While read Searching for God Knows What the author says we are living in the middle a war we don’t fully understand and that we aren’t totally a part of. There is a war going on in heaven and we are caught in the middle.
Its like we are living in Fallujah. We’re relatively innocent in the greater war. I know this will sound oh so evangelical American, but in this metaphor the US is God and the Marines in Fallujah – and the Iraqi forces – are God’s angels. The insurgents are the fallen angels under Satan. And we are caught in the middle.
Now the fact is in the end the insurgents can’t beat the US army. It isn’t even a competition. In fact the Air Force could just nuke the city and get rid of all the insurgents. But they don’t because they know many of the people in the city are innocents. Plus they want a new kind of place, one where peace and goodness rule the city.
So while the new Iraqi government is technically in charge of the whole country, Fallujah was controlled by the devil. And when they ruled the city it was horrible.
Then God decided to clean up the city. This isn’t the second coming, but just an example of when God decided to commit His forces to an area. When he does that the devils forces have to run. They have to, they know they can’t win. So they do as much damage as they can while retreating.
That’s what it is like when a church splits, when a marriage breaks up, when children are abused. But some times God works directly in those situations and the marriage is saved, the children are rescued, the church restored. And sometimes it isn’t time for the offensive yet and all the bad things happen.
Personally I believe prayer is our way of telling God he needs to commit his forces here. If we are in the middle of something going bad and we don’t do anything, things will get worse. And we probably aren’t able to really do something that will stop the problem. But we can call out for help. We can say we want things to be better. We want our city to be cleaned up.
And what about the innocents caught in the middle. It isn’t really possible to be an innocent in this world. You have to choose sides. In general the evil side requires you to be with them or against them. Hopefully the good side wants you to be on their side, but really aren’t going to trust you if you straddle the fence.
We have evidence that when the insurgents controlled Fallujah, they required citizens to conform to their ways. If you didn’t you were tortured or killed. This is how the devil works in our world. If you don’t do it his way he will torture and kill you. If you try to stay neutral, he’ll torture you and kill you any way. If you choose the other side, you are still often captured, tortured and killed.
Doesn’t sound very good for you, does it? Unless you totally throw in with the evil ones. But the problem with that is you are on the losing side. Eventually the government is going to let loose the dogs of war and you are going to find Marines calling in air strikes on buildings to kill a single sniper.
The reason it is better to be on the good side is that most of the time the insurgents don’t control everything. They are able to harass and terrorize. And sometimes you are lucky enough to live in a place where the good guys are in charge. Then things are good and you don’t live in fear, even if you don’t pick sides. I think that’s what we have in the US right now.
The US isn’t perfect, but for the most part we are peaceful. You can go about your business without fear of terrorist attack. You know there are evil people out there, mostly in the form a criminals or insane people, who do harm, but your chances of encountering them is slim.
And it makes it easy not to pick a side.
So when people ask why to bad things happen if there is a good God. The answer is because we are caught in the middle of a war. And if you want there to be a place where people are nice to each other and love for each other is the highest value, you need to pick a side and take up arms to help that happen.