Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?  
Monday, October 10, 2005, 03:22 PM
I used to call it: “Stump the Pastor”. Our youth leader had a better name: “Meet Godzilla”. It is a time for youth to quiz the pastor on Life, the Universe and Everything.

The questions ranged from where dinosaurs are in the Bible to a thoughtful question about how I decided to be a minister. Maybe there is youth that is feeling a call to ministry...or perhaps they can't believe that I got one! (Let's pray it is the former.)

A couple of the questions were about theodicy, how the existence of a good God can be reconciled with the existence of evil. Or just call it: “The Problem of Evil”. One of them was the question made famous by Rabbi Harold Kusher's 1983 book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

Besides Rabbi Kusher's work there are volumes written on why bad things happen to good people. But for a start, last night I pointed out what Jesus has to say about that assumption that there even were good people for bad things to happen to:
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” — Mark 10:18

Whoa! If Jesus isn't good...who am I to say I or anyone else is worthy of the good person position in our question? The lack of anyone that is good fits in well with the Presbyterian tradition that gives us the Prayer of Confession in our Sunday worship...all of us have sinned.

So the question is turned around: Why does the Good God care about the non-good people; why does God care about me? Why is any part or time of my life blessed? Another question without an answer; for nothing we did earned us God's love. God decided to love us; God decided to love me for no good reason.

Trying to wrestle with the more profound question of the problem of good….

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