Regarding her mom’s cancer, Hong writes:
‘My “why” question assumed a direct relationship between sin and suffering: the person in pain did something bad; therefore, she’s suffering now.
‘Much to my surprise, I realized this line of thinking is [similar to but] just the flip side of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that if you have big enough faith, think positively, and donate money, then you can expect God to make you healthy and wealthy. I knew from 10 years in ministry, plus my theological training, that prosperity promises of “health and wealth” aren’t the Christian gospel.
‘Yet as I reflected on my presuppositions about my mom’s cancer, I realized my beliefs about suffering were much closer to the prosperity gospel than I would’ve liked to admit. My functional understanding of the Christian faith was actually the prosperity gospel’s reverse image.
‘My wrestling with God about why he’d take my mother exposed a subconscious belief: If I were a strong Christian (whatever that means), God wouldn’t grant me health and wealth, but he would, at least, prevent tragedy or suffering. But trying to be a faithful Christian in order to prevent suffering, I’d fallen into the prosperity gospel.’
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