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‘Just Have More Faith’: How Bad Theology Hurts The Suffering

– by Vaneetha Rendall Risner

Why does God answer yes to some prayers and no to others? Why does God miraculously heal some people and not others? Why does disaster strike one city and not another?

I’ve been pondering these questions since Hurricane Florence devastated much of Eastern North Carolina last year. I live in the center of the state, and contrary to the foreboding predictions, we were relatively unaffected. In response, a friend said, “I know why we were spared catastrophe and the storm circled our area and went south. I was praying that God would keep us safe and he answered my prayers!”

I had no words.

I know that God answers prayer. And we need to pray. God tells us to ask and it will be given to us (Matthew 7:7). But my friend’s words made me wonder if she thought that no one in Eastern Carolina was praying. I know people whose livelihoods were destroyed in the storm. Everything they owned was gone. They escaped with their lives but nothing material left. Some of them begged God to spare their city.

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‘Just Have More Faith’: How Bad Theology Hurts the Suffering

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