Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mother Teresa - A Valid Comparison?

Is it just me, or does the view of Mother Teresa presented in THIS POST concern you?

Up until today, I haven't read any of the recent discussion on Mother Teresa's apparent "crisis of faith"--mainly because I've never had good reason to consider her a genuine believer. Consequently, it didn't surprise or interest me that she struggled to understand and embrace the God of the Bible--she embraced a system (Roman Catholic church), rather than a Savior.

To me, including Mother Teresa in the company of Ruth and Naomi (as done in the linked post) is at best distracting, and at the worst implies a spiritual position Biblically unsupportable.

I'd like to hear from you on this! I want to be (need to be) charitable but believe I must also guard against our present-day "inclusiveness/tolerance" within the Church.


Anonymous said...

Hi Connie -

First time comment-er, long time lurker...

To say that Mother Teresa and Naomi both suffered in life and experienced dark trials is of course true. But that seems to be where the similarity ends, as from that point on they see God and His work through a totally lens.

Notice how Mother Teresa views God:

“I want God with all the power of my soul — and yet between us there is terrible separation.” On another occasion she wrote: “I feel just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing.”

Conversely, Naomi saw all of her circumstances through God, even in the midst of trials. To Naomi, God exists (1:21), God provided food after the famine (1:6), God is Sovereign (1:21), and God is the One responsible for all of her trials (1:21).

For Mother Teresa there was a gulf between her and God, one in which her works of righteousness could never bridge. It does cause heartache to read her writings, because she was right to feel this way - as you said, best as we can tell she never embraced the Savior.

For Naomi, there wasn't a great gulf between herself and God, it was just the opposite. She saw God's hand everywhere! - in the death of her husband and two sons, her travels, famine, restoration, in all of life.

Now, Naomi didn't necessarily like it :-) - I can relate all to easily there. But to lump Naomi with Mother Teresa as "two peas in a pod" with their trials makes for one gi-normous pod...

Sorry for the long post. Just one reason I don't post more :-)


Connie said...

Steven: I'm so glad you "de-lurked" to offer some Biblically sound comments! I welcome your comments and insights! :-)

Marcian said...

I think Steven really did a good job of summing up the disparities between the two stories. Right now, all I can say is that this shows me how the Lord alone gives insight. This woman Carolyn has been pondering on this a lot, even so much as to write a book about it ("The Gospel of Ruth") but has never seen the Sovereignty of God as it truly ought to be seen. It ought to make us stand back in awe of the true King of kings and Lord of lords. It ought to make us consider what we ought to be doing in light of such wisdom and power, what our position before God truly is.

Second, as far as despair goes, I've been there, and that was when I can remember spending the most time in prayer, and that was the preparation of my heart for the truth about my sin, judgment, and the cross of Christ. I am indebted to my Saviour for His revelation of Himself to me (He didn't have to do that, He could have just left me there.) It makes me wonder how many people surround me today who are in the same place of despair who I am not saying what my friend told me that put me on the path to the truth: "Sounds like you need to get your doctrine straightened out."

Even since I heard of Mother Theresa's struggle with the existence of God, I have been reminded that I am the vessel God has chosen to use (as others were in my life) to direct others toward the truth. He has gently replaced my fears of evangelizing with the courage to know the truth and speak it. To hold a light in the darkness where the Lord may have someone He's brought close enough to see it.