In the wake of the Aurora, CO theater shooting many Christians have found it necessary to speak up on behalf of God in order to proclaim that this was all a part of his sovereign plan. Such remarks sound similar to George Zimmerman’s response to his involvement in the killing of Trayvon Martin .
Despite the sincerity that comes with such remarks I think they are misleading…or even harmful.
Saying that these events were part of God’s plan is a cheap attempt to shy away from the reality of evil that we are confronted with in life’s tragedies. In fact, it’s hard to see how evil even exists in such a framework since all that happens, no matter good or bad, is understood to be a part of God’s masterful orchestration. It’s as if we’re saying: “the Aurora, CO shootings seem evil but if we could only see things from a divine perspective then we would understand that God is using this for good.”
Thus, within this framework: Evil is merely an illusion. God is the cause of everything that happens in the world, even all the bad stuff.
This should make you uncomfortable.
The God I see revealed in Jesus does not cause suffering in order to bring about the good. Rather, God works in the midst of suffering in order to bring about the most good possible.
It was not God’s will that Trayvon Martin be shot and killed.
It was not God’s plan to have innocent people shot and killed at a Batman movie premiere.
Please stop saying that it was.