Archive for December 30, 2008
In my last post, I talked about how life on earth is one where you have to play by the rules. You can neither blame God nor give Him credit for every little thing, because actions have consequences and God does not continually change the rules of the game.
That, I think, is simply good Christian theology. But this common-sense thinking can also lead a step further–to the point where one says that things would make a lot more sense if you simply erased God from the picture.
Consider a natural disaster, for instance. A hurricane strikes a city, “steals” billions of dollars from the government, and indiscriminately ravages properties and kills dozens of people. CNN reports on the disaster and inevitably drags a grateful survivor in front of the camera who says, “I thank God that we survived. Our house is still intact and none of our family is hurt. He protected us.”
Well, what of those who didn’t survive? What of the houses that no longer exist? Did God really intervene with the hurricane and direct its path in such a manner that the house of this particular family was spared but the house of the next one wasn’t? It seems much more likely that God simply let the hurricane take its course.
If He did protect people, then it would be through a prompting from within to leave the city: through a prophetic gift such as Jesus’ Olivet Discourse that (if it’s not a later invention) warned Christians in the first century to get out of Jerusalem when they observed certain developments. But those who didn’t listen, those who stayed in Jerusalem between A.D. 68 and 70, had to suffer and starve with the rest.
Still easier, however, is to erase God completely from the picture. Natural disasters are a part of this world; some people chance to survive, others do not. There is no higher power to direct anything, as the continuous disasters on earth are so obviously indiscriminate. Their cruelty exceeds that of the most brutal dictator or terrorist, making no difference between male and female, young and old, innocent and guilty. The only ones spared by the disasters are those rich enough to evacuate at their leisure.
Where is God in all of this? It makes more sense to erase Him from the picture.