It’s been one week since the Aurora theater massacre, and people are still searching for answers. Some are even asking,” Where was God in Aurora massacre?” CNN asked the question on twitter. The following is some of the responses. What do you think?
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) – Where was God in Aurora?
It’s a fresh take on an age-old question: Why does God allow suffering, natural disasters or – if you believe in it – evil?
We put the question to Twitter on Tuesday and got some starkly different responses.
“In short, God was in complete control, exercising His will,” wrote @PastorRileyF, who leads a church in Bethune, Colorado.
That riled @TheTrivia Jockey, who tweeted, “If that was God’s will, God is definitely not deserving of my worship.”
Watch: Survivor of massacre says he forgives gunman
@trentpayne also took issue with the Colorado pastor: “I’m going to respectfully disagree with you Pastor. God gives free will to man, but it wasn’t his will that they die.”
The back-and-forth provoked other believers to chime in on the theological issue of God’s sovereignty vs. human free will, with many Christians seeking to explain how a sovereign God could preside over seemingly senseless bloodshed.
“It is not God’s will or want that people died in Aurora,” wrote @GospelBluesman20m. “God allowed man’s inhumanity to man, rather than intervene.”
The conversation and debate continued in the comments section of this post, with some insinuating that the massacre might be a kind of divine punishment, or at lease divine neglect:
We as a country have been telling God to go away. We told him to get off our currency, get out of our schools, get out of our Pledge of Allegiance, take your Ten Commandments out of our courthouses, get those Bibles out of hotels and no graduation ceremonies in our churches. How can we expect God to give us his blessing and his protection if we demand that he leave us alone?
Liberals have made it impossible for God to be anywhere during the upbringing of a child. Can’t have any religious connotations in schools, libraries, government offices, etc., etc. Young men (and women) are growing up with no real sense of right and wrong. … We no longer have the right of religion, but rather the right from religion. Parents no longer have the ability to discipline their children. We are always looking for the excuses … violent video games and movies, bad teachers and schools … when we should be looking in the mirror. We as a society are the reasons these massacres happen. We have allowed our children to become social misfits that lead to the kind of carnage we have seen on several occasions since religion and God disappeared from what the Founding Fathers once said was a necessity of a successful democracy … faith.
Lots of readers used religious takes on the shooting to challenge the whole idea of God:
Who invited me?
How do you know the people that were killed didn’t go to hell?, and how exactly does any of this show there is a reason? Reason is obviously something that you have replaced with belief, and you threw out logic with it.
“God doesn’t exist, so he wasn’t anywhere. Get over it. A man was evil, and he was evil because he was crazy.
Plenty of others said the shooting was the devil’s work:
Evil things like this happen because Satan is the god of this world … for the time being. God will undo all the damage caused by Satan’s rebellion and man’s disobedience when the time is right. In the meantime we all experience trials and tribulation due to living in an ungodly world. That is why Jesus taught his followers the Lord’s Prayer … ‘to pray for God’s kingdom to come.’
- My Take: CNN readers’ 7 answers to ‘Where was God in Aurora?’ (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
- Palin Reacts to ‘Evil’ Movie Massacre (huffingtonpost.com)
- Christian Bale and Wife Visit Aurora Shooting Victims and Memorial (popsugar.com)
Noel, this is a powerful post. Amen and Amen to Lenny’s comment. We cannot as a nation turn our back on God and expect Him to protect us and bless us. Also, Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” We as a nation rely on the wisdom of man and not the wisdom of God when it comes to the upbringing of our children. How many times have you heard, don’t spank your children, don’t discipline your children? The bible says “spare the rod spoil the child…” Taking God out of our schools was detrimental to the future of our children. So exactly what do we expect when we send our children out into an ungodly world unarmed with the word of God? So to answer the question, God is here waiting for us to repent and turn back to him.
Say unto them, “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways…” Ezekiel 33:11
Angela, I cannot put into words how much I agree with your point of view. It is a proven fact that kids who were brought up by God fearing parents are less likely to become violent in their adult years. The Bible says, train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I sincerely thank you for elaborating so eloquently on this extraordinarily provocative subject matter. God blesses.
What a heated debate! Regardless of our own personal convictions, there were great points on all sides. Thanks for sharing.
Pastor, I appreciate your input. It is always a good thing to get God in the conversation, especially when non-believers are involved.
“He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” – Proverbs 29:1
We know with certainty that awful things happen when the people reject God and embrace the devil. God gave us free will but even in the midst of a disaster He will respond if you call.
I truly thank you for stopping and sharing your thoughts Pastor. God blesses.
Lenny’s response holds a lot of truth. America has been telling God to get out for a long time and Australia is following suit. How can anyone blame God when God was never asked to be part of their lives, and was in effect, told to get out?
Thankfully, God is a merciful God.
Amen! God is not mocked. Whenever the people reject God and accept the devil’s way of life, terrible things happen. Evil is of the devil. We can either choose the devil and perish or choose God and have everlasting life.
Thanks a million Angela. I appreciate your perspective on this extremely pertinent subject. God blesses.
The harder we push God out — the harder we fall. I thought it was interesting that Kyle did not recognize God but recognized evil. Satan is definitely at work!
God Bless you & yours!
It is unbelievable how God haters are always the first ones to ask where He was in a disaster. You are right, Lady D. The harder we work to push God out of our lives: the harder we fall. The Children of Israel know something about that.
Thank you so much for your perspective Lady D, God blesses.
God gave us freewill. That argument can now be over,
but it won’t be,because we still feel the need to blame the devil
for acts of evil such as this, or we dare see a standoffish and inadequate
God in the making, or in our own making. But we suffer fools gladly? I think not.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Every evil act is the work of the devil. However, sometimes God allows evil to prolong for different reasons. In Job’s case, He wanted to prove a point. In other cases, He wanted to get the attention of the people. For example, it took the unruly Israelite forty years to crossed the Jordan.
It is always a pleasure to hear from you my friend. God blesses.
My initial reaction to the question, “Where was God in this horror?” is the same as it would be had someone asked, “Where was God at Golgotha?” He was right in the middle of it, with us.
I could not have agreed with you more Br. James. It was our sins that nailed Christ to the cross. He is always in our midst with outstretched hands waiting to help if we ask him.
If you go back into the history of Israel we see a pattern of rebellion and disobedience followed by God allowing and sometimes directing bad things toward His “special treasure, Israel. Then they would come running back to Dad and they would behave for a while.
O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. Isaiah 10:5-7 (KJV)
Today much of the nonsense theology in the church is the result of an incorrect understanding of the attributes of God. Yes He is a loving God. We like that, but He is also a jealous God and a just God who will punish a wicked nation. As a people we allow the murder 75 million babies and publically advocate sodomy, persecute legitimate Christ followers, promote adultery, drug abuse, alcoholism, rampant law breaking, fill or children full of Darwinist lies and every kind of evil, then we are shocked when God removes His umbrella of protection. I’m surprised he has been so long suffering with us.
The scientific community preaches a meaningless, purposeless universe in every university and high school in the country, that we are upgraded animals and then CNN and the rest are confused as to how people can act like animals?
This brings new meaning to the concept of sowing and reaping.
That was quite a mouthful. I agree with every word. I largely agree with this statement, “Today much of the nonsense theology in the church is the result of an incorrect understanding of the attributes of God.”
I sincerely thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts so profoundly. God blesses.