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Where was God in Aurora massacre?
Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial near the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, scene of last week’s mass shooting
July 24th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Where was God in Aurora massacre?

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 @GospelBluesman 20m. "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:

Lenny
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?

Jesse R
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.

Kyle
"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:

Harleyxx
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.'

What’s your take? Where was God in the Aurora massacre? Or do you feel that such tragedies are evidence for a godless universe?

Let us know in comments, and we’ll highlight the best ones.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: God • Violence

soundoff (10,690 Responses)
  1. virginia

    Wouldn't you all wanted Holmes to believe in God and eternal life, and have founded withing his heart of forgive you all for your sins...he'd be home drinking hot coco, and you would be as if nothing had happen....hopefull Holmes will repent and find God with in his heart in the hours of dispair....through the mercy of the lord our God...

    July 25, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • AJD13

      And what good would that do for anyone now? What good would his repenting do for anyone since he's likely to be put away and the key flushed down the toilet for the rest of his life?

      July 25, 2012 at 3:17 am |
  2. a person

    First I'd like to define God in my own way. I believe " God" is simply energy with consciousness. And it is literally everything. It isn't concerned with the outcome, but instead totally involved in the process. I hypothesize that perhaps the reason for relativity boils down to the fact that "it" wanted to experience itself as itself, rather than just knowing itself in the absolute. And in that moment we began to see the evolution of reality...of the playing field for "it" to experience itself. And I think that "it" has to be both love and fear, for it to be complete. But fear is not meant to be the dominant force. Since fear is destructive, and love is growth and evolution...."it" would strive to be love, rather than fear. In order to follow the original decision to create reality and evolve. And that is what god is. We are all part of "it". And when we hurt ourselves and others...we hurt everyone. Its like when you throw a stone in a pond and it ripples. But love will always prevail. At least I think so. (:

    July 25, 2012 at 3:09 am |
  3. Boxa

    The question should be " WHERE WAS BATMAN?"

    July 25, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • AJD13

      LOL! Right on! Guess the bulb burned out in the bat signal.......or he was in the john.....lol

      July 25, 2012 at 3:05 am |
  4. Joe Labriola

    Nicely done cnn. As if we don't have enough baseless opinions out there

    July 25, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Baseless opinions? Oh, you mean all religion!!

      July 25, 2012 at 3:05 am |
      • Joe Labriola

        Mainly, although it seems fairly silly how vehemently religion and reality is argued from both sides given the vast amounts of misunderstood and unknown data

        July 25, 2012 at 3:08 am |
  5. Jay

    God does exist, the problem is that right now our world is sinned with evil. Adam and Eve were created to live a good life for ever but the evil ruined it. Whos evil? why is there violence? Hollywood and the media are bad. Hollywood and the media are the devil, everytime you turn on the t.v. and see the news whos on t.v.? the devil himself is brain washing us and hollywood and violent video games are messing and playing with our minds its all the devils plan. If the media would stop showing these violent news there would not be copy cats starting to copy this evil criminal. God exist and he will win over evil.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      The only brainwashing going on is that which caused you to become a member of a beliver cult. You are delusional, with nothing rational to support your childish beliefs.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • AJD13

      If god was so all knowing.....how did he miss the fact that the serpent was in the garden in the first place and not be aware of what he was doing that was going to screw up the whole plan you say that god had for Adam and Eve?? Basic logic...

