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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Why Doesn’t God DO Something?

On one of the Christian Google-Plus communities I follow, a perfidious little troll regularly posts photos of starving children, highlighting his point with accompanying commentary like, “Where is the good and gracious God?”

Actually, he’s more verbally adroit than that — quite clever, actually — and to avoid confrontation or actual dialogue he sets up the post so that people cannot respond. They can only look at the pictures, ache for the child, and say, “Yeah, where IS God? Why does He let all this suffering abound?”

Lilac Festival inspirational oil painting of toddler girl next to flower bush in garden by Steve Henderson

Around the world, children should be fed, safe, and secure, and if we ask God, He will show each one of us how we can use the resources we have to give, and give wisely. Lilac Festival, original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed open edition print at Framed Canvas Art.

In other words, why doesn’t God DO something?

It’s a reasonable question, one that has baffled us through the ages, but before we get too caught up in it, we might also ask,

“Well, why don’t we?”

Cutting off the Crusts

People starve in this world not necessarily because we don’t produce enough food — check out restaurant, school, government, and individual garbage bins in the country in which I live, for example. At the sub shop where I occasionally treat myself to a sandwich, I’m always fascinated that three inches of each end are sawn off and thrown into the trash.

“Can’t you send some of that to a shelter that feeds people?” I ask.

“Unfortunately, no. Government regulations forbid it for sanitation reasons.”

Well, there’s something we could do. We could find out who passes these laws and see if we could get them overturned. Bureaucracy being what it is, however, I’m not any more hopeful about that option than you are.

Bureaucracy

Speaking of bureaucracy, consider all the money that people send to relief organizations — to purchase food and clean water for those who don’t have it —  and think about how many times we hear that a shipment is “held up” (and thereby rots or is destroyed before it gets to the people needing it) by a government agency or red herring hostile force within the country. Logically, the best thing God could “Do” in this situation is get rid of the impeding bureaucratic agency, but once He started, there would be very little left standing, worldwide, by 4:30 p.m. closing time at end of the day.

A friend of mine in a poor, struggling country — the kind that is filled with a plethora of relief agencies, both religious and secular — mentioned how a fellow United Statesian had been sent to work at a large, mega-Christian charity in a big city nearby. When she tried to contact the new employee to see if the agency could link hands with her small, individual efforts to help people, the woman told her,

Field of Dreams inspirational oil painting of meadow hills and trees in rural country setting by Steve Henderson

It’s so easy to overlook the local landscape, and its people, when bureaucracy reigns supreme. Field of Dreams, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

“Oh, I have a desk job. I basically just shuffle papers around.”

Is there any reason why the mega-ministry couldn’t have hired a person from the agency-invaded country to “just shuffle papers around” as opposed to importing an entry level worker from 8,000 miles away? That’s something that humans, and not God, could do toward solving the country’s problem of unemployment. The amount invested in each imported entry level worker could raise an entire local family, one with no hope, to a level of dignity and security.

The Elite

At base, our world suffers because a small number of people at the top — well hidden but with their hands in the financial affairs of men — simply cannot get enough money, enough power, enough land, enough flesh from other human beings. They run banks, government agencies, educational establishments, medicine, pharmaceuticals, agri-business, media, and religious organizations — their surfeit is our lack, but one reason they make so much is that we continue to give it to them.

While there’s little we can do, short-term, about taxes, fees, and mandatory insurance payments, when we fund large corporations by buying, and buying, and buying things we don’t necessarily need but want, or when we purchase on credit and make interest payments — where do you think all that money goes? It goes to banks, and to corporations so large that they own more real estate and resources than actual nations.

In our purchases, we can make three little decisions that, individually, don’t seem like much, but collectively, can help starve this beast:

1) Don’t buy on credit

2) Don’t buy buy buy

3) When we do buy, seek out true small businesses — Mom and Pop’s farmer’s market stand, an artist’s fine art paintings, an eclectic toy shop that isn’t part of a chain — and support individuals, not oligarchies. On that same note, we might check out smaller charities, run by human beings not boards, and consider sending our money there. It may actually get to the people we’re trying to help.

“Yeah, I don’t need a larger screen TV, but I want it — so leave me alone!”

One at a Time, We Make a Difference

But if we can’t do this little thing — say “no” to a stream of nonessential purchases and keep that dollar or two or twenty or fifty off the books of big, big business, then why do we get so mad at God, accusing Him of doing nothing?

Imagine what would happen if every person who has ever asked, “Why doesn’t God DO something,” made just one decision today to not fund the fiscal consortium — didn’t use a credit card, or didn’t incur an ATM transaction fee, or didn’t buy a movie ticket, or didn’t take out a loan. Individually, the impact would be small, but collectively, the global corporate oligopoly feeds off of our nickels and dimes and pennies — because that’s what we are to them — not individual human beings, but monetary units.

