It is amazing to me how many people believe God is responsible for everything that happens in our world, both good and bad.
Every time some major natural disaster happens, such as the tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma this week, I see people accusing God of inflicting horrible tragedy on people. They don’t realize that God does not bring calamity.
For example, here is one comment I saw on Facebook along those lines.
“Amazing how many folks offer thanks to God for the most trivial things, like a freaking sunset, yet never blame Him when tragedy strikes. Can’t have it both ways, people…”
The underlying assumption is that God is in control of everything. Therefore he deserves all the credit and all the blame for everything that happens in our world.
Some Christians go through some pretty hefty mental gyrations to accommodate this line of thinking, but does so without saying God is evil. Their logic goes something like this.
Because God is in control of everything and is good, those things we see that appear to be evil – like tornados that rip through schools and kill young children – are really good somehow in the end. We just don’t have the full picture yet.
And don’t get me started on the folks who claim that disasters are God’s judgement on us.
These views don’t line up with scripture and as a result they miss some important pieces to the puzzle. The folks that see God as responsible for everything and look to blame him for disasters like tornados that kill kids start with the assumption that God is the only force operating in the universe.
However Jesus clearly taught that we have an enemy whose primary objective is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Jesus went on to contrast that with his own reason for being here which is to provide us with an abundant life.
Our enemy’s name is Satan. The Bible teaches that he has a particular hatred for mankind. In the Garden of Eden a curse was placed on him:
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. — Genesis 3:15 (NLT)
As a result Satan finds particular pleasure in seeing people suffer and die, especially children.
Not About Power
People see God as all-powerful, and rightly so. And they see where the Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:16). That creates a conflict for many people.
Most folks have a problem seeing how an all-powerful God who could do something to stop evil but doesn’t could possibly be loving. That and they don’t see how an all-powerful God could not be responsible for the evil found in the world.
The thing is, it’s not a issue of power, but one of authority.
When God created mankind, he gave us authority over the entire earth and everything in it.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” — Genesis 1:26
God put us in charge of this world and delegated the authority to run it to us.
Of course almost immediately Adam & Eve sinned and in doing so abdicated that authority to Satan who became the god of this world. This is the same enemy Jesus said is totally driven to steal, kill and destroy. His primary weapon is deception.
Here’s how Paul said it.
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:4
God Is Not To Blame
So let’s recap.
- God is not the only force operating on planet Earth.
- We have an enemy with a primary objective to destroy us.
- That enemy became the god of this world when Adam abdicated God given his authority over to him.
I think it becomes pretty obvious that God is not to blame for the horrible tragedies that happen in the world around us.