      July 25, 2012 at 3:03 am |
  6. AJD13

    If god exists and is really this all knowing, all loving, all powerful, only interested in peace and love type being.....why would he have had any inclination at all to create the world we live in? Would not seeing the things that go on here bring him pain and why would he create something knowing that it would cause that? Why would he want to create a world like this if his nature is what many Christians say it is? I have no inclination if I could do it to create a world of pain and suffering and chaos and war and hate, etc etc etc and I'm a fallible human being....not a "perfect" god that is supposedly all love and peace.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • k kim

      It is encouraging to me that you have not altogether foreclosed on the possibility that God exists. I will pray that God will give you his Holy Spirit so that you will repent and return to God in Jesus Christ. God revealed Himself to us through Jesus as a historical figure – not a fairy tale but actual history. I realized that I would not have believed in the God of the Old Testament if He had not sent Jesus Christ here in person 2000 years ago so that his existence would be historical. God will reveal Himself to you at His appointed time but I suppose you would still be free to reject Him even after He reveals Himself to you.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • AJD13

      Actually there's no real proof in the historical record that the Jesus of the bible ever actually existed....there is actually more things in the historical record that makes it unlikely he did....or that if he did, none of these miraculous happenings that he supposedly did happened. There were many people in that time period claiming to be the "messiah." Jesus was only one of them...and Jesus was actually a somewhat common name in that time period. There are also historical inconsistencies and things that just simply did not happen (like the "tax" that was supposedly the reason why Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem....no historical record of that at all though there are other very complete records of related things from that time period that still exist). There are things about Jesus' life that inconsistencies in the bible seem to point to being changed so he would fit the description of the prophesied "messiah" which were probably done by his followers after his death if he did exist.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:54 am |
  7. virginia

    unfurtunately for the none believers, there existence will not end as they think when death comes to them and their body dicomposes, and the spirit is banished, God has counted them within infinity, and their iternal existence will have to be on the side they choose to be in the darkness and torment of a tone that will viabrate in their fibers as a torment for all iternity for there is a heaven and place of dispair, Amen.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Blah, blah, blah, blah...

      You are delusional, with no proof for anything you just spewed.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • AJD13

      I can give no credence to the claims of someone who has so many grammatical and spelling errors in such a short paragraph. "unfurtunately for the none believers", "there existence" (instead of "their") "dicomposes", "iternal" "viabrate" "iternity" "dispair"

      Besides...it's rambling that makes no sense.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • sam stone

      virginia: you do know that blathering empty proxy threats to those who do not accept the authority that you claim to speak from is only so effective, don't you?

      July 25, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • sam stone

      also, virginia, aside from your apparent lack of familiarity with logic, you would come off as much less of an imbecile if you learned to spell

      July 25, 2012 at 4:23 am |
  8. BELIEVE

    God is there .. Always
    We feel he should be protecting when such situation occur and yes as a human it is justifiable to feel that way
    But god is not superman he has given humans a free will to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong
    he did protect is many ways he could like Magazine getting jammed or the house not blowing up .. there could be 100 of victims otherwise
    We all wish god would protect the victims specially children who died that day for no fault .so many families ruined. but thats why god sent his only son to suffer to tell us that suffering is part of life and even he let his only son go through it .. As humans we will never understand it and it is ok to fight with him somtimes to tell him he doesnt exist

    July 25, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      What a load of bullsh!t!! If your god, which most likely does not exist, took the time to cause a machine gun to jam, he most certainly could have prevented the whole disaster! It is completely illogical to believe in, never mind worship, such a cruel god.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • virginia

      Do no dispair for the innocent life lost that day for the same as Juses was with God that same day so are those with the cleanes of soul and spirits, God gives life and he is where returns when we are no longer here on earth, they have past he test, and have being claimed to be and dwelt safely with him...there is only one men ever to have never dye a human death and was lifted to the heavens' for he understood well the existence Of God and his wisdom was such that it drewed him to the heaven's never to returned or expiriance death...it was recorded in the bible, to show the imposible is posible...

      July 25, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • AJD13

      Virginia.....I fear you are hurting your cause more than you are helping it with your poorly written ramblings.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • sam stone

      ajd: i am amused by virginia hurting her cause due to her poorly written ramblings

      July 25, 2012 at 4:25 am |
    • sam stone

      who is juses?

      July 25, 2012 at 4:26 am |
  9. Supra

    People often talk about God's will or his plan, but I don't even understand why something omnipotent would have a "Will" or "plan".

    Don't those words lose their meaning when applied to something omnipotent?

