Where Was God When This Happened? Part 8

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.” ·

 

Clich├ęs about God working in mysterious ways and free will do not apply.


This is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the Taiping Rebellion:

 

“The Taiping Rebellion, also known as the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Revolution, was a massive rebellion or civil war that was waged in China from 1850 to 1864, between the established Qing dynasty and the theocratic Taiping Heavenly Kingdomthough following the fall of Nanjing the last rebel army was not wiped out until 1871. After fighting the bloodiest civil war in world history, with 30 to 50 million dead, the established Qing government won decisively, although the outcome is considered a pyrrhic victory

“The uprising was commanded by Hong Xiuquan, the self-proclaimed brother of Jesus Christ. Its goals were religious, nationalist, and political in nature; Hong sought the conversion of the Chinese people to the Taiping's syncretic version of Christianity, to overthrow the ruling Qing Dynasty, and a state transformation. Rather than supplanting the ruling class, the Taipings sought to upend the moral and social order of China. The Taipings established the Heavenly Kingdom as an oppositional state based in Tianjing (now Nanjing) and gained control of a significant part of southern China, eventually expanding to command a population base of nearly 30 million people.

“For more than a decade, the Taiping occupied and fought across much of the mid and lower Yangtze valley, ultimately devolving into total civil war. It was the largest in China since the Qing conquest in 1644, involving every province of China proper except Gansu. It ranks as one of the bloodiest wars in human history, the bloodiest civil war, and the largest conflict of the 19th century. In terms of deaths, the civil war is comparable to World War I. 30 million people fled the conquered regions to foreign settlements or other parts of China. The Taiping were extremely intolerant: they carried out widespread massacres of Manchus, whom they believed to be demons, and forced strict religious mandates on their people.”

 

Here are the links to Where Was God When This Happened?  Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7

Posted by David Madison, PhD in Biblical Studies


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