Woody Allen stated, “How do you expect me to believe in God when only last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of my electric typewriter?” So begins Michael Ramsden in his this message entitled "World of Suffering". This humorous quip demonstrates that there are really two different questions at the heart of the issue. 1 - Why do we see so much suffering and evil in the world? And 2 - Why me?
Often, the common objection is that if God is all loving, then why is there suffering? But Christianity does not talk about God being loving, but that God is love.
Now, in order for love as a quality to exist, it must be between 2 beings. One does not wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, admire themselves and say “I’m in love”. Therefore, the idea of God as a monad does not make sense, for such a God needs to create someone to love. This is why the Christian doctrine of the Trinity becomes so important, because love exists in the community of the Godhead. (A thought for those who object to 1 God existing with 3 persons, the language is the same as that of 1 marriage with 2 persons.) So in Christianity we have a God who wants to create a world in which love is a meaningful expression and experience.
Now suppose I hold a gun to your head and ask you if you love me. You will probably, even with tears in your eyes, express that you love me. Now suppose someone witnesses this and goes home and says how you expressed your love for me. Does the fact that I was holding a gun to your head matter? Of course it does. Love is meaningless unless it is can be expressed freely.
So now we learn how the moral law exists to protect freedom. Freedom is not being able to do whatever you want, however you want, whenever you want. That is anarchy. Freedom can only exist within a moral framework. Yet we reject God and His moral framework. We fail to realize that it is impossible to break the moral law. Suppose I go on a roof with a red cape, a big S on my chest and wear my red underwear on the outside of my pants. If I jump off the roof in an attempt to break the law of gravity, what will I break? I will break myself while proving the law of gravity.
The same is true if you try to break God’s moral law, you will break yourself while proving His moral law. You don’t think this is true? Have you ever been lied to, cheated, stolen from, stabbed in the back? It hurts. When moral law is broken, we get hurt.
But some will argue that God should have known what evil would do. So if he knew about all the evil and suffering we would experience, why did He create anyways? We see then answer when we look at how Jesus responded to the suffering of humanity. He had compassion on the sick. He wept over Jerusalem. He did know how this world would be. God’s plan to save humanity is not a plan B.
What is it that determines the value of something? A gold wedding ring has value. (Some may argue that a wedding ring is just a small metal band that cuts off your circulation.) But if no one wanted gold, would it have any value? No. Gold has value because of the price that someone is willing to pay. Now think about the price God was willing to pay for humanity, for you. He paid the highest possible price that could be paid. He held nothing back. And when we look at ourselves and the world around us, this is the true mystery of the cross. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God so loved the world…
I hope that you enjoy the British wit and wisdom of Michael’s message. Go here to listen to Part 1, here for Part 2 and here for Part 3.
That you may know, Roger