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Saturday, May 8, 2010

How can God let bad things happen?

A friend inspired me to raise a question: do you see any conflict in this reasoning?

God is all powerful, but He doesn't ALLOW bad things to happen to us; they just do.
This friend is one of many people in my life who feel this way.  A minister, in fact, reprimanded me in front of the entire women's ministry for believing God allows bad things to happen.  I was alone in my beliefs that night, with 15-20 church ladies staring at me in horror and disbelief.
I get uncomfortable when Christians argue that God isn't responsible for bad things because that means they don't believe He is in complete control, regardless of how much they argue they do.  The problem is people don't want to believe God would allow bad things to happen.  I understand that; it's in conflict with the idea of a loving God.  However, I feel much better knowing He allowed something to happen to me than thinking bad things just come along.  At least I know he preselected my bad thing knowing I could handle it.  What's more, how could we possibly appreciate God's mercy and grace or even acknowledge that we need God if nothing bad ever happened?
I speak nowhere near as eloquently on this topic as my friend, Jen, so I encourage you to visit her blog and read her take on the matter.
Itsy Bitsy Family: How can God let bad things happen?
Life: God dishes it out, so I have to trust Him with my portion.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure if it helps, but in the past, I have found comfort in some of John Polkinghorne's insights on this topic (as well as some I found in Francis S. Collins' book The Language of God).

    Thoughts which, as I understand, mean that God can interact with the world, but constantly interfering with the laws of the natural world would drop the world into chaos (not to mention disrupt the concept of free will entirely). At least, that's what I understand.

    To me, in a way, God "allows" bad things AND bad things also happen "because they just do" (following the rules that govern the whole process of being alive/having a finite existence/experiencing linear time, and having free will). Both positions (i.e. God allows bad things, and bad things just happen) would appear to be correct--keeping in mind the rules set in place.

    I hope that helps and makes some sense. It helped me.