is a God,…WHY?"
…why are things as they are?
are shooting rampages becoming so common like the one that took
the lives of six people in Arizona? Why is there terror, sickness,
hunger, death, fear, confusion, prejudice, unemployment, pain,
THERE AN ANSWER?
There is an answer—a rational one. It is the purpose of this
writing to offer an answer in an abbreviated form. It is offered
as being satisfying, adequate, harmonious, comprehensive, and
can be well-documented. It is an answer which, unlike most answers,
includes all men as recipients of its ultimate benefits. It
is not a selfish answer.
valid answer must have legitimate support. Even in the realms
of philosophy and religion, any conclusions not consistent with
observable or recorded fact, any conclusions ignoring major
related questions, are weak. Thoughtful minds refuse to take
note of them, let alone embrace them. The answer presented in
this writing claims total harmony with observable and recorded
stable system of thought requires authority. Available authorities
fall into one of two general classifications: 1) men, and 2)
In the classification of men as authorities, people rely on:
the ideas or preferences of another man
traditions established by groups of men
Each of these "authorities" presents problems of its
on our own preferences and reasoning as the path to truth assumes
that our personal thought processes are superior to all others.
Relying on ideas of another man as the path to truth assumes
that his thought processes are superior to all others.
Relying on traditions established by groups of men leaves up
open to deception and human error.
In the classification of superhuman sources as authorities,
there are two main categories: a) personal revelation (visions,
etc.) and b) written revelation.
Revelation is easily fraudulent. It is frequently inconsistent
from one occurrence to another. It also tends to establish an
"elite" class—those who have received such "revelation."
It leaves much room for misrepresentation and lying.
Written Revelation has some distinct advantages. It is recorded
in black and white. It can, therefore, be compared carefully
with fact and thus, its reliability either established or discredited.
THE MALIGNED AUTHORITY
writing will answer a major question. It will give answer in
harmony with reason. It will give an answer based on a reliable
authority—an authority which has been greatly misrepresented
and maligned, even by those who have claimed to be its supporters.
That authority is the Bible—but its contents as paraphrased
in this booklet are better than most men could dream. It is
imperative that no prior assumptions be made by the reader as
to what this great authority actually teaches.
the answer herein presented is merely an outline or a summary,
it will not be well documented. If, however, the answer is appealing,
complete documentation and expansion of its many facets is easily
available to those who desire it. The publishers of this writing
feel that no question need go without a reasonable, consistent,
documented answer. The "take-it-on-faith" attitude
of traditional religion is carefully avoided.
God does, indeed exist, why does He not do something? Why would
an intelligent, powerful Being permit the atrocities, the accidents,
the illnesses, the sufferings (physical and mental) to happen
or to continue?
the answer to this question depends upon understanding both
what God is like and what His purpose is, His character (a balance
of Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power) is revealed in all his plans
and purposes. Consider a seven-point paraphrase of His considerations
and purposes in creation. (Each point will consist of a question,
a discussion, and a summary of a conclusion.)
DID GOD CREATE?
According to the Bible (which claims to be a written revelation
of God), "God is love." (1 John 4:9) If love, (and
therefore, God) has one pre-eminent need or quality that need
is GIVING. God created so that He would have beings to whom
He could GIVE the kinds of delights that He could offer them.
God created because He wanted to share blessings with intelligent
QUALIFICATIONS WOULD HE GIVE HIS CREATION?
God could have made men like computers or robots—machines programmed
so that they could not make mistakes. Had He done this, there
would have been no problems: no wars, no illness, no mistakes,
no fear, no pain, no emotions—yes, that’s a problem, no emotions!
Without emotions, there is no thankfulness, no joy, no love.
If God had made men infallible, they would be incapable of receiving
the LOVE that He wanted to extend to them. Therefore, it was
a necessary part of creation that man be made free to choose
and to think—not a cold, infallible machine.
God made man free in choice and thought so that man could receive
and appreciate the good things God would give him.
CAN INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS BE REGULATED?
The decision to create free beings, did, indeed, pose a problem.
Liberty is a peculiar thing. It implies restraint! If one individual
carries his liberty too far, it robs another individual of his
liberty—and liberty no longer exists. God, therefore, saw the
necessity of imposing legitimate restraints on the free beings
He would create in order to guarantee the liberty and happiness
of everyone. He is the author of liberty; it is only right that
He also be its definer. God determined that man must learn one
simple but imperative lesson: OBEDIENCE. Without obedience,
there would be infringement of liberties. With infringement
of liberties would come chaos. God did not want chaos in His
God determined that His creation must learn the lesson of obedience
to His perfect laws so that the universe would run smoothly
for the ultimate benefit of all without infringement of the
personal liberties of anyone.
COULD THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS LESSON BE LEARNED?
It was necessary that man learn obedience—not only to obey,
but the importance of obedience. Man must obey not just because
he is told to, but because he wants to. This makes him free—the
desire to comply rather than the constraints to comply.
as Creator knew that the available means of learning were instruction,
observation, and experience. Man could not learn first by observation,
because there was no disobedience to observe. God would have
preferred if man could have learned without experience, although
he knew that the tendency of a free mind would lead it toward
experimentation. So God first taught man by instruction.
warned man that disobedience would result in death. He wanted
to impress upon man that disobedience, because it would result
in chaos, was so serious that God’s Justice felt compelled to
demand death (extinction) for it.
instruction did not satisfy man. Man disobeyed. He was condemned
to death, and he continues to die.
