Search This Blog

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Let's Blame God

There are serious tragedies each day. Some make the national headlines, of course, some don't. The tragedies are just as severe to those who are personally involved. We mark those determined to be national tragedies. We even date them as if time begins after the tragedy.

Then, someone says that they can't believe in God because of the tragedy. They say that He should have stopped it before it ever happened. He should have saved their loved ones. He should have been there when they needed Him. If not, then, they have no belief in Him.

Let's be honest. These people didn't really believe in Him before. They just left the door open in case He was around. They thought that He would be pleased that they didn't disbelieve in Him. Now, they want to deny He exists because He didn't do what they wanted. They believe in Him enough to try to hurt Him for not saving what they held as precious.

Of course, people do and feel things in extreme pain that they wouldn't do otherwise. God is quite willing to endure this. He is patient toward us. His love never ends.

So, the deeply hurt people don't bother me. It's the bystanders who want to blame God for the tragedy. They claim that He must be indifferent and somehow blame Him for the tragedy. They lose someone special to themselves and blame God for allowing it to happen or for "taking" them away. They ignore the evil in the world already. They do not know what drives it.

Paul wrote that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. It isn't the terrorist or the mass murderer or the crazy person who shoots people at random but the evil that exists in the demonic forces that roam this earth. Peter said that the devil roams the earth like a prowling lion just looking for someone to devour. Why are we blaming God for evil when the evil one is right in front of us?

That is why Paul told us to put on the full armor of God. God is the One who will protect us and give us victory. He is on the good side. Remember that the next time someone says that they blame God for some evil that comes. God didn't bring the evil. He brought the good.

Ephesians 6:10-13 (ESV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.


Anthony Chia said...

Poor God! Maybe, someone should champion the stopping of the use of the term, “act of God”, in insurance policies. The term does NOT necessarily have any connotation or suggestion that something bad like a disaster has happened is the work of the Almighty God. This is what act of God means:

“An act of God is a legal term for events outside human control, such as sudden floods or other natural disasters, for which no one can be held responsible.”

I am NOT saying that God cannot be punishing people, or punishing people in their current lives. Does Scripture suggest God could be punishing people at the End of Time? Yes, Scripture talked about the Judgment Day, and the punishment that would be meted out to certain categories of people. Does it also suggest God could be punishing people in their current lives? The OT is with examples of punishment by God against people in their current lives, some with death even. Even the ground could open up to swallow up people - the punishment meted out in the Korah Rebellion, for example.

I have done some research into the Word in the area of punishment (more particularly, in connection to, if sickness can be punishment from God, but the conclusion, I believe, cover other such areas as calamities or disasters).

Punishment of God can be divided into 2 kinds: (1) Punishment in finality. The punishment following Judgment Day would be such a kind of punishment. Korah and his cohorts who rebelled against Aaron and Moses got a punishment in finality, in the sense that they died swallowed up by the ground; and (2) Punishment in chastisement. This is the punishment meant to reform people, to cause people to come to their senses, so that they may repent.

There is no unambiguous verse in Scripture saying that God will never punish people in finality (like death to them), in this NT era. At the same time, there is also no suggestion in Scripture that God is going to up the frequency of His punishment in finality of the kind that people have to die (In any case, Scripture lets us know that there is no evil in God, and so, there just cannot be any injustice if there is indeed any punishment meted in people’s current lives, causing them to lose their lives). Rather, we do find Scripture saying God is patient and desiring none to perish, but that as many as possible, may come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9, for example).

If people have NOT come to repentance, and they die, they would perish; and so, while Scripture does NOT say God can no longer be punishing people in finality, and so, He still can do so (in His sovereignty, He could do anything, except if He has promised, absolutely), it is reasonable to conclude there is perhaps, for the NT era, a refrain on the part of God to punish people in finality in their current lives, like causing them to die. So, unless God said it point-blank in our face that He has caused the calamity or disaster that took lives, really, we must NOT allege that God has caused it, or that we can blame God for it. An important thing to realise is that, that God did NOT stop a calamity or disaster does NOT mean He caused it or that He is to be blame.

For example, for Hurricane Katrina of 2005 (took over 1,800 human lives), several Christian “heavyweights” and politicians (and others) suggested that it was God’s punishment; so much so it is documented on Wikipedia even up to today, that suggestion - that God caused it! The 2010 Haiti earthquake too, there were people who suggested it was God’s punishment. Whether God caused it or NOT, I do NOT know, but I know I was given an inner witness to pray for that Haiti case after the quake had happened, and I received healing in my own body even as I prayed for the aftermath of the quake!

We have to be responsible, and NOT hold God’s name in vain or insinuate He did something like causing calamity or disaster, when we did NOT hear it from God. From the episode of Moses at the Waters of Meribah, we can know that God takes a serious view of insinuation that He is NOT holy or wicked. So, be warned.


Anthony Chia said...

cont. from above

Perhaps, few would publicly allege God of punishing in finality, like the kind that causes death, but it is possible that many would blame God for somehow NOT preventing the calamity or disaster to happen (after all He does have the power to do or stop anything), or saving their loved ones from death in the event. This is regardless the deaths are deaths of ones who are non-believers or believers. For non-believers who are one’s loved ones, the anger could be “God let my loved ones be lost forever, since they have now died, and so, would never be able to enter into salvation”. For the death of believers, the resentment could be “How could God let them die, so innocently?!” But where in Scripture did it say that God has to make sure no one dies or that everyone has to live to the same age of 100? 200? Or 300?!

I have a church friend (a ministry serving guy) who died several years ago at the age of 52; today, I just turned 53 (a couple of days ago), so it was NOT fair to my friend, or his wife and children could have and continue to have the right to hate God for the “early” demise of that beloved of theirs?!

I lost my marriage of 18 years on ground of irreconcilable differences, and my children, their complete home, several years back; I should hate God for it? My children (should hate), too? Why couldn’t God prevent it, the marriage, from being put asunder by mother of the children?! Surely this (the marriage) was important enough!

I still see the wife and the children of my late friend in church; they did NOT stop worshipping God. My children and I did NOT stop going to church. It was a tragedy for me, and my children, this divorce, and it was a thing went wrong, but God made lemon juice when thing turned sour; that’s how I see it, at least for myself. I resumed ministry with God, touching more lives in a span of say, 7 months, than 17 years!
It was painful, and really, really difficult, that break-up. Just to give a measure of how bad it was, I had to hug my Bible to my chest, in the nights, just so that I could get to sleep. Could I hate God? But God was NOT the culprit. In fact, God was the only one I could turn to; and turn to Him, I did. And out of the sour thing, He made lemon juice for me, and for many others; according to Scripture (Romans 8:28), those who love God or are called according to His purpose, they can expect God to, in all things, work things for their good.

I tell people to do this, for the case of sickness; where the person thinks that God might have been the one who inflicted him/her the sickness: Ask God if He did do it, and if you have asked enough and you get no answer that He inflicted you; move on, and stop blaming God and stop acquiescing with the sickness. The same can be suggested to believers caught in calamity and disaster where loved ones were lost – you ask God, and after enough asking and He does NOT say, He did it, move on, and stop blaming God, and stop staying in grief. Leave the dead, you are still alive, move on. The dead are gone, but you are still here, and you can, with the help of God, continue to live a meaningful life.


Anthony Chia said...

cont. from above

Many years back, my father was stricken with cancer; he was in his 70s. Did I want him to be well again, then? Yes, of course. But it was NOT to be; He died very quickly after being diagnosed with the cancer. But the beautiful thing was that He accepted Jesus when he was hospitalised. My mother is now in her 80s; she was already a believer before her husband got cancer and died. She outlived her husband for so many years now, but she was NOT bitter, and I was NOT bitter that God did NOT miraculously heal my dad, when I was and still is one who believes in God can and does work miracles, including healing. Today, I move a little in the healing anointing, and pray and minister to the sick. Had I been bitter against God from my dad’s death from cancer or from my marriage breakup, I do NOT think that I could reach this season of being a lay healing minister of the Lord, where the Lord has grown people’s legs before my very eyes, as I prayed for their condition.

If God is NOT the culprit and is NOT to be blame, what or who is?

The fallen state of the world is. Satan and his minions are. Soon enough, after the Fall of Man, tragedy struck! The first children of Man, Cain and Able; Cain murdered his own brother, Able; was that tragedy or NOT! And history nearly repeated itself, for the pair of Esau and Jacob; even in the mother’s womb, something “went wrong”. Esau somehow came out first, and so, was with the firstborn birth-right, and Jacob would subsequently tricked Esau of that right, and had NOT God informed the mother, Rebecca, of the coming rivalry between the siblings, Jacob could have been killed by Esau. In fact, later in life, when the brothers were to meet, Jacob was still fearing that Esau might want to kill him still. Things did and do go wrong in the world, from the Fall.

Satan was the culprit behind all of the bad things. The bad is either coming through from the fallen state of the world (The Fall was the works of Satan, as the ancient serpent) or directly from continual work from Satan and his minions. Scripture has been clear that even if one becomes a believer, troubles can still hit him. Jesus said in John 16:33 that in this world we, believers, will have troubles.

But He also said that we are to take heart that He, Jesus, had overcome the world, meaning, in Him, we can weather through the troubles in the world.
Scripture teaches us how to face the troubles of life, and how NOT to be devoured by Satan and his minions. But first we have to get past the deception and lie of the Devil that suggests to you to either hold God as the culprit or to blame Him. God is the “good guy”, but the bad guy. Scripture said that all good things come from the Father of light (the holy Father God), and He is trustworthy.

Even if it means death, we are to trust God that if we do NOT deny Him, He will NOT deny us. When you hold in your heart, “Because this or that happens, I will no longer look up to you”, you are denying Him; don’t do that.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Anthony Chia said...

Sorry, the 2nd last para. The line "God is the good guy, but the bad guy" should read as "God is the good guy, NOT the bad guy"

Anthony Chia