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Question of the Week > Why does God allow random shootings, fatal accidents and other horrible things to occur?

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Richards (michaelc1) Since we believe that God is the author of this planet and is sovereign over it, why does He allow random shootings, fatal accidents and other horrible things to occur?

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Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) | 12 comments I don't know. I have read lots of human reasoning to try and explain it and some I like and some I don't but bottom line is I don't know and won't until I go to meet Him.


message 3: by Bob (new)

Bob Stewart | 5 comments Since we believe that God is the author of this planet and is sovereign over it, why does He allow random shootings, fatal accidents and other horrible things to occur?
First I want everyone who reads this response to take a nice deep full breath. Suck that air right down into your lungs and then let it out slowly. Now praise God for His bountiful blessings, His mercy and His grace for it is only by God’s grace that we live and breathe. For had God been only just and holy He would have struck Adam and Eve down the moment they ate of the fruit.

My 1st reaction is from Job, ‘condemn me so that you can be right’ (Job 40:8 Will you also set aside My judgment? Will you condemn Me so that you may be justified?) We claim that life is unfair because of killings, disease, death, famine, and various forms of distress. God claims that it is unfair because we sinned and He has been gracious enough to allow us to live. Guess who is right?
However, let us go on let us presume to dictate to God the way we think this world should operate. So let us remove the random shootings, the accidents, cancer, and all that we find horrible. What would we have at that point? Why we would have a perfect world without consequence for our behavior. We would have the blessings of the garden without the need for obedience.
That is like the parents telling the child ‘whatever makes you happy’. In the particular case that I have in mind the woman divorced her husband, after a yearlong separation where she had taken her with her on innumerable one night stands. She filed for divorce, remarried the same year, divorced that man and married another one all within 2 years. The custody fight was very short even a secular judge saw that she had issues. But her parents blamed the 1st husband. I am not sure why that happened in that man’s life, but I am sure that God had it happen for the growth of both the 1st husband and the child.
Or shall we ask God about the death of a 17 year old woman after an almost two year battle with cancer and her 19 year old boyfriend who stayed by her until the end? Where is His grace in all of that? That I can tell you, she needed to have the love of someone outside her family. One who loved her as a woman rather than a sibling or child. He needed to discover that the amount we love is in direct correlation with the amount of pain we experience for that love.
Let us be thankful for the limited impact that sin has on our world and in our lives because it could be a lot worse. I venture to say that in the future sin will have more freedom to wreck its havoc rather than less. As man seeks greater and greater distance between himself and his Creator so will the world experience greater and greater destruction and chaos. Our suffering is not the lack of God’s control of all things at all times but rather the consequences of man’s sin. It is not the Lawmaker who is in error but the lawbreaker.


message 4: by Erick (last edited Feb 05, 2015 11:38AM) (new)

Erick (panoramicromantic) | 21 comments It at least partially is due to freewill, but that answer is not always satisfactory. Some of this is mysterious and is meant to be. This life is largely about testing, and I don't mean that in the colloquial sense of temptation, but in the sense of tempering, refining and strengthening; we also are growing and learning, in order to be the Spiritual beings we were created to be.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." - Romans 8:18

"So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:16-18


message 5: by Bob (last edited Feb 05, 2015 10:17PM) (new)

Bob Stewart | 14 comments Erick wrote: "It at least partially is due to freewill, but that answer is not always satisfactory. Some of this is mysterious and is meant to be. This life is largely about testing, and I don't mean that in the..."
Sometime in the early 1500’s Martin Luther wrote a short treatise on our will. He was responding to Erasmus in regard to not just salvation but the effect of Adam’s sin. On the Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther stands as one of the best discussions of our natural will after the fall. When you place our natural will next to the sovereignty of God you quickly discover we do not have freewill. When you read the last part of Job you find that although Satan was an active part in what happened to Job, God never points to him as even a factor. God’s basic response to Job is ‘who is this that darkens My counsel’ After nearly 45 years of studying the Word of God I have yet to find anything to support the concept. When Sarah and Abraham went to Egypt God prevented the pharaoh from defiling Sarah when he took her into his haram. Later He hardened the pharaoh’s heart. In Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Note that it is not by knowing the will of God but by wicked hands that they crucified Him.
It might be said that our actions are known but our motives are not. This last week I killed my cat. That sounds terrible except he could no longer eat or drink because of a tumor in his mouth. So my motive was not to rid me of this frightful feline but to end the suffering of a dear friend.
In the final analysis freewill is simply saying that I am in charge, that I am like God and that was exactly where Adam and Eve fell into sin. God is sovereign means He is in control of all things at all times and not even a sparrow falls to the God without His determinate counsel and foreknowledge. Are not five sparrows sold for two assaria? And not one of them has been forgotten before God. The very hairs on your head are numbered; I have a few less so that makes it easier for Him. Yet no one of us can add to our own height so how can we say we have control over anything?
By the way in my earlier post, I am the man who raised his son after my wife left us and married others. I am also the 19 year old. So I know the sorrow and have spent many hours questioning God over these acts. He finally got tired and had a guy shove a .45 in my ear. I started listening to God real quick after that. He is not always gentle. He is however loving.