The global oligarchy — our New World Order —  needs a lot of small, consistent, regular contributions from these monetary units (that’s you and me) to stay strong, powerful, and well fed — this last aspect being what too many individual people in this world, are not.

Buy wisely. Buy well. Buy locally or from true small businesses. And give to places that don’t hire entry level workers from 8,000 miles away. Maybe these are options God wants us to look into.

Thank You

Thank you for joining me at Commonsense Christianity, where, as an ordinary person, I do not have millions of dollars to pour into programs that purport to help, but tend to just feed the programs. But I can make a decision with each hard earned dollar I spend or give, and I do my best to do so.

Posts similar to this one are

Should You Question Authority?

Business Advice from a Homemaker

Live Happily on Less (we don’t have to be rampant consumers to be happy, or, as former President George W. Bush said, support our country economically and Go Shopping. Live Happily on Less is a series of short, bloggy essays that empower you to make sensible, decent decisions about the money you’ve been given, and not be trapped by political and media encouragement to spend yourself into stress and debt.)

  • http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/commonsensechristianity/ Carolyn Henderson

    I believe that talking the Jesus talk has been with us from the beginning, and that most people who say they follow Him, do this. At the same time, in every single generation since He walked this earth, there have been disciples who have chosen to listen to Him, and walk His path. It’s never the majority — the harvest has always been plenty and the workers few — throughout history, and now.

    The choice to be made — to listen to Christ and follow His leading, is one made anew each generation, by each individual Christian, and while it would be lovely if we woke up tomorrow and all who professed to follow Him, did, we can’t wait for this. We have to take the extremely difficult step of just doing it ourselves, whether or not anyone joins us. Caleb and Joshua did this when they were the only two in the scouting trip into the Promised Land, to believe what God had said. The result for them was a lot of waiting, until the time came for action.

    And here is where the difficulty comes — it looks boring. There are no miraculous waves of wind and healing powers descending upon us — it’s not to say that there can’t be, or there won’t be, but when there aren’t, it means that we still make the choice to follow Him, even when the result doesn’t look like much

    We live in a spiritual realm, and our battle is one largely unseen. This doesn’t make it less real, it just makes it more difficult for us to keep the faith and fight the good fight, when we don’t see the signs and miracles that we want to see.

  • http://love.scottbruno.com caliwebman

    Thank You! You nailed it on the head in asking, “Why Don’t We”? For this is the very challenge we all face currently, and at a moment in time that is critical to humanity’s conscious and spiritual evolution. For we have had two thousand years to learn from Christs teachings, and now it is time to put those learning’s to work. God is now asking for each of us to begin to ponder the thought that sin, is indeed a choice. And that for so long as we have freedom of choice, we may choose not to sin. And hence fall into synchronicity with Christs doings, and begin to fulfill his prophecy that one day we would do works as he, and even greater.

    But mixed emotions come along with this challenge that we face in our human advancement. On one hand if the world woke up tomorrow and we all chose to live by the Golden Rule, that such a unified choice might just position us at the gates of Kingdom come itself. Not a soul here can argue that this thought isn’t especially exciting. Imagine age reversal. Fathom all diseases cured. Wonder eternity. On the other hand this epic challenge we are preparing to place upon ourselves is going to mean full and complete accountability of oneself. It is going to take for us to each begin to synchronize with the truth, not only in real time, but also at full time. That’s a lot to ask of us ism;t it? But after 2000 years of having Christs teachings, is it a lot to ask? Is it too much to ask, that rather than our continuing to talk the Jesus talk, that now we must choose to walk the Jesus walk? How many of us are prepared to become so empowered through our own free will of choice. that we will be able to walk the Jesus walk and teach others along the way? Everything else we seem to have chosen. Unless incarcerated in jail or on active duty military you have chosen everything. Think about it, there is really nothing in the past 24 hours of your life that you haven;t chosen. In fact, everything in the reality of your experience you have chosen. You chose everything you’ve experienced in the last week, month, and even year. So if we are indeed empowered by the free will of choice and doing it already by the choices that we make, what’s the difference of just beginning to choose righteously, wholly and truly?

    It seems to be just a logical change in what we decide to do through our free will of choice. Might that suggest then that even Heaven, is a choice? I would venture to guess that if we got a large part of humanity becoming empowered by their free will of choice, to begin to choose righteous and moral acts, that indeed we would come to know Kingdom Come. For the Kingdom of heaven to come upon earth, is but a choice. This is both your choice, and our choice.

    Choose wisely sayeth God.

    Love, Light and Power,
    13

  • Pingback: Human Suffering, and Wondering What God Is Doing about It | This Woman Writes by Carolyn Henderson

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