Thursday, October 25, 2007

“Why does God make deformed babies and pain in the world?”

One of the college students I’m privileged to serve with was asked this question by one of her roommates and she solicited my input. This is the big one and I don’t think there are any answers that are 100% satisfactory or it would cease being “the big one” in terms of tough questions. I know a couple of guys who are brighter than I am read this blog on occasion so I’m soliciting their input as I lay out my first email to this student. This was after giving it a day’s thought, but without studying so please correct me as you see fit … or expand it. A couple more installments are to come. But here’s email #1.

Sin. Not the sin of deformed babies, or even regions where tragedy hits. But when Adam & Eve sinned (Gen. 3), Creation felt it, too. The ground wouldn't produce the way it was supposed to and Adam was going to have to work hard for food. We know that because of Adam (Rom. 5) we have our issues with sin, but Paul, when talking about the struggle with the Christian life and sin, indicates that Creation is under the weight of sin - "subjected to frustration" and will itself be "liberated from its bondage ... into glorious freedom" (Rom. 8.18-22 or so). Things aren't the way they're supposed to be ... with us as individuals, and with the created world because of our breaking covenant with God through Adam.

This doesn't answer the individual issues, but it explains why things are generally a mess. People are fallen and make sinful choices - that's the easy evil (bad people do bad things). But creation isn't as it should be, either. Not much later in Romans 8.28) it tells how God can use anything for our good if we love Him, which can give meaning to individual suffering for believers. John 9 is a good example of this, but there's something to be said for those who suffer for Christ and yet honor Him, even if they're not healed.
That’s a pretty quick drive by. Did I handle it appropriately? Please advise.

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