Suffering #2: Forming Frankenstein

God didn’t create us as robots forced to give him devotion, but instead with free will—with the capacity to reject him.  We can live at times as if God doesn’t exist and then blame God when things don’t go our way, failing to realize our hand in helping…

frankenstein

FORMING FRANKENSTEIN–Author Phillip Yancey remarked, “What I see is that God welcomes our experience of unfairness and injustice, and anger against the way the world works.” (Luke 13:1-5) Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
He opens the doors for us to continue with the status quo as participants in the rebellion or to become partners in the restoration. We can relate to the struggle of those who approach Jesus: We have Newtown,CT, AME church shooting in Charleston, we have our 9/11–towers that came crashing down and the thousands that perish out of print or without the camera lights illuminated. Jesus refuses the entire debate over evil and suffering, away from the question of “WHY” towards the question of “WHEN.” Not why is this happening, but when are you going to repent?  He recognized while in the fullness of humanity, that our free will run amuck contributes to the Frankenstein of evil all around us. A study found that 90% of suffering in the world is man-made. God gives us a choice, we can be partners of restoration or participants in rebellion.  Each time we use another person just for our own pleasure, when we walk on our coworkers to get the corner office, when our selfishness is supreme the results can be horrifying.

ted-bundy

Serial killer Ted Bundy is one example—he captured the results of what can occur when we cut free from God: “Then I learned that all moral judgments are “value judgments,” that all value judgments are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either “right” or “wrong.” I even read somewhere that the Chief Justice of the United States had written that the American Constitution expressed nothing more than collective value judgments. Believe it or not, I figured out for myself – what apparently the Chief Justice couldn’t figure out for himself””that if the rationality of one value judgment was zero, multiplying it by millions would not make it one whit more rational. Nor is there any “reason” to obey the law for anyone, like myself, who has the boldness and daring “” the strength of character “” to throw off its shackles. … And I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable value judgment” that I was bound to respect the rights of others. Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure…

How disgusting is the Frankenstein—all the time the monster grows as we push God out of our daily lives, out of our finances, families, friendships, sex lives, etc. Yet, despite pushing God away he pursues and is patient with us.  2 Peter 3:9 — The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. It is not really a question of why—we deep down know why—sin created the rough terrain we now try to avoid—but it is a question of when we will take action in response, turn to the source of truth rather than tarry in vain alone. I was talking to an older Christian gentleman at a cookout a few months ago, he was very friendly, and we were talking about church and outreach when Chelsea walked up needing me for a second. The man said in jest, “We cannot stop talking yet; we just started solving the world’s problems.” The solution to evil isn’t complicated, but it is personal.

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