Where was God when….

I’m sure you’ve seen this cartoon before, it always picks up steam again after a mass shooting at a school. If you haven’t here it is….
image

It’s just a little illustration of how we don’t want God in our lives but we expect Him to step in and stop these awful tragedies that seem to happen far too often. The comic of course implies that when God was welcome in or schools that these things didn’t happen and there may be some truth to that, at least in the frequency of shootings.

Well of course the other side can say “well if God is real, He would have been in Charleston at that church where a bunch of people were shot, why didn’t He stop that?”

OR

Where was God when the shooting at the movie theater took place, or the one at the Marines office?
(Ever notice how these shooters pick places where they know no one will fire back? Oh sorry…that’s another post.)

The short answer is that God was in that church and He was in that school and He allowed both tragedies to happen, the school system saying they want no mention of God does not mean He wasn’t there, He is everywhere all the time. That’s what omnipresent means. The cartoon however is pointing at a completely different problem, on one side you have those that claim He doesn’t exist and then use every tragedy as some kind of proof. The other side is the Christian argument where we say “Why should He?”

If I’m being honest this comic does not help our cause, it actually makes our argument look worse than it is.
By saying that God wouldn’t stop the shooting just because society doesn’t want Him there, is saying that God will abandon us because some want Him to, and that is not what He does. If He wanted to stop it, He could have stopped it, but not because we want Him to, but because He wanted to.

God loves us but He also sees the bigger picture, I have no doubt in my mind that He works through these tragedies, He uses people during these tragedies. That’s why you always see and hear such amazing stories of hope and courage come out of every tragedy.
I believe the marine who took seven bullets while saving who knows how many lives was being strengthened by God, he got to live to tell his story.
After the Charleston church shooting we saw the victims families actually forgive the shooter and then went on to invite him into Heaven by believing in Jesus, we don’t know if he ever did, but the invitation was extended.

I think our argument would have been much stronger if we said “God is there, and He just brought home some of His sons and daughters.”
This tells others that no, God didn’t stop it, after all we submit to His will and at the end of the day death is just a doorway we go through to get to the place we want to be. All of those people killed after acknowledging Jesus have gone to be with Jesus.

The free will argument is also a part of this, we all have our free will to do whatever we want, if someone uses his free will to murder a bunch of people then he is exercising his freedom. What he is not doing however, is thinking about the consequences of said free will, I have the free will to drive my car into a brick wall, but the freedom that comes with my free will to do that is not detached from the responsibility of my freedom, there are consequences when I drive my car into a wall and no matter how free I am, I cannot escape the fact that I will probably die when doing that. Likewise someone carrying a gun into a school and shooting people has the freedom of will to do it, but he is not free from the consequences, he is now forcing his freedom on others and there is always repercussions when one does that, someone else may pull a gun and put a bullet in his head and now the freedom he once had is gone, and now he has no choice but to suffer the consequences.

This cartoon should be nothing more than an icebreaker, looking to a cartoon to answer one of the biggest problems people have with Christianity is juvenile at best, we ought rather to refer to our Bibles, not our own understanding of any situation, it should always be to look to the word of God.
Theologically speaking the cartoon is weak, as Christians we know that the presence of God does not mean that a fallen, sinful world suffers no pain. A fallen and sinful world must acknowledge the sinfulness before we can ever get to a place where pain is no more. We all know that we as a whole we aren’t going to do that and unfortunately that means we will continue to suffer the consequences of someone else’s choices, whether that be a man with a gun walking into a school and shooting everyone, or someone who builds a bomb out of a pressure cooker.

God is everywhere, even in times of terrible tragedy. He doesn’t stop it because He is allowing the world it’s choices, when people die as a result one can only hope that the doorway they go through leads to a place where God’s presence does not allow for pain and suffering.

While I wouldn’t use this cartoon to prove anything I can use it when posted by someone else to answer the much larger question, where is God during any tragedy? Non believers want to use His perceived absence as proof of His non existence.
We can reply by using the reverse argument, if suffering proves He doesn’t exist than everytime someone does a good thing it must be proof FOR His existence.

The presence of evil does not mean God doesn’t exist, the presence of good does not prove He does. The presence of both good and evil should make one think though, without God how do we instinctively know what is good? How do we know what is evil?
God exists whether we believe or not, whether we like it or not and whether in situations good or evil.

Closing thought, the Oregon shooter asked his victims their religion before he decided their fate, the first person to say he was a Christian was shot and killed. Every person that admitted no religion or anything other than Christianity was allowed to live. When the gunman points his hate at the next Christian and asked his religion, the Christian said he was… Christian knowing what would happen to him, that is true courage, all of the other victims to die also reported they were Christians knowing they would die, but a gun in their face didn’t stop them from acknowledging Jesus. Hopefully that provokes some thought.

He is real.
He loves you.
He wants you to choose Him because He has already chosen you.

Thanks for reading.

Posted from WordPress for Android

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