To listen and view the sermon I'm discussing click here.
My thoughts on pastor John Piper's sermon on "This Illness is for the Glory of God". Some argue bad things happen because we live in a fallen world and all the bad stuff in this world is a result of its falleness. Dr. Piper argues that another reason is that ultimately God uses even bad things for His ultimate glory. He illustrates this point by aruging Jesus let Lazurus die so that He could show people the greatest act of love, His Glory (John 11:1-16).
The inevitable concern with this idea is "does God then cause bad things"? Be it direct involvement or indirect by His allowing of evil events to happen we don't fully know why God does what He does but this argument is inescapable. But, we are foolish to assume the same moral judgment on The Creator of morality. I would argue that God allows evil to exist because I don't know if we could even understand what Good was without it. This is why the story of the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and evil is so interesting. Could we understand pleasure if we did not know pain? Could we understand love if we did not know hate? Could we comprehend faith without fear?
Regardless, it would only be wrong if God did allow these things to occur without balancing them. For this reason man is appointed to die and face judgment for his sins. This is also why we Christians cling to Jesus as we believe He is our only hope to be pardoned for our transgressions. Christ lived a sinless life and died so that we might not have to. Though we will all die mortally we can be spared of eternal death. I can imagine many skeptics crying this sounds tragically convenient. Shouldn't our mortal death be enough? I'd argue does our death do justice to the terrible suffering we invoke on our fellow man? More so, our sins are not just against our fellow man (which is why we perhaps die mortally) but our disobedience to God merits separation from Him. What does perfection have with imperfection? Nothing. They are mutually exclusive.
Again, I can hear the skeptics crying this sounds like I'm making up the rules for God. These aren't my thoughts but the thoughts of many passed down through a faith that has lasted centuries. A faith that started by divine, miraculous events in the Old Testament and ultimately fulfilled in the Son of Man. I realize this doesn't come easy but neither does quantum physics. God never asked us to understand it all, He just asked us to trust Him.