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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Will of God Conundrum

Katrina Aftermath
The Will of God Conundrum can be the source of much human meanness. For example, after hurricane Katrina we heard that the killer storm was the Will of God…or we hear that persons are stricken with HIV because of the Will of God…or that some wallow in surplus while others struggle in abject poverty because of the Will of God. In other words, WHATEVER is is right; the status quo must be the Will of God. Thus “Que Sera Sera” must be the ruling attitude of mankind.

The first objection to this view must be based upon common sense—it flies in the face of rational behavior. Say, you own a sports franchise. Would you really tolerate a coach for one minute whose pre-game locker room address to his players was something like this? “Well, men in today’s game what will be will be. There is no need to strive hard in today’s game, men, for God is in control and has already determined the winner or loser. So don’t exert yourselves unnecessarily or earnestly strive to win. If we make a sorry showing in today’s game, well as Believers we know that pleases God and fulfills his will. Anyone who disagrees with me on this is not a true Christian.”

The practical difficulty we face if we say that everything that occurs is in God’s will is that we must attribute to him injustice, cruelty, and unchristian hatred of the innocent. We remember that Jesus in Matthew 23 denounced a long list of practices by religious leaders of the time. He says, for example, “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel” (NLT). Clearly Jesus is calling on the leaders to act differently, to change their ways, to act righteously; to be, in short, earnest players for God rather than cesspools of selfishness—in other words, cesspools of selfishness are out of God's will.

It is absolutely true that the crucifixion of Christ was God’s will—given the state of human ungodliness. And Jesus, as an earnest player, put God’s will above his own. But of necessity this means that human ungodliness was not in God’s will, as Jesus himself repeatedly made clear. So we must conclude that we are to be on God’s team and be the very best players we can be—being earnest in all our endeavors. Surely it is a perversion of truth to say that evil is good and good is evil.

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