Monday, December 7, 2009

God is in control....are we sure about that?




This could be a long post but I'll try to keep it short. I haven't been able to bring myself to read too much about the Murphy report. The report in a nutshell exposed the extreme lack on the part of the Catholic Church to deal with reports of children being abused in the Dublin diocese. It concluded that the main priority in dealing with child abuse within the church was to maintain secrecy in order to protect the reputation of the church and it's assets and to avoid scandal.
One of the testimonies that came out of the report was of a lady recalling her experience of being abused as a 10 year old girl by a priest. During the abuse he told her to be a good girl as he was "doing God's will". It made me sick to my stomach and I'm sure it does yours. The thoughts of a man of influence representing Father God abusing a little girl in his name is repugnant.
However the thing that pains me and confuses me is that behind a lot of Christians theology is that what happened is in fact God's will. All the time I hear "God is in control', 'It's all part of his perfect plan' and so on. I wonder do people really realise what is loaded behind these statements? If God is truly fully in control, that means all things are attributed to him. That in turn means that somehow our loving heavenly Father thought it would be a good idea as part of his good and perfect plan to have a 10 year old girl abused. How can people reconcile this with a Father who is to be trusted and a Daddy who has the best for his kids?
Now I know many Godly men have brought forward great and compelling theological arguments for why God is truly in control and why they cannot conceive a world where anything happens that God does not decree. The problem for me is when this theology becomes practical. What does the Pastor who firmly believes God is in control say to a woman who was abused as a little girl when asked why did it happen? Of course they will probably say it was a horrible thing to happen and God is there to comfort you. If being honest they will have to say actually God was pleased according to his perfect will to ordain that you be abused for his greater glory.
I'm learning and could be wrong but I really cannot ever imagine my Father in heaven ordaining something so heinous and nauseating upon a child. This world is messed up, hence the call to pray that God's kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven. I touched on that a couple of posts ago about the floods in Ireland. I could launch into a biblical defence of my thoughts but I'll save that for another time. It's the thoughts on our theology (we all have theology some of us just don't call it that, it's just our way of thinking about God) and how that influences how we live our lives and how we pastor and care for the broken around us and how we view our Father that I'm thinking about.
God the Father weeps with those kids and all of us who are suffering. He's not ordaining our suffering and then asking us to find comfort in him. He has given us and angels free will, therefore we suffer and in the midst of it he comforts us. He can and does bring good out of evil things, but he doesn't cause them. It's a scary thought to think that God is not controlling everything but it makes the beauty of his giving us, in his sovereignty, free will all the more beautiful knowing he wants a genuine love relationship with us. We're not just robots who he controls for his own pleasure.
God is good, is in love with us and can genuinely be trusted.

3 comments:

D.J. Williams said...

Ferg,

I hesitate to even write this, since we've had this discussion countless times, but the view of God you recommend here is simply not the God we see presented in the Bible. If what you say here is true, then please, please explain to me Isaiah 45:7.

Might I once again humbly suggest that you are misunderstanding the Calvinistic view of God's will here. You say your problem is a practical one, that inescapably God is "pleased" to bring suffering on people. That's simply not the case. I know a lot of Calvinists, and I know no one who believes that. Suffering exists in the world as a result of our sin and rebellion against God. Yet, God is in control of the world - even over the evil actions of man. Those actions do not "please" him, but (as he promises in Romans 8:28), he works those actions (which we as sinners are responsible for) for our good and his glory.

I fear for you in this, man, and here's why. You admit that a very compelling case is made Biblically for God being in control, yet because you don't like what you see as the practical implications, you reject it. What that process essentially does is forms a God based on your own preferences and desires rather than who he's revealed himself to be.

God is a perfectly loving Father, and he is also the sovereign Lord of the universe. Both are clearly taught in Scripture. Don't jettison one or the other because we can't quite wrap our minds around the details of how both can be true simultaneously. We are, after all, finite beings trying to comprehend an infinite God. That means there will always be "secret things," as Deuteronomy tells us. See his power, and trust his goodness. After all, he planned from eternity past to save your soul through the most evil act in the history of the universe - the murder of his own son. That was no accident, and neither are the lesser sufferings we experience.

Peace, brother.

eagleswings said...

Blessings on this new year to you and Jane, may it be exciting and filled with God's adventures for the two of you.
I hear all your questions as you write Ferg and know they are constantly arising in us as we read of the horrors you mention.
Have you ever read "Letters to a devastated Christian" by Gene Edwards? An old book but rich and insightful. Judith

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,