Jan 142013
 

In light of the Sandy Hook Elementary horror, among the many questions we ask include ‘where was God‘, ‘how could someone do this‘, and ‘why‘. Why did God allow this? How could someone be so evil? Why is there evil? As if to know the answers to these questions will settle our hearts and minds, we seek an answer to why someone would commit such a horrific act. As if to finally have confirmation that there is no God, we question the Deity we are trying to deny: where was He?

The baby Christian says that we must have evil to know good and therefor, in order for there to be a loving God, there must be an opposite evil force. Absolute good cannot exist without absolute evil. Evil must be so that we can be free.

The Christian prays.

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

The Christian reads his bible fumbling through the pages to find any reference that will justify a baby slain. A life taken too soon is God calling his babies home; innocence lost is a part of God’s overall plan. Jesus wept.

Where was God?

Christians are using this tragedy to reinforce the idea that because God is constantly being pushed from our schools, He has abandoned us. They are reminded of the old testament accounts of Sodom and Gomorrah; God was displeased so God sent an angel down to destroy it. They insinuate that because we have turned our backs on God, so has He turned his back on us.

What scripture are they getting this from?

Would that make Adam Lanza an angel from God? God’s messenger fulfilling God’s will?

Where was God when so many died? Why would He weep when He alone had the power to stop such an injustice? That He didn’t makes Him unloving. That no miracle was performed means there is no God.

In thinking about our purpose here and whether or not we have free will, I found myself getting tangled up in the web of theory and ‘what ifs’; to me, if we had free will, we couldn’t possibly be working to an overall purpose or we are the effects of the first cause. Like dominoes, we fall into place because the one before us knocked us down, but in the end, we create this intricate picture that only the Creator knows. Yet are there not events in life where you must endure the bad to get to the good? That cannot be controlled by man alone due to the law of physics? The side effect of a good ending, perhaps, but to set life in motion and to push that first domino, what if God knew what we as man would do with the free will He chose to give us?

Does the fact that God allows the evil (a circumstance of free will, the first domino, and/or physics…) mean He has abandoned us? Is it only because some evils are more vile than others that we question His presence when we cannot fathom their existence?

Yet, doesn’t the Bible tell us that there will be a war of good and evil? That Jesus will return to defeat Satan? Until that day when He returns, are we not called to live in accordance with His will? Are we not called to love others, spread the Word, and pray?

I question God, yes; I question why and where. I question, but in my heart of hearts, I know God exists, He loves me, and He does not condone evil.

God does not condone evil.

The problem with semantics and wordplay is that the dissenters will use the idea that God allows evil to exist to say that God cannot do anything about it; to say that God is not as all-powerful as we claim Him to be. That is, rather, the dissenter says that because God cannot intervene due to allowing free will to persist, He is not all-powerful. If He is not all-powerful, He cannot be God.

Who are we to define God? The Bible says the we cannot even begin to fathom or understand His nature. And how can we even begin to think that we could? We are finite and He is infinite. We have finite knowledge and His is absolute. We are constrained by time and He is outside of it. How can we sit here and bottle up that which cannot be bottled?

Why do we contend that just because God is all-powerful, He would, nay, must stop evil? Just because something can happen, doesn’t mean it will happen.

Where was God? He was where He always has been: in the hearts of those who have asked to receive Him, in the hearts of the innocent, and on His throne welcoming His children home. He was everywhere and He was comforting the broken-hearted. We may have shunned Him from our classrooms, but we have no say in where He is: God is everywhere. Including the classrooms we attempt to keep Him out of.

Why is there evil?

The Christian says that in order to have an absolute Good, there must be an absolute Evil; there must always be an opposite. Why? Some don’t know, and others say in order to know or see the good. After all, how can we know that good is if we don’t know what evil is? Yet, how do we define good and evil? Are they not relative to the beholder?

Truly, good and evil is subjective; based more on emotion than an actual state, what one finds good may be evil to another. How then do we know that evil exists? Is it because we know that good exists; that an equal opposite must exist, so is the idea of evil? Yet, do we know good exists because evil exists? Which came first…chicken or the egg?

Regardless of which came first, when someone goes on a murderous rampage, it is hard to say that evil does not exist. But why is there evil?

Some Christians will tell you that evil exists so that you may call on Jesus; that evil exists so you may know what life without Christ is and turn to Him when you are in despair.

Seems a bit pushy of God. Manipulative almost.

I don’t think there is a real, definitive answer as to why evil exists. We can rationalize it out, but there will always be someone else who believes differently. Yet, when we are given the free will do as we please rather than what is pleasing to the Maker, in our finite perception of reality, we are bound to fall short. Perhaps evil is the by-product of free will.

 

**I have so much more I would like to say on the subject of free will and evil; stay tuned at a later date!

 

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