CHRISTIANS are commissioned to “comfort all that mourn”. (Isa. 61:2) But the clergy of Christendom’s orthodox religions do not bear the fruits that identify them as Christian comforters. For example, where is any solid comfort in the following statement that Catholic Jesuit Robert I. Gannon, ex-president of Fordham University, made to an audience of high school youths?—”Your generation has a different point of view. You were born into chaos. It is part of the providence of God that you, our sons and daughters who have to pick up the pieces of the modern age, should look on disorder and uncertainty as a normal condition to be faced without surprise or fear.”
Why should a Catholic priest say that it is God’s providence that we should view chaos and disorder as normal? Such hardly matches the scripture at 1 Corinthians 14:33, as translated by Monsignor Knox: “God is the author of peace, not of disorder.” After adults make a mess of things, of what comfort is it to tell youth “to pick up the pieces”? And if in the providence of God the messy disorder is normal, why tell youth to make it abnormal by picking up the pieces?
Gannon’s empty words will not forestall the fear Jesus said would come in these days, due to the chaos and disorder of our times: “Men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world.” (Luke 21:26, Dy) Jesus did not brush off this fear as normal and as “part of the providence of God”, but offered real comfort concerning it, showing that it and other abnormal conditions of the last days were due to Satan, and were forerunners to the final end of this old world and the beginning of Jehovah’s righteous new world.—Luke 21:28; Rev. 12:12; 21:1-5.
This abnormal dose of woes from Satan began when he was ousted from heaven in 1914 by the newly enthroned King, Christ Jesus, and it is noteworthy that the New York Sunday News, in reporting Gannon’s statement, said that the year before that heavenly event was the last normal year in history, as follows: “Today’s world is in a chaotic fix, what with old empires rocking crazily from the effects of the latest great war, and with U. S. Democracy, British Socialism and Russian Communism battling for the minds of mankind. Further, the world has been in more or less chaos for quite a while now. The last completely ‘normal’ year in history was 1913, the year before World War I began. . . . Where it all comes out, we haven’t a guess. Maybe the end, as some gloom merchants predict, will be an atomic suicide by the whole human race.”
When the faithful man Job was under assault by Satan because of integrity toward Jehovah God, he was visited by “three friends” who came “to comfort him”. (Job 2:11) But after listening to their supposed wisdom on the distressing circumstances in which he found himself, Job cried out: “Miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end?” Or, to give his words as rendered by the Catholic Douay translation of the Bible, “You are all troublesome comforters. Shall windy words have no end?” (Job 16:2, 3) Those who babble about these times as being normal and “part of the providence of God” are certainly “miserable comforters” and rate no higher value than that Job placed on his “three friends”.
True Christians can and do give real comfort to those that mourn, and who are meek enough to listen to God’s Word on the present perilous times in which we find ourselves. It is wrathful Satan that is authoring the chaotic and disordered conditions now, but the signs of the times indicate that soon he and his wicked world will meet their destruction, and in their stead will be Christ’s kingdom ruling over a cleansed earth of joyful men of good will. Then the providence of God will see to it that peace reigns. All may now take comfort in the fact that then, in both heaven and earth, God will be an “author of peace, not of disorder”.