This Is Not a Test
- at the monastery
There's a post at America magazine's blog, 'Christ is Testing Us', about the troubles of Coptic Christians in Egypt, in which someone is quoted as saying “Christ is testing us. I tell my friends to stay. Christ could end this suffering, this trial, at any time. How will you feel, I tell my friends, if you’re in Canada instead of Egypt when Christ returns?”
This made me think of a Lost episode I'd just watched. In that scene, Desmond has joined a monastery (in Scotland?) and is helping his superior put labels on the bottles of wine that the monastery sells ...
MONK: You do realize you are free to talk again, Brother Desmond.
DESMOND: Used to being quiet, I suppose.
[He looks at the "Moriah Vineyards" label]
DESMOND: Moriah. I find the name the brothers have chosen for the wine made here interesting.
MONK: And why is that brother?
DESMOND: Well, Moriah's the mountain where Abraham was asked to kill Isaac. It's not exactly the most festive locale, is it.
MONK: And yet God spared Isaac.
DESMOND: Well, one might argue then God may not have asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in the first place.
MONK: Well then it wouldn't have been much of a test, would it brother?
I don't want to believe that God tests us. If you look online, though, you'll find lots of support for the idea that he does. One example which I found really distressing was a past post at dotCommonweal - it didn't ask *if* God tests us but instead assumed he did and explained why, using Augustine and Aquinas as backup. Today, though, I came across a sermon by a Methodist preacher, Does God Test Us?, that reached the opposite conclusion - I really liked it.