Gone, but not forgotten, disasters like the terrible events of September 11, 2001, have caused many to wonder ( as though they hadn't before ), if God was so loving & all powerful, either we've been fed a lie for a long time ( God is NOT omnipotent ) or He had something against all those who died during that travesty, both in the planes & in the towers. Was it because the people in both the planes & the towers were not Christians, therefore not offering God His due? This scenario presents further problems, like, 'is God just a petty tyrant who kills people for not believing in Him? If He could, in His omnipotence, have prevented it, but didn't; again, we're left with a petty, vindictive God: either that, or One who's not as all-powerful as we've been taught! Then again, maybe, just maybe, as some have no doubt postulated, He simply allowed this tragedy because the Twin Towers housed one of the largest financial centers in these United States. It goes without saying that Money has become a god/God to the majority of Americans, including many Christians. 'Why let the people die though, God?' Oh, yeah; it was their just punishment for having other gods before Thee!
Like it or not, Pain has become the biggest problem in this world; one might even say that it's the Root of All Evil! ( 'Wait; I thought that was 'the love of money'?! ) Pain has been the cause of wars around the world, whether it's the pain of jealousy or the actual physical pain of remembering what this group of people did to that group of people, oh, so long ago. 'PAIN of Jealousy', you say, 'why would something like jealousy cause pain?' Well, not only does the one who's jealous of another feel the pain of emptiness inside, more often than not, the possessor of the object of desire feels the pain, both physically & mentally, of separation when his or her possession is wrested from them, often ending in death. When a death like this occurs, depending on the situation, of course, war ( of some sort ) isn't far behind!
The Pain of the World, like the pain of individuals ( for that IS the pain of the world ), even if/when self-inflicted or deserved, is still pain! As Christians, are we not to be those healing leaves that John wrote about in the Revelation? Although there are many Christians who act the part ( of 'healing leaves' ), there are as many or more who stand staunchly behind the war effort, claiming 'just cause' or some such. Though this blogger is personally against war, this is not an anti-war post, per se, though war is both the cause & effect of much of the pain of the world!
War. of course, is not the only cause & effect of pain in the world, nor is pain the only cause & effect of war in the world. Fear also factors largely. In fact, one might note that Pain is often simply the physical manifestation of one's Fear. Fear of losing one's possessions ( including one's life ) is probably the number one cause of much of the evil that we witness in this world. 'Fear is the mind-killer', a wise man once said: when people identify with the Ego, limiting themselves to the confines of their mind & that fragile mind is threatened, there are no lengths to which that person will not go to protect what is theirs.
In many cases, Fear has been the leading cause of war; in modern times especially, though it is not necessarily a modern concept, the 'preemptive strike' has factored rather largely in the pain of the world. Because of the fear, unwarranted or not, that this person or group of persons ( country ) will annihilate 'us' unless we strike 'them' first, innocent people have suffered & died! These deaths, then, with the Pain they bring, often have the effect of creating enemies where there were none before, only those who just wanted to live in peace.
Of course, much of the problem could be alleviated if more people realized that they are greater than their Ego, which has its seat in the Mind. Once the Ego/Mind was under the control of the Spirit ( the true nature of our BEing ), jealousy would cease, for people would no longer be controlled, as Cain was, by the weakness & limitations of our Ego. Because Jealousy, which might be called the Root of Fear, would cease, so would War. A wise man once sang about a 'world' where no one had any 'possessions'; if no one owned any possessions, but simply shared the wealth of the world, there would be no cause for Jealousy; therefore no Fear & thus, no Pain!
That last passage may sound like a bunch of gobbledy-gook to some of my readers, in fact, one might say I'm a dreamer, but much of the Pain the World is suffering right now, all of it, really, is seated squarely in the Mind/Ego. When we let it control our actions, rather than acting purely from our BEing, we unleash all manner of Pain & suffering on a weary world! For our part ( for that's all that's up to us ), we must realize who we really are, stop identifying with the Mind/Ego & start BEing what we truly are, Beings of Light & Love, just like the One in Whom we live, move & have our BEing!
Speaking of the Source of all Life, we tend to blame much on 'Him', or 'His' arch-nemesis, 'Satan' that is really only the Laws of Cause & Effect! People go around thinking they are limited to the Mind/Ego, acting according to the weakness of this concept & thus causing Pain according to what they themselves are experiencing because of the limitations they have placed upon themselves.
So, did God allow the tragic events of 911? Obviously, it was the Mind of Man that executed them. Unless you want to blame it on some poor 'Devil' ( Satan ), you'll end up with a God that could've saved all those people, but chose not to, for whatever reason, or a God that's not so all-powerful as we've been led to believe! ( I'm sure there are other choices ) Whether one claims to be a Christian or not, either of the two choices seems rather distasteful.
Charles Haddon Shank