October 29, 2012

God, Truth and Politics

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”  (1John 1:5)

A few days ago it was the top story on usatoday.com. “Pregnancy from Rape is God’s Intent.”

What??!! Incredulous, I clicked to read more.

The article insinuated that Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that it is God’s will for women who have been raped to become pregnant. Women’s groups were in an uproar, politicians treated him like a leper and late night comedians giddily sharpened their pencils.

 I read the article and discovered that Mourdock actually said, “But I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother. I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from god. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

That’s a MUCH different statement than the headline promoted!

While his admission might be political suicide, and you might not agree with what he’s saying, I think Mourdock is struggling with the tough questions that ALL believers struggle with.

Where is God when things go terribly, horribly wrong? 

Does He intend tragedy to happen? Does He see …or care? Is He powerless to do anything? If God is good as He claims to be, how can so many bad things happen to so many innocent people? Like rape, abuse, cancer, earthquakes, hurricanes, murder, crack babies, 9/11…

In the Bible, Job struggled with questions like these after he lost his family, his wealth, his livelihood, his health and just about everything else good in his life. God allowed Satan to bring tragedy on Job. Did this make God less good?

For 37 chapters Job cried, lamented, pleaded and struggled with “Why? … Where are you, Lord?”

Without a bit of apology God finally speaks and puts a tormented Job in his place.
“Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.” (Job 38:3-4) 

For four chapters God detailed the depths of His power as creator of the universe. Ouch!

A humbled Job replies:
“You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” (Job 42:3, 5) 

You and I have to take our own heart wrenching journeys to wrestle with the questions that torment our souls. To accept that while God might or might not intend tragedies to happen, He certainly allows them. To not just know about God, but to see him with our eyes (as Job did). And to trust that in ALL things God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, almighty—ALL the time.

Isn’t this the essence of faith?

There’s one thing that’s obvious in the Mourdock mess; if the Lord Almighty ran for office, He most certainly would NOT get elected.

God’s truth doesn’t tickle the ears or bend to please public opinion. It doesn’t soften to satisfy constituents. It doesn’t choose one party or group over another. And it doesn’t “evolve” with the times. Just look at Jesus. The court of public opinion nailed Him to the cross!

Thankfully Jesus didn’t come to win elections. He came to shake up the status quo, tear down barriers, redeem, forgive, transform and show us the path to true and everlasting freedom. And He says to all believers—regardless of political party, country of residence or voting status:
“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NLT)
This is freedom that no tragedy, news article or government can ever take away.