>Love & War
The love of God in a world at war.
Theologians use the term theodicy to describe a branch of theology that’s goal is to vindicate the character of God (i.e. His goodness and justice) in the face of the evil and suffering in the world. Phrased in a question, it sounds like this: “How can you say that there is an all loving, all powerful, all knowing God, when there is so much evil and suffering in the world?” I think this is a fair and valid question. The Bible affirms the love, omnipotence, and omniscience of God yet we do not have to look far to find gratuitous suffering and unthinkable evil in our world. Furthermore, it is needful to point out that we are genuinely seeing evil personified (i.e. the holocaust, Stalin, Rwanda 1994 etc.) not just the perception of evil or suffering misinterpreted.
Life is teaching the people of the world that there is something missing between the ideas of God that Christians have declared and the reality of what they are experiencing on a daily basis. The world-wide statistics of disease, war, and poverty alone are enough to question the consistency between what we emphatically declare that we believe about God and the rapidly declining state of the humanity. I insist that there is a breakdown somewhere that is not with God, but it is rather with us (the church). Our revelation and understanding of the nature of God and the nature of creation is central. More specifically the new testament church’s role in God’s redemptive plan for humanity related to an accurate understanding of His nature and creation, is lacking. If we cannot frame the context to begin with, we will (and have) misinterpreted our role in partnering with God to be the answer that this world so desperately needs. The people of world are being taught through life experience that God is not, who we say He is, unless there is a clear manifestation of Him through us, that goes way beyond our understanding of the context, but without an accurate understanding, by revelation, of the context, there isn’t a clear course of action and a strong basis for motivation. Now, God has partnered with the church over these last two-thousand years to be an extension of Himself in the world. He has given us of His Spirit, He has given us the word of God, and He has commanded us to go in power and demonstration of the kingdom. This is our calling in the earth. Church history tells of few who have taken up the call and ran their race with diligence, seeing a clear demonstration of the kingdom in power, like that of the early church. If we are going to see that kind of display (or greater!) of the kingdom of God through the church in these last days, in mass, we need some common threads of revelation in the church at large. I believe, one of these threads is the answer to this nagging question: “In light of who God is, why does the world look the way that it does?” The missing thread is war.
More to come on this…