    July 25, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • god

      What eles do I have to do but wait for your time to understand.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • sue-helen

      Yes, you are right. Religion and all it's followers are delusional. One can be spiritual and have a good philosophy for living without this clap-trap. God was not present before, during or after the shootings in Colorado. What is the point of praying afterwards? Wake up people! There is no God, so better find a good way for living instead!

      July 25, 2012 at 2:43 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      They lose total meaning when applied to a non-existent being.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • k kim

      sue-helen,

      Please enlighten us deluded folks when you find this "good way for living" without God.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • AJD13

      It's pretty simple Kim....I live a good life without god I think. I just treat people the way I'd like to be treated...or at least try to do that the best I can as I'm a human being and not perfect. I don't see any reason why you would have to believe in an invisible man in the sky to be nice to people and to try your best not to hurt anyone. Civilization operates better that way with or without a god.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:00 am |
  10. QueensU

    This condundrum illustrates the essential fallacy that is the mainstream Christian view of the world. Most will point to God's plan and will, while at the same time pointing to free human action. These are contradictory however, because if God has a pre-determined plan for everyone, what is the point of free-will? God has nothing do to with it, this was caused by a chemical breakdown in one man's brain and an easy availability of guns and ammo designed to kill large amounts of people quickly. People can quote their verses from desert scribblings written 2000 years ago and make bogus claims about satan and sin, when the fact remains that everything in life comes down to pure chance, and luck was not on the side of the people who choose to see that movie that night. Blaming deaths on a divine plan from a non-existent deity is insulting to the victim's memories.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  11. brown

    There is no God. Your God is an imaginery presence humans created to cope with our perceived existence.

    When you die, you rot and eventually leech into the Earth, that is all.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • finman1960

      Your life is imaginary and you are dust.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • god

      As the song goes hello its me !

      July 25, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • Peace2All

      @god

      Todd Rundgren fan are we ?

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 2:31 am |
  12. virginia

    the heaven's is a place with melodies even the kings of the earth have not yet heard, joyful colors of light, only a child's innocence in spirit can dwelt in...it's a place of Glory and no fear inters those who dwelt within its only ever lasting life and joy...but only those who accept God's wisdom and presence can see it with their true clean spirit...those who choose evil dwel in fear and discontant....tormented by the thought of a short life nothing but agony ever after will follow them...the darkness will be their torment ever after,,,,and the notes will torment there every fiber, in all internity- I wish you all to see the presence of the lord our God and find a place in a joyful Glory of life here on earth and too in heaven where our God dwels with joy among the rightous...

    July 25, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • tallulah13

      When I die, I will be dead. I will feel nothing, I will think nothing, I will cease to exist. My body will decompose (or be cremated) and I will eventually be forgotten. This is the natural conclusion to life, and it's nothing to fear. In fact, I find great comfort in the thought.

      Your god offers me nothing I want. Perhaps this is why I can look objectively at religion and see that there is no substance to it.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Ting

      Sure heaven sounds great and then up pops the guy that ra ped and killed your daughter only to say a last minute prayer before his death and then "voila" he's in. No thanks.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • AJD13

      If heaven would happen to exist, it would have to be different for everyone as everyone's idea of what would be a "heaven" to exist in for all eternity would be different....and perhaps even change from time to time in that eternity. My idea of heaven would not consist of being stuck in this stark white bright place listening to angels singing all the time and.....what would I do there to keep from being bored? I mean, after all, it is for eternity....just standing around listening to angels would probably get old pretty quick.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Ms Galaxy

      @Virginia, How do you know all this? Do you have a special hotline to heaven? There is no god. And it's just fine.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  13. William Seager

