Sunday, August 4, 2013

What’s Wrong With My World

“Are not the gods just?” “Oh, no, my child. Where would we be if they were?”

—C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

Occasionally I get distraught by the evil I see in the world around me and wonder who’s minding the store. Does God know what’s going on? Does He care?

In my better moments, however, I know that much of the anguish in my part of the world, is self–inflicted. It is my greed, my ambition, my selfishness that has caused so much unhappiness in my family, friends and in me. I can hardly blame God for that, can I?

If, then, I am responsible for some of the evil in this world, it wouldn't do to insist that God set everything right. If he did, he would have to deal with evil unilaterally, which means he would put down monstrous tyrants around the world, but he would also put down my petty tyranny. If God were merely just where could I stand?[1]

I’m reminded of a conversation between Robinson Crusoe and his Man Friday:

“Well,” says Friday, “you say God is so strong, so great: has he not as much strong, as much might as the devil?”
“Yes, yes,” Crusoe says, “Friday, God is much stronger than the devil.”
“But if God much strong, much might as the devil, why God no kill the devil so make him no more do wicked?”
“You might as well ask,” Crusoe answered reflectively, “Why does God not kill you and me when we do wicked things that offend?”

G. K. Chesterton was asked by a reporter, “What’s wrong with the world?” “I am,” the old sage replied.


[1] Lewis’ point is that God is not merely just. He is also gracious and forgiving on the basis of the Cross.

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