Shell Energy Entrepreneurs banner Yudala banner
Why does God permit evil?

By News Express on 10/08/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 731


I do not intend to answer that question. It is even beyond the scope of this column. It is one of the philosophical questions that philosophers have, over the years, devoted much attention to. Being a philosophical question, it does not admit of easy solution. Needless to say, therefore, that there have been as many verdicts on it as there are philosophers. The question is posed advisedly. It is only being used here to draw attention to one of God’s mysterious ways that have continued to defy human understanding.

I am constrained to reflect along this line, having read and listened to various accounts of what transpired at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State, where worshippers were murdered in cold blood five days ago. What I find striking in the accounts was that the gunmen (or is it gunman?) opened fire when the worshippers were saying or about to say “Prayer of the Faithful.” For Catholics, this is one of the most important moments in the celebration of the Holy Mass. Why did God allow the murderers to strike at this  crucial moment? Why did he allow at all the massacre of the faithful who had come to worship in his temple? Humans are bound to pose questions such as these. They are bound to ask God why.

It is situations such as this that have brought philosophers and  thinkers at loggerheads with the mysteries that surround human existence. They have been decidedly at war  with the religious indoctrination, which counsels the faithful to trust and obey. The faithful are only asked to believe. They should not ask probing questions.

Edward Morgan Forster, the Irish novelist, rejected this religious indoctrination when he declared that he does not believe in belief. He asked God to help his unbelief. Forster  was not comfortable with the doctrine of belief because, in believing, you have to suspend logic and common sense. Forster said he would rather do away with belief than be uncritical in his analysis and dissection of issues bordering on God and human existence.

If Thomas Hardy, the English novelist and poet, were to be alive, he would package what happened in Ozubulu as an evidence that man is alone in the universe. He would have argued that those who are looking up to a saviour are wasting their time. He would have told us that, if God created man, He must have forgotten him in the universe. This  is because the basis of survival is hardly there. For Hardy, therefore, man is inhabiting a blighted star.

If we rely on our human understanding, we would all be students of Forster and Hardy. We would not just believe. We would  ask why; why those who stepped out to pray to God were cut down rudely. Why did God not offer them protection? How do human beings comprehend the fact that they are not safe even in the presence of God? Questions such as these, we are meant to believe, can only be answered by those who do not believe. If you believe, you know that there is a purpose for everything. We cannot, therefore, query God. He knows, as William Golding, English novelist, playwright and poet, would tell us, why things are what they are. As the Omniscient One, God knew ahead of time that a massacre was going to take place in Ozubulu. Yet he did not prevent it from happening. This is what worries the likes of Hardy. Why did God permit this evil? They are bound to ask this question.

Situations such as this worry the faithful. Significantly, those who were cut down at Ozubulu were saying the prayer of the faithful. If we are children of belief, we would just take it that the victims of the massacre are already in heaven. We would say that God called them home at the right time. God called them at the moment of spiritual purification. That moment in the celebration of the Mass is a moment of devotion. It is a moment of reflection. It is the time for those who are not in a state of grace to strive to be in the mood to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ on whose command the Mass is being celebrated. For us humans, it is the most inauspicious time for any form of distraction. But it happened at Ozubulu. The piety of that moment was disrupted. But nothing ever distracts those who believe. They will always give all honour and glory to God, regardless of what happens. It is only those who do not believe, those who do not have faith, that will question the will of God concerning the Ozubulu massacre.

But if we decide to worry less about what God did or decided not to do at Ozubulu, we cannot but turn attention at some point to the state of security in the land. Killings in places of worship have become commonplace. They are now routine. Nigerians were shocked to the marrow when the phenomenon was still new in the country. St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, readily comes to mind here. On Christmas Day in 2011, the church was blown up by Islamist terrorists. Scores of lives were lost. There was outrage in the land. Sacrilege had taken place. The temple of God had been violated. Then the nagging question propped up. Why did God permit this evil? Nobody had any answer. The faithful cannot question God. They have to continue to trust and obey.

As it turned out, the St. Theresa incident did not end up as an isolated case. The terrorists had gone on rampage. They continued to ravage places of worship. On one occasion in Mubi, Adamawa State, gunmen opened fire through the window, killing many worshippers in a church. The incident was so telling that Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, held then that when you have got a situation where a bunch of people can go into a place and open fire through the windows, you have reached a certain dismal watershed in the life of that nation. But this time, they did not open fire through the windows. They walked right into the church. This is desecration of the first order.

That is the situation in the land. Soyinka’s dreaded dismal watershed is here with us.

Unfortunately, this has a very destructive effect on our devotion in places of worship. The way things stand, people will be going to church feeling afraid. Some will even stop going to church on account of this. Places of worship are no playgrounds. They are no recreation centres. People go to church because they want to get closer to God. Going to places of worship, strictly speaking, is about spirituality. But when you begin to entertain in your mind that death is lurking in the shadows, then you are bound to lose concentration. When this happens, the essence of going to church is defeated. This is part of the problem. If we begin to live in fear to the extent that we will be afraid to go to church, our problems as a people will be compounded. Government and religious organisations must step in at this point. The times have changed. They must put security measures in place to protect worshippers. We cannot take certain things for granted anymore.

Source News Express

Posted 10/08/2017 10:08:50 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

 

You may also like...
Kaduna begins recruitment of 1,000 health workers

Rotary Club of Ikeja gets new President, inducts...

Elumelu pledges investment in Eastern Nigeria, calls for...

Amosun tasks tertiary institutions on nation building

Buhari demarketing Nigeria, says PDP

Commission promotes police commissioner, others

Ex-minister urges Buhari to set target for power...

Governor Obi whips Ngige, APC for disrespecting royal...

Juju case involving Nigerian prostitute goes to court...

Group gives Bayelsa APC 15 days ultimatum to...

Obaseki promises young entrepreneurs start-up fund, other support...

Ogun EXCO celebrates Obasanjo at 80

 

Latest News Music star Burna Boy charged to court for alleged armed robbery Gaddafi’s son braces eyes Libyan presidency Imo State now a terror zone; Okorocha a full-blown dictator — Activists •Their ordeal in the hands of brutal policemen FG orders arrest of marketers who hoard petrol 5 LASTMA officials nabbed for extortion, 20 others dismissed Public officers should undergo drug test — Emir Sanusi APC hits PDP over $1bn Boko Haram fund Ex-Union Bank manager to spend 9 years in prison for fraud 6 kidnap suspects captured in Aba, victim rescued Uwazurike knocks Governors over $1bn Boko Haram fund Uber driver arrested over rape, murder of embassy worker Lack of facility delays rehabilitation of 200 ex-Boko Haram fighters

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (302,396 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (287,183 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (232,021 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (194,216 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (183,924 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (171,198 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (148,033 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (132,917 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (131,306 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (119,706 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (115,952 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (112,998 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (33) Business (2,825) Business Verdict (30) Columnists (780) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (196) Entertainment (423) Features (529) Global Business Monitor (199) International (1,698) Interviews (138) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (93) News (31,123) Opinion (846) Pidgin (9) Politics (4,231) Religion (655) Sports (1,383) Stock Watch (25) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN Banner advert

CBN Words on marble

 

 

MOBO Awards

 

APO Group Partner

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!