Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jonestown and Why God Allows Evil

On 11/18/1978, 30 years ago, 909 men, women and children committed mass suicide at the hands of Jim Jones. In his day he was a run-of-the-mill
Word of Faith teacher, and he duped thousands of people into thinking he was a god who had the power to heal. Every now and then I think it’s good to go back and listen to the voices of those who deceived people yesteryear so that we will not be deceived today. Here is Jim Jones in his own words:

“His leg was healed instantaneously because he saw me as God, God, God, God,
God, God, God!!!"

“When I say I’m God then I feel fruit well up within
my soul and I see it well up in you and I see the sick healed, and the blind
see, and the dead raised.”

“If we can’t live in peace, then let’s die in
peace.”

“We didn’t commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary
suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.”


With statements like these, why does God allow bad things to happen to so many people? This is question is asked over and over again. At first blush, it may seem that there are as many responses as there are religions. In reality, however, there are only three basic answers: pantheism, philosophical naturalism, and theism. Pantheism denies the existence of good and evil because in this view god is all and all is god. Philosophical naturalism supposes that everything is a function of random processes, thus there is no such thing as good and evil. Theism alone has a relevant response — and only Christian theism can answer the question satisfactorily.

Christian theism acknowledges that God created the potential for evil because God created humans with freedom of choice. And then human beings actualized that evil through their choices. The fact that God created the potential for evil by granting us freedom of choice ultimately will lead to the best of all possible worlds—-a world in which “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). Those who choose Christ will be redeemed from evil by his goodness and will forever be able not to sin.

Christian theism has the answers and we need to be able to be equipped to give those answers to a lost and searching world. For more information on evil please see our website at http://www.equip.org/

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some people may actualize evil by their freedom of choice, but most bad things that happen to people (and other animals) are not caused by people. They are caused by natural events, viruses, bacteria, vermin of all sorts, birth defects, etc. Are these products of "evil" too? Why does God permit, or even "intelligently design," these harms to happen?

Sean said...

Brother Hank Says,
"Those who choose Christ will be redeemed from evil by his goodness and will forever be able not to sin."

Brother Sean says,
How can one "Choose Christ" and not have this logically lead to a works based salvation? Eph 2:8-10 tells us, "For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them."
and Romans 8:29-30 says, "For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers."
and Eph 1:4-6 says, "4 for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight.In love 5 He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved."

You see It's not enough that you "Choose" Christ, Christ must "choose" or "Know" you! see Matt 7:21-23

Brother Hank - your not turning Jacobus on us are you??? Please dont follow the heresy of Charles Finny! Truth Matters!!!

--Sean

Marshall said...

Hank: I love you brother but this explanation is not Biblical. I know your stance on election and you can tell by this answer. There are several verses that separate your point from the truth they are 1 Peter 2:7-8, Jude 4 and Romans 9:14-18. God is the one that chooses who goes to heaven and hell, not man. As Jude 4 states these people were "designated" for their fate. I am speaking here of Jim Jones. He was evil, always was and always will be. God hardened his heart like he did Pharaoh's. Jim Jones had nothing to do with it. Ask your good friend R.C. what he thinks.

Sean said...

AMEN Brother Marshall!!!
I would also like to add that the elect, Gods true church will be about HIS work always. Not reviling in demonic doctrines of men. The true Church Jesus establishes and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it! as Jesus himself said, "a good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit!"
The Saints SHALL REIGN!

bossmanham said...

Mr. Hanegraaff,

The Calvinists seem to be getting more and more militant these days. Please continue your fine work.