    Can those acts which flow from an individual with a wicked and malignant heart be attributed to "God's will?." How doctrinaire and ignorant to assume so. These acts are not part of "God's" plan for us, but occur simply because man, being prescient and knowing between right and wrong, chooses, or at times seems incapable of choosing to conform his/herconduct to the simple rules He set out for us so long ago. He chooses not to abandon us, but to allow us to go our own way, sometimes with tragic consequences, caused by us, not him. He does not interfere in our lives from beginning to end, telling us do this, don't do that, without and unless asked in prayer. Bidden or unbidden, he is always here. We have to choose to live our lives knowing that, or loose our way as as James Holmes, sadly and tragically did in Aurora, Colorado

    July 25, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Peace2All

      @William Seager

      Hi -William...
      .
      You Said: " He chooses not to abandon us "

      Unless... you don't happen to *believe* that Jesus is your savior, etc... Then, well... 'He' actually does abandon us to hell, and 'eternal' damnation, I might add, yes...?

      You Said: " (He) *allows* us to go our own way, sometimes with tragic consequences, caused by us, not him.

      Then...

      You Said: " He does not interfere in our lives from beginning to end, telling us do this, don't do that, without and unless asked in prayer. "

      So... he 'allows' or not ? He 'intervenes' if... you supplicate, then 'He' will ?

      Which is it ?

      I'm guessing that many if not all who died in this tragedy *prayed* to a God for help...

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Truth

      @Peace2All

      The idea of hell as a place of eternal torture for those who don't believe is a myth made up by "mainstream" organized religion. The tactic of using fear as a means to get people to follow has been used in more than just religion...so, clearly, it has been quite effective.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Truth

      Umm... yep, quite aware of the fear and scare tactics by religions, etc...

      That was part of my point.

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  14. ezo

    Since God created man in his own image, he expects man to behave as such. Now, individually, we do not possess the power of God. However, when we act in concert, as a community with real purpose, we can achieve God-like outcomes. The message God has given us is to love one another; work together; be a community; YOU are in control, for better or for worse. God does not micro-manage man's behavior. That could not possibly be pleasing to Him. Would it give you pleasure micro-managing all of your children, or would it be pleasurable to see them working together, applying all of the lessons you've taught them? This is our job. This is our purpose.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      Everybody who believes in god has their own idea about what god thinks. Amazingly enough, god's opinion generally mirrors the opinion of the individual believer.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  15. Truth

    “WHY?” It is tragic to see how much anguish and pain can be packed into that simple word. People often ask that question after disaster or tragedy strikes: A hurricane sweeps through a region, leaving death and destruction in its wake. An earthquake reduces a city to rubble. A terrorist attack changes a quiet, routine day into a nightmare of fear and violence. Or an accident injures or takes the life of a loved one.

    All too often, the victims include the most innocent and defenseless among us. Recent times have brought more than their share of such disasters, causing many to cry out to God, “Why?” Consider some examples:

    “Why did you do this to us, God? What did we do to upset you?” Reuters news agency reported that an elderly woman in India asked those questions after a tsunami devastated her village.
    “Where was God? And if God has ultimate control, why did God let this happen?” These questions were raised by a newspaper in Texas, U.S.A., after a gunman opened fire in a church, wounding and killing a number of worshippers.
    “Why did God allow her to die?” A woman asked this question after cancer took her friend’s life, leaving the deceased’s husband to care for their five children.

    These people are not alone in thinking that God is somehow behind their troubles. Regarding natural disasters, for example, nearly half the respondents in a recent Internet poll felt that disasters such as hurricanes come from God. Why do so many feel that way?

    Instead of offering satisfying answers, religious leaders often contribute to the confusion. Let us focus on just three of their common responses.

    First, many religious leaders preach that God sends disasters in order to punish wayward humans. For instance, in the United States, after New Orleans, Louisiana, was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, some ministers claimed that God had punished the city. They pointed to the prevalence of corruption, gambling, and immorality. Some even cited the Bible as evidence, noting occasions when God destroyed the wicked by flood or by fire. Such claims, however, misrepresent the Bible.

