It is popular in religious circles to insist God is all-powerful and all-controlling. I suppose this is to protect God’s reputation or one’s understanding of biblical claims. But if God’s power can be all-controlling, this seems to make God responsible for evils such as rape, sexual abuse, starvation, etc. by doing nothing to intervene. There are certain things even an all-loving God can’t do.
Is everything that happens really a part of God’s plan?
It is said “everything that happens is part of God’s plan” to supposedly protect God’s almightiness. But love cannot insist on its own way. (I Cor 13:5) A perfect God’s love must be uncontrolling. Perfect power is uncontrolling. Ask older kids about their parents! A God who supposedly can prevent evil but doesn’t is no different than a parent who stands by and watches their child suffer. Evil and suffering in the world may be because God cannot intervene single-handedly. It isn’t that God has the power to do something and doesn’t. God can’t change people or circumstances without individual or plural human cooperation.
Is lack of healing really due to lack of faith or bad behavior?
Lots of prayers asking for healing are obviously not answered. If God can control disease and other evils, we are left to assume God’s love is infrequent. Miracles don’t happen because some people are less sinful or beg better at the feet of an arbitrary God. Conditions in our body may not always be right. Various biological and environmental factors are involved such as cells, organs, etc. If God doesn’t deny human freedom, it may not be a stretch to say God has to account for natural freedom as well. Miracles can happen when God’s uncontrolling love aligns with countless factors known and not known. God surely intervenes by all means when circumstances will allow.
Can we make sense why God allows freedom?
It is not logically possible for God to create freedom without the possibility of moral evil. God clearly values ongoing freedom because of all the suffering allowed in the world. I don’t know of any human parent who brings children into the world not desiring their children freely reciprocate their love as opposed to being forced. Without freedom we could accuse God of not creating the very best world where only true, authentic relationships can develop. Freedom allows human to develop qualities of moral character that cannot be created initially. The guarantee of a pain free universe cannot involve freedom.
Is God interfering the most compassionate?
God not interfering in suffering on earth may be compassionate. If I force my rebellious son somehow to do right presently, he may further rebel or stay away forever. If I am patience and allow time for possible moral development (time on earth), then he may freely choose to trust I have his best interest in mind. God didn’t create suffering to foster dependency; God created freedom in the beginning because they love us. Controlling love may have consequences.
I do not wish to suggest physical evils such as disasters of nature, diseases, or accidents can always be traced directly to a human’s freedom to inflict pain upon themselves or others. It does seem human accumulated mismanagement of the earth over thousands of years has brought some destruction through hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, and earthquakes. Does our current divide among our political leaders keep solutions from developing that allows the most human flourishing? Human mismanagement hardly explains all the causes of natural disasters. Claiming natural disasters are always God’s judgment is nonsense.
What good is God then?
God seeks to influence us to do all the good we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can. It matters what you believe a loving God is like (see here), but God’s influence in our lives can lead to making wiser choices by having a moral compass in life. God is tireless in working through individual lives to change the world. It isn’t that you didn’t beg enough or behave enough. God through their influence has made me a better man, husband, father, and friend or at least better than if on my own. All we have to lose is selfishness and a lousy legacy.
Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at email@example.com