Saturday, May 05, 2007

10 Questions That Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer, Question 2: Why are there so many starving people in this world?

From the transcript:
Look out at our world and notice that millions of children are dying of starvation. It really is horrific. Why would God be worried about you getting a raise, while at the same time ignoring the prayers of these desperate, innocent little children? It really doesn't make any sense, does it? Why would a loving god do this?

To explain it, you have to come up with some sort of very strange excuse for God. Like, "God wants these children to suffer and die for some divine, mysterious reason." Then you push it out of your mind because it absolutely does not fit with your view of a loving, caring God.

Much of the evangelical world has related a message about a God which differs from the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is a consuming fire. The God of the Bible is holy and cannot tolerate sin.

With that in mind, there is a fundamental problem with this objection. "Desparate, innocent little children." Tugs at the heart strings, but there are no innocent little children. The question contains a false premise.

"There is none who does good." Psalm 14:1 "No one is good but God alone." Mark 10:18 "If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" Psalm 130:3

The real problem is not the problem of evil. It is the problem of good. Why would God allow anything good to happen to rank sinners like us?

When we understand God's holiness and our sin (everyone-each and every one of us), questions about innocent people suffering go away. The suffering in the world is indeed horrific. And there is a sense in us which tells us this isn't the way it should be. If tells us something is wrong, horribly wrong.

When you are driving, do you want the dashboard to tell you when you are running out of gas? Likewise, suffering alerts us that something is amiss.

If an atheist is sensing the problem, they are sensing some truth that runs contrary to atheism. Objective right and wrong cannot co-exist with atheism.

But while I can't give an explanation about each, specific case of suffering, I can say the problem this question raises should be on its head. We should be utterly confounded that anything good happens to us at all given our rebellion towards the Creater who made and formed us.

God does not owe us anything.

For further reading: here is an article I wrote about the problem.


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