    Second, some clergymen assert that God has his reasons for bringing about the calamities that befall mankind but that these reasons are beyond our comprehension. Many people find such a notion unsatisfying. They wonder, ‘Could a loving God really carry out such evil and then refuse to enlighten those who hunger for comfort and who pleadingly ask, “Why?”’ Indeed, the Bible says: “God is love.”—1 John 4:8.

    Third, other religious leaders feel that perhaps God is not all powerful and is not loving. Once again, such an explanation raises serious questions. Is the One who “created all things”—including the unfathomably vast universe—incapable of preventing suffering on this one planet? (Revelation 4:11) How could the One who gave us the capacity to love, whose Word describes him as the very embodiment of love, be unmoved by human suffering?—Genesis 1:27; 1 John 4:8.

    Of course, the three points just mentioned are only some of the ways in which humans try to explain why God allows suffering—a question that has puzzled thinking people for centuries.

    Why Does God Permit Suffering?

    SOMETIMES a person asking the question “Why?” seeks comfort as well as answers, for when the question springs from severe loss, there is a great need for solace. Does the Bible offer such comfort? Consider three important Biblical truths related to this matter.

    First, it is not wrong to ask why God allows suffering. Some people worry that posing such a question implies a lack of faith in God or disrespect for him. On the contrary, if you ask this question out of a sincere heart, you are in good company. The faithful prophet Habakkuk asked God: “Why do you make me watch such terrible injustice? Why do you allow violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty to spread everywhere?” (Habakkuk 1:3, Contemporary English Version) Jehovah God did not rebuke Habakkuk. Instead, he had that faithful man’s questions recorded for all of us to read.—Romans 15:4.

    Second, it is important to understand that God feels for you in your plight. He is not aloof and mysterious; he is “a lover of justice,” and he detests wickedness and the suffering it causes. (Psalm 37:28; Proverbs 6:16-19) Back in the days of Noah, God felt “hurt at his heart” because of the violence spreading in the earth. (Genesis 6:5, 6) God has not changed; he does not feel differently about what is occurring today.—Malachi 3:6.

    Third, God is never the source of wickedness. The Bible makes this quite clear. Those who attribute such things as murder and terrorism to God are maligning him. Note what Job 34:10 says: “Far be it from the true God to act wickedly, and the Almighty to act unjustly!” Similarly, James 1:13 states: “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” So if you have suffered evil, rest assured that God is not the cause.

    Who Rules the World?

    The foregoing still leaves us with the question, If God is loving, just, and powerful, why are we surrounded by evil? One common misperception needs to be cleared up first. Many people think of Almighty God as the ruler of this world, the one who is in direct control of everything. “Not one atom or molecule of the universe is outside his active rule,” said the president of one theological seminary. Does the Bible really teach that?

    Not at all. Many are surprised to learn what the Bible actually says about who rules the world. For example, 1 John 5:19 states: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” Who is this wicked one? Jesus Christ identified him as Satan the Devil, whom he called “the ruler of the world.” (John 14:30) Now, does that not make sense? Satan is cruel, deceptive, and hateful—traits that underlie much of the suffering that people experience. Why, though, does God allow Satan to rule?

    An Issue Raised in Eden

    How would a loving and capable parent feel if he was publicly accused of lying to his children, abusing his authority over them, and withholding good things from them? Would he disprove those slanderous accusations by physically assaulting his accuser? Of course not! In fact, by reacting in such a manner, he might give credibility to the accusations.

    This illustration helps to explain Jehovah God’s way of handling a challenge raised against him at the dawn of human history in a place called Eden. There God announced to the first two humans, Adam and Eve, a wonderful project for his earthly children. They were to fill the earth, subdue it, and turn it into a global paradise. (Genesis 1:28) Moreover, hundreds of millions of spirit sons of God were keenly interested in this exciting project.—Job 38:4, 7; Daniel 7:10.

    Being a generous God, Jehovah gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden home with all its delicious fruits. Only one tree was out of bounds for them—“the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” By not eating from this tree, Adam and Eve would demonstrate their full trust in their Father, recognizing that he had the right to decide what was good and bad for his children.—Genesis 2:16, 17.

