The “Sovereignty” of God Goes to YouTube

Recently, I wrote a response for a YouTuber in regards to God and the Problem of Evil. Here is a slightly abridged excerpt of my comment below.

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It is my belief that a Christianity that claims to have the answers is simply naive, or deceptive, or both. As much a Christian–myself included–may not want to admit it, we don’t have answers for the questions that plague humanity the most. There is a reason that the famous Problem of Evil is the principal barrier to Christian belief.

Yes. The “answers” that some have to offer are generally, utterly unsatisfying to most of us for whom the realities of Holocaust, twisted systems of justice, horrible and intolerable forms of sexual slavery, and a war-torn world loom ever closely. I am thrilled to say that Jesus Christ is far more than he often sounds. Jesus Christ is not a magic formula for enabling the love of God to extend to humanity. Jesus Christ is the very incarnation of the love of God, the image of the invisible God whose love has extended to humanity from the beginning.

I will not pretend to answer your question satisfactorily. For indeed, I do not know it. I do not believe that a Christian answer to human suffering can now be known, though it would seem to me that the likes of Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, and Moltmann have come close to it. The Christian’s hope is in that which is unseen. The Christian, on the evidence that God loves humanity enough that Christ died for us, trusts him to bring to completion in the end that which he has begun in Jesus.

You raised some pretty heavy claims that I do have some thoughts for, however.

1) “The All-loving God of Love is able to destroy satan and Hell for that instances but CHOOSES not to so HIS blessings get more shine?” No. If a Christian says this, I am afraid I would have to side with you, rather than them. I do not believe we can know why God chooses not to destroy Satan and hell now. We as Christians do believe, however, that he will. According to Christianity, “The reason why the Son of God [Jesus] appeared was to destroy the works of the Devil.” There is no act of evil or violence committed now that will not be undone and restored one-hundred fold. A Christianity that does not teach restoration and reconciliation falls short of the “glory of God.”

2) “The God of Love that CREATED us will send us to hell if we choose not to bow down to him?” I have two responses to this objection. i) God does not send to hell (gehenna). People go on their own. It is my opinion that the Gospel According to John actually teaches that, in a very real fashion, people are already in hell now. To be in hell is not to have Jesus Christ. I can say this is true in my own life. I have found no more beautiful picture in all of physics, chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, literature, or anywhere else that exceeds the beauty of the God whose purpose would be the sacrifice of His “only Son”. Those are the lengths that God took to restore humanity. This restoration is not finished, but it has begun. ii) According to Christianity, everyone will ultimately choose to bow down to God. The traditional view has been that those who choose not to have God would not benefit from being saved from hell. It would be kind of forcing Adolph Hitler to hang out with a Jew. (In the analogy, the person who does not have faith in Jesus is like Hitler and God is like the Jew. It would not necessarily be kind for the Jew to force Hitler to hang out with him. All analogies break down, but I’m sure you can follow the picture.) In this light, hell is always understood as a mercy. God is giving the person what they want–a reality without him. I personally believe that throughout the coming eternities, God will actually find a way to save everyone out of hell through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ. The earliest Christian commentator to explicitly believe this was Origen of Alexandria (circa 170 A.D.) and he was absolutely brilliant. Do not let modern Christians fool you into thinking that there is only one way to understand the Eschaton (the end).

3) “So God created Man…and Man has too suffer for eternity if they don’t
bow down to God..So the All Powerful and Loving God is punishing HIS
creation for not doing what he says..right” You have very nearly arrived at the heart of Christianity. You are able to see that formulated this way, this cannot be what the God of love is doing. The Problem of Evil must be understood in alternative terms. Otherwise, Christianity simply is not true. Some of my favorite Bible verses say something like this: “For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.” (Lamentations 3:31-33 English Standard Version.)

My friend, I am here to tell you that you are right. Something seems horribly wrong with the world and the universe. Based on what we can reasonably deduce, it hardly seems possible that an all-powerful AND all-loving God could possibly be behind it; however, I am here to tell you that faith is the evidence of things hoped for, and the certainty of things not seen. If Christianity is true, then this is true: “For God loved the world like this: that He gave his only son, that whoever trusts in him should not remain lost, but experience true living.” (John 3:16, my translation/paraphrase.)

I believe that you are made in the image of a loving God. That is why you look with disgust upon the evil in the world. My friend, I encourage you to take comfort in the fact that the Lord of Life and Love hates evil even more than you do. We do not know why he tolerates it, contrary to the claims of some, but we know that if he exists that he does tolerate it, and that based on the cross of Jesus Christ, we have positive evidence that God is able and willing to take the horror of our world and make something good out of it in the future, “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11.)

Anyways. That’s my take on Christianity. I believe for a certainty that you will find joy and life if you look for them in Jesus.

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