WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?
If there is a God, why does He let things like this happen? Unfortunately it’s tragedies like the CT school shooting that will raise these questions in minds and hearts for thousands once again. This is a time when the faith of many can and will be shaken, especially when there seem to be no answers. So we as Christians need to be ready with answers. Your children are going to need answers.
I’ve had a lot of atheists write me because of the movie Jesus Camp, and as I have corresponded with them and asked questions, I have found in a number of cases these were people who went through some kind of tragedy. Because they could not rectify their understanding of God with their reality, they became angry with Him. And the way to get back at Him was to stop believing in Him altogether.
These feelings come out of what we have been taught about God’s sovereignty. God is all sovereign. He is all powerful. There is nothing He doesn’t know and cannot do (except create a rock so big He cannot move it, right? Aargh….) We have also been taught that God is an all loving God, and that He loves each one of us. So how do we balance this knowledge against the killing of 20 little babies in a school blood bath?
Too often we have “selective memory” when it comes to God. Too often our biblical knowledge and teaching is shallow. While all those things are true about God, the balance to that is that God has given every person a free will. That is the “rock” He has created that is so big He cannot move it. Once He gave mankind a free will, He offered His advice, His wisdom, and even gave us a “ten step program” (the Ten Commandments) to show us how to live. He wrote an entire book about it. But we have the free will to ignore all of it and go our own way. So how should God respond? Should He force us to listen and obey Him?
We would have all loved for God to just send a band of angels down to earth to jump on Adam Lanza, tie him up, take away his guns, and prevent this tragedy from ever happening. That’s what would make us believe the most in God’s love and sovereignty, right? But if God was going to interfere like that in Adam’s life, what would He prevent you from doing, taking your free will away? We’d call that an ecclesiastically dictatorship. God would then be a dictator who controls everything we say and do. We’d be His puppets. Where would it stop? Where’ should God draw the line on what we think He should do as God?
Parents, as you talk about this with your children you can remind them of them times you have asked them to do something, and they have deliberately disobeyed. You can punish them later. But what they did is done. You were not able to stop it. They had a free will, even when they knew the consequences. Your children, at some point, have to obey you out of love and respect for you. That’s why the Bible says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.” (Ephesians 6:1) That passage goes on to say, “honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.”
If this applies to our natural children, doesn’t it also apply to us as God’s children? If we will obey Him, and honor Him, it will go well with us, and we will live long on the earth.” He’s told us exactly what to do individually and as a culture to prevent these kinds of things from happening again.
Of course there is more to this discussion. But it’s an important part of the answer. Be at peace in this holiday season. “Fear not,” Jesus said many times. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Kids in Ministry International
PO Box 549 * 111 Collins Avenue
Mandan, ND 58554