God foresaw that man would never learn the importance of obedience
only from instruction. He knew (but did not force it) that man
would ultimately have to learn not only by instruction, but
also by observing and experiencing the results of disobedience.
DIE FOR EATING AN "APPLE?"
God made man on earth and told him he was free—except that he
was not to eat the fruit of a certain tree. (We have not evidence
that it was an apple.) Why was this seemingly peculiar test
applied? Why, instead, wasn’t man given some great moral law
to obey? Why didn’t God say, "You can be free except that
you are not free to murder?" God chose the simple, not
easily understood test, because it was not easy to understand!
God was testing OBEDIENCE, not intelligence! God wants to be
certain that man will obey even when man does not understand.
God wants man to want to obey just because he values the arrangements
God has provided. God wants man to know that disobedience will
cause chaos, and, therefore, is justly punishable by extinction.
God wants man to learn to love righteousness for its inherent
beauty. Lack of obedience will injure others and alter the balance
of the universe. Considering these facts, the sentence of death
was not too severe.
Obedience is so important that it must be carried out without
question. Extinction will be eternally be the result of disobedience.
IS MAN TO PROFIT FROM HIS PLIGHT?
Man disobeyed. Man was condemned to death. Man is now learning
through experience and observation that the results of disobedience
are ugly. God has permitted evil so that we will appreciate
our liberty and avoid it later. God did not design or cause
evil. Man was warned against it. Man chose it. God respects
individual liberty; he does not interfere with the free choice
of his beings,--that, remember, would be contrary to His original
purpose of creation.
in Justice cannot excuse disobedience. The original man, and
we in him, die because of one original act of disobedience.
God’s design appears faulty. It seems like everything is futile!
Man is dying, and God’s Justice is too exacting for us to expect
a pardon. We could never trust a God who changed His mind!
however, was wise and economical in allowing one act to be the
catalyst for teaching us all. Because of this love of God could
provide a JUST remedy. God wants man to live; that is why He
created man in the first place. So God has arranged a way to
remove the sentence of death from Adam (and from us all who
came from Adam). God sent His son, Jesus—not a son of Adam,
but yet a man—a perfect man as was Adam—no more, no less. This
man, Jesus, had a right to life because he was always perfectly
obedient. But he voluntarily gave up his human life rights as
an exchange or "ransom" for the life rights of Adam.
(1 Timothy 2:5,6; 1 Corinthians 15:22) Justice is satisfied
by this ransom exchange ("a life for a life"—Deuteronomy
19:21) A human life is still claimed as the price for disobedience,
but Adam is now legally free to live again—and so are all of
Man is learning the results of disobedience so that he can choose
later to obey—a choice which will be an intelligent, experienced
choice. The death of Jesus guarantees that man can live again—that
God’s creative efforts with man will not have been in vain.
We can now expect an awakening of the whole human race.
IS MAN STILL DYING? WHY THE DELAY?
There are two primary reasons why the permission of suffering
and death continues. The first reason is population. God is
allowing enough men to have lived (now and in the past), and
enough to have experienced evil, to populate the earth comfortably
(perhaps 20 billion). When the earth is ultimately perfected
it will easily sustain this size population. At that time even
the "desert…shall blossom as a rose." (Isaiah 35)
second reason for the delay is a noble mystery, hidden from
the view of most men. God is in the process of making a "New
Creation." The same love that stimulated the creation of
men and angels also determined the creation of a few beings
in the very likeness of God himself—an intimate family for God,
so to speak. These beings will be deathproof—meaning they will
be absolutely incapable of extinction under any circumstances.
(While all other beings will actually live forever, they will
be mortal—that is, they will live by God’s permission rather
than by being inherently deathproof. 2 Timothy 1:10)
is manifest that God would not want to give deathproofness (immortality)
without first establishing the obedience of the creature, for
if God created an immortal being which became disobedient, the
universe would forever be plagued with the results of disobedience.
Therefore, God determined that He would make His "New Creation"
out of an old creation so that he could first test their character.
an opportunity for such testing exists on the earth! And God
determined to utilize the earth to develop His "New Creation"—which
He also calls His "church." (Church is from the Greek
word "EKKLESIA" which means "a calling out."
God will "call out" of the earth those characters
He wishes for His "New Creation.")
period of about 2,000 years (between the two advents of Christ)
was set aside for finding a small number of such people—people
who under adverse conditions would be faithfully obedient to
the instructions of God. It is God’s intention to "CHANGE"
these faithful Christians into spirit beings (like Himself)
before the earth is restored and mankind is resurrected. It
is also God’s intention that His "New Creation" will
be the active agents in awakening from the dead and bringing
man to the point of perfect obedience. After all, this "church"
will have been men! Imagine the sympathy they will be able to
exercise toward mankind! (1Corinthians 6:2; Acts 15:14-17)
Man has not yet been restored to life, and God has not yet stepped
in to do away with all ills because 1) the earth’s population
must first reach its proper size, and 2) the candidates from
among men for God’s "New Creation" must all be selected.
permitted evil because it was the only method by which he could
develop an informed and obedient creation which possess freedom
of intelligent choice—a creation who will ultimately worship
Him because they want to.
seeming failure of God (to human eyes) is due to His secret
work of developing a "New Creation" which will be
used to restore man to perfection. Meanwhile, the population
of the earth has approached its desirable size.
prospects for the near future are better than man’s fondest
dreams. When the long-spoken, but rarely understood prayer is
answered, "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done in earth…"
the earth will be an ecological and social paradise. We have
hardly begun to live! We have hardly began to dream!