message 6: by Erick (last edited Feb 05, 2015 10:46PM) (new)

Erick (panoramicromantic) | 21 comments Bob wrote: "Sometime in the early 1500’s Martin Luther wrote a short treatise on our will. He was responding to Erasmus in regard to not just salvation but the effect of Adam’s sin. On the Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther stands as one of the best discussions of our natural will after the fall. When you place our natural will next to the sovereignty of God you quickly discover we do not have freewill."

I've read it and I don't find it convincing. I've been getting into this discussion a lot lately. The problem is that when you take away freewill, you then make God directly responsible for evil and this compromises His holiness and is tantamount to blasphemy. Since I had already posted recently elsewhere my view on this, specifically in regards to Calvinism, please allow me to just copy and paste what I have posted elsewhere; because it is the same problem with Luther's doctrine, although he was not as extreme in predestinationism:

"The problem with strict Calvinism is that Calvin (in the Institutes) makes God the author of evil. In order to preserve God's sovereignty, Calvin destroys His holiness. That's a "robbing Peter to pay Paul" situation and it's worse than the reverse. It is really blasphemy, plain and simple. Calvin in the Institutes (Book 1 Chapter 14 Sections 17 and 18) says that Satan does nothing against the will of God but is forced to do what he does. Chapter 16 of the same book says God overrules all events. Chapter 17 Section 2 says that "all evildoers are the instruments of God." Book 2 Chapter 4 section 3 reiterates that God doesn't just permit evil but actually brings it about. So every time a child is sexually abused; a woman is raped; a person is murdered etc etc God is the one who commanded it, according to Calvin. No one does God's will more than any other according to Calvin. A Christian doesn't do God's will more than a Muslim, or even Satan for that matter. All do his will equally. The most evil person you have ever heard of was only doing the will of God."

"The issue of God's sovereignty is made a farce in Calvin. For Calvin, God is a pedantic micromanager who controls every single action down to inane minutiae, e.g. what pants I decided to wear today and whether I showered or not etc etc. Arminius had at least a broader view of God's sovereignty. Very few Arminians or Calvinists have actually read Arminius. His view of sovereignty is less simple minded and pedantic. He viewed sovereignty in terms of guidance and provided for contingencies and non-contingencies. I don't consider myself an Arminian. I follow the church fathers. His view was simply a lot closer to that of the church fathers."

As to the Bible not supporting freewill, I have to say that you are missing some passages. God is the one doing the talking in some of these passages, putting the focus on our choice. We know He doesn't lie.

Joshua 24:15
"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Deuteronomy 30:19
"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."

Proverbs 3:31
"Do not envy the violent and do not choose any of their ways."

Isaiah 56:4
"For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant."

Matthew 23:37
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!"

These verses utterly refute Calvinism:

1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.


message 7: by Erick (last edited Feb 05, 2015 11:08PM) (new)

Erick (panoramicromantic) | 21 comments Honestly, I think this subject is going to get off track with this topic. I had started a discussion on this some time ago here:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

My points still stand in it. I have not been able to find one person, who supports absolute bondage of the will and rigid predestinationism, that was able to retain God's Holiness while also holding to their ideas of deterministic sovereignty. Please read through my points. I cover pretty much everything in there that I would say here. I was very frustrated with the topic because many Christians that hold to this view, start calling other people who don't, heretics. They think it's all about making man a god and that isn't so, it is about preserving God's Holiness. Holiness means pure, set apart and unstained in evil. Determinism attacks God's Holiness, not man's freewill.


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