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Other Articles on Why God Permits Evil

And God Cried

What's This World Coming To?

 Christians Must Remember the Holocaust!

Where Was God?

The Katrina and Rita Calamities Challenge Our Thinking


Why Does God Permit Calamities?

Ch 1-Where Was God?

Ch 2-Why God Permits Calamities

Ch 3-A Suffering Savior and Suffering Christians

Ch 4-God Is Not Trying to Convert the World Now

Ch 5-God's Kingdom

Ch 6-Supposed Objections


The Katrina and Rita Calamities
Challenge Our Thinking



Slighting Israel at the expense of Katrina’s victims.

Despite Katrina’s massive devastation, conniving diplomacy was the order of the day. US Officials acknowledged that Israel was one of the first countries to offer aid. But they said the administration, which has highlighted offers of aid from Islamic governments as well as American Arab and Muslim groups, asked Israel to postpone sending aid until a later stage.

The United States tried to avoid any mention of Israeli participation in the international aid. “At one point, the administration signaled that it would accept Israeli help, but preferred that it be as part of a mission organized by the American Jewish community,” an official said. (WORLD TRIBUNE.COM)

Glimmers of God’s Image remains.

Calamities reveal the best and worst in man—the good and the evil. A six-year old girl told how a rescuer, hanging from a helicopter line, chopped through roof and whisked her away. Will never see her hero again? There were thousands of heroes, many without a personal relationship with Christ. This raises the question. Where will these sacrificing, concerned, unbelieving heroes spend eternity?

Adamic Sin.

Then there was evil. The heavens declare the glory of God, but the streets reveal the wickedness of man. There was violence, theft, rape and murder—even some police looting. Calamities bring out the worst in man. The main problem in the world is not Mother Nature, but human nature. Remove law enforcement, and are real self is revealed. We are sinful to the core.

All were born with a “me-first mentality.” You don't have to teach your children to argue. They don't have to be trained to demand their way. You don’t have to show them how to stomp their feet and pout, it is their nature… indeed the “me-first mentality” is the natural disposition of all of us. This is why Jesus “tasted death for every man.” We all need a savior to save us from our sins.

Not “where was God?”
But “what is wrong with man?”

Many ask, where was God? Ridiculous! There are certain patterns of God’s nature we must learn or suffer the consequences. We would never put our hand in the cage of a lion, but we continually put thousands of lives in the known path of hurricanes.

The same is true of earthquakes. Californians dwell over a huge fault area hoping an earthquake won’t happen in their lifetime. When that “BIG ONE” does strike, you will hear the cry, “Where is God?” But it will be man’s gamble and loss, not God’s.

‘Katrina’ first struck in 1719.

In 1719, a year after Jean-Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, established New Orleans as the capital of the fledgling French colony of Louisiana, a hurricane wiped out the handful of palmetto huts that comprised the city.  An engineer named Le Blond de la Tour begged Bienville to move New Orleans to another spot—one that was not, say, five inches below sea level between a powerful and unruly river and a 40-mile-wide lake; but Bienville refused.  Two years later, after they'd managed to build four whole blocks, another hurricane came and wiped them out. 

‘Rita’ first struck in 1900.

On September 8, 1900, a killer hurricane struck the Texas coastal city of Galveston. This hurricane would become the greatest natural disaster, by number of deaths, in United States history: 8,000 by accepted figures, perhaps as many as 12,000. Of that total, 6,000 perished in Galveston alone. The tragedy killed more Americans than any other natural disaster, indeed, more than the legendary Johnstown Flood, the San Francisco Earthquake, the 1938 New England Hurricane and the Great Chicago Fire combined.

The destructive paths of the many hurricanes that followed rendered the whole Gulf Coast vulnerable. Yet, industrial greed chose to dot the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Galveston with 25% of the US oil refineries. True, it was convenient and economical, nevertheless, foolhardy. Not to mention damage to the oil rigs in the Gulf, 22% of the refineries were crippled. Gasoline prices rocketed. Home heating fuel this winter is expected to be astronomical. Of course, there is price gouging and many oil tycoons, including Bible-believing Christians, are padding their pockets.

The US refuses to learn its lessons.

Since Bush’s first inauguration in 2002, the US has opposed the efforts of world leaders to restrict air pollution in order to combat global warming. This year global warming increased the temperature of the Gulf waters three degrees. This three-degree rise was enough to upgrade a Category 2 hurricane to the killer power of a Category 4. Global warming created the unprecedented devastating force of Katrina and Rita.

It will take years of research to find economical alternative sources of energy to counter the worldwide oil shortage accentuated by Katrina and Rita. Remember the oil crunch in 1973 with the mile-long lines of cars at every gas station? President Carter had Congress enact a program to research feasible alternative sources of energy. Whatever the reasons, when Reagan became president, he terminated this research project. How unfortunate! If Carter’s research project had continued unimpeded, the worldwide energy crisis of today could have been averted. (See box.)

Hurricane Patterns Ignored

In Florida, more than 13 million people live in coastal counties, up from 200,000 a century ago. As a result, all four of last year's Florida hurricanes made the list of America's 10 most damaging storms ever.

