How can a loving God allow evil like the Boston Marathon explosions to happen?

How can a loving God allow evil like the Boston Marathon explosions to happen?

Here are some of the details of the explosions:

Boston Marathon Explosion 04/15/2013

Published on Apr 15, 2013

Prayers go out to the victims and their families!

The Boston Globe is reporting that at least a dozen people have been seriously injured. CBS Boston is reporting that 20-30 have been injured. According to police scanner radio, the bomb apparently came from a suspicious package under the bleachers.

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Boston’s JFK Library explosion aftermath (photo by Neil Ungerleider, WCVB-TV)

(CNN) – Boston police are investigating whether a third explosion, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, is connected to Monday’s two bombings at the Boston Marathon, Police Commissioner Ed Davis said.

Blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed two people and injured at least 28 others, Boston police said.

The marathon itself, on its Facebook page, referred to the blasts as bombs. Authorities did not say immediately what caused the explosions.

Massachusetts General Hospital said it was treating 19 injured people; Tufts Medical Center reported that some injured were to be treated there as well.

The explosions sent smoke billowing into the air at Copley Square, turning a site of celebration into a mess of destruction.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Lenox Hotel was evacuated, the Boston Globe reported, as authorities looked into possible security concerns.

Off icials in other cities, including New York and Washington, D.C., tightened security as a result.

The explosions occurred at about 2:45 p.m., more than two hours after the first of the race’s nearly 27,000 runners had crossed the finish line.

The race was halted as was subway service into the area.

The FBI and troops from the Massachusetts National Guard were assisting police.

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At least 2 dead, dozens injured after two bombs explode at Boston Marathon

Published April 15, 2013

FoxNews.com

At least two people are dead and dozens injured – including up to 10 with amputated limbs – after two bombs tore through the finish line of the Boston Marathon and another exploded near a Boston library, according to the Boston Police Department.

The simultaneous explosions, and reports of two other unexploded devices found near the scene raised suspicions that the blasts, just before 3 p.m., could be part of a terrorist attack. Authorities shut down cellular service in the area in order to prevent remote detonations. Intelligence officials told The Associated Press two unexploded devices were being dismantled, and a third explosion near the JFK Library in the Columbia Point section of Dorchester. Competitors and race organizers were crying as they fled the bloody chaos, while some witnesses reported seeing victims with lost limbs.

“Somebody’s leg flew by my head,” a spectator, who gave his name as John Ross, told the Boston Herald. “I gave my belt to stop the blood.”

The first two explosions occurred at 2:50 p.m. – nearly five hours after the marathon began – about 50 to 100 yards apart, according to Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis. The third explosion occurred several miles southeast of the marathon’s finish line, at around 4:15 p.m. Police could not say if it was related to the earlier explosions.

Witnesses heard booms that sounded like two claps of thunder near the finish line inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel, according to multiple local reports. The horror unfolded as the city marked the 238th annual Patriot’s Day, commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Video of the scene showed a number of emergency crews in the area tending to victims and blood on the ground near the finish line.

“I saw two explosions. The first one was beyond the finish line. I heard a loud bang and I saw smoke rising,” Boston Herald reporter Chris Cassidy, who was running in the marathon, told the newspaper. “I kept running and I heard behind me a loud bang. It looked like it was in a trash can or something…There are people who have been hit with debris, people with bloody foreheads.”

“There are a lot of people down,” said one man, whose bib No. 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter of North Carolina. He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg. A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding.

About three hours after the winners crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another thunderous explosion could be heard a few seconds later.

Runner Laura McLean of Toronto said she heard two explosions outside the medical tent.

“There are people who are really, really bloody,” McLean said. “They were pulling them into the medical tent.”

Cherie Falgoust was waiting for her husband, who was running the race.  “I was expecting my husband any minute,” she said. “I don’t know what this building is … it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don’t know what it was. I just ducked.”

Authorities in New York, meanwhile, are deploying counter-terrorism vehicles around landmark sites in Manhattan, including prominent hotels, according to the New York City Police Department.

Nearly 25,000 people, including runners from around the world, competed in Boston’s celebrated 26.2-mile race, attracting huge throngs of onlookers, especially near the finish line.

“This is a horrific day in Boston,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor [Thomas] Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”

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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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