Can We Stop Saying “Everything Happens For A Reason”!
By Mike Edwards
I cringe when well-meaning people passionate about God say things like “it’s all part of God’s plan” or “everything happens for a reason.” It implies evil is some grand scheme by God. How is a God who supposedly can prevent evil any different than a parent who stands by and watches their child being physically or sexually abused? We must consider if God can’t interfere because to do so would deny freedom.
A loving God can’t be controlling
Atheists and believers agree. The only God worth believing in and following is a perfect God. Such a statement is nonsensical if we are clueless what perfection is. Can God manipulate others? We would say no because perfect love doesn’t manipulate. Also, we hate when we see friends try to control others for their own reasons or gains. Love does not insist on its own way (I Cor 13:5). Obviously, God’s love must be uncontrolling. God can’t control evil because God’s very nature is love and true love is uncontrolling. Not everything that happens is part of God’s plan!
What bother to pray then?
God’s uncontrolling love can be good news
Can there be true freedom if the future is determined or known? Even God can’t know a unknowable future. God isn’t hiding a “known” future for important decisions. God joins us in an open future. God wants us to feel free to pursue our own dreams without strings attached, unlike some earthly parents. God only desires to influence us to do all the good we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can. The future is open to God as well. God joins us in a true friendship by sharing our joys and sorrows in our journey. God certainly deters any suffering when not inferring with freedom.
Please stop rationalizations
Are you dissatisfied with answers to your questions such as: “God wants to make you stronger;” “God’s ways are not our ways;” “You didn’t have enough faith.” If evil is some grand scheme God can control, why then does the Bible says God hates evil so much? Does God hate God sometimes? See Thomas Oord’s book GOD CAN’T for further insight about God, evil, and suffering.
Imagine the perfect friend — that is God!
God loves like how you wished you loved others. God hates when prayers can’t be answered. God feels the same pain you are experiencing. God shares the dreams you have for your future. Conventional thinkers don’t like to suggest God has feelings of vulnerability, but they don’t mind talking about God’s wrath. If a God can be angry, a God can be sad. God hates when we are suffering. If God truly loves, God like a friend hurts when you hurt. We may wish God would just intervene but there may be legitimate reasons why God can’t. But God is with you each step of the way as we reach out to others for help as well.
Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like He can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org