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Why does God allow children to be abused?

June 24, 2005

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the comment that was posted anonymously on a website (if I was really clever at this point I would insert the link, but I haven’t learnt how to yet). Anyway this was the comment: “I tell people that I don’t believe in God, when really I just refuse to worship a god that would let my grandfather HURT me like he did.” This comment tells us many things about the person who wrote it. Firstly they are not an atheist, secondly they believe God was powerful enough to stop the abuse, thirdly they believe that God doesn’t care and fourthly they have an honest heart.

I think the most difficult theological question we will ever have to wrestle with is why does God allow children to be abused? Scripture provides some partial answers (John 9:3; Ephesians 3:10-13; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7; Job 1&2) but I don’t find these completely satisfying. The problem is we stand too close to the action and can’t stand far enough back to take in the full panorama of God’s purposes.

We also need to remember that God didn’t change the rules when His Son lived on earth. Jesus was innocent of any wrong but He experienced rejection, humiliation, abuse and injustice. He knows what we go through.

God doesn’t always rescue us from life’s dramas but rather He promises His Presence in the midst of them. God wants us know that He is always there for us. In the same way we need to be there for the people who write these sorts of comments on websites. We need to be God’s hands and hearts and let them know God does care.

For a more definitive answer we will have to wait, as I believe the tragic things in life will only make sense from the perceptive of heaven.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith