Concerned about the State of the World?
October 25, 2016
There’s an old cartoon that features a man after death arriving in heaven, asking God why He permitted so many crimes and atrocities in the world he had just come from. In the next frame we see God saying, “That’s funny, I was going to ask YOU the same thing.”
God permits all sorts of natural misery and injustice but that doesn’t mean He is powerless to stop it. Rather He knows that forcing compliance with His laws of order would destroy the two faculties that make us human, namely our capacities for personal freedom and responsibility, indeed our own individual will and understanding. And these He preserves for us no matter what we may suffer, even if it means they must be kept dormant inwardly until some illness or disability has passed, even if they can’t be fully expressed until the life after death. So He PERMITS all sorts of evils in the providential hope that WE will wake up and take some corporate responsibility for our actions.
Meanwhile, we need to understand that God only cares about natural events to the extent that they can contribute in some way to our eternal life. And they WILL contribute even if only by showing us the consequences of our greed and foolishness. They WILL contribute if we can only learn to respond to our challenges with grace and humility. This is called taking the long view and it always pays off in the end. So Jesus did not promise anyone a life free of hardship. Indeed He said, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be confident, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
If you would like to know more about how God uses the spiritual and natural laws of order to provide for our eternal lives, read the book, Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence. by Emanuel Swedenborg, available as a free PDF download here. Or write or call the church for more information.