For much of the 20th century, the coastal areas were dominated by the poor and working class. Wealthy and middle-class Americans did not start moving there until the long lull after Hurricane Camille in 1969, when there was a demographic explosion.

In 1960, there were 180 people per square mile in the coastal United States; by 1994, there were 275 per square mile. A U.S.A. Today study in 2000 found 1,000 year-round settlers arriving in coastal counties each day. “Insurance companies were underwriting coastal development with reckless abandon.” “Developers overbuilt to their hearts' content.”

Mississippi's coastal counties grow three times as fast as any other county in the state, a pattern found in many coastal states, and fighting this trend is a lonely business.


Why God Permits Calamities?


To fully understand why God permits evil—including calamities—we must go back, back to when God dwelt alone. God desired a family, to be a parent—a father or life-giver—The Heavenly Father. The most loving parents are not overly protective; rather, they are willing to permit hard knocks, realizing it will cost them dearly in pain as they watch their children struggle to maturity.

God knew His children could only be happy individually and collectively if each one loved and obeyed His laws for the well being of all. Therefore, God created Adam and Eve in “His own image”—having free will and moral discernment. God could have programmed the ideal man and utopia would have been inevitable, but man would be no better than a robot, nor would he be happy. But free will has a built-in dilemma. God told Adam that if he obeyed he would live. If he disobeyed he would die—“dying thou shalt die” (Gen. 2:17). Because of lack of experience, God knew Adam, or anyone of us, would disobey.

A parent will tell a baby not to touch the stove because it is hot. But what does a baby know about pain? Inevitably, the baby will touch the stove. A wise parent will lightly and quickly touch the child’s hand where the heat is not too severe. Likewise, God is giving mankind a controlled experience with sin.

Knowing man would disobey Him, God planned for man’s redemption before He even created the earth and man. First Peter 1:19-20 speaks of Jesus as “slain before the foundation of the world.” God lovingly planned the best for His future human children. This meant a plan that would deeply grieve His fatherly heart as He watched man trampled down into death by the machinations of evil while learning the consequences of sin. Also, it would cost the ultimate in fatherly suffering—watching His “only begotten son” suffer the agony of being vilified and crucified. God’s gift of Jesus was the greatest demonstration of fatherly suffering in history.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed, God withdrew His fellowship. Loneliness, stress and depression engulfed them. The latest scientific research confirms the Biblical account of man’s “Fall” into sin. Loneliness, stress and depression render both the mind and the body prone to disease. Fear, hostility and aggressiveness became the norm. Exploitation, crime and violence were the inevitable consequences. The body’s immunity to disease soon broke down. The dying process had begun. Yes, Adam’s children, the human race, were born sinners (Psa. 51:5) worthy of death (Rom. 6:23). This is “the sore travail God hath given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith” (Eccl. 1:13; 3:10).

The Unfinished Earth and Calamities

Since Adam and Eve disobeyed, mankind is learning by experience the bitter consequences of moral sin and evil that results in death. Additionally, they were cast out of their Edenic paradise into the unfinished earth, where the components of nature were still unbalanced. Here mankind has “toiled by the sweat of their brow” and are subjected to sporadic upheavals of nature. Perhaps these upheavals of nature are gradually preparing the earth to become the Edenic paradise in the 1000-year Kingdom of God.

Often parents, who remand a disobedient child to their room for the evening, have loving thoughts of their continued relationship. God has remanded His human children to their room—the unfinished earth. In their affliction, He is afflicted and He has wonderful loving thoughts—recorded in the Bible prophecies—concerning their restoration to His favor. Yes, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “as in Adam all die,” but he continues, “so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Why? Because Jesus died “a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6 and Heb. 2:9).

A Suffering Savior and Suffering Christians

But before all are made alive in Christ’s Kingdom, God has been training Christians—a “little flock” (Luke 12:32), by contrast with the billions of mankind. Why? That they might reign with Christ in his Kingdom as priests and kings (Rev. 20:6). Like Christ, they are being made sympathetic priests through suffering (2 Tim. 2:11-12). The minds of men are scarred and twisted by tragedy. Christians experience the same disasters (1 Cor. 10:13), but by the power of the holy Spirit are healed and made compassionate. Why?

They will be able to heal the minds of their fellowman when mankind comes forth from the grave (John 5:28-29, NASV) to their “judgment” (Greek Krisis, denotes future probation) trial time in the Kingdom. Mankind will have a vivid remembrance of the bitter effects of sin and evil. Then they will learn the joyful rewards of living righteously with their fellowman and make their choice for eternity (Jer. 31:29-31, 34). Many scriptures reveal that the majority of mankind will share the joys of eternal life.

God’s foreknowledge of His own suffering in sharing mankind’s plight proves that the permission of evil is a necessary experience for man’s eternal welfare. God’s fatherly sorrow contains no anxiety like a human parent. With Divine serenity, He knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). All the forces of evil are overruled for man’s eternal welfare (Psa. 76:10). By faith we can have this same peace of God (Phil. 4:7). The present sufferings are but a moment compared with the joys of eternity (2 Cor. 4:17, 18).