Monday, December 01, 2008


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

First, why shouldn't bad things happen to good people? Take Jesus, for instance. Well, with that answer, the matter pretty much comes to a halt. But let's go on.

Jesus said that rain falls on just and unjust. When waters rage through a village, they wipe out saints' houses as well as villains'. When cancer strikes, Christians die in agony just like atheists. When crib death opens a dawn with dread, believers contend with the suffering just as do agnostics.

So what's the big deal about suffering, sorrow and sadness? And why should not that be the lot of good people as well as bad?

Second, there is a databank called The Bible. In that Scripture base there is the groundwork set for coming to the truth about good / bad and tears. In the very first book of the Book there is info about two first people disobeying deity. With that, nature fell. With that, supernature fell.

That means then that we have come to inhabit a spiritually fallen planet. Things were once on course--ah, for Eden. But for a very long time, things have been off course--yuck, Eden lost.

Further, we are all caught up in the loss--good and bad people alike. No one exempt. That is why Realist Jesus was so right on when he said that thing about rain falling.

A rabbi wrote a book entitled, WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

Now in his book the good rabbi came to the philosophical / theological bottom line that deity is less than the Wheaties fellow history has made Him out to be. That is, Atlas He ain't. And, can you believe it--I understand that there are actually some church folk who have bought into that?

In other words, God is not all powerful any more.

C'mon now. Puff the magic dragon and all the rest of the myths. But the wimp God is a little too much to handle.

God is all powerful in that He made all things good. HE did it!

In that setting, He planted free will in the zenith of His creation--homosapien. What a risk. But it had to be in order to have a creature who did not run on instinct.

Once those free will creatures were set in motion, they could receive deity or reject deity. That was their Grand Choice. And that was also the super gamble on deity's part.

Nevertheless, how many fellowship bridges can you build with a sparrow--or snail--or snake? So on with the free will creature in order to get finally to talk to somebody who could answer back--even if the answer was not the one hoped for.

According to our divinely inspired database, free will creatures then let God down. But--misfortune of misfortunes--that was the way the system was set. Nature and supernature then had to live with the fallout.

However, that does not take away from the all-powerfulness of deity. It simply means that, when he created free will agents, He pulled back His power to allow them the choice power.

You, parent, hypothetically could have all power over your child. Put him in a cage from birth. Push the meals through the slats. Remove waste material. Lord it over him from every angle.

No!, you protest. That would be abuse. And you are right.

So what do you do? You pull back your parental authority in order for the child to make his own choices. Some of them are good, others not so good; nevertheless, what other choice have YOU got?

Therefore, in the system we have--spiritually fallen world--good people suffer; bad people suffer. Only eternal heaven will introduce us to an environs where all will be utterly right. Till then, we believers deal with The Fall in grace and hope.

However, warning: the last thing we do is to conclude that God is not up to His Wheaties.


  1. Anonymous2:31 PM

    That is a powerful message.

  2. Anonymous11:16 PM

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