In response to Stephen Fry…

If you haven’t seen the video – here it is

I write this blog with complete understanding of Stephen’s strong views.
I’m no theologian with well backed up answers but here’s my small attempt at responding…just as a normal guy who has decided to follow Jesus.

Let me start by saying It’s all a bit like DIY – I hate DIY and I am rubbish at it.

If When making a wardrobe, you don’t follow instructions, you have the capability to destroy the wardrobe (I assure you, this is true!) One screw in the wrong place and from then on, the wardrobe is faulty. A mistake made on the bottom of the wardrobe may impact the opening of the doors. The wardrobe is permanently damaged.

God created a world that was perfect – but in our ignorance of his advice, we make errors that like the wardrobe, don’t just damage human beings but the whole of creation itself.

Therefore we live in a world that isn’t how God designed it. The world is damaged. Creation is fallen. Evil has found a way in.

God didn’t create us as robots, we have the capability and empowered to make decisions ourselves. This was perhaps the most unselfish thing he could have done.

So Is God sitting back and smiling at us suffering? Not at all.

God’s heart is broken by the children with cancer, his heart is broken by the suffering in the world, after all, like you and me, those who suffer are his children too.

But he promises us a hope – that at the end of time, when he reveals himself again to all creation, he will restore all things and wipe every bit of suffering away.
The reward for those who trust in him will be an eternal life with this God of love, a celebration that is ‘out of this world’.

Still got questions – of course you do. Me too! Feel free to post below but please keep comments respectful and friendly. 🙂


About laughingwithtom

Tom Elliott is a Christian Communicator who is passionate about introducing people to Jesus. Tom is also a credible and experienced Comedian, Magician, Speaker and writer, with a heart to use his gifts for the extension of Gods Kingdom. He has travelled extensively throughout the UK and abroad, whilst also being on the leadership team of his home church in Gloucestershire. Tom has been mentored by some of the UK’s most influential evangelists including J.John, Steve Legg, Mark Greenwood, Mark Ritchie, Matt Summerfield, Barry Woodward and more. Through his acclaimed show, Tom captures the attention of non believers through quality entertainment and as a result has been able to share his faith on TV, Radio, Online, in schools, churches & theatres reaching thousands of people with the Gospel. Tom has also taken his work to many large scale events and Festivals such as ‘New Wine’, ‘Detling,’ ‘Gorsley’, ‘Greenbelt’ and ‘Spring Harvest’ Tom is honoured to be an Ambassador for the international Christian charity ‘Compassion’ who work to change lives in over 26 countries that suffer extreme poverty. Toms desire is to see all people take hold of Jesus’ promise of life to the full. On stage and off stage, Tom’s passion for this fulfilment of life is contagious. Tom has been personally trained by expert entertainers and in 2013, Tom contributed to a book titled ‘Does God LOL’ alongside some of the biggest names in comedy, to raise money for national charity, ‘Mary’s Meals’. This book is now available in many good book stores.
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7 Responses to In response to Stephen Fry…

  1. paintingman says:

    I would not say ” that isn’t how God designed it.” because clearly God designed the world with the capability to go badly as well as to go well.
    I would say ” that isn’t how God wanted it ” because he wanted people to follow the instructions which were (initially at least) exceedingly simple.
    I do have personal theory that at the time of “the fall” when the ground was cursed the laws of the universe changed and that disease, disasters, (both natural and man-made) including all the stuff that Stephen Fry mentions (as well as the death specifically promised) began at that moment in time.

  2. Andy Gray says:

    Here’s a simple theologian answer. Which I’m supposed to be, apparently. Yet I got this first from a 10 year old many,many moons ago. First up, don’t try too hard to unpick the creation story with Adam and Eve. It’s too complex. It’s a myth, yet not the way you think of it. Let me explain.

    A fairy story is made up. Possibly with a moral lesson. It’s a folk tale
    A legend is based somewhere on some incident that has an historical fact. It’s manipulated into a folk tale in the telling which emphasises the moral lesson, yet has something to aspire to beyond ourselves.

    History we think is a true account, and yet that ‘history is written by the victors’ is never more true.

    Modern history is not as scientific as we like to think. When we look at ancient history of New Testament times, and not just the bible, it heads towards recording the facts, with appropriate hyperbole and elaborations and adaptions, to emphasise the underlying truth of the historical event.

    Theological history has the underlying truth of theology. What is recorded is not a lie, or made up, but told in a way to help you get at the meaning.

    Myth is the tapestry which takes all of these….legend, theological ancient history and writes it in a narratable way such that it stirs the imagination. To modern uneducated minds ancient history has little worth since it is less scientific in its approach, portrays an opinion, which, since it is theological, to atheistic opinion is undermined by having a theological agenda.

    It’s not though, it’s just very complex. You can’t say Adam and Eve really had one woman and one man, since even their names have a broader theological mythological meaning. And of course they weren’t the only humans (see Cain sent to the land of Nod)

    You can’t separate fact and folk from theology and legend or even fact. Pull one thread and even the beauty of the story in itself unravels. Purpose is the key thing.

    So the purpose of those early narratives are to describe a creators relationship with his creation; a particular relationship with a particular part of that creation; the role of that particular part of creation; the love of creator for creation; and that uniquely odd thing which as far as we know only humans enjoy, free will.

