This song, an old hymn, really spoke to me this past Sunday. I meant to post it then, but I forgot. Ooops. So, here it is now:
Read the history behind this song carefully. Horatio Spafford suffered immense loss, first with the Great Chicago Fire and then the shipwreck of all four of his daughters. Despite this, he didn’t waver in his faith (as far as I know). He certainly would have been justified had he done so. He and his wife then became missionaries to Jerusalem. It would have been at his lowest point, passing the watery graves of his daughters, that he wrote “It is Well with my Soul.”
Contrast that with this:
I received a letter a month or so later telling me that they could not recommend me for ordination at this time. They did however, outline a process I should work through in order to clear up the issues in my life and with my theology. They provided a long list of books I should read and asked that I meet with Doughboy on a monthly basis for further counseling.
So let me vent for a moment.
I’m living in a town 10 miles from the church I once pastored and they want me to attend the sister church of that congregation because my choice to attend a Baptist church shows that I have unresolved theological questions. I drink wine on rare occasions and smoke a good cigar on a quarterly basis so I am obviously morally bankrupt. I can go out and spend $19.95 online to get ordained but these wind bags have decided I don’t meet their criteria.
Have I told you that I hate Christians. . . ?
I don’t really think it would have mattered what I said to them because what small minds these folks possessed were already made up before I arrived.
This is one of the episodes that cemented my position as highly critical and pessimistic about the Church. (source)
So, petty in-fighting and stupid inter-denominational bickering causes this guy, going by Slow Break, to lose his faith and resign his pastorate (elsewhere in the article, he’s clear about not being a Christian anymore). On the other hand, Horatio Spafford loses all his material goods followed closely by 2/3 of his family, but remains firm.
Obviously, Spafford had it rougher.
Though, in the interest of full disclosure, Slow Break is having a difficult time making a living since resigning his pastorate. He’s currently working in a crime-ridden part of town as a car salesman but can’t make any sales and so lacks two pennies to rub together. He admits this is a low point for him.
Some may fail to see the difference between Spafford and Slow Break, but there is a huge difference. The fix Slow Break finds himself in is his choice. He voluntarily resigned, and so far as I gather from the article, could have taken another church but refused. Spafford’s circumstances were a matter of events beyond his control, seeming to conspire against him.
What happened to the ex-pastor was his own doing. He chose to leave his post. He chose not to accept an alternative one. Spafford did not set the Chicago Fire. He did not pilot the opposing vessel which sank his daughters’ transport. God, however, was always in control of those things. Knowing this, Spafford muscled on and did not blame God for his troubles. He remained faithful to God, and God mightily used him in missionary work.
I wonder if Slow Break blames God for all his trouble?