Insight on the News
A “Limited” God?
Why does God allow so much evil and suffering to exist in the world? According to Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, author of the best-selling book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, the answer is that God, although kind and loving, is “limited.” After the death of his young son, Kushner wrote: “I can worship a God who hates suffering but cannot eliminate it more easily than I can worship a God who chooses to make children suffer and die.”
Rabbi Kushner’s view may seem reasonable when compared to the common view that God is responsible for catastrophes, such as the death of a child. Yet both views well illustrate the truthfulness of God’s own word when he said: “The thoughts of you people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways your ways.” Showing that he is not a “limited” god, He adds: “So my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.”—Isaiah 55:8-11.
Neither is God responsible for man’s woes, for, as Moses acknowledged, “perfect is his activity, . . . righteous and upright is he. . . . The defect is their own.” (Deuteronomy 32:4, 5) Yet, shortly, these inherited defects will be eliminated as the time period needed to settle the issues raised by the rebellion in Eden ends and God’s purpose to restore a Paradise earth is realized.—Micah 7:18-20; Isaiah 65:17-25.
Would Jesus Recognize It?
“I am convinced that Christianity has to be radically ‘born again’ if it is to survive as a faith for the future,” says Tom Harpur, religious editor for the Toronto Star and a former Catholic priest. He added: “Much that has been accumulated as extra baggage over the centuries will have to be either radically altered or perhaps scrapped altogether.”
As a start, he poses the question as to whether Jesus would “recognize what loudly proclaims itself to be His in the modern world?” He asks: “How much did (does) He have really in common with present church leaders in their full, ecclesiastical regalia and pomp? How close was (is) He to the oh-so-right, slick, TV evangelists? How comfortable would He be today at, say, a service in St. James Anglican Cathedral, or St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, or The Peoples Church?”
Such questions would not be necessary had the churches, from the beginning, followed the Biblical advice to “make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.”—1 Thessalonians 5:21.
The “unprecedented rise in the number of elderly” and the “enormous cost of caring for the aged in developed nations” may cause the upcoming generation to call for “therapeutic” euthanasia, according to Dr. Lachlan Chipman of the Department of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney, Australia.
As reported in The Medical Post of Canada, Dr. Chipman said that “the calculated killing of the elderly was not as absurd as it sounded.” Why not? Because, the doctor explained, “a generation which has readily accepted the idea of abortion as an efficient and morally neutral mechanism . . . at the birth end, will readily embrace . . . ‘therapeutic’ euthanasia as a mechanism for disposing of a surplus population at the death end.”
How ironic it would be if those now advocating the killing of the unborn by abortion would themselves be the ones killed by “‘therapeutic’ euthanasia,” should such a measure be adopted in the future! Rather than advocate abortion or “death end” euthanasia, much wiser it is to heed Jesus’ advice: “You must not murder, . . . honor your father and your mother,” thus laying groundwork even for “everlasting life.”—Matthew 19:16-19.