Yesterday, someone who works for a radio station in California saw my post How Can a Good God Allow Innocent Children to Be Murdered? Subsequently, I was invited on the program to talk about the subject.
Here are a 7 points I made in the radio interview:
1. When something tragic touches us, that’s when we notice and feel the pain. Incomprehensible atrocities have and are happening all over the world, including the murder of women and children. But when children are senselessly killed in the USA, we take notice. This is human nature.
2. Sometimes in the face of unspeakable wickedness the only appropriate response is silence. No words or explanations are adequate.
3. If you’re a Christian, this is an opportune time to share your faith when asked. Do a lot of listening. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” You’re being honest. Don’t be afraid to afford someone who is hurting a hug.
4. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.” When tragedy strikes or we’re starring death in the face via a funeral or the horrors of watching on our televisions what took place in Newtown, CT, we are forced to confront something most of us never think about. Our death. And this leads to questions about God.
5. To those who are angry at God and blame Him for such tragedies, consider this. Imagine that you are God right now. Snap your fingers and eradicate evil on the planet. You can do that because you’re God. So snap . . .
You’ve just annihilated every human being on the planet. Why? Because every mortal is capable of evil in some form. Every human is capable of harming others. In fact, every human past infancy has in one form or another hurt someone else. So you’ve just removed everyone. OR . . . you’ve turned everyone into robots whose wills you control. If you think that’s not a bad thing, watch the movie Ruby Sparks and you will see how removing someone’s will turns out. No. God allows humans the capacity and the choice to do evil, and He has an inimitable way of bringing good out of it. He has a gift for writing straight with crooked lines. The fact that He is sovereign and knows the beginning from the end is where the mystery lies. This brings us back to my illustration of the 2,000 page book I shared in a recent post.
6. The big elephant in the room that I hope this country will face and hammer out solutions for is how to help the mentally ill and those who show signs of being mentally deranged and disturbed. In virtually every case we know of where a mass murder took place, there were signs of mental disturbance. Most of those tragedies could have been averted.
7. Evil follows and confirms the biblical narrative. The first child to appear on this planet was a murderer (Cain killed his younger brother, Abel). Evil — which springs from selfishness — is in our genes and it came with the Fall of humanity when our ancestors disobeyed God. But God, in His mercy, sent a Savior. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. On the cross, Jesus experienced the blackness and horrors of torture, murder, and the death of the innocent. And on that cross He destroyed the power of evil and the authority of the evil one. Those who trust in Christ and follow Him are freed from its power. They will never taste death. Though they will “sleep,” they will rise again to immortality. And all things, both good and evil, work together for good for them because they love God and are called according to His purpose. So says Paul in Romans 8. This is good news.
Want to delve deeper?