    Sadly, though, one of God’s spirit sons, motivated by the desire to be worshipped, told Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit, she would not die. (Genesis 2:17; 3:1-5) Thus, this wicked angel, Satan, blatantly contradicted God, essentially calling him a liar! Satan also went on to accuse God of withholding vital knowledge from Adam and Eve. Humans, Satan implied, should be able to decide for themselves what is good and what is bad. Simply put, Satan accused God of being an unfit Ruler and Father and implied that he, Satan, could do a better job.

    By means of those cunning and malicious lies, the angel made himself Satan the Devil. These names mean “Resister” and “Slanderer.” What did Adam and Eve do? They sided with Satan, turning their backs on God.—Genesis 3:6.

    Jehovah could have destroyed the rebels on the spot. But, as mentioned in our illustration, such issues cannot be settled by violent retaliation. Keep in mind too that when Satan challenged God, millions of angels were listening. In fact, a significant, but undisclosed, number later joined Satan in his rebellion, making themselves demons.—Mark 1:34; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.

    Why Has God Not Intervened?

    By seducing Adam and Eve into choosing independence from their Creator, in effect, Satan founded a family that was not truly independent but under his authority. Influenced, knowingly or unknowingly, by their “father,” the Devil, this family would choose its own goals and standards of conduct. (John 8:44) But would that way of life bring them true freedom and lasting happiness? Jehovah knew full well that it would not. Still, he allowed the rebels to pursue their independent course, for only in this way would the issues raised in Eden be fully settled for all time.

    For years now, mankind has built a world system of things, trying all kinds of rulership and codes of conduct. Are you delighted with the result? Is the human family truly happy, peaceful, and united? Clearly, the answer is no! Instead, wars, famines, natural disasters, sickness, and death have plagued mankind, causing “futility,” “pain,” and “groaning,” just as the Bible states.—Romans 8:19-22; Ecclesiastes 8:9.

    Still, some may ask, ‘Why has God not prevented tragedies?’ Really, that would be an injustice, and it would cloud the issue by making it seem that rebelling against God is without consequence. Hence, Jehovah has not been behind the scenes preventing all the crimes and tragedies that result, directly or indirectly, from disobedience to him.* Jehovah would never be party to the harmful lie that Satan’s system can succeed, that it has found the key to happiness! Nevertheless, Jehovah has not been indifferent to events. In fact, he has been very active, as we shall now see.

    “My Father Has Kept Working”

    Those words of Jesus show that God has not been sitting idly by, watching events unfold. (John 5:17) Rather, since the rebellion in Eden, he has been very busy. For instance, he inspired Bible writers to record his promise that a future “seed” would crush Satan and all who stuck with him. (Genesis 3:15) Additionally, by means of that Seed, God would form a government, a heavenly Kingdom, that would bless obedient humans and end all causes of suffering, even death itself.—Genesis 22:18; Psalm 46:9; 72:16; Isaiah 25:8; 33:24; Daniel 7:13, 14.

    As a step in the fulfillment of those wonderful promises, Jehovah sent to the earth the One who would become the primary Ruler of that Kingdom. This one was none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Galatians 3:16) In accord with God’s purpose for him, Jesus focused his teaching on God’s Kingdom. (Luke 4:43) In fact, Christ provided a living preview of what he will accomplish as King of that Kingdom. He fed hungry thousands, healed the sick, resurrected the dead, and even showed his power over the natural elements by calming a violent storm. (Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 4:37-39; John 11:43, 44) Concerning Jesus, the Bible states: “No matter how many the promises of God are, they have become Yes by means of him.”—2 Corinthians 1:20.

    Those who listen to Jesus and come “out of the world”—the system of things that is estranged from God and ruled by Satan—are welcomed into Jehovah’s family. (John 15:19) This global family of true Christians is governed by love, committed to peace, and marked by determination to eradicate any trace of bigotry and racism in its midst.—Malachi 3:17, 18; John 13:34, 35.

