When a mad bomber sets off a bomb killing and maiming many, the people blame the mad bomber. When a drunk destroys the lives of family members and takes the life of the other driver, the people blame the drunk driver. When a man goes on a stabbing spree injuring and killing others in a large crowd, the people blame the man wielding the knife. However, in our Politically Correct culture when a man, woman, or child takes a gun into a “Gun Free Zone” and unleashes a whirlwind of bullets killing and injuring the innocence of life at a school, the people blame the gun. Why are people so skewed with respect to the weaponry used?? on February 14th, 2018, there was great travesty in Parkland Florida – a shooting by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Now, I could go on with this topic for several blog posts, just based upon: What happened, what is being revealed, what is not being said, and who is being blamed. But on a far more serious and segue into the more important topic at hand…where was God in all this tragedy? To who should we cast our eyes for protection?
So, let’s address the elephant in the proverbial room…where was God in all this tragedy? God was right there in the thick of it! He was in the heart of every teacher that ran toward the gunfire, with fear but ever so courageously, in order to protect their students. With great adversity and trial God is shown in the courageous actions of Aaron Feis, Chris Hixon, and Scott Beigel. Admittedly, we may never understand the reasons for any, let alone all, of the evil and suffering that occurs throughout our lives, it is that simple. As a man of faith, and sometimes doubt, I believe that God in His infinite wisdom and in His glory has some morally sufficient reason for such things as these.
Could God have created a error free world without hate, without such travesty? Yes, in my opinion He actually did…it was that little known Garden of Eden from which mankind was kicked out for not abiding by the rules of the garden. It was without pain, fear, travesty, and death. And then Adam and Eve broke the golden rule of God:
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”~Genesis 2:16-17 NASB
And according to the prophet Isaiah, who said:
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2 NASB
This was an affront to God, man violated His law. Seem a bit harsh? Think about it for but a moment…how are you saved? Through the blood, the substitutionary blood of Jesus! By believing and claiming such, through the holy word of God, and faith (as that of Abraham) we are saved. It took the blood of Jesus, who hung on a cross for all of our sins…ALL OF THEM. Every sin which you ever will commit and ever have committed during the course of your life. God saw it all. And Jesus subjected Himself to the torment and torture of the cross out of love for all His creation! So, does getting kicked out of the Garden seem all that harsh in comparison to what Jesus endured for your sins, now???
God is a strict, but loving, God. He provided the sacrifice for our iniquities, suffering the gruesome consequences for not obeying His word. Had He not done so, we would still be sacrificing animals for our sins.
Getting back to it…God created the perfect world and we, mankind or more specifically his ancestry, botched things up. And even now, we as the species of man are not doing such a great job of following God’s commands and word. Even while being saved, we fail Him each and every day, with each and every thought we think and breath we take.
God was also with each and every student, both the survivors and the deceased. You are probably wondering why didn’t God do anything about this? Well, actually He did. The police were called to Nikolas Cruz’s home on 39 separate occasions (23 of which for violence, one of which he aimed one of his guns at the head of a child in the household in which he lived.) This was a police failure on a paramount scale. God gave man free will and regardless of what goes on, man has the ultimate choice. Then there were the FBI hotline tips that were not followed up on. Another Law Enforcement failure. The School Resource Officer failed to act in a timely manner and has since resigned. Then there were the Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were hiding behind their vehicles with guns drawn while gunfire was going on inside the school when the local police arrived.
When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school. ~CNN Politics
According to Scott M. Sullivan, Ph.D., who is a Christian Apologist wrote on this subject within his Course on Suffering:
Christians must admit both that they think both, that:i. An all-powerful and all-good God existsii. Evil exists (evil is not an illusion)
In other words, Christianity holds both of these to be true. But morethan that. Christians also must admit that not only does an all goodand powerful God thinks there should be evil and suffering in theworld, but more particularly that GOD WILLS physical evils to happen(physical evils don’t fall outside of God’s control) and PERMITSmoral evils to happen (God cannot will sin for He is all-good but Hecan and obviously does allow it to happen.)i. GOD WILLS THE LAWS OF NATURE THAT CAUSE EARTHQUAKESii. GOD WILLS THE LAWS OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGYTHAT RESULTS IN DISEASEiii. GOD PERMITS THINGS LIKE MASS KILLINGS, TORTURE,RAPE AND GENOCIDE etc. ~Suffering Course Introductory Courses in Apologetics
“If all evil were prevented, much good would be absent from the universe. A lion would cease to live, if there were no slaying of animals; and there would be no patience of martyrs if there were no tyrannical persecution.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas, S.T. I.22 ad.2
And furthermore, the observation of St. Thomas Aquinas is such that:
“God is so good that never would he allow evil to exist, unless he were so powerful as to be able to draw good from evil. Hence it is due to neither impotence nor ignorance on God’s part that evils occur in the world, but it is owing to the order of his wisdom and to the greatness of his goodness, whence come the many and divers grades of goodness in things, many of which would be lacking were he to allow no evil to exist. Thus there would be no good of patience without the evil of persecution, nor the good of the preservation of its life in a lion, without the evil of the destruction of the animals on which it lives.” – Aquinas De Pot III.6
We must keep in mind that we, mankind, are finite. We can only truly speak on those things we have experiences or knowledge of or about. God, on the other hand, is infinite. Meaning God sees from the beginning to the end as though it were a unimaginably large panoramic picture. We can only see from our beginning of perceiving of a subject. There is a big difference with respect to the perception of these two.
And though we do not like evil, how are we able to determine how much evil should be in the world???
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28 NASB
Because of our limited understanding and perception how can we expect to know the morally sufficient reasons behind that which we deem as evil? And it is quite possible that nothing may not be realized until 10, 20, 30, 50, or even 100 years after the incident. Perhaps there are to be a series of incident that cascade off of one another over the course of decades. There are those who will go to hell and those who go to heaven.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1 Timothy 2:3-4 NASB
And considering that God desires all men to be saved, why aren’t they? God gave us free will and the gift of choice. That being said, the gift of salvation must be chosen and freely accepted. Consider the man who refused a presidential pardon, George Wilson (1833). This is why “THE ROMAN’S ROAD TO SALVATION” is such a popular and easy method to aid others in their road to salvation…the basis of which is that we must choose life (salvation), unlike George Wilson.
WHY DID GOD CREATE THOSE HE KNEW WOULD GO TO HELL? Here, St. Thomas Aquinas’ will never be popular with respect to his answer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true – ALL PEOPLE WILL GLORIFY GOD – those in Heaven glorify God’s mercy, those in Hell glorify God’s justice. Thus, even those in Hell fulfill the very purpose of creation.
I hope this was helpful and informative.
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD