Friday, March 28, 2014

Was it God's fault?

When the mudslide occurred in Washington State a couple of weeks ago, which killed 17 people as of this morning, there were probably many who were tempted to blame God or at least wonder why God would have allowed such a destructive force to act upon people He loves. This discussion is not helped by the terminology “act of God” whenever something like a hurricane, tornado, flood, or mudslide occurs.

When God created the world, He proclaimed His creation “good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). However, it was not very long until sin entered the world through Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-7). When sin entered the world, the world was cursed (Genesis 3:17-18). So all the problems on the earth can eventually be traced back to the result of sin, not the uncaring attitude of God.

But God can use the bad events in people’s lives to bring about His ultimate purposes. For instance, one purpose of suffering in history has been that it leads to repentance. Only after suffering, only after disaster, did Israel, do nations, do individuals turn back to God. It is an unfortunate fact that humans often only learn the hard way.

If God were to use force to prevent evil, He would take away freedom. To prevent all evil, one must remove all freedom and reduce people to puppets, which means they would then lack the ability to love and desire God. All suffering contains at least the opportunity for good. But not everyone actualizes that potential. Not all of us learn and benefit from suffering; that is where free will enters the picture. Don't blame God for evil -- it's not His fault. Instead, lean on Him for strength and resiliency.

Kyle Campbell


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