    Decide for God’s Rule!

    Mankind, alienated from God and misled by Satan, has built a world system that breeds more and more misery and hopelessness. Even the earth itself is being ruined! Jehovah, on the other hand, has set up a heavenly government that has changed the lives of millions for the better and that has given each one a sure hope. (1 Timothy 4:10) Which will you choose?

    Now is the time to decide, for God will not allow Satan and his wicked world to go on indefinitely. God’s original purpose to make this earth a paradise has never altered. To that end, his Kingdom and its supporters will go from strength to strength, while the world under Satan’s control will experience increasing “pangs of distress” until God brings it to an end. (Matthew 24:3, 7, 8) So if you have sincerely cried out, “Why?” to God, listen to him by taking to heart the Bible’s message of comfort and hope. Even now, your tears of sorrow can become tears of joy.—Matthew 5:4; Revelation 21:3, 4.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Truth

      Curious... How long did it take you to type all of this ?

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Truth

      @Peace2All

      LOL – not long. I'd previously done research on this question, so it was quite fast to copy and paste 🙂

      July 25, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Truth

      LOL... O.K... How long did it take for you to 'cut and paste' awhile, yes...? 😀

      Wow !!!!

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • Get Real

      Peace2all,

      It's just a copy/paste of a series of articles that are on Jehovah's Witnesses' Watchtower site...

      July 25, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Truth

      @Peace2All

      Well, do you consider 5 minutes a while? Now, if I hadn't had the information in soft copy form, it would have taken me about 15 minutes to retype (I type rather quickly) 🙂

      July 25, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Get Real

      LOL... It was so dam-n long that I didn't even bother to read it.

      Thanks for the 411 on this being from J-wits articles.

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • Ms Galaxy

      This aticulate and thoughtful cut-and-paste has a fatal flaw: one must already believe in the bible to swallow any of it. For those of us who find the bible, and all of the religious beliefs that are based on it, myth at its finest (okay, that may be hyberbole), it's pretty easy to reject an argument based on a flawed premise.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:11 am |
  16. Aaron

    is this the same god that flooded the earth killing nearly everything, burned 2 cities to the ground and killing everyone in it and is planning on killing everyone who doesn't believe in him

    July 25, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Nick

      That's right. But instead of trying to understand the reasons behind that and reading books that discuss that topic at length (I'm hoping it's not a surprise to you that you aren't the first person to think of the question), you simply dismiss it. Life can be easy like that.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • k kim

      You forgot to mention condemnation in hell/lake of burning sulfer. You don't approve?
      How strange that the pottery disapproves of the potter.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:55 am |
    • k kim

      I meant sulfur.

      July 25, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • Peace2All

      @k kim

      Hi -k kim...

      You Said to @Aaron: " You forgot to mention condemnation in hell/lake of burning sulfer. You don't approve?
      How strange that the pottery disapproves of the potter. "

      Hmm... Your metaphor (potter vs. pottery) is not isomorphic. Pottery is not alive and sentient with the capacity to think, like real humans(at least as far as we know).

      And, yes, I... as a thinking human being quite adamantly disapprove of "eternal condemnation" of my soul in hell/lake of burning sulfer(sic), 😯 etc... should there actually be an after life... and... should it be your evangelical christian version out of the possible infinitely many scenarios and states of being in said after life.

      Unfortunately, I'm not a piece of inanimate pottery. Your God, apparently gave me a mind and a brain to think with and make decisions.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • K Kim

      peace2all,

      the metaphor is from Biblical verses.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @K Kim

      Hi again, K Kim...

      " the metaphor is from Biblical verses."

      I did not ask where the metaphor came from, as I know 'where' the metaphor comes from. I stated that the metaphor is not 'isomorphic' to us. My point being is and was that it is a very 'poor' metaphor.