    It’s love and free will that’s often ignored in the mess of arguing the validity of the account.

    It’s as simple to understand as this: love is giving someone the choice to say, ‘no’. God wanted his in pinnacle of creation to be made in his image. God is love. For a human to love they must be given the choice aka free will.

    Whilst in the ‘garden’ ‘Adam and ‘eve’ (speech marks used to recognise that this is that magical myth I was talking about) were allowed to eat from the tree of eternal life. Aka they were with God. Who gives life. Since all things have a decay rate, it is only the sustaining and renewing power of God which could have achieved this. See, myth…not some magical fruit. Moreover, this answers Stevens challenge that God created an evil fly. God creates a fly which would likely have no effect on a human being were that human being still connected to the power of eternity. Steven didn’t ask the question what roll the fly has in the rest of creation. Take that hated creature the English stinging wasp….it clears away rubbish. Nature and evolution have a place too. Authored by. God. Not a God who sets it spinning, then steps back, yet a creation that works together.

    Again, bone cancer. It is simply another result of a creation that no longer is accessing the continual creative essence of the creator. A plant starved of sunlight will die, even though it draws nutrients from the soil. Separation from God starves us from true life.

    Back to the plot…

    The second tree is of knowledge. Unity with God and consequently access to eternity and eternal life relies on being connected with God. It wasn’t God was denying knowledge, so much as the myth is talking about absolutes. Knowledge is beyond being clever, it is self awareness and responsibility for ones own actions. Knowledge is not evil (throughout scripture knowledge is praised, as is wisdom).

    Note….you can eat of the tree of life, not of knowledge.

    So the knowledge is absolute. So is Gods love. And he wants that love to be in us. The absolute What is the ultimate act of free will? To choose between absolutes. That allows us the ultimate capacity to love.

    So God offers a choice….a choice to leave. This has been the feature of so many love songs….and it the focus of this song of love in the first chapters of the bible.

    If you think about it long enough, you realise that had ‘Adam’ not eaten the ‘fruit of the tree’ then he would not have gained knowledge, self reflection, nor that capacity to love. Or of course, to hate. Aka, evil. Because love’s antithetical free will expression is hate.

    That then separates humans from the eternal sustenance provided by God. In other words, for us to grasp the fullness of our human capacity created in the image of God which is to love, it was inevitable that we would have to fall from grace. Some theologians see the fall as a waking up of humanity.

    What a mess! Yet, as Tom says, God doesn’t leave us that way. Because the capacity towards evil separates all of creation from the continual sustenance of God. You can’t mix holiness of God with the corruption of evil.

    We can’t make our way back to. God because the capacity toward evil persists.

    So God must do that. How must provide the route back. Once more it comes to free will. But now a different free will. A free will to choose God…to return rather than to leave.

    Jesus is the only one to ever achieve this.

    Now, I’m not going to go into that one because I’m already at essay length for you! But it works, and we find our way back to God through, Jesus, and there is no other way.

    But perhaps I’ve answered, theologically at least, the origin of evil.

    • Thomas Doubt says:

      would you care to answer this. I see that the fly has purpose and it would not eat the childs eye if we were still “with God” however why does god let “that child” get eaten why the inocent little child that caused no evil in the world. to what gain has humanity grown. becaust “that child” got ate or got bone cancer. natural selection survuval of the fittest. surly thats not gods way.

    • thomasdoubt says:

      Ok I get we are not “with God” as intended so bad happens ie the fly eats the child’s eye. But why “that child” why did god LET “that child” get its eye eaten. The child is innocent did no harm but god let that child get hurt. Why natural selection survival of the fittest surely not God’s way. Or even still why “my child” why let my child have bone cancer. The sins of the father? Surely not I cannot take the easy answer of we don’t know what God intends of that misery it’s for good somewhere. He let “my child ” get bone cancer. How did he choose.

  3. thomasdoubt says:

    Ok I get we are not “with God” as intended so bad happens ie the fly eats the child’s eye. But why “that child” why did god LET “that child” get its eye eaten. The child is innocent did no harm but god let that child get hurt. Why natural selection survival of the fittest surely not God’s way. Or even still why “my child” why let my child have bone cancer. The sins of the father? Surely not I cannot take the easy answer of we don’t know what God intends of that misery it’s for good somewhere. He let “my child ” get bone cancer. How did he choose.

  4. Terry Lawton says:

    Sad that Stephen Fry thinks the world would be perfect without God..Is his life perfect? Is he a role model for anyone at all? Sure he can make us laught but come of his misery is from his own life style. I was saddened when BBC news congratulated him on his engagement to a young man. A columnist in the Daily Mail said that if it had been a girl, he would have been called a ‘dirty old man’. No God did not create the world evil, it was all good, but the fall and people have added to it. yes even Stephen Fry and me. But God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to forgive us and renew us. Praise the Lord
    Terry Lawton

    • thomasdoubt says:

      hmm Stephen Fry has a mental illness called bi polar disorder. this is the source of his misery. The comments about god are his personal thoughts and i must admit as a christian i to have such thoughts and questions. Are you saying god has given him bi polar because of his homosexuality thus giving him his “misery” if god did then surly Stephen has a point God is not very nice. that’s not the god i am taught about the God of grace and forgiveness.

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