Death toll to 125 in Joplin, How can a good God allow evil and suffering?

First Person video of Joplin MO tornado 5/22/11

The video i took while at Fastrip on east 20th street. We huddled in the back of the store until the glass got sucked out , then ran into the walk in storage fridge. Sorry for the lack of visuals but the audio is pretty telling of how intense the storm was. The tornado hits at around 1:20 seconds.

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It is  hollywood’s view that in times of crisis and natural disasters then people will curse over and over. Take a look at the video above. What did the people do? They cried out to Jesus over and over for help.

Now that the storms have come and taken lives with them, we hear about the blame that God deserves for allowing the storms. I hope to address that issue in today’s post.

Reuters reported today:

JOPLIN, Mo (Reuters) – The death toll from a monster tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri, rose to 125 on Wednesday after an overnight search turned up more bodies but no new survivors, authorities said.

Search teams pressed on through a harsh night of more stormy weather following the monster tornado that devastated the town of 50,000 on Sunday.

Using cadaver dogs and heavy equipment, they sought both the living and the dead amid the wreckage of homes, business, schools and churches.

About 1,500 people have been reported missing and some 750 people were injured, according to authorities.

A fresh line of tornadoes and thunderstorms rumbled through the Midwest again Tuesday night, bringing more death and destruction to the region, though sparing Joplin.

The storms killed at least seven people and injured many more as tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, Kansas and into Arkansas.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Jerry Norton)Many have asked during this tough time: How can a good God allow evil and suffering?

Their thinking is that either God is not powerful enough to prevent evil or else God is not good. He is often blamed for tragedy. “Where was God when I went through this, or when that happened.”  God is blamed for natural disasters, Even my insurance company describes them as “acts of God.” How to handle this one-  (O.N.E.)
a. Origin of evil— man’s choice- God created a perfect world…
b. Nature of God—He forgives, I John 1:9—He uses tragedy to bring us to Himself, C.S. Lewis, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains:  it is His megaphone to arouse a deaf world.”
c. End of it all—Bible teaches that God will one day put an end to all evil, and pain and death. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).As Christians we have this hope of Heaven and eternity. Share how it has made a tremendous difference in your life and that you know for sure that when you die you are going to spend eternity in Heaven. Ask the person, “May I ask you a question? Do you have this hope? Do you know for certain that when you die you are going to Heaven, or is that something you would say you’re still working on?”How could a loving God send people to Hell?
(O.N.E.)
a. Origin of hell—never intended for people. Created for Satan and his demons. Jesus said, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41). Man chooses to sin and ignore God. The penalty is death (eternal separation from God) and, yes, Hell. But God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, we choose it by refusing or ignoring God in attitude and action. b. Nature of God—“ God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He is so loving that He sent His own Son to die and pay the penalty for our sin so that we could avoid Hell and have the assurance of Heaven. No one in Hell will be able to blame God. He doesn’t send people there, it’s our own choice. We must choose to repent, to stop ignoring God in attitude and action, accepting His salvation and yielding to His leadership.c. End of it all—Bible teaches that God will one day put an end to all evil, pain, death, and penalty of Hell. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).As Christians , we need not worry about Hell. The Bible says, “these things have been written . . . so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).  I have complete confidence that when I die, I’m going to Heaven.  May I ask you a question?___________________________-

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Answers the problem of evil and a good God… puts the issue squarely in the lap of the skeptic asking the question (where it belongs).

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In his article “A Conversation with an Atheist,” Rick Wade notes:

The problem of evil is a significant moral issue in the atheist’s arsenal. We talk about a God of goodness, but what we see around us is suffering, and a lot of it apparently unjustifiable. Stephanie said, “Disbelief in a personal, loving God as an explanation of the way the world works is reasonable–especially when one considers natural disasters that can’t be blamed on free will and sin.”{17}

One response to the problem of evil is that God sees our freedom to choose as a higher value than protecting people from harm; this is the freewill defense. Stephanie said, however, that natural disasters can’t be blamed on free will and sin. What about this? Is it true that natural disasters can’t be blamed on sin? I replied that they did come into existence because of sin (Genesis 3). We’re told in Romans 8 that creation will one day “be set free from its slavery to corruption,” that it “groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” The Fall caused the problem, and, in the consummation of the ages, the problem will be fixed.

Second, I noted that on a naturalistic basis, it’s hard to even know what evil is. But the reality of God explains it. As theologian Henri Blocher said,

The sense of evil requires the God of the Bible. In a novel by Joseph Heller, “While rejecting belief in God, the characters in the story find themselves compelled to postulate his existence in order to have an adequate object for their moral indignation.” . . . When you raise this standard objection against God, to whom do you say it, other than this God? Without this God who is sovereign and good, what is the rationale of our complaints? Can we even tell what is evil? Perhaps the late John Lennon understood: “God is a concept by which we measure our pain,” he sang. Might we be coming to the point where the sense of evil is a proof of the existence of God?{18}

So,… if there is no God, there really is no problem of evil. Does the atheist ever find herself shaking her fist at the sky after some catastrophe and demanding an explanation? If there is no God, no one is listening.

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Comments

  • thomas  On May 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I am very sorry that you could feel the way you posted.. god allows all things to happen,to good ppl,bad ppl,and all ppl the same… you can be put through a endless string of events,but you have to keep god as a strength to help you deal with life,faith..we can’t blame him when we our faith is tested….where it be cancer loss,disease,natural disaster, divorce, you see…. im not a person that is a huge reloious person,I don’t even go to church…but I wanted to encourage you to lean on the lord in bad times,instead of blaming him..

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