What a bummer!
I was watching a movie. A little girl was kidnapped. The parents were frantic. Her mother asked the priest, “What can I do?” His response was “Just have faith in God. Whatever happens, remember it’s His will.”
Even when I believed in God, I never believed He was that cruel. (Never mind the many cruelties the Bible clearly attributes to Him. I had answers for those. Or so I rationalized.) That He could will an innocent little girl to be kidnapped by evil men? No! Never! Of course not! I doubt that any of the Independent Baptists I grew up with would have said that. But many others would. And still do.
I believed in a loving God. For some reason that I never understood, He allowed bad things to happen to people. But that didn’t mean it was His will; that He wanted it to happen. How could anybody worship such a monster? Some said He permitted such horrors because He had given people “free will.” Maybe. But what about the girl’s free will?
A couple of decades ago or so, this actually happened to a nine-year-old girl in San Antonio. One of my (then) wife’s students. Heidi was kidnapped, raped repeatedly, strangled to death with her own underwear, and left to rot in a field. If God had given her free will, how could an evil man take it away from her like that? If it was God’s will for this to happen, then God must be as guilty as the man who took her.
No, I never believed it was God’s will. But neither could I understand why He would permit such awful cruelty. This is one of the many reasons I eventually concluded that God is not real. No kind or loving God could just stand by and watch as His precious little girl was being so horribly mistreated.
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