On May 31st 2008, the 5-year old daughter of Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was killed. She was hit by a SUV driven by her older brother (http://entertainment.msn.com/news/article.aspx?news=315536&silentchk=1&). This is obviously a horrible tragedy. Not only did the Chapman’s lose their daughter but their own son was at fault. What makes this even more tragic is that Mr. Chapman has devoted his life to God. He was a missionary. He has sung His praises. He has done His work. He has been instrumental in bringing many into “God’s Kingdom”. His music has brought joy to thousands of believers and helped them in their faith and growth in Christ. Wasn’t this enough? What does Chapman’s God want?
Couldn’t an omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign God have prevented this tragedy? Of course He could have. So why didn’t He prevent this? Was Chapman not dedicated enough? Did he not pray hard enough? Was his theology not correct enough? Maybe God wants to cause him pain so he can better minister to those in need? Maybe God wants him to be an example to show the world how to praise God when times get rough?
Christians, no doubt, will give lots of reasons why a loving God would do this, but the fact of the matter is that a loving God wouldn’t do this. Let’s put it this way. If I purposely ran over one of your children would your first reaction be singing my praises? Would you tell me how loving and kind I was? Would you make all types of excuses for me? Or would you see me as an evil homicidal maniac? God gets a pass, man gets jail. If a man can’t get away with it, then a loving God can’t either. A sadistic God who loves torturing his people can get away with it, but let’s not pretend that such a supernatural entity is loving and caring and merciful. Fortunately such a deity doesn’t exist – loving, sadistic or otherwise.
My heart goes out to the Chapman family for their loss.