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Hardly a week goes by without some faithful person saying to me “God is in control.” It sounds so comforting.  And it’s what I want to believe. It means my responsibility is small. The big and small challenges in this world are all in the palm of His hand. He is so powerful He can stop all this chaos in a moment.

But, when I look around at human society, I see conflict and suffering in every corner. The evidence clearly seems to indicate that our loving God does not control human events!

Is God really in control of what happens in the world?
If God is ‘in control,’ why do things go wrong; why do bad things happen?
Do concepts such as predestination and “the hand of God” still have some degree of currency in today’s modern society?
If the claim that “God’s in control” does not sync with perceived reality, what is a better explanation of this apparent contradiction.
Or, is it just one of those unexplainable ‘mysteries’?

Please share your thoughts below.

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James Edgerly
James Edgerly
Admin
1 month ago

A related question or topic is, even in the absense of the human fall, did God intend his children (humankind) to experience and endure suffering? Is human suffering a NATURAL part of the human path towards spiritual maturity? Could it be that the reason that God chooses NOT to control human outcomes, and that He/She allows “bad things to happen”, is not only to give his children the freedom love, but also because experiencing and overcoming suffering is a prerequisite for spiritual maturity?

Tim Henning
Tim Henning
1 month ago

“Control” implies responsibility. Although because of His divine love God may feel that He is ultimately responsible for the depraved actions of those who commit atrocities, in fact, He is not. For true love to be something real, there must be a free creative response. Without this agency human beings would be little more than complex robots. However this raises the question of the limits of a God who is thought to be almighty, omniscient, omnipresent, etc. He is unlimited. How then can there be such a thing as genuine freedom? And if human beings are not free agents, how… Read more »

Lorman Lykes
Lorman Lykes
Reply to  Tim Henning
1 month ago

So far the discussion has focused on the the lack of interference by God into the erron ways of humanity. I agree with the emphasis of human accountability to foster individual responsibility as a check on the abuse of our free will from a loving Heavenly Parent. However, what about the extreme forces of nature that destroy life and limb? Disease, famine, birth defects, etc. are not necessarily the result of human initiatives but still have disastrous effects that a Parental God should address. Many atheist see an uncaring God or no God to justify divine inaction. As believes, does… Read more »

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson
1 month ago

This is a very deep subject. I have thought a lot about this. I have become much more in tune with the suffering of other people and I can’t really handle dealing with all the suffering in this world. Not only that, but history has unbelievable tragedies, pain, torture, despair, disease, etc. Sometimes I want to ask God why all this has happened and is happening. I cannot understand why it appears that sometimes God intervenes in events and people’s lives and other times He appears to not be involved. I can only return to the one truth that guides… Read more »

Lorman Lykes
Lorman Lykes
Reply to  Dr. D. Michael Hentrich
1 month ago

Thanks for your consice comment that has resonance with my personal experience with God. Indeed God’s relationship with humanity is as simple as the parent child relationship. Isn’t every parent’s challenged with the connudrum of how much freedom to give a child vs the child’s freedom to explore and learn from their mistakes. The story of humanity’s beginning in the Garden of Eden was a lesson for God and mankind. Mankind learned that freedom can be a curse when individual responsibility is immature. The sufferings of the world can be blamed on our ungodliness not on God. At the same… Read more »

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