God on Trial

Chuck Colson's BreakPoint from Monday deals with the topic of suffering. Here are the highlights (go here for the whole commentary):

God on Trial
He Suffers with Us
November 24, 2008

PBS stations around the country are currently running a deeply sobering film that is a must-see for people of faith. Called God on Trial, the film tells the story of a group of Jewish inmates at Auschwitz who don’t understand why God seems indifferent to their suffering. (Because of profanity, disturbing images, and other elements, the film is not suitable for children.)

The film begins on the “day of selection,” on which some of the prisoners are chosen for extermination to make room for more prisoners. As the chosen ones await their fate...A young man named Moche complains, “[God] should be here, not us. . . . We should put [Him] on trial; then maybe He’ll hear us.”

So the prisoners decide to bring a charge of “breach of contract” against God for breaking His covenant with the Jewish people. What follows is a compelling exploration of suffering, sin, and faith.

...The arguments are hard to hear and the film is very hard to watch. Not because we haven’t heard arguments against God before—many of us have been hearing them and debating them for years—but because we hear them in a situation like this, among men who have so much at stake. As one character remarks, appeals to reason mean little in a world that seems to be run by madness.

But this makes it all the more meaningful when, even though they cannot understand God, they realize how desperately they need Him. One young father who had his three little boys taken from him surprisingly speaks in favor of God: “I know He is here, even though I don’t understand Him. . . . Maybe God is suffering with us.” Even when they feel furthest from Him, God is embodied in the sacrificial love of some of the prisoners.

...I recommend that you watch the film if it airs on your local PBS station, or pick up a copy of the DVD, which will be released in January...