One of the more common things that I hear these days, when something bad happens, is "How could God do such a thing?"
Everyone has heard this simple sentence said. It's a fact of life that when bad things happen, society must blame someone. People love to sling mud, and anyone involved is fair game. Since God is the creator of the universe, He can be blamed for someone getting a sliver or to catching Ebola, and everything and anything in between. Wars, massacres, plagues - people think that those things can all be laid at His feet.
We know this is wrong. Our go-to response when disaster strikes is - or at least should be - to pray. Sometimes, we mess up, and forget to raise our concerns to our Lord, to give them over to Him. We are human, mistakes will happen. But what do we do when someone blames our God right in front of us?
That can be a very hard situation. Sometimes, it's our friends, or people we respect that blame God for the evil in the world. Do we just sit there awkwardly, waiting for the subject to be changed? Or do we confront the lie that the devil has placed in that person's heart?
The Bible tells us to teach the Gospel to all nations. Does the Gospel say that God is the source of the evil that plagues the world? James 1:13b says "God is never tempted to do wrong."
Our job in this world is to lead people to God, to show them His love. Sometimes, we don't think it is situationally appropriate for us to say anything, but I would disagree. We need to stop worrying about offending people, and stop denying our God. Even if it does lead to persecution.
"God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers." Matthew 5:10 and 11
The very next verse offers hope for those of us bold enough to stand for our God.
"Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way." Matthew 5:12
Do you think that Elijah put up with people slandering God and not say anything about it? He stood up to the king of Israel! What about Isaiah or Jeremiah? Of course not! It is our job to teach people about God, about his true nature.
So the next time someone starts to put God down in front of you, tell them the truth of the matter. Don't be shamed into silence.