Fascinating is one of the those very hollow words which can be an extreme positive or extreme negative as was the case with Bill La Valley’s letter to the editor or Reader’s React section in the Los Angeles Times.
Fascinating was the the second word in his letter and he used it to describe pastor Ryan Bell’s one year departure from worshiping God. I rather believe Billy did not want to say Ryan’s choice to cross the road sucked(negative connotation of fascinating), so he used the “neutral word” fascinating kinda like when today’s youth opt for the adjective crazy to mean good or bad.
People like Bill La Valley want the world to be black or white when that is actually far from the case. He does not grasp the possibility that there is no God and when you die that lights just go out which is the most likely outcome. Bill La Valley believes that a man was dead for three days and then came back to life. There is more pain, suffering, and unhappiness in the world than joy, good health, and hope. There is no room for a loving God in the world. Bill La Valley and his kind are living a delusion and are dumbfounded when non-believers question the magic and miracles in which they believe. The World has always been divided on the existence of a God and always will be.
It’s fascinating to read about former Seventh-day Adventist pastor Ryan Bell, who wants to challenge his faith by experiencing life without religious practices. (“Ex-Seventh-day Adventist pastor takes a yearlong timeout from God,” Dec. 22)
It seems that many people want to cast the decision of whether to have faith as a proposition between a God who should take responsibility for all the unhappiness and suffering in the world and no God at all. I’m not sure that’s a fair test for God to have to meet, and that may be what leads to a crisis of faith.
There’s always a middle path that people with black-and-white views may see as unworthy of further contemplation. It is worthwhile to understand faith in less severe terms and just be open to the moments when you can see God working in your life.
I wish Bell all the best in his journey.
Bill La Valley, Cypress