Friday, June 24, 2011

When God Lets Go

There have been a whole bunch of natural disasters happening around the world lately. Floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes - you name it. Even the most ardent climate enthusiast would be hard-pressed to blame earthquakes and volcanoes on man-made climate change. So what is behind all the natural disasters?

It's at times like these that many people will ask "why is God doing this?" The suggestion is that only a very cruel God causes the innocent to die in earthquakes, floods, fires and storms.

But what if we tried looking at the universe in a different way? The Bible tells us that God's eternal power is clearly visible in His creation (Romans 1:19-20). One of the basic laws of science is the law of entropy - the law that states that the universe tends towards disorder. Not surprisingly, scientists have recently expanded on this law in order to explain the order that we see around us. How is it that we live in incredibly ordered bodies on an incredibly ordered planet in the midst of a universe apparently ruled by chaos?

Bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this! What if God is the reason for Order in a universe that tends towards chaos? What if God literally holds our world together? If you read the Bible carefully - especially the Psalms, then it all points toward God - not just putting things in place - but keeping things in place.

What might happen then, if we collectively told God to "go away"? What if we told God that we don't need Him and we don't want Him, we're just fine on our own, thank you very much. What if God took us at our word and let go - even just a little bit?

I can't prove it scientifically, but that's OK because science can't even explain to me how a series of complex molecules that apparently assembled all by themselves can give me the ability to reason and question my own existence. So I don't feel a need to justify the mind of God (as if I could anyway!) to Science.

I truly believe that what we see happening to our world is God letting go, just a little bit. The great Creator is letting us experience a tiny hint of "doing it on our own, thank you very much."

Personally, I won't be telling God to go away anytime soon. Considering that collective humanity hasn't even been able to control a puny little nuclear reactor in Japan, I don't fancy our chances with the whole universe. I'm happy to keep God squarely at the centre of my life.

If you'd like to know more about the God holding the universe together, try reading Does God Exist?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why Me??

A common question in times of pain is: "Why me?"

Even devoted Christians often struggle with the great question "Why does God allow suffering?"

The answer is not really long and complicated. It doesn't take a university degree to understand, but few people are willing to accept the simplicity of the truth. As the Bible says: "the wisdom of God is foolishness to man." And yet, the 'foolishness' of God is far beyond the wisdom of man. What it does take is the Spirit of God to understand the things of God.

Suffering comes down to a result of choice. God gave man freedom of choice. When we make bad choices, suffering and pain is the result. Not always directly, and not always immediately, but eventually there is no escape from the consequences of our decisions. God allows the pain, not to be cruel, but to convince us that His Way is The Right Way.

Right now, it seems senseless that children, especially, suffer horribly, but it can all be traced back to the choices of humanity. Most especially our choice to tell God we don't need Him and we don't want Him.

God won't force us to do things His way, but nor will He rescue us from our failed paradise.

We can be excited and encouraged to know that God's plan is for everyone, and that He has ordained a second resurrection (raising the dead) to ensure that every man, woman and child has the opportunity to know Him and choose the Life He has to offer.

Beyond that time, God's promise for eternity is that there will be " more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain..." (Revelation 21:4)

For now, pain is a by-product of human choice - we must suffer because we (humanity) choose our way. We can look forward to Christ's return, when we will learn to do things God's way and suffering will come to an end.

For a more detailed explanation of human suffering, you can read Why Does God Allow Suffering, or to learn more about God's plan for all of humanity (God has not forgotten or abandoned the millions of dead who never heard the name of Jesus Christ), try reading What Happens After Death.