      We are not 'inanimate' objects like pottery.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  17. AJD13

    I wish Christopher Hitchens were alive right now to get involved in this debate.....it would be awesome lol. There would be many a hitchslap handed out tonight lol.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  18. virginia

    - Do you think there is nothing after life is over, and you obssesed with keeping the only life you have here while your soul dyes every day with your obsession to keep what isn't even yours but by the will of the lord you have what you experience as life....if this is all you think you have and fear consumes you every day with the fear of the final day???? would you not rather enjoy what you have today and live for the forever after life in heaven???Juses is the way and God the distination....

    July 25, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      Sorry. I'm not afraid of death. I enjoy my life, but I have no need or desire to live forever. I don't need the empty promise of eternal life to be a happy person, but apparently, you do. I'm sorry. It must be horrible to be so afraid of death.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • AJD13

      Ok....I think I get the gist of that rambling.....actually, if there's an afterlife of some sort that's pleasant...great! If there's not...I really won't care after I die...anymore than I cared about anything before I was born. Actually being an agnostic (which is not the same as an atheist...I don't claim to know for sure that there is not some sort of thing that could be called a god out there, just that I personally believe it's very unlikely...and if there is, I'm pretty sure he/she/it is not anything like what people have painted it to be) it makes me much more interested in living my life to the fullest and cherishing it and being good to others while I'm here to make their time here as pleasant as it can be because there's the very real possibility that this is it...that once I'm gone, I'm gone so I'd better enjoy and appreciate my life.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  19. Chris

    Unlike human beings, God is consistent. He doesn't sit on the sidelines while a person strives towards greatness and then intervene when another chooses to spew evil. He gave us choice and free will and the promise that each person would be held accountable. Given the scenario of a packed theater, general darkness, smoke bombs, and an inventory of guns and ammunition that could have killed every person in Theater 9, it is a miracle that only 12 people died. God was there. Good overcame evil.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • tallulah13

      Tell that to the six-year-old girl who died. Tell that to her younger sibling who was injured. Tell that to the families who lost loved ones. Tell that to those who survived because a friend or loved one sacrificed their own life to save them.

      There is no evidence of the presence of god, in that theater or anywhere else in the universe. There is ample evidence, however, of human courage and love. It's sad and kind of horrible that you would rather credit your god than those humans who died for the sake of those they loved.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Chris

      Hi -Chris...

      " He doesn't sit on the sidelines while a person strives towards greatness and then intervene when another chooses to spew evil. "

      " Given the scenario of a packed theater, general darkness, smoke bombs, and an inventory of guns and ammunition that could have killed every person in Theater 9, it is a *(miracle)* that *only* 12 people died. God was there. Good (overcame) evil. "

      So, given the 1st quote of your I pulled out, how does that even rectify with your 2nd statement ?

      In the 1st you are basically saying God doesn't intervene when 'evil' happens.

      In the 2nd, you are overtly that God 'was' there, and... by 'inference' God, did in fact intervene, because... look *only* 12 people died. Good *overcame* evil. It's a miracle.

      How do you rectify this type of illogical thinking...?

      And, this *only* 12 died mantra I've been seeing. How do you rectify that with your non-intervening God ?

      Peace...

      July 25, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  20. Ralph M

    If he were a fact, he would be taking a breather from the nuts who are constantly begging from him to fix the messes they make of their lives. Organized religion is a crutch for the weak and infirm= real people need to stand up and deal with it. Stand erect people.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • virginia

      I am not asking you to beleive in Religion I am asking you to see the presence of God, and believe in God who created you and the heaven's for you and every one who is capable of realizing there is a God...A loving being, who has intended for us to exist and to be here among aechother through his grace and love and mercy...if you want to stay away from sin where you see it he if fine with that...he asks of you to stay way form sin, and to fear departing from his side from where his protection keep's us safe...

      July 25, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • tallulah13

      As there isn't a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any god, it is not logical to believe such a being exists. Simple human empathy is a more decent source of morality than the bible, because humans can learn and grow, but the bible remains stagnant in the face of increased knowledge.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:51 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.