Evil boldly manifested again in the public square gives rise to the age-old question: How can a good God allow such bad things to happen? ♦
So it’s happening again. More bad things in a dark world, as they have happened all through human history. But once again unfathomable evil and a demonstration of man’s inhumanity to man played out in supposedly safe confines and environs of a civilized society. No, Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore. And things will never be the same again in Oklahoma, London, Madrid, New York, Colorado, Connecticut, and now Massachusetts. The light has been overwhelmed by the dark and now runs in a confused haze looking for understanding, prevention, soothing, vengeance, reasons, assurance and hope. And answers to the timeless question: How can a good God allow such bad things to happen?
Check Your Worldview
If you struggle with the question, the answer is in your own perspective. While this sensitive and laden topic has been broached through previous posts: Habakkuk’s Question (1/4/13) and Job – the Book No One Finishes (3/16/13), it really comes down to one’s worldview or set of assumptions that make up a personal outlook on the nature of the world and how to live and operate in that world. We all have it whether we recognize it or can articulate it.
Your worldview is based on how you see answers to 5 key questions about life: 1) Who or what is God? 2) Who am I in context? 3) What is right and wrong? 4) What happens when I die? 5) What is truth? Your answers will dictate whether you have a Christian or else a non-Biblical worldview as summarized in these broad categories:
- Secular Naturalism – Undirected evolution. God doesn’t exist and physical matter is all there is. Worldly utopian ideology.
- New Age Pantheism – “All is one, one is all, and all is God.” Hinduism and Buddhism share elements here. The New Age movement was a Western adaptation of this thinking.
- Islam – We are created not in image of God, no original sin, no grace, subject to will of Allah, under submission to Allah.
- Eastern Polytheism – There are many gods, goddesses and spirits that we must cater to and please to have a good life. This can be found in Hinduism and offshoots of New Age spiritualism.
- Postmodern Relativism – “What ever works for you” or “Can there be any one system containing all truth?” This thinking is found in secular humanism and postmodernism. The Boston Marathon bombing (and all terrorism) is a tragedy – why can’t we all just get along?
So here it is. The Christian uses the Bible to answer all the worldview questions. There is only one God, who is supreme and sovereign. While He is transcendent – above and beyond us, He is also immanent – right here among us at the same time. He created it all – the universe and the world in which we live. He is eternal, nothing else is.
His crowning creative achievement was humankind; namely, us – we are made in God’s image. When we die we will either go to be with Him or be separated from Him forever. Because our inborn sin nature (see book of Genesis) separates us from Him, out of love for His creation God intervened in human history sending His Son (Jesus) – a part of Himself – to redeem and justify us (see book of Romans).
We can know God through two forms of revelation – the created order of His universe and special revelation via the Scriptures (Bible). We can know right from wrong. Moral truth, in particular, is absolute because God has pronounced it so in the Scriptures. We need to understand God’s statutes and His Word because we can be deceived by other people and by Satan, who “masquerades as an angel of light” (see 2 Corinthian and Ephesians). Finally, the Bible teaches that history is linear. It has a beginning, it’s going toward a goal and it will come to an end planned by God. Human history is trackable and fascinatingly aligned with Scripture, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
So What Happened in Boston?
Islamic fundamentalists, fallen men (and we are all fallen and require a Savior), operated outside of God’s scriptural defined moral truths and absolutes and murdered innocents. Crime is to be punished. These men, not knowing the one true God, the God of Abraham (see Genesis) who has been revealed to all of us, exchanged His truth for a lie and were deceived by a false religion and worldview. Yet there is love, as He first loved us, and there is hope, and with repentance there is forgiveness of sins and redemption through a God who created it all and will restore it back someday to perfection as it was in the beginning.
In the meantime, know and love the Sovereign Lord God and your fellow man as yourself.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as your self.” – Matthew 22:37-38
Categories: Evil, Faith, Forgiveness, Suffering, Theology
Even with the right worldview, sometimes the sorrows of this world are still difficult to understand. Thanks for sharing these insights and I hope it helps some who are searching and working through difficult questions.
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