Monday, October 8, 2007

The Problem Of Evil/Pain...

I've always thought theology was important. Not so much the learning of theology but more the learning of God. Who God is. "The most important aspect of faith is our mental picture of God". I'm eternally grateful for the theology of the church I just left. The main leader had a very interesting grip on the kingdom of God and all the things that flow from that. I have always thought that God is not the author of pain, and have been a firm believer in free-will. The reason I do my job is that I know God wants to use me to bring hope to those around me, that goes for all aspects of my life. I know so many times I'm unfaithful in this, but Jesus leads me on. The kids I work with are so damaged. Their lives have been nothing but a move from one rejection to another and I know that I can genuinely tell them that there is a hope. Jesus is their hope. And their abuse was not part of some divine plan for their life. It is an abomination and God weeps at it. He wants them to know that he has something something that no-one can take away from them...assurance, hope and joy in Him. Him who has loved them more deeply than we can ever know. I have never been able to understand how people could believe in a God who would orchestrate evil for his ultimate glory. I thought most people who thought like this were in a minority of Jesus loving people. I was wrong.
The reason why it is now in the forefront of my mind again, the actually theology of it is that I have moved church in the last few months. I now attend a wonderful church that my girlfriend introduced me to. I know God has brought me there. The teaching is excellent. However the theology is quite different. They would have a theology that would include predestination so naturally this can creep into some of their teaching. I do not object to this, as this is what they believe so I respect it. I'm also thankful for the fact that this is challenging what I have always been taught. I have been reading countless articles on the internet in relation to all things about the will of God etc. There is so much scripture that can point to both sides of the arguement. My quest at the moment is to scripturally figure out what I believe. I don't want to find scriptures that fit into my arguement. I want scripture to teach me about the heart of God. I do have my opinions and I think they are fundamental in my relationship with God, however, like I just said....I want scripture that will support this (or perhaps not - something that I admit I greatly fear).
So many people, non-believers and believers alike are confused by the idea that God could select certain people to go to heaven, and gladly send others to hell. And a God who is LOVE but creates tragedies to teach us all a lesson of His glory or that "he is enough". He is truly enough, but does that mean he would allow a woman to conceive after she has given up hope, only to have the baby die from complications during the birth? john piper thinks so. He preaches a short 3 minutes here. I don't think this true. I can't see how it's God’s will for tragic events to happen. The God that I have seen in my relationship with Him is a loving, compassionate God who is alive and present with us right now. He grieves with us, He changes with us, He loves us. I have also seen this God in the scriptures.
Anyways, I'm not giving much scripture here to back up anything I'm saying. My point of this post was to just say where I'm at and that I'm searching for the truth in it. I just bought Greg Boyd's book "Is God to blame" to see what he has to say. I've also been reading a lot of Piper to see what He has to say. And plenty more in between. I think Jane is a saint of patience putting up with my "oh, guess what I read today", "what do you think of this", "could you please make me tea and bring me some fig rolls as i solve peoples view on God". I'll update with my thoughts as i barrel through the book. Although, I'm actually reading another book at the moment called "Jesus Unplugged"...that deserves its own special post. I'm loving it.