Right of Reply: Derick Bingham
A Belfast pastor replies to remarks about God by Karen Armstrong, a former nun, in a recent interview
Thursday 04 March 1999
Thousands of prisoners had been forced to watch the hanging. Behind him Elie heard the same voice ask, "Where is God now?" Elie then states, "I heard a voice within me answer him: `Where is he? Here He is. He is hanging here on this gallows.'"
Elie spoke better than he knew. The whole Judaeo- Christian position has always been that God is not immune to pain. Is it not written that in the early days of Israel's frightening bondage in Egypt, "in all their distress he too was distressed"? The Christian position has always been that Christ is primarily known as the "Man of Sorrows".
Whatever view is taken of the Christian position, it cannot be denied that its historic and central message is God on a cross. In a world filled with suffering, how could we worship a God who is immune to it? The cross of Christ is God's only self-justification in a world such as ours. As Edward Shiletto wrote, when shattered by the carnage of the First World War, "But to our wounds only God's wounds can speak and not a god has wounds but Thou alone."
His suffering makes ours more manageable. This is the God of history and the Christian message is not that He died at Auschwitz but that He died at Calvary, and, at Easter, millions celebrate His Resurrection.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) leaked pictures show similarities to older model — but Apple is fixing the biggest issue of all
- 2 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 3 Alton Towers Air breaks down: 80 people stuck on broken down Monorail during heatwave
- 4 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 5 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Jessie Cave interview: Harry Potter's Lavender Brown has published a collection of feminist cartoons
Amy, film review: Beautiful film reveals ugly truth behind singer's downward spiral
'Dukes of Hazzard' pulled from screens by CBS as outcry over Confederate flag grows
London Has Fallen trailer release branded 'extremely insensitive' ahead of 10th anniversary of 7/7 bombings
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert