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“Why did God allow this to happen?”

Yeah, it’s a dreaded question for me, or at least has been. That is a tough question to answer when talking with a friend who is suffering.

While hunting recently I had a long opportunity to ponder. One of the things I like about hunting is that it gives me a lot of time to think and reflect on God while in nature. (For the record, I was bow hunting.) Sitting there, still, my thoughts returned to above question and ideas about God seemed to fall into place for my answer.

God allows everything to happen. God allows your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe. God allows children to laugh and grow. God allows life He created to exist. God also, through infinite love, allows sin. This sin, the separation from God, is what causes the pain, the suffering, the loss.

So yes, God does allow our situations, but did not intend for us to experience pain – that was and is our own choice. 

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” -unknown

My first answer was to fly. Then I thought how shallow that was and have yet to come up with an answer.

I deserve a raise. I deserve to have a good job. I deserve to have a good family. I deserve to speed ahead and swerve back into traffic right before the lane ends. I don’t deserve the results of my bad decisions.

We as humans feel that we are entitled to benefits because of who we are. The thing is, as sinners there is only one thing that we deserve.

Feeling entitled can manifest itself when bad things happen to us. When they do, have you ever asked, “Why did this happen to me?” or said, “I don’t deserve this.”? Often God is thrown into this line of questioning. “Why did God let this happen to me?” What’s terrible is that the typical religious or non-religious answer is, “That’s just God’s will.”

While on the surface it provides a sense of comfort that God is in control, and God always is. By carelessly blaming God for an incident isn’t accurate and can ascribe false attributes to God. One of my favorite books, The Will of God, addresses this and how the term, “the Will of God” is thrown around carelessly.

An example of what I’m talking about….*(in the part below, this example is carried out)

When a young child dies of cancer and in comforting the parents, they are told, “it must have been God’s Will” – what does that tell the parents? Does it say that God killed their child? It is inside God’s Will only that God set the laws of nature and physics in motion but God did not cause that child to die. Man’s sin caused that child to die. Not the sin of their parents, but the natural sin of mankind. Cancer didn’t exist in God’s intended world. Sin was brought about by Adam and Eve. Yes, God allowed it.

Therefore, Dr. Weatherhead in The Will of God, suggests three “Wills of God.”

  1. The Intended Will of God – this is what God intends. God created man to commune with Him. Some choose not to. God intended Jesus to come to earth and be accepted.

*Children aren’t supposed to die; disease isn’t supposed to exist.

  1. The Circumstantial Will of God – this is God’s will inside the sinful earth. This is God allows us to make choices. Acceptance of Jesus without a choice isn’t acceptance. Since there is sin, this is what will happen. Jesus came to earth and was crucified.

*Disease was introduced after the fall of man

  1. The Ultimate Will of God – this cannot be thwarted. God’s purpose for Jesus on earth was to provide atonement for sins so we could go to Heaven. That happened.

*We have the opportunity to commune and live with God.

Tonight I’m watching “planet earth” on the Discovery Channel. OK, it’s awesome. God created an earth that is amazing in so many ways. The folks at Discovery did a phenomenal job capturing all of this on film.

As I watch how every animal is perfectly adapted to its environment and perfectly designed to do what it’s designed to do, I think of us humans. Examples: sharks are the perfect aquatic predator; penguins survive 100-mile-per-hour winds in sub-zero temperatures; and a snow-shoe rabbit that has enlarged feet to walk on top of snow and the fact that it changes from white to brown when the snow melts, then back to white again.

Back to humans. I’m convinced that we are the weakest link in the chain. If we didn’t have opposable thumbs and the ability to reason, we’d be food. These things allow us to adapt our environment to fit our needs – a great benefit, but one that comes at a cost if we are not responsible in how we take from mother earth.

Which brings me to ask, what is it that humans are designed to do. It can’t be to deplete the earth’s resources. It is to seek God, learn God and commune with God. How well do you do what you were designed to do?

There are so many areas of earth we have not explored. In fact, in the ocean depths there are things we don’t know that exist yet. If pollution and human’s impact on God’s earth continue the way it has been, we may well destroy the cure for cancer before we find it. I have watched National Geographic Channel’s Borneo show and it is amazing. The filming of this show produced the finding of this new clouded leopard. Read the story at yahoo or find more information on national geographic channel.

We need to be steward’s of the earth God gave us. Check out ways at the Christian Life Commission. One of my favorite movie quotes takes place in the movie, The Matrix.
When agent Smith says, “I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”

Reduce waste. Reuse items. Recycle. Decrease your carbon footprint.

I’ve received questions asking, “What is a ‘moderate Christian?’” First, let me separate the two words because it is not moderately being a Christian, but being a Christian who has a moderate or middle of the road or sitting on fences world view.

We hear so much from the “Christian Right” (which by the way is neither in my opinion) and how they are judging, excluding and overlooking the very people Christians are to serve as evidenced in Jesus’ life on earth. We hear so much from them because they are trying to take over the political system to further their power and beliefs. I’m all for sharing my beliefs, but not forcing them. “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words,” St Francis of Assisi.

Now, what it means – according to me. I grew up Baptist and still hold Baptist beliefs (while attending a Methodist church because that is where my wife and I feel God wants us to be). Many of the following thoughts are traditional, unchanged Baptist doctrine – not the creeds some want to sign and enforce.

Jesus Christ – born of a virgin, died, rose and lives.

Priesthood of the Believer – I believe that every person has a connection with God through prayer. Jesus and the Holy Spirit enable this link.

The Bible – God’s revelation of Himself to us. God used divinely inspired men to write it.

Meeting human needs – we are called to minister to those who need help.

Sanctity of human life – I am for life. I also think the government shouldn’t tell people what to do on a personal level.

Creationism – How God did it be it through big bang, evolution, whatever doesn’t matter. Interesting discussion and learning about science but that initial spark, the action that set it all in motion came from God.

Environmentalism – God created the world. We are earth’s stewards and must take care of what God has given us responsibly.

Life – there are so many applications here that it could fill pages. Wine and alcoholic beverages – drink them if you want to, just don’t get drunk or lose control of yourself.

Freedom of religion – the government shall make no law prohibiting or enforcing a religion.

Worship – worshipping God can happen anywhere at anytime. You don’t have to be in a specific location, just a specific state of mind.

Love – God loves all his creations more than we can imagine.

Grace – God’s grace is freely available to all who ask through Jesus.

The above post also now appears under the “defined” link above.