Every now and again when I share my faith with self-professed atheists, or I read comments on social media sites written by those who hate God, arguments against faith in God often focus on news reports such as school shootings, or roadside bomb attacks, or of planes flying into buildings. “If God exists,” they challenge, “then why does He permit those things to happen?”
Frankly, I do not understand the reason for the question. We remove God from our public schools, colleges, and universities, and are shocked when evil fills the void. We remove God’s laws from our culture and cloak sexual sins and perversions with the garb of normalcy, and are shocked that we produce adults who rape children and pornography tears millions of families to shreds. We reject God’s commandment about murder and proceed with the slaughter of 1.3 million babies in American abortion chambers each year – and then are shocked when teens and young adults randomly kill others for fun.
And atheists have the shamelessness to ask, “Where is God?” As I said, I do not understand the question. Yet even as far back as the first century, St. Paul provides an answer to those with ears to hear and a heart humble enough to receive instruction. In his letter to the church at Rome he wrote:
Professing to be wise, they became fools . . . . And just as they did not see fit]to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:22-32)
Where is God? Is it really fair to blame Him for the evil around us when it is we ourselves who invited evil into our homes, communities, and our nation -- and God simply has given us over to our own sin?
And yet, even to this very day as you read this, through the mercy of God alone, anyone – atheists, agnostics, even the Christian in the pew – anyone who honestly desires truth can still learn from what Jesus prayed:Father, Lord of heaven and earth . . . You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. . . . Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30)
Will we come? Are we willing to change?
Or shall truth remain hidden from us?