Thursday, May 01, 2008


This week's [Subversive Underground] article was all about the problem of suffering and the dilemna we sometimes face answering those who claim that God cannot be "Good" if He allows innocent children to suffer and die.

I read yesterday that something like 35,000 children die every day in Africa due to poverty and disease. What did you do about that today?

Does our inaction prove that we are not good?

Does it mean that we do not care?

It's like the scene in "Bruce Almighty" where he tells God how much better he would be at easing the suffering of the innocents if he had God's power. After a week or so of making himself famous and wealthy and indulging all of God's power on his own comfort and success, God shows up and asks him, "So, how many orphans did you feed today?"

We accuse God of being uncaring and unloving, and yet we, who stand here and live daily in the reality of these sufferings also do nothing.

It's a bit like being angry at the policeman for not being there to stop the speeding car that kills a young child, when we were standing on the curb and stood by, watching it all happen.

In the words of Mother Teresa, "It is not enough for us to say, 'I love God, but I do not love my neighbor, since in dying on the Cross, God has made himself the hungry one — the naked one — the homeless one. Jesus' hunger is what you and I must find and alleviate."

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." - Jesus


Anonymous said...

Your policeman analogy was interesting, but there is one difference that I think I can cite between your analogy and real life. That is that in real life Americans do not often see the poverty and injustice going on in their own country, much less in the countries abroad. Most organizations that have come to my alma mater (Azusa Pacific University) for instance, come with much the same tone as you have done here. Why aren't YOU doing anything? What do they want us to do? Drop out of school?

There really isn't anything we can do except support children through focus international or something, but I keep hearing the threats thrown at me, WHY AREN'T YOU DOING ANYTHING, and I feel guilty for living. I feel guilty for existing while others do not get to exist as nicely as I do. Where do we draw the line? How do we know when enough is enough?

I have read a lot of blogs that deal with this, and I feel like I am left with more questions than answers.

Keith Giles said...

My article isn't meant to attack readers for not doing anything, but I do see how you could take it that way.

My point is that, those who argue that God is not good for not helping the poor are just as guilty for not doing anything. Especially since we are here and have the power, as individuals, and as a church, and as a nation, to make a difference.

We cannot hold God accountable for not answering our prayer when we are capable of being our own answer, can we?

I also want to point out that here in Orange County we do have the poor among us. Maybe, as you suggest, we don't see them, but they are there.

My wife and I lead a monthly free groceries ministry to residents at a local motel where families live week to week. If you'd like to join us we'd love to have you!

email me if you're interested in talking more or in finding out about our ministry to the poor in Orange County.

My email is:
elysiansky (at) hot mail (dot) com