2008-10-23 / Editorial

MAKE IT PLAIN

By Glenn Schicker

A Nebraska state senator's attempt to hold God legally accountable for the world's woes has hit a roadblock.

According to the Associated Press, State Sen. Ernie Chambers filed a lawsuit against God last year, saying God has caused him and his constituents to be afraid by making threats against them. Chambers' complaint also said God has caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants." He asked the court to issue a permanent injunction.

But AP reports Douglas County District Judge Marlon Polk this month threw the case out, saying Chambers could not properly serve God with notice of the lawsuit because God's home address is unlisted.

Chambers is considering an appeal. "Since God knows everything," Chambers told AP, "God has notice of this lawsuit."

Chambers is far from alone in his grievance against God. How many times have you heard someone ask how a loving God could allow disease, death, natural disaster, injustice? How many times have you asked those questions yourself?

We'd like a nice neat answer, but God has provided none. Jesus said God "causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:45). Translation: No one- good person or bad, devout believer or atheist- is exempt from either the good or bad that comes along in life.

That rankles us. If God is truly loving and just, He should either bring health, peace and safety to everybody- or show His favor to good people like us and misfortune like us.

Among many Bible characters who wrestled with anger toward a God who seems unfair were the Old Testament patriarch Job; King David, whom God called "a man after His own heart"; and King Solomon, the wisest person who ever lived. It isn't always very satisfying to us, but the closest thing to an answer they came up with is that God permits difficulty to come our way because only through allowing Him to help us through those hard times can we fully experience His love for us.

"Is God unjust?" the apostle Paul asked. "…What if God, choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath- prepared for destruction? What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy...?" (Romans 9:14-23) "...Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit..." (Romans 5:3-5)

It's one of those concepts you can't get your head around until you give it a try. But millions of Christians can testify that while faith in God has not spared them from hardship, it has enabled them to not only endure it, but triumph over it.

Sen. Chamber is right: God is fully aware of our grievances against Him. And if He could be subpoenaed into court, His defense would be enigmatic, but powerful: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

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