Something is annoying me. I’ve seen some recent Christian bashing taking place on Facebook among some Jamaicans. That in itself doesn’t annoy me but these things so easily crosses over into God bashing and that irritates me. Yes, I know that God doesn’t need me to fight His battles, and I don’t try to, but it still annoys me.
There are 2 recent incidents that seem to be sparking the most recent spate of bashing. First, there was Hurricane Matthew. Apparently, some vocal Christians in Jamaica are saying how it’s a blessed nation because the hurricane didn’t really arrive there. The bashers want to know why Haiti isn’t also a blessed nation.
Second, there was recently a shooting in Kingston in which several people were killed but a teenaged girl survived after sustaining several gunshot wounds; she’s now paralysed. The bashers are offended that people are still saying that Jamaica is a blessed nation while such atrocities occur.
I’m not going to pretty it up. Some Christians are stupid. They say stupid things and they do stupid things. Do you know why that is? It’s mainly because they’re people, and people say and do stupid things. I mean, I would consider myself a serious, committed Christian and look at the ridiculousness that I get myself caught up in sometimes. But it’s also because most Christians are Bible thumpers who haven’t actually read their Bibles so they have not a clue what’s in it, and their theology consists of whatever their pastor tells them on Sunday morning. So when they speak, they’re just belching out religious words that they think sound good.
So the Christians start saying things that offend the humanistic views of the bashers, like that Jamaica is a blessed country while so much bad is happening. Then the bashers go to town bashing the Christians. They see all the evil that takes place and wonder how right-thinking people could ever say that the nation is blessed. Then they take it a step further and start to question God Himself: if there is a compassionate God, then why did so many people die in Haiti and why are all these people murdered in Jamaica every day and why is this teenaged girl now traumatised and paralysed? If the girl had survived the shooting with no paralysis, would it be God’s blessing? What about all the other people who died, why didn’t God save them? If God is so great and all-powerful, why do so many awful things happen in the world every single day?
Let’s go back to Genesis, shall we? Yes, I believe the creation story that’s in my Bible, every word of it. But we’ll talk about that another time.
In the beginning, God created heaven and earth, He created the seas and the land, sun, moon and stars, and He created flora and fauna. When He was done with all that, He performed His greatest creative work: man. He created Adam, then He created Eve so that Adam would have company. He put Adam and Eve in charge of taking care of His creation, with only one limitation: do not eat the fruit of one tree.
Everything was perfect. There was beauty and harmony everywhere, and everything was nice and peaceful and quiet.
But when God made Adam and Eve, He made them with something called free will. He made them so that they could make their own decisions. He made them so they wouldn’t have to love Him and want communion with Him. He made them with this free will so that they could choose to love Him and want communion with Him. You know why? Because it’s not really love if it’s forced (got that from Joyce Meyer so I won’t take credit for it) – God didn’t want robots. Of course, God didn’t make it so that free will is contained to just choosing to love someone. Free will extends to every area of life where a decision needs to be made.
So along came Satan, the wily one (yup, I believe that he exists too – as I said, I believe every last word of my Bible). And he knew exactly how to get under the humans’ skin. He, being the master of deception, twisted God’s one admonition to Adam and Eve and straight up called God a liar, and Eve allowed the devil’s insidious suggestions to birth in her heart a desire for what she thought was being withheld from her. She was perfectly fine before that. So, using her gift of free will, Eve decided to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit (we still struggle with forbidden fruit today, don’t we?). And she brought Adam along with her, though I don’t see where he protested at all, except when it came time to throw her under the bus.
It was at that point that everything went to hell in a hand basket. Man used his free will to disobey God and nothing has been perfect since. Every day, man continues to use his free will to lie, steal, murder and commit all sorts of atrocities. Man does. Not God. Man. And God doesn’t just interfere and try to get us to act right. He interferes in our lives when we use our free will to invite Him to interfere in our lives. You know why? Because He already gave us the solution to all of our problems through Jesus Christ; all we have to do is take hold of that solution. Again, that’s a choice that we use our free will to make.
Meanwhile, God gives each and every one of us chance after chance after chance to find our way back to Him, and time after time after time we ignore those chances. So then we live with the consequences of our sinful decisions and the consequences of other people’s sinful decisions. Such as gunmen deciding to pick up guns and go murder people.
I don’t purport to have the answers as to why bad things happen in the world every day. I don’t know why some people die in a gun attack and others don’t. I don’t know why 1 country is spared from a hurricane but another is not. God knows the answers to these questions and many more, and I don’t. But I do know that the root of our problems is that we live in a willfully fallen world.
So do I think that Jamaica is a blessed nation? I actually think that Jamaica is no different from any other country on earth, every single 1 of which deals with problems and issues of various kinds. It’s in better shape than some other countries and it’s in worse shape than others. I know Jamaicans like to think that Jamaica is the bomb, but in my opinion, it’s pretty average.
In conclusion, bashers, please stop mistaking man’s stupidity for Godly neglect. You may think that God isn’t real, and you’re free to use your God-given gift of free will to decide that. But there are those of us who feel His presence in our lives every single day, even when we’re suffering through difficult things.
And please try to recognise when people are speaking from ignorance and stop getting all het up about it. At it’s basic, logical level, what does that accomplish? Your energy, and that of stupid, word-belching Christians, would be better served with less talking and more doing something to make this world a little nicer for everyone.
“If only you had listened to my commands! Then blessings would have flowed for you like a stream that never goes dry.” Isaiah 48:18a (GNT)