Christus Victor

Making Christ Known

We are an Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) congregation growing in the likeness of Christ by:

Worshiping, praying, and studying God’s word;
Being together with other people; and
Acting in faith through words and deeds both inside and outside our church walls.

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

This is not what I’d say to a suffering person:

 God allows pain and suffering because we turned our back on God and exercised our free will in a rebellious way.  Way back in the Garden of Eden, God gave us one rule.  One!  Not a whole set; not complicated—one.  And, we intentionally broke it. As stewards of creation, we broke God’s relationship with creation, too.  As Romans 8 says: 

 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[a]the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (NIV)

 Therefore, earthquakes happen; tsunamis happen; hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes take place; all because of our broken relationship with God. BUT THROUGH THE LIFE, DEATH, AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS, we once again are the baptized children of God and await the new creation that is being realized in Christ Jesus. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17-20:  

 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, s/he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (RSV) {Paul Uhl recension]

 This is what I would say to a person who is suffering through a tragedy:

God is crying with you. We have a God who knows what it is like to suffer, to die, to lose his only Son. Yet, nothing can separate us from God’s love. 

 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Romans 8:38-39 (NRSV)