Monday, March 26, 2012

A Fallen World

The other day I was out digging up my very un-landscaped front yard and I had a bit of an epiphany. I was thinking very serious thoughts as I dug because of an article I had just read about a father whose wife insisted on aborting two of the triplets they had conceived through in-vitro fertilization. (This next sentence is high disturbing, so beware). He had watched the ultrasound image as his babies pulled away from the needle being inserted into their bodies and then crumpled up as their hearts stopped beating. Oh, the horror of this holocaust that happens everyday! The lies these parents believe! Dear God, have mercy, is all I can say.

As I thought about this heart-wrenchingly disturbing story, I started to think about the old question of evil and suffering in the world. I have heard the old 'we-live-in-a-fallen-world' explanation many a time, but somehow it never quite satisfied me. I thought about these innocent babies, killed by their own parents. It seemed starkly obvious to me how evil suffered by the innocent in these cases is so intimately connected to the sin of the parents.

The whole 'suffering in the world' problem is hardest for me to grasp, not when the innocent are direct victims of evil (although this is still very hard to understand and accept), but when there is just suffering in general. Sick or hungry children, for instance, with parents who love them and want to take care of them, but can not. It breaks my heart to think of.

Then, all of the sudden, I thought of the first chapters of Genesis. God gave man dominion over the earth and told them to be fruitful and multiply. Those were the two jobs given to Adam and Eve. The entire earth was under their dominion. All the children that would ever be born were under their care. God gave them a choice to obey Him or not (what do you know? The other big question of Christianity- God's sovereignty and man's free will popped up in my head, next!).

I wonder if, when God said that Adam and Eve's disobedience would cause them to die, He meant also " because you have dominion over all the earth and every baby that will ever be born, your disobedience will subject every one of those babies and children to the ravages of sin and sickness and evil". I feel like they would have understood if they had been told that their sin would affect their own children (can't raise your babies in the Garden of Eden anymore!) that they would birth and raise, but what about every other child that would ever be born?

For some reason, as I thought about this, it all became a little clearer. Somehow, this problem of suffering ('The Problem of Pain' as C.S. Lewis calls it and even titles one of his books) is perhaps intimately connected to the question of God's will and mankind's will. When God gave man a free will, he also handed the Problem of Pain into his hands.

Of course, I'm no theologian and this could be off, but it made sense to me. Additionally, the verse in Romans that talks about all Creation groaning together, waiting to be delivered from the bondage of sin, seems to confirm my idea.

We live in a fallen world...ah, yes, we do, I think I get it now.

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