One of the topics that routinely torments believers is the issue of God and human suffering, also referred to as “Theodicy.” If there is an omnipotent and omni-benevolent God, how do we account for all the terrible things that happen in the world? Throughout my ministry it has been the question that believers ask most often. When illness, accidents, and other disasters strike, people often want to know, “What did I do to deserve this?” and “If God loves me, how could he let this happen?”
Of course there are no good answers–not that people haven’t tried to answer the question. Throughout the centuries more ink has been spilled on this issue than on just about any other theological dilemma.
The issue of theodicy has played a role in my own gradual drift from faith. The Fukushima earthquake and tsunami sealed the deal for me. Although there have certainly been other devastating natural disasters in recent years, I guess this one made a bigger impression on me than the others simply because I have lived and worked in Japan. 25,000 plus lives wiped out in a matter of a few minutes. There is simply no logical way to reconcile events like this with the existence of the Judeo-Christian God. The Deist God who sits back and watches everything happen without intervening–perhaps. But not the God of the Bible.
But when I finally realized that God plays no role in the equation of suffering at all, it was like a great burden had been lifted. The solution to the Theodicy problem is getting rid of the Theos–and the “dicy” disappears. Liberating.