Galesville Wisconsin – One of the truths that used to be, for the wide majority of Westerners at least, self-evident, was the fact that a God existed. However, that seems to be changing, as according to GlobalPost, only 51 percent of those that live in the 27 countries in the European Union believe in God, when asked in a survey conducted in 2010.
The state of the church in the West, once the great and powerful bastion of faith, has been weakened severely over recent decades.
However, although atheism or agnosticism may be more wide spread today, there have always been those who did not believe a God existed. Even the famous philosopher Socrates, although he came to final belief in the gods of the Greek pantheon before he died, struggled with the existence of a higher being.
A common argument of the Atheist is that because they cannot see God, they do not believe in Him. However, that is not the question for which men such as Charles Templeton, a pastor and friend of Billy Graham, abandoned God. It is often easy for the Christian to give answers to the non-believer; it is difficult for the Christian to give answers to the believer.
If the truth of the Scriptures is accepted, then the question that is raised, that must be raised-is why?
If, in the beginning God created the earth, then why did He let it go the way it did?
The response is that God let man fall because if He had forced Adam to obey Him, if he had not given the human the power to sin, then it would have been forced love, and so thus not true love. As God is good, he must give man a choice.
The questioner replies: “I do not want my children’s love for me to be forced, and so I do not manhandle them when I tell them to do something, I want them to obey because they love me. However, if my child is going to step in front of a freight train, do I let him do so because I do not want his love to be forced? Am I a good parent if I do so? Who would say that I am if I allow such a thing? Certainly not those who say that God was good in letting Adam sin.
“If the child steps on to the tracks, his body will be mangled, destroyed, and bloodied. We could look at the bloody corpse, and see the wounds that the “good” parent allowed to be inflicted. Man has, if the Scriptures are true, the questioner will state, stepped onto the tracks, and he has been mangled. War, death destruction. Thousands of men die every day. Every second a human being dies.
“We see the child dying of starvation, the man dying from his beatings, and the senseless killings in places like Syria. Evil institutions such as slavery. The murder, the rapes, the shooting of innocent children by mentally deranged, all is a statement of the pain of mankind. Even the book of Ecclesiastes states that it is better to never have been born than to live at all.
“Even among God’s own people, the ones who are to be blessed for their obedience, suffer. The greatest of them, St. Paul, was beheaded. Peter was crucified, Stephen was stoned. They have suffered all throughout history. And even the perfect one, Jesus Christ, was still hated, despised, and crucified."
Sorrow and pain and weakness and hunger are the life that man lives. Sickness and illness and suffering, all are the human experience. Why, the questioner, the hurting human, asks, did our “good” God allow such things? Why did he let us step onto the tracks? In this man’s mind, the only words God deserves to hear are not those of praise but rather the groaning of mankind.
It is neither a crime nor a sin to ask why. Even our Savior did it while on the cross. “My God, my God, why...?” The question is an easy and logical one for the poor child who lays struck down on the tracks. He is not stating that he was perfect; he is questioning the perfection of the one who let him step onto the tracks. If God is imperfect, He does not exist. I do not agree with the questioner.
The question is an easy one to ask, yet so much harder to answer. It will merit another article.
Andrew C. Abbott