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In response to the question: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
(originally posted on www.theprodigalmovement.com)
To put my perspective into this issue, I think a lot of the evil in this world really does boil down to the simple yet powerful concept of Free Will. I am going to make this as brief as I can, cause I know I tend to get fairly long winded on these topics. ;D
I think that the ideology of Free Will is the solidifying factor that separates the Christian doctrine from the rest. That we have the power to choose, freely, if we want to follow the Master of the Universe for ourselves. As an average, sometimes bitter, sometimes annoyed 17 year old girl, I have to admit that people telling me what to do grinds my gears sooo much! Like can I live? Can I breathe?! Pleaase.
Ellen G. White’s “The Great Controversy” explains this concept pretty well. This book pretty much explains the great rebellion of satan and his angels. Imagine some sort of a courtroom drama in the Heavenly places. In this courtroom, the devil claims that God is selfish and unfair. The devil attempts to malign God’s name out of jealousy and spite, and pretty much demands that God be put on trial for His unfairness. Then, he further tries to say that God is unfair because in a world that is perfect and just and beautiful, of course everybody would have no choice but to worship him. Basically, satan accused the merciful God of selfish mind control, and that if God were to allow bad things to happen to his followers, they wouldn’t be followers anymore. We then see satan’s point refuted in the book of Job, where God actually allowed satan to afflict Job with various pestilences and horrible situations and betrayal and hate and horrors. To satan’s surprise though, even when these bad things DID happen to Job, he never lost His faith in the loving and caring God. That kind of faith is admirable beyond belief, but incredibly necessary in making sure that we don’t fall prey to the devil’s scare tactics. Praise will confuse the enemy, no?
That last paragraph was paraphrased pretty awfully, so you guys should really do some investigations for yourself. What I’m trying to get at here is that God’s fairness and righteousness is pretty well executed through some of the bad things we go through in life. If God were to just make this world an immutably perfect place, with no pain or suffering or hate or crime, then we really would have no choice but to praise Him for His glories and blessings. It is when we go through struggles, obstacles, prejudices, and temptations that we really see what choosing love for ourselves is. We choose to praise Him in the storm of our lives, and that’s what is really so powerful about this crazy notion of Christianity.
(This is a side-note, but to think that Jesus laid down His life and went through all of the same exact hardships we go through, at Gethsemane, just so that WE might be able to love eternally and live forevermore is incomprehensible! Ok, and so we continue.)
Since God ultimately gave us the power to choose Him or the power to choose ourselves and our carnal natures, He also gave us the power to choose good and to choose evil. If God were to take away that choice of evil from us, then the world would be a perfect place…. But it’s not! Because God didn’t want to make us robots… He wanted us to love Him freely. God very well COULD stop evil things from happening. He could prevent the rapes and murders and genocides and slander and hatred in our lives, and many non-believers would agree that that would make God a merciful, worth-following god. But if God were to just strip every human being from the power of being able to choose to think evil thoughts, and execute such evils, then He would be in essence, a mind-controller, one of the very things that satan accused Him of. We have bad things in this world because we are loved enough to be allowed to make our own decisions and think our own thoughts and carry out our own evils. It’s paradoxical, but our God is a God of benevolent paradoxes! Letting the SAVIOR and KING of the world come to the Earth in lowly carpenter form, giving all of us life when we SURELY deserved death, loving us so much that He’s able to let us choose to return His love for ourselves…. mhmmmm. that’s the God that I want to CHOOSE to follow with all of my heart.
And even though God is still the epitome of benevolence, in making sure that we had the option to CHOOSE Him instead of just making us robots to him, many of us still blame Him for the evil that happens in this world. It’s kind of as if we are trying to trap God in His own mercy… accusing Him of being an awful, uncaring god for not “stepping in” when things are bad in this world while also accusing Him of interfering too much in our lives and restricting all the things that we want to do. Human nature is fairly awful, but we serve a God that is bigger than our awfulness, and forgives us anyway. It really is the nicest thing to be able to trust in Jesus and His loves. Am I right, saints?!
To wrap this up, I think that real love necessitates a choice. I can choose to love my mother and father, or I can choose to love myself and my own wishes wishes more. I can choose to love myself and my needs, or I can choose to love my Savior. I can choose to love my Savior even through the hard times of the human existence or I can choose to love evil. God gives us a choice in whether or not to follow him, and I think that is the ultimate testament of His fairness and love. This got pretty long, but I’m so very glad to be able to explain some of my perspective on this issue. I now turn this over to you, readers… why do YOU think that God allows evil in this world?
#reallovedoesntmakeyouarobot #realloveischoice #realloveisfreewill
Read more: http://theprodigalmovement.com/thread/12/most-questioned?page=1&scrollTo=61#ixzz38ELGWfyu
May I be faithful in the present with what You’ve given me for now.
Let my heart not grasp beyond what You’ve placed in my hands.
Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days — when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great — and you turn to God alone.
There is nothing that you can do to change His love. But the evidence of an encounter with His love is a change in the things you do. I don’t do good things to get accepted, I do good things because I AM accepted. And I’ve yet to see anyone that has truly been with Jesus not want to be better for Him.
If you seek happiness, you will always find someone more happy than you. If I you seek love, you will find someone more in love than you. If you seek to be holy, you will find a much holier God. But that is the thing with the last one; when we find God, He invites us to stay.
Nothing in this life will truly stay with you, but when it comes to God; we find that we were made to be with Him.