Right now, here in Texas, we are having the most rain we have had in decades. The Bastrop State Park Dam failed, downtown Austin is in standing water, Houston is underwater, and several lives have been lost. We are not the only ones in a disaster situation, both Oklahoma and Mexico are also having heavy flooding. These events bring up two key issues that are related to Creation: 1. Why would a loving and benevolent God allow bad things, such as these floods, to happen? 2. The need for Salvation. I would like to talk about these 2 issues.

The issue of a loving God who allows bad things to happen has been used by many people as an excuse to not become a Christian. Many people have said that dreadful events, whether a local flood or a tsunami, are punishments from God. But the logic here doesn’t add up. There is a lot of wickedness in the world, why would God judge some people and not others? What about the children or the followers of Christ that were hurt? Why do some die in terrible ways and others survive? If it is true that God uses these events as a judgment, then the case that God is cruel and unfair is very strong. But these answers are coming from outside the Bible. When we look in the Bible, we find the answers we need.

The answer to this issue is in Genesis 1-3. We see that God originally created everything perfect. In fact, he called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Then something happened. Out of love, God gave man a free choice to follow Him or turn away. Man chose to turn away from God and brought judgement upon himself (Genesis 3). The cost of sin is death (Romans 6:23), therefore man’s sin brought death into the world. Now that the world is no longer perfect, we have death, disease, pain, and suffering (Romans 5:12). Romans 8:22 says, “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” So we see that natural disasters both great and small are natural consequences of the presence of sin, and evil, in the world and not necessarily the result of a certain sin or sinner.

Biblically speaking, this flooding in Texas reminds us of the sinfulness of mankind and the consequences that follow. It is a very humbling thought. It is because of us and our sin that these terrible events happen. Now the explanation I have given is very short and simplified. If you would like to learn more, I recommend this page: Suffering, by Answers in Genesis. The important thing to remember, is that suffering and natural disasters are not punishments from God. They are the natural result of evil. It is our fault, by sinning and bringing evil into the world, that death and suffering are here and that disasters like flooding remind us of the consequences of our sin.

The Texas flooding also reminds us of our need for salvation. A very sad story appeared in USA Today titled, “Homecoming queen swept away amid torrid Texas floods” written by Justin Bourke, a reporter for KENS-TV. According to the Daily Beast, this homecoming queen had a ‘heart for God’ and is described as a heartfelt follower of Christ. Why do I bring this up? I don’t want to dishonor this young girl in any way, but I think that her situation proves a point. This girl had everything you’d think someone would need. She had family, popularity, and Jesus, and yet in an instant the consequences of sin took effect and she died. Now, if what the newspapers say are true, then as Christians, we believe she went to be with Jesus. Even though we can rejoice that this girl will be with her Savior, it reminds us that death can come to us at any time. Death will find us, whether we are young or old, whether we seem to “have it all” or have very little.

That is why we need Jesus, by dying on the cross he paid the punishment for our sin. When we accept him we can spend eternity with God because our sins have been cast upon Jesus. Romans 5:18-19 says, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” If you are reading this and you are already a saved follower of Christ, don’t neglect to share Christ with others. Share about God’s love and how he can redeem us from our sin and everlasting destruction.

If you are reading this and are not a follower of Christ, I encourage you to read about how to be saved here. Although the pain and destruction in life can be devastating, it reminds us of our sin and why we need Jesus to save us. Thank you for reading, I hope to write on Creation and the news again soon,

Kirk F.

(Here are the Articles referenced above: Homecoming queen swept away amid torrid Texas floods, USA Today. Texas Homecoming Queen With a ‘Heart for God’ Gets Swept Away by Floods, The Daily Beast.)

(All Bible verses are from the New King James Version)

 

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Comment by Kirk A. French on May 31, 2015 at 4:49pm

David,

Thank you for your kind comment, my reply here is said with sincerity and respect.

I completely agree with you that the majority of people suffering who say, "How could a loving God let this happen?!?" are really looking for emotional support and not a logical explanation. You are also spot on about thinking twice before responding to someone. Many Christians bust out a quick response to someone’s question without really assessing what the person needs. I have done this and learned this lesson the hard way, but helping people who are suffering is not why I wrote the article. Here are the two reasons I wrote it:

  1. Academic debate: I have personally run into many people who use death and suffering as a pragmatic objection to Christianity in a debate environment. Whether sitting around a campfire, talking over lunch, or just visiting in general, I, and many other Christians, talk to people who give us logical objections to Christianity. One of the most popular objections is that the Christian God cannot really be a loving God if there is death and suffering in our world. Many people have bought into this lie. It is for them that I right this article, to show them that the Christian God IS a God of love and this objection is not logical. You see, David, this blog post is an academic argument for a debate, not reassurance for the suffering.

  2. To help other Christians: I also wrote this post to strengthen other Christians by giving them an answer to the “death and suffering” objection. This is very important as two thirds of Christian youths give up Christianity when they leave home. (see here) These youths buy into the objections of the world because they have no answer. By giving other Christians an answer they can remain secure in their faith, rather than stumbling over “death and suffering” and possibly giving up their faith.

This is why God calls Christians to always have an answer, or defense, of our faith (1 Peter 3:15). It is my prayer that God used my blog post to confront the doubts of non-Christians so that they might be saved, and the doubts of Christians so they might be strengthened.

Thank you again for commenting David, I will be praying for you.

God Bless,

                Kirk F.

Comment by David on May 28, 2015 at 3:40am

Hi, Kirk.

This is a very well-written piece! Thank you for sharing it.

I might gently suggest that 95% of the time, someone who says, "How could a loving God let this happen?!?" doesn't really mean "Please explain to me how a loving God could let this happen." What they're really saying is, "This is DEEPLY upsetting and I don't understand. I really need a sympathetic ear."

So if this subject ever comes up in a face-to-face conversation, I would urge you to think twice (or thrice!) before bustin' out the Genesis 3 explanation. Just give them some emotional support and tell 'em it's okay to not have all the answers.

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