For a number of years now, churches across America have failed to provide an answer to their people as to why bad things happen. After the school shootings at Columbine or the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11, clergy across the nation said they could not explain why these things happen.
Once again, we hear the same empty statements from clergy in California after the murder of eight people at a hair solon in Seal Beach. Pastor Don Shoemaker of Grace Community Church of Seal Beach, who is also a police chaplain, told his congregation, “From the depths of our hearts, we cry out, ‘Why, God, why?’”, but Shoemaker had no answers to give his flock as to why it happened.
This is another sad testimony to the weaknesses and ineffectualness of the Christian church in America over the past few decades. Liberal theology has so infiltrated the church; it is causing many members of the clergy to pick and choose from the Bible what they want to believe and teach. In one poll, over 60% of clergy do not hold the Bible to be factually accurate or true from beginning to end.
Another poll showed that just over 50% of evangelical pastors believe in absolute biblical truth. The same poll revealed that only 44% of evangelical adults believe in absolute biblical truth and only 9% of teens from evangelical homes believed in absolute biblical truth.
Is it any wonder why so many ministers stand in the pulpits after a tragedy occurs and tells their people to just pray and have faith because they can’t explain why God allows such bad things to happen?
I would venture to go out on a limb and say that the overwhelming number of clergy that claim to have no answers as to why bad things happen also believe in millions of years and evolution. They have been taught in seminaries across the land that chapters 1-11 of Genesis are not true history but only some allegorical stories to impart some biblical truths. There never was a real Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden, Genesis Flood and God did not create everything in six literal twenty-four hours days.
With this foundation, or lack thereof, it’s no wonder clergy have no answers and their faith seems hollow. Jesus taught that Adam and Eve were real people and that there was a worldwide flood. But if Genesis 1-11 are not true history, then Jesus was a liar and if Jesus was a liar, He could not have been who He claimed to be and the Cross and entire Christian faith have nothing to stand on and collapse into ruin.
Genesis 1-11 was written as Hebrew historical narrative and depicts the accounts of our beginnings as well as why bad things happen. God created a perfect world. Adam had a perfect and open relationship with God. Yet, Adam chose to disobey God and choose for himself what was right or wrong when he took of the fruit that God commanded him not to eat.
As soon as Adam took that bite, everything changed and the course of history was altered. Death and suffering entered the world. Adam died spiritually and began to die physically. Adam, the father of all mankind brought bad things into the world when he first sinned. As descendants of Adam, we are all inherently sinners and evil. Our hearts and thoughts are wicked continually.
That is until the Holy Spirit works a regeneration of the heart and opens our eyes and ears to hear the truth of the Gospel. Then and only then can we seek after God and Jesus Christ.
As to why bad things happen or how can God allow bad things to happen? The answer is simple. It’s not God’s doing. Man brought sin into the world and is responsible for bad things happening.
But there is a second part to that answer that so many clergy also miss with their inability to accept the whole Bible as God’s Word. The second part of that answer is that because of our sinful state, we are incapable of any type of salvation or redemption on our own. So God, who loves us so very much, provided a means for us to be saved from certain damnation when we die. (I have always told my kids and many others that the only real right we have as human beings is the right to go to hell when we die.) God provided the ultimate sacrifice with His son, Jesus Christ, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a pure and sinless life, was crucified on the Cross, died and rose again from the dead JUST FOR US!
The message of the Gospel is a message of love and salvation from a God who made the ultimate sacrifice because we can’t save ourselves.
If you want to know why bad things happen, read your Bible starting in Genesis 1. Man is why bad things happen, not God.