Isn’t the Chaos in the World a Sign of God’s Absence?
Recently, I spoke to a colleague of mine and at one point, he said, “I truly think that today about 99% of people are bad. The world’s a mess. There’s not really any much kindness or humanity left. It’s all falling apart.”
Ok, first, let me clarify that I’m not here to justify why the threshold of humans is determined to consume all goodness and bring destruction to the world. I’m not here to explain why human beings are so cruel to each other when they actually have the power and ability to do wonderful things.
Maybe I don’t have a conventional explanation for the rising unscrupulous cruelty of this world, but when people start blaming God for the acts of sheer inhumanity, I have no choice but to intervene.
Chaos and Suffering In the World
To be honest, I must admit that the world is being dehumanized and people are becoming more and more selfish these days, putting their needs first. Events of the last ten years, heck, I’d say even those from the last year, shed light on how virtues such as compassion, generosity, integrity and fidelity are nearly disappearing from the surface of the earth.
Aren’t we inundated every day with news of wars, crimes, rapes, bullying, traffic accidents, deadly diseases and so on?
Don’t we often hear how greed has replaced generosity, how corruption took the place of honesty and merit and finally how hatred became the new substitute for love?
As far as it can be said, people have lost their sense of humanity and cruelty is no more a fiction or imagination but rather a reality.
And, in the midst of these evil symptoms, there are still some people who struggle with this fiendish influence. Some are trapped in this ruthless time.
And, that’s when a voice is raised and asks: If God does exist, why would He let such cruel things happen?
Better is when the question takes the form of: What if this chaos represents a sign of God’s absence?
Is God Absent?
I think this question has been reverberating through ages, passing down from generation to generation.
Funny how we always say we are wired to be bad, greedy, selfish, dishonest and vengeful because of God. Throughout human history, we have always demonstrated and expressed our willingness to inflict the reason of our cruelty on God (if it’s not one another).
One striking example is in the case of some believers in how they always blame God for their poor choices. “O God, you could have protected me from Satan’s evil plans. I committed an act of adultery and now look where I am.”
Not going to counterargue this blockhead’s pathetic argument.
But worse is when atheists, who I remind you, don’t even believe in the existence of any deity, still blame God.
A blatant example is how many of them would say why God created human beings in the first place if He knew they were going to sin and He would be regretting His actions.
My answer to that person would have been: Well, why don’t you turn time back and ask your mother to take that abortion pill?
Rude? Well, truth is not always sweet.
Anyway, let’s get back to the topic.
The argument that I’ll be making is based on my love for stories. Particularly the story of Joseph.
I will only assume you know the story (and if not, you can always read it here).
The story is in the book of Genesis 37–50.
However, suppose I ask you to open any page at random in between these chapters and you came across a part where Joseph is suffering in prison. Or, worst when he is sold by his brothers.
So, if I read this page only, close the bible and say, “I won’t read this story – it’s too filled with chaos, sadness and injustice.” Won’t this feel too weird?
I mean, yes, that’s a part of the story, but it’s only a page or a few pages in a whole story.
Better, let me take the example of the Harry Potter Series: If you read only the part when Voldermort is killing Harry’s parents or the part where Bellatrix tortures Hermione, can you claim that the story is rubbish, basing yourself only on a few pages when it’s actually a whole 4,224 pages novel series?
We can never do that, right?
Yet, this is exactly what we do.
When we look at the increasingly destructive nature of human beings, don’t we assume that God is absent?
But, why don’t we, for once, look at the bigger picture?
The “Real” Reality
The existence of Voldermort or even the Inferius in the story doesn’t mean that the story is all about chaos, violence and darkness. Remember the outcome in the end, the victory.
Similarly, can’t we imagine ourselves and our lives as a part of a bigger story where God is present and keeping His eyes on us, even when we are going through a tunnel of darkness? Can’t we imagine that more significant victories are lying ahead of this world of misery and cruelty?
So, here’s a question I’d like to drop in your heart: Can you trust the train driver when the train is going through a tunnel of darkness? In other words, can you trust God even during darkness and confusion?