope the Lord answers your prayers soon, and that your ascent into heaven is preceded by truly majestic quantities of dishonor and violence. You deserve it. Keep on prayin’, buddy.
I hope your little essay about groveling before the savage cruelty of your god wasn’t more of your version of “satire”, though, because that ain’t funny or enlightening.