Many times after a particularly tragic event, such as the latest school shooting, our reasoning is put to the test. We hear the question asked, “Why would God allow such a tragedy to take place?”
The brains of most people cannot even comprehend taking the lives of innocent children so why does God allow these things? My experience with the people asking me this question is that they don’t really want to know the answer. They usually walk away before I finish. I believe their intent is to slander or minimize God rather than hear the truth.
The simple answer is God allows all of us the freedom of choice. He didn’t create a world of robots to serve and worship Him. He created us with a freedom to choose Him or reject Him. He doesn’t suffer from a self image problem.
A movement started in our nation approximately fifty years ago to remove God from our government. This movement fell into the drug culture first. No one wanted to be told what to do. Everyone involved wanted “free love” and other pleasures with no constraints. No one remembered the words of John Adams, our second president, who stated, “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”.
Notice the focus is not just religious but also morality. Who should decide the moral standards for our society? The framers of our Constitution thought it should be God. As God is removed from our government, and our government loses its ability to protect its people, who will decide what type of government we should have in the future?
Unfortunately, the only government that will work for a Godless people is a dictatorship. When we remove God, we remove good. Once goodness is gone, the only way to keep law and order is with an iron fist. The dictator will decide what sort of government we will have and what we will have to give up. The chances of pursuing “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” will be minimal.
So, how can we prevent tragedies like the school shooting? It can be done by ruling man with an iron fist, or the kindler gentler way, by changing the heart of man. Jesus said in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
What did Jesus recommend? In John 3:3 He tells a Jewish ruler, ”Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Then in Verse 16, He teaches this ruler what life is really all about: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And in Verse 17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
This is not about getting a flashlight app for your iPhone, but deciding to be led by the light of the world. If you want a world of peace, why not go to the Prince of Peace?
Noel Reese is the pastor at Calvary Chapel Rio Vista. He can be reached at email@example.com.