News item: President Duterte Calls God Stupid. “Duterte’s spokesman defended his remarks, saying the president has the right to express his opinion on religion and cited his previous disclosure that he was once sexually abused as a student by a priest.” (Wash. Post)
Calling God stupid is a stupid thing for the President to do, especially in a country that’s 80% Catholic. It’s on a par with the fools who say there is no God (Psalm 14 and 53.) And it can give an excuse for young people who are looking for a way to avoid Church and even God. Jesus has a stern warning to those who cause a child to stumble: It’s better to have a stone tied around their neck and be thrown into the sea. It looks as if some priest caused Duterte to stumble as a child decades ago. Now he’s risked the likelihood of making many others stumble.
Because you do not understand one difficult point of doctrine—the Fall into sin, through Eve’s and Adam’s eating the forbidden fruit—you call God “stupid”?
The evidences of the Fall can be seen in every news broadcast and newspaper. We are a fallen people. Children in early New England public schools chanted “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.” We all need the Savior. Original sin can be seen everywhere: from “wars and rumors of wars”; to how Kim Jong Un treats his own people and threatened the world with missiles; to widespread alcoholism and drug abuse and family disintegration in the Philippines; to how I fail to love God or my neighbor as myself; to sexual abuse by fathers of their own children, and even some R. C. “fathers” of their church children.
Like Duterte, according to his own claim.
As one who’s done inner healing prayer for many victims of sexual abuse, I know how long-lasting and insidious are the effects of such crimes. Many become able to forgive their abuser only after they invite Jesus to come right into those awful memories, or bring them to the Cross, and let Him heal them, allowing them to accept what happened and get their self-esteem back.
Until that time, all their perceptions about life and God can be distorted, as they repeatedly say, How could a good and loving God allow this to happen to me, or even do this to me?
But how can you look at the starry sky above, (“The heavens declare the glory of God”-Ps. 19) and all the tremendous evidence of design in the universe and in life—just examine the eye, or the complexity of DNA, or the beating of your heart—and fail to acknowledge the incredible brilliance of the Designer? (“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:20-21)
No, Mr. President, it’s not God who is stupid!
Thoughts about evil have led even brilliant philosophers, like David Hume, to question God’s existence. They fail to realize that while evil is a mystery, the greater mystery is God’s answer to the question of evil, the Cross followed by the Resurrection of Christ, and the promise that some day all will be made right. God proves His love for us, in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5: 8) Our task is to let Him in as Lord and Savior, not stand back and judge him.
Failing to realize that, one can besmirch the dignity of the highest office in the land, when he should be something of a spiritual leader, by calling God “stupid.”
So, let’s pray for President Duterte. He needs Jesus, and inner healing, and to forgive the priest who allegedly abused him decades ago. And we should forgive Duterte, too, for saying a stupid thing. Perhaps he didn’t know what he was doing, like Jesus’ executioners.
P.S. If you’d like more information on Inner Healing or a related theory, Outcome Thinking, (on how the brain works best to turn off stress and improve satisfaction in life and relationships) please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.