To Christians one of the most egregious aspects of the arrest and trial of the Lord Jesus is that fact that he was falsely accused. There was no evidence to support the trumped up charges brought against him and no justification for his death. While we understand that his death was voluntary and the only way for men to reconcile to God the Father, believers are often bothered by the unfairness that Jesus had to endure.
Unfortunately, false accusations against God occur on a daily basis all over the globe. People figuratively point their finger at God when something bad happens and ask “Why did God allow that to happen?” (for example, the Sri Lanka tsunami) or “How can God allow a child to be murdered”?
This very sentiment was recently expressed by a popular radio personality who claims to have a close relationship with God. She was lamenting several evil deeds that were current in the news that day and she said “some day when I get to heaven I am going to get up in God’s face and ask him why he let these things happen”?
I absolutely shudder when I hear someone speak like this. In essence, such a statement points the finger at God and says “You are to blame. It’s your fault. What have you to say for yourself”? That created man would think to accuse creator God of evil and call him on the carpet to give an answer is the epitome of both stupidity and presumptuousness and nothing less than the spirit of Anti-Christ dressed up in pride
When I hear someone blame God for evil that some person committed, my first thought is “please pass the bread, the baloney has already been around!” My second thought is a little more mature and constructive; that the person uttering such nonsense does not spend much time in the Bible and does not understand the character of God. God does not do evil and does not tempt man with evil. It is against his holy nature. The truth is that the world is evil because we humans chose for it to be. We chose to sin. That was not God’s doing. If God had his way, things would be a lot different on planet earth.
But let us assume that the accusation is not that God causes evil, but that he merely allows it to happen. Thus, in the accuser’s mind, since God could have stopped something from happening and did not, he is complicit. While this may seem logical on the surface, we must look deeper to see if the idea floats.
If God were to intervene to stop an evil act, how exactly would he do that? Would he for instance stop a killer by slaying the killer before he had a chance to do the dastardly act? If he did, would not then those who would have asked “why didn’t God stop this murder” now ask “why did God allow that man (the killer) to die?”
If God were to intervene based on his foreknowledge, we would not know that he had stopped a murder by allowing another to die. Instead of lauding his intervention, in our ignorance we would then accuse him of the death of the potential murderer.
There would be no end to our second-guessing God. We would always question things that happened and wonder why God allowed it to be. It would be a no-win scenario for God. In our eyes he would be wrong if he did nothing but also wrong if he did something.
And if God intervened in those news-worthy public things, why should he stop there? Why shouldn’t he apply the same remedy to our personal lives and start making better decisions for us? Instead of us being late for work again, he could have us fired so we would not be able to do that wrong thing again. Or maybe if we routinely exceeded the posted speed limit, he could have our driver’s license taken away so we would not violate that law again.
Of course, we don’t want God to be that involved. We only want him to take care of the things that we think he should be responsible for. We don’t want him meddling in our personal lives. We only want him to meddle in the lives of others so that we feel more comfortable; so that our sense of fairness is satisfied.
So then, what is the answer? When should God get involved and when should he leave things alone? We actually hinted at the answer a little earlier. If God had his way, he would take complete control and there would be no evil to worry about. In fact, one day he is going to do just that very thing. However, until that day comes, God restrains himself from intervening. He does not want a race of mindless drones. He has given free will and choice to each of us so that we may live as we please. Still, there are consequences to the decisions we make.
The world and its secular system work pretty much on automatic. When evil befalls someone, it is invariably due to the decisions and actions of others. The effect may be far removed from the cause, as in the effects of growing environmental pollution for example, but it certainly is the result of the actions of other people and not God.
Again, one day God will intervene on a universal scale. He will balance the books and set things right. Until then, he allows us to make our own decisions and suffer (or prosper) from the consequences that follow. His longsuffering is not a failure, but a Godly attribute that allows his creation freedom of choice.
If you are a believer and you have asked “Why does God ?”, maybe it is time you realized that you are unjustly pointing your finger at God and that is not a good thing to do.