Part of this post is going to jump around a very touchy subject. A statement was made by a politician over a controversial issue that stirred up my thoughts on a much broader and more generalized subject. Richard Mourdock was asked about his view of abortion in the case of rape or incest. He explained that while Rape was a horrible act God allowed for the woman to become pregnant during the rape thus God wanted it to happen. He went on to say that we should not allow abortion in the case of rape since it is God’s purpose for that to happen.
A touchy subject to be sure and it is one that I am not going to specifically deal with. Abortion especially form rape is seeded with emotional arguments that can be difficult to reason with on either side. My post today is not so much on abortion because of rape, but rather Mourdock’s strange view of God. Does God really ordain for women to be rapped? Does he ordain for heinous acts to be committed on people?
Some call it the problem of evil. There is no doubt that God puts his children through trials and difficulties so that character and perseverance may be developed, but some of these issues go far beyond trials. They are deliberate evil inflicted on others. Does God really call for evil to be done? Some would like at the God of the Old Testament and say the answer is yes. They look at God whipping out cities, sending his chosen people to drive out nations, and killing people whenever he just gets ticked off. Look at the context and you will see it was always doesn’t out of righteous anger though. God did not inflict evil on others, but rather punishment. Evil is never a form of punishment for God.
Why does God allow evil to happen? There is the age old question. To try and unpack this issue would take far too long. In truth my answer will seem rudimentary and far too simplistic over an issue that seems full of complexity. I believe I push for complexity on this issue has kept us from the simple answer. It is an answer we do not always like to hear, but I believe it is one that has truth to it. God is waiting because He is choosing to be merciful?
Seriously? How could a loving God consider letting evil do its thing be merciful. Here is the deal. One day God will banish evil. It will be gone for good. Tears of pain and sadness will be eradicated. Shame will cower in the shadows where it belongs. Pride and selfishness will burn up like chaff. God is going to put everything right one day. Christ will return, and cleansing will begin.
That period will also be a time of judgment. It will be the last call for those still on earth. The unrighteous will perish. Consequences will be played out. Only those covered in the blood of the lamb will get out on the other end. When evil is dealt with that is it. There are no other chances. Those still living who failed to seek Christ as their savior will be separated from Him for eternity. The end of evil will mean the end of evil men.
God wants to give the world time. His patience is a quality rooted in His mercy and compassion. He understands that the evil is painful. He understands we are hurt and distraught, but He also understands what definitive action would mean. He is showing patience in order to give others another chance. Will His patience end? Eventually, but not yet.
The truth is that I realize this is not even the full answer. It seems difficult to justify how a loving God could let evil happen. However, there are only two things I know that let me sleep at night. God does not ordain evil, and he is powerful enough to bring good out of evil. God is the master at taking the most despicable and evil things Satan can throw at this world, and turning them into a story of good, love, compassion, and redemption. He did it with a cross, He did it with children born out of wedlock, and He even did it in a garden. When Adam and Eve performed the first evil act in this world, God managed to make something good come out of that. He took it as an opportunity to shine his glory on a world that was now tainted with evil.
What shall you and I do in the meantime? Pray for Christ to return with all speed. Pray for the courage and strength to bring his goodness to an evil world while we wait.