One year ago, the movie God’s Not Dead was released in theaters. Last summer, it came out on dvd. The movie is all about a college student, Josh Wheaton, standing up for his faith on campus against a professor who demands that he signs a paper stating that God is dead. I recently rewatched the movie, and there was something that really stuck out to me.
This scene is Josh’s final classroom argument to prove that God’s not dead. Pay attention especially to Professor Radisson’s response to a question Josh poses –
As the movie progresses, it becomes apparent that there’s more to the story of the professors’ unbelief than meets the eye. During the last debate, Josh asks the professor point blank why he hates God. The professor responds by saying it’s because God took everything away from him. Earlier in the movie, we find out that Radisson’s mother died of cancer when he was 12 years old, despite his prayers that God would spare her life. Therefore, he holds God responsible for his mother’s death. He also says something very interesting. He comments that the most committed athiests were originally Christians who awoke to what life really was like.
People all over the world every day are asking the question of why bad things happen if God is so good. It deeply saddens me to know that the response they often receive, and what many Christians believe to be true, makes it sound like it’s God’s fault – that He causes or allows negative things to happen for our good, because He has reasons we don’t always understand. This causes many people to turn directly away from God, or feel bitterly towards Him. Who can blame them? After all, who would really want to serve a God that is behind all of life’s tragedies – all the different things insurance clauses describe as “acts of God?” And are they really acts of God?
To say that God is good, and then to point things back to Him that are clearly bad just doesn’t make sense. John 10:10 clearly states that it is NOT God who steals, kills, and destroys, but rather that He sent His Son to give us life. Therefore, how could things like sickness, disease, death, and natural disasters possibly be good, or be from Him?
The truth of the matter? God is good. The trials and tragedies of life are not from Him. Sometimes they come as a result of people’s bad choices, and other times, it’s simply because we live in a fallen world where all is not as God originally designed it. The good news is that whatever we’re facing, God is both willing and able to help us, but when we ask, we HAVE TO BELIEVE that He will, and that it is His desire to do so. This is hard to do when we’re blaming Him for what we’re going through, or thinking that He caused or allowed our situation to teach us something.
What about you? What do you believe about tragedy, and whether or not God causes or allows it? Instead of blaming Him, are you willing to believe that He is ready and waiting to rescue you in any and all circumstances that you face?