By Chuck Fromm
I have a Christian friend who trains several atheist and agnostic clients at a local gym. As a result of the recent national crisis, she has been harangued by angry and sarcastic questions from her costumers. The most common challenge is “How could your God let this New Orleans disaster happen?” Yesterday, she came to me with puzzlement in her heart and voice asking, “Chuck, what can I say?” Well first of all, the answer we have will not satisfy their questions (read C.S. Lewis’s God in the Dock). Informing people that God’s ways are mysterious and yet we know that our redeemer lives (Job 19:25) is probably not the answer they are looking for. For thousands of years atheist and agnostics have confronted and charged us, attempting to use evil to disprove the existence of God.
However, we can give an answer, and we are giving it now. As in the 9/11 disaster, thousands of churches are being mobilized into action to serve with their hands, feet and resources. The stories of churches supporting the victims in New Orleans are astounding us here in the offices of Worship Leader. I just Googled “Katrina and Christian” and came up with 11,900,000 hits. There is a whole lot of Christian compassion going on. “There is only One who is good” was Jesus answer to the rich young ruler who was looking for good things to do to earn eternal life (Mt. 19:17 NIV). We can be confident that our God will turn something that was meant for evil and harm into good (Rom 8:28).
The disaster and chaos attacking our country will certainly cause people, even some believers, to question the presence of God. Tragedy does that. But, the Church has an answer. This time of struggle is an opportunity for Christian communities to live up to our name. To be little Christs. To pray for our leaders, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, provide the shelter, love the unlovable and each other. Demonstrating the power of a living and loving God.
This article was originally published in Worship Leader Magazine.