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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

25 April 2018: Angus McAllister, St Mary Magdalen Sheet

No easy answers

Prominent in our news in the last six weeks has been the chilling presence of chemical weapons, both for covert assassination and waging war. 

Despite the treaty undertaking never to use these being signed by 192 nations, including Russia and Syria, both of those are accused of having broken it by deploying chemical weapons.  The natural question is, "How could a good and all-powerful God allow this?" 

No easy answer to that question exists in any world view, nor the bigger question of how evil could be permitted in the universe at all.  With Easter fresh in our memories, with its message of Christ conquering death, Christianity’s answer is that evil in any form is utterly abhorrent to God, yet pervades both the universe we inhabit and the innermost being of humankind; its presence is unarguable. 

So our choice is not between putting God in the dock or letting him off, as if we were somehow in a position to judge him, but rather between letting evil continue to rule in our own selves and communities, or rejecting it, beginning with our own shortcomings.  While this is humanly impossible, since evil is inherent in our very souls, Easter tells us that it is actually possible with God, as Christ himself, the only perfect human ever to have lived, paid the penalty for that evil for all time.  We are further assured that the perpetrators of such terrible acts will also be ultimately judged for these, even if they escape justice in this life.

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