Where Was God When This Happened? Part 5

The scandal of divine negligence

Christianity is totalitarian monotheism: God is watching carefully.

Nothing we do escapes his notice: “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

Moreover, prayer works because God can even read our minds. Christians believe in, love, worship, and sing songs to this God who pays such close attention to every human being.


If God is so attentive—actually, so intrusive—then he cannot evade responsibility for our wellbeing. How can he just watch so many of the really horrible things that happen? Wouldn’t he want to do something? 


Tim Sledge has called it correctly:


“Decent parents protect their kids from danger. If your toddler grabs the liquid Drano container, you don’t watch in silence. But that is exactly what God the Heavenly Father has done through the ages. He just watches, invisible and silent.” ·


An excerpt from William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany:


“Silence at last settled on the snow-covered, blood-splattered shambles of a battlefield. At 2:46 p.m. on February 2 [1942] a German reconnaissance plane flew high over the city and radioed back: ‘No sign of any fighting at Stalingrad.’


“By that time 91,000 German soldiers, including twenty-four generals, half-starved, frostbitten, many of them wounded, all of them dazed and broken, were hobbling over the ice and snow, clutching their blood-caked blankets over their heads against the 24-degrees-below-zero cold toward the dreary, frozen prisoner-of-war camps of Siberia. Except for 20,000 Rumanians and the 29,000 wounded who had been evacuated by air they were all that was left of a conquering army that had numbered 285,000 men two months before. The rest had been slaughtered. And of those 91,000 Germans who began the weary march into captivity that winter day, only 5,000 were destined ever to see the Fatherland again.” (p. 932)


And from Lynn H. Nicholas’ The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War:

“…the terrible cold increased and the food supply diminished. Only a thin lifeline of supplies could be brought in to Leningrad’s 3 million residents on the ‘Road of Life,’ which crossed the frozen waters of Lake Ladoga. It could not save all of them: in December 1941 alone more than fifty thousand died of starvation.” (p. 196)


Here are the links to Where Was God When This Happened?  Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4


Posted by David Madison, PhD Biblical Studies