12th December 2016

Rape Allowed By God

Why worship a God who allows a child being raped?

Q: “Why would I worship a God who allows a child being raped?”

our A: I have a close relative who was raped as a child.

Believe me….I am intimately familiar with all of the ways that sexual abuse damages people. I truly understand your rage.

However, it is not God’s fault that people choose to take the good he has created and corrupt it. It is not his fault that fathers molest their daughters or that mothers verbally abuse their sons.

We human beings are pretty much free to do as we choose.

How should we feel about the fact that God doesn’t prevent other people from doing evil to us?

How should we feel about the fact that God doesn’t prevent us from doing evil to other people?

We might wish that God established a set of boundaries, beyond which people would be punished. We might suggest that God kill any man who molests a child.

Well then, how about the producers of child porn that might have helped motivate the man to molest the child? Would it be right if maybe God killed them too?

Ok, what should God do with, say, people who are verbally abusive?

Words wound deeply. If you ask a room full of counselors which causes more damage to people, in total – verbal or sexual abuse – I bet most of them will say verbal abuse takes a heavier toll. There’s certainly a lot more of it being done.

Should God shut our mouths when we’re about to say something harmful?

Suppose the world worked that way. What would it be like?

Would human beings go around seething with resentment, because we’re never allowed to say what we really think? Would we all know deep down that other people don’t really care about us, they just say nice things to avoid getting killed by God’s vicious lightning bolt? Would the world be even lonelier than it is now?

It seems pretty apparent to me we get to do what we choose to do. And I don’t see how we can be angry at God for letting us do that.

However, God has not been silent. God tells us how to best live our lives.

Is it not true that if everyone followed the 10 Commandments, no child would ever be raped or molested?

Is it not true that if everyone followed the 10 commandments, nothing would ever be stolen, no spouse would be betrayed, no one’s son or daughter would be murdered?

Rather than control us, God gives us freedom. God does not interfere with anyone’s choices. Rather he assures us that all will someday answer for what they have done and that justice will be administered. Judgment will be based on the guidelines given.

The problem is, being told how to live well, is insufficient. Even God says that.

Giving us an owner’s manual, such as the Bible, is not enough. Telling a child molester that it’s wrong to molest children, is not news to him. God says we need something deeper. Internal guidance, yes. But even more. Internal power to want to do what is right. That is what God can provide.

Here is what God says can be true of us, if we choose to rely on God:“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”1

God offers to live in us. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.”2 Not free-from-trouble lives. But lives that have an inward motivation to do what is right, and to please God whom we now know. God offers us a relationship with himself that uniquely brings stability and peace to our lives.

God is asking us to go through life with him. To know him. To be changed by an awareness of his love for us. And like a valued friend, to be counseled and influenced by him.

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