Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where was God?

9/11, Mass shootings, natural disasters... Many are asking how a loving God could allow these things to happen. The premise of the question, I believe, is flawed. After the tragedy in Newtown, CT, the headline reads: "Churches Packed for Vigil".  Why does it take catastrophe to draw us to God? It's because at times like this, when we see true evil, that we have no frame of reference or ability to grasp what has happened. It's so large and overwhelming that only God can comfort us. Only God can possibly understand. 

But can't He guide and comfort us daily? Is He God only when disaster strikes? Why do the masses who pack the church during crisis avoid the church at other times? I believe a main reason is a lack of balance within the church community.

On one side we have in our global community those who have become so afraid of persecution or tired of the "in your face" corruption that the world offers.  We have gone on the offense, lashing out, becoming so militant in our faith that we condemn and push away those who don't hold the same beliefs that we do. Are we so prideful to think that we are above the persecution that Jesus has said we will suffer?  We are so busy declaring our rights that we fail present a Gospel of love and compassion. 

On the other side of the imbalance, we silently accept or actively endorse all manner of sin, acquiescing to the carnal desires of those who want to have a "faith" walk and a worldly lifestyle, simultaneously. But if we accept changes to the Gospel to accommodate individual lifestyle choices, how do we become any different than the Samaritans of old who mixed and matched their favorite parts of religion until the original commands of God were lost? It took Jesus to break through the false and distorted doctrines created by man. But he started with the woman at the well, with love and compassion and when he did "many that day were added" to the Kingdom of God.  

Jesus was not militant nor did He judge. He presented love, the word of God, the message of repentance and salvation. But those who chose not to follow him were not bullied or belittled. The rich young man was given the instruction to sell all he had, give the money to the poor and follow Jesus. When the man refused, it was that same man who hung his head and walked away. Jesus didn't mock or ridicule him. Jesus didn't poke His finger in the man's chest and badger him. But neither did He change the requirement that we must be willing to give our all to serve God. 

We as Christian's must be Christ-like. It's in the name. We will judge angel's, but it will happen when we have been given authority to do so. Who gave us a right to judge every person who comes across our path? And why do we judge some sin as more heinous than another? We have no right to judge others unless and until we have been given the authority to do so. On the flip-side, if we cave on the principles taught to us through scripture, in an attempt to draw in those who are seeking, what will they find but validation that the current path they are on is sufficient.

As a Christian, I challenge you to love others enough to share the gospel with them, but to respect them enough to allow them to make their own decision on serving the God that you serve. I challenge you to hold back your judgement of others but to love them enough to pray for them. I challenge you with this: Does the mighty God we serve need you or me to convince others of His existence, or do you think maybe all we have to do is love Him first and foremost, and love our neighbors as ourselves?

As for the original question "where was God?" He is right where He has always been, jealously waiting on you, craving a relationship. A relationship in which He heals your hurts, celebrates your joys, and guides your steps. A relationship based on the only true love that exists.

My prayers go out for the community of Newtown and for the hearts of a grieving humanity. 

(All scripture links from the "Blue Letter Bible". Please check out and support them.)

If you would like information about having Dwayne come to minister, speak or perform for your group, contact him by e-mail at or by phone at 419-961-1265. 

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