Why does God not punish bad people

why does God let that happen?

why does God let that happen? Many ask. Rightly. Why these injured? Why these dead? Many answers leave you at a loss. For some, that is the end of the God issue. Others ask: why does God not intervene? He can not? Or does he not want to? This is what those who believe in him demand, but very often also his scoffers. If he is the almighty creator and sustainer of the world and of life, then he should intervene now!

God suffers too

God is not just the saving hero who is there in need. Many people experience him as the one who suffers and mourns with them. Jesus on the cross, who suffered and endured the greatest human need. They experience him as the one who hears their complaint, but also as the one they can accuse and who takes pity on the misery of his people. From the point of view of such an experience of faith, God is not only the distant Creator, but Jesus, the man who knows everything about the misery of his own life.

The contradiction between the loving and the punishing God

Not only can humans be cruel, God's creation can be too. Sun, light and warmth on one side. Rockslides, floods and animal plagues on the other. No one can prove guilt to nature, but the Creator can. Or humans. Because where the “crown of creation” comes into play, it all too often turns out to be the cruellest creature. Believers here can only admit that God made everything like this. Obviously, this world contains innumerable possibilities.

The Bible itself asks why God's righteousness and goodness are so difficult to see and why he punishes even those who trust in him. He takes everything from pious Job, family and all property. Job struggles with his God, but there is no answer. God does not let himself be seen in the cards. After a long struggle, Job holds on to his faith. Because in the end there is the knowledge to trust God in his unimaginable size anyway. For centuries believers have tried to bridge the contradiction between the loving God and the difficult human trials.

Getting closer to God's actions with the mind

In the age of reason and enlightenment, the thinkers of the time tried to adapt belief to the requirements of the critical mind. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) argued that God created the best of all possible worlds. In contrast to him, the perfect, his creation is not as perfect as he is. Suffering, however, is not part of the act of creation, but an inevitable consequence of human freedom of choice between good and evil. So man has to bear the consequences of an imperfect creation as well as the consequences of his own actions.

Such sensible explanations of the suffering could by no means satisfy the afflicted people. And so the philosophers and thinkers von Feuerbach accused the inviolable God through Marx and Freud: Where are you, God, in the face of the sufferings of your world? Why don't you intervene when evil triumphs? Until Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God: “God is dead and you killed him.” The 20th century surpassed all catastrophes in world history with its political, military and human tragedies.

The incarnate God suffers with his world

After the battlefields of two world wars, the ovens at Auschwitz and the devastating nuclear strