Why Doesn’t God Stop More Suffering?
by Mike Edwards
Some suggest God doesn’t cause suffering, but allows it to bring about a greater good. The problem is that greater good doesn’t always come about. A surgeon may have to break open your chest to save your life, but what purpose is served from rape, torture, betrayal, murder, deception, corruption, incest, and genocide as if part of some grand plan? From this twisted perspective, evil is good! God never wills or desire suffering. God desires to always bring joy to all.
God’s love cannot be controlling
We must come to some understanding why a loving God doesn’t stop a lot of suffering. A perfect God’s love must be uncontrolling just as it can’t be manipulative. Perfect power is uncontrolling. Ask older kids about their parents! A God who supposedly can prevent suffering but doesn’t is no different than a parent who stands by and watches their child suffer. Keep in mind God doesn’t have hands and feet but is a Spirit. Evil and suffering in the world may be because God cannot intervene single-handedly without being controlling. God can’t interfere in suffering without human help.
Why did God bother creating freedom?
It is not logically possible for God to create freedom unless there is the possibility of love or hate. I don’t know of any human parent who brings children into the world not desiring their children freely reciprocate their love as opposed to being forced. Without freedom we could accuse God of not creating the very best world where only true, authentic relationships can develop. Freedom allows human to develop qualities of moral character that cannot be created initially. Freedom cannot guarantee a pain free universe.
God not interfering may be the most compassionate
If I try to force my rebellious son to do right presently, he may further rebel or stay away forever. Not stopping my son may be the only hope I have that he eventually freely chooses good and experience joy from that. If I am patient and allow time for possible moral development, then he may freely choose to trust I have his best interest in mind. God didn’t create suffering to foster dependency; God created freedom out of love. Controlling love can have negative consequences.
Possible explanation for lack of healings
Lots of prayers asking for healing are obviously not answered. If God can control disease and other evils, we are left to assume God’s love is infrequent. Miracles don’t happen because some people are less sinful or beg better at the feet of an arbitrary God. Conditions in our body may not always be right. Various biological and environmental factors are involved such as cells, organs, etc. If God doesn’t deny human freedom, it may not be a stretch to say God has to account for natural freedom as well. Miracles can happen when God’s uncontrolling love aligns with countless factors known and not known. God surely intervenes by all means when circumstances will allow.
Where is God?
An uncontrolling God may not always be comforting, but controlling love is an oxymoron. God has to be true to their loving nature. God is always doing all they can to stop suffering, but seeking God’s influence in our lives can be powerful. My seeking to influence others for good with God’s help is how I can best impact this world for good. A world seeking God’s guidance is unimaginable.
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: email@example.com