June 22, 1999
Front Page Challenge panelist, Gordon Sinclair, always tried to stump Christian guests with this question: “If God exists, why did he allow a flood that killed innocent children?”
His question is a challenge to those who worship God. What about His power and goodness? If God is so powerful, why did He wipe out everyone? Couldn’t He have designed a punishment that destroyed only the guilty? And if God is so good, why would He harm children? Finally, one guest stumped him with this response, “If God does not exist, why would that be wrong?”
We live in a society where many think that the way to live is doing whatever you want to, whatever you think is right. While that can describe anarchy, it can also describe our independent Western civilization. Most people in North America rule their own lives. All are trained from early childhood to be individuals, to do our own thing. We are raised with whatever value system appeals to our comfort or personal satisfaction. The greater good is seldom the issue.
In recent weeks, this independent thinking has reared its ugly head in schools across the country. Those who kill fellow students are not thinking about others, only their own desires. What they want is more important than what others need.
I know that I sometimes also have thoughts and ideas that are mean, selfish, and destructive. However, I have little respect for that side of my humanity. That lack of respect would carry over to others had not God assured me of His forgiveness. Because He forgives me, I can forgive the sinful side of other people.
Further, mean and destructive thoughts are common to everyone. For me, they would become actions had not God given me the Holy Spirit that I might control myself. I know that if I decided there was no God, I would be without any mercy towards myself or other people. I would devalue human life, perhaps even want to destroy it, just as some have done.
This panelist who asked Sinclair, “If God does not exist, why would that be wrong?” offered an important argument for the existence of God. He suggested that without God, we have no morals or foundation for how to think about human life or how to behave. We would all fall to our lowest common denominator and certainly our worst trait: utter selfishness.
Beyond that, those who live in the kingdom of self think that God has no right to interfere with what they want to do. If they want to be evil, He should just let them. If they want to rule their own lives, or even shoot others, that is okay.
In Noah’s time, God judged the world with a flood because He “saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”
Think of it. We were created to live as God does, not build a kingdom of evil. God has the right to stop wickedness, to expect us to live as He created us to live.
As for His children, God says those who are contrite and humble are granted grace and a place in His presence. How could anyone claim injustice when God Himself takes those ‘sinners transformed to innocents’ out of a totally evil environment and grants them eternal life with Himself in paradise?
Determination to rule our own lives puts us on a slippery slope. If we question God’s right to stop our self-determined descent, we are merely adding grease to the slide.