googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Answering the 10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer: Part 3

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Answering the 10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer: Part 3

#2) Why are there so many starving people in the world?

#6) Why do bad things happen to good people?

These questions seem to be making duplicate points so my answer to both would be essentially the same. Therefore, I'm including both questions in a single post. If the video sees a difference between the two, the narrator has failed to explain how they are significantly different. Incidentally, we could possibly include question #1 in here as well. Why there is suffering is directly related to why there are also amputees.

By asking these questions, the video is demonstrating either a gross ignorance of Christianity or is intentionally ignoring the obvious answer that has been given so often already. Given that the video uses so many fallacious arguments (as detailed in my first post in this series), I suspect the ignorance is intentional. A baseless or oft refuted claim is called a canard – especially one used deliberately.

Perhaps I'm being a bit too rough. Even some Christians have wondered about the so called, “problem of evil.” The supposed dilemma is this: if God is good and if God created everything, then why does evil exist? The study of this “problem” is called “theodicy.” It has been my experience that most Christians who stumble over this are typically those who compromise on the creation account given in Genesis. If one believes that God used the cruel process of evolution to create, then that would mean that death, disease, and suffering are intentional and they are part of God's creative process. However, if one reads Genesis 1-3 with the understanding that the events are factual, questions like this practically answer themselves.

For anyone not inclined or not able to read the Bible, I'll briefly recap the creation account: God created the entire universe in six days. On the 6th day, God created Adam and Eve. God looked at everything He had made and saw that is was all “very good” (Genesis 1:31). The world was a paradise and Adam and Eve could have lived forever, free of worry, if they had only obeyed God. Unfortunately, we all know what happened. Adam disobeyed God and received God's judgment. Death entered into the world at that time (Romans 5:12). God's judgment, however, was not only on Adam but also on the entire creation. The Bible says that God cursed the ground for Adam's sake (Genesis 3:17). It further says the entire creation groans and travails in pain (Romans 8:22). The Curse continues even today. Death, disease, pain, suffering, famine, natural disasters, etc., are all products of the Curse and the result of our own sin and rebellion. Additionally, men continue to disobey God and inflict man-made evil upon their fellow man. This is why bad things happen.

Immediately, the critic might suggest that it is unfair to curse all of the creation for the sin of one man. It is not unusual for the condemned to feel his sentence is too great but it is reasonable to expect the curse on Adam extended to Adam's domain. Consider this: something cannot be perfect if it contains even one small blemish so Adam's one sin literally spoiled the entire, perfect creation. In Jeremiah we read the analogy of the potter and the clay (Jeremiah 18:4). If the potter's work is marred by an imperfection, it is the right of the potter to cast it aside and remake another as he sees fit. As the Creator of the universe, God would have been perfectly just to destroy the entire creation after Adam sinned. Similarly, God would be perfectly just to destroy any one of us at the moment we sin. The fact that He doesn't is demonstrative of His mercy.

The critic might next ask, “Why doesn't God do something about it?” Well, God has done something about it – He sent His Son to die as an atonement for our sins. Furthermore, God also intends to restore the creation. We are told in Revelation 21:1 there will be a new heaven and new earth because this sin stained world will be passed away. In that place, there will be no more curse (Revelation 22:3). Revelation 21:4 gives us this wonderful promise, And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Amen!!

I know the critics won't be satisfied with my answers and will continue to call God cruel. I would ask them then, “What should be the alternative?” Given that God is not only perfectly loving but also perfectly just, how should He handle a rebellious people? Should there be no judgment? Do they want God to make this world a paradise? This is why we don't let the guilty set their own sentences. I can just imagine a criminal asking the judge if he can spend his sentence on a beach. The critics, of course, will say that the judgment should only be on “bad people.” The problem arises though that there are none who are good. We tend to excuse our own failings by comparing our sins to other people's. The critic might excuse his own lies, greed, blasphemies, and lusts but arguing that at least he's never murdered anyone. By that reasoning, though, Jack the Ripper could excuse his own crimes by saying he wasn't as bad at Hitler. What's more, if the doubters had their way and God only punished those who fit the critics' definition of “bad,” then the dilemma still exists: in their utopia, where only the “really bad” people are punished, who would a guilty person commit his crimes upon? Even if they had their own way, they still would not be able to say that bad things no longer happen to good people! To accomplish what they want, God would literally have to restrain them; He would have to force them to obey His laws. Somehow I don't think skeptics would think that was fair either.

Finally, what sound, logical argument exists that would conclude that since bad things happen, God is imaginary? It's totally non sequitur. It would be like saying that since there are poor families in America then the President is imaginary. It's not even close to convincing. One could try to make the argument that God is cruel and not worthy of worship but to say bad things prove He is imaginary is an absurd premise. I know that logical fallacies abound in this video but this is just intellectual laziness.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

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