Some thoughts on the question I asked last week.
"If Jesus came to redeem the world, why isn't the world more redeemed?"
First a recap of the responses I got, they basically fell into two categories, the “God is sovereign” crowd, and the “we have free will” crowd, both of which have there own way of accounting for this very serious question. I think that answers on both sides were true to their perspective, and of course one must be more right than the other (or maybe they're both wrong ; ) However this is not a debate I am in the mood for today.
I think the question above, is really about an entirely different subject. The question by itself has a technically correct answer, but the question rarely stands by itself, rather it is asked by real, hurting, people that can’t imagine a good God allowing the reality that is their circumstances.
If when talking with an actual person in search of an answer, we reply with a “O’ it could be so much worse”, or a “God didn’t cause it, he only allowed it” we are not doing ourselves, our God, or our hearer any favors. Are these answers correct, sure, do they suffice, NO!
My non-answer, leans on the Roman Catholic perspective which is much more conscious of our suffering Savior.
Our God DIED! God’s don’t die, yet ours did…
As protestants we tend to say, “Jesus died and ROSE AGAIN!”, but we do so at the expense of the DIED part.
What this means is that Jesus, better than anyone else, can identify with our suffering. Regardless of what the “right” answer is, to the “why?” question, we have a hope that words can not express, and a God who understands grief that words can not express. Which is important because it is often unspeakable grief, or identification there with, that provides the motivation for the question.
So if asked “…why isn’t the world more redeemed” point people toward the cross, and not just the empty cross, but the one with a tortured Christ as well, a Christ that understands that we too suffer, sometimes unspeakably.
Maybe then the questioner will be able to hear the “right” answer.