Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Q & A

I get asked a lot of hard questions and I wanted to answer one or two on this blog.

Q. If God were real, why would He let so many bad things happen to people, eg., torture/murder, the boy that was dragged/killed?

This is a great question; one which has been asked since the beginning of time by almost everyone, including Bible characters like Job, Habakkuk, David and James. I have written articles on the subject before and I’ll include them in my answer, but I think the simplest way to understand why God would allow so many bad things to happen is to see Him as a parent.

Why would parents ever let bad things happen to their kids? If we really loved them wouldn’t we keep them locked up safe in the house, or at least follow them around everywhere fixing their problems? Of course, any child who has been brought up by an overprotective parent knows that overprotection leads to immaturity and rebellion. God really has made us to be free and make choices for ourselves—that applies to the bad people as well as the good people. We live in a world that gives evidence of the choices we as humans have made.

Q. If God instilled in us the ability to make choices (for example, not believing in Him), then even if we don’t believe in Him, why doesn’t He still send us to heaven because He is supposed to love us unconditionally?

If I offer you a present (say a new dress) for Christmas and you choose not to take it, should I make you take it, and wear it? After all, if I loved you enough and the dress would look good on you, shouldn’t I force you to wear it even if you didn’t want to? I don’t think so.

Free will is free will. We have the right not to believe in God, but there are always consequences to our choices. If I, for example, do not believe in the government’s power to make laws, I could speed down the wrong side of the freeway at 100 KPH and kill someone. Run a red light or ignore any other caution or warning signs. When apprehended by a police officer I could just say, “Oh I don’t believe in the government or their laws, so they don’t apply to me!” What do you think he would say?

God created the universe to run by certain rules. I have the right to believe in the rule maker and the validity of His rules or not, but consequences will always follow the choices I make.

God made the world to function with Him at the centre, like the axle of a wheel. I can say, “No, I want to be at the centre of my own wheel!” God, because He loves us and values our choices, will say, “Okay, you can be at the centre of your own life, but you must understand that it won’t go the way I want and know is best for you. There will be consequences to your choice.”

A parent who does not allow his or her child to bear the consequences of his own decisions, does not love his child. True love disciplines a child by teaching that both obedience and disobedience have appropriate consequences. Unconditional love, like the father had for the prodigal son, never stops loving. A parent who loves unconditionally will continue to love his child whether he is on skid row, in prison or in a coffin. I can’t imagine how grieved Father God must be when we freely choose to rebel against Him, go our own way and forfeit the good gifts of love, forgiveness and acceptance He wants us to enjoy.

With God at the centre of our lives, every day is like Christmas as He showers us with blessings and rewards us for being obedient.


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