Mailvox: the perils of omniderigence

brmerrick sees a cruel divinity:

God didn’t give Andrew leukemia, but He did allow it to happen, knowing full well what the outcome will be, and hiding the outcome from Andrew and his family.

This makes God seem awfully cruel, when one work from His mouth would take Andrew’s leukemia away and spare his God-fearing family greater pain.

I wholeheartedly disagree, and while I’m not particularly enamored of what will no doubt be the can of worms this will open, I will attempt to explain why. And regardless of how badly this twists your panties, do try to keep in mind that belief in the existence or nonexistence of God’s power has nothing to do with one’s Christian faith. After all, it is written that the demons, too, believe.

First, there are two possibilities. Either evil is part of God’s plan and has from the beginning, or God is somehow constrained in his ability to unleash his power upon this Earth. The Biblical fact that God gives Man dominion over the Earth, a dominion which the Scrptures explain was subsequently given in turn to Satan, strongly suggests the latter.

Second, Jesus Christ himself states that Man has certain authority over evil in his own right. If evil is from God, then Man must have authority over God, a more fundamentally heretical notion than the idea that God’s hand is somehow constrained. This limited human authority is underlined by the situation in which his disciples complained that they could not cast out certain demons and Jesus explained that only prayer – in other words, an appeal to God’s authority instead of the use of their own – would suffice to address that sort.

So, my conclusion is that the leukemia inflicted on Andrew is either a random occurrence or intentionally inflicted by the evil being that both Paul and Jesus Christ recognized as the ruling power of this world. I believe that doctors, secular and Christian alike, are doing God’s work as they war against sickness and disease, just as Jesus Christ commanded his disciples.

Indeed, to assert that a child suffering leukemia is God’s will is to imply that those attempting to heal them are doing evil by defeating it. The problem of evil is not a difficult one, one once is able to accept the notion that God is not a cruel and easily bored puppeteer. Omniderigence leads inevitably to doubt, because it requires accepting the idea that evil stems from God.

But if everything is in God’s hands and moving according to God’s plan, then what need is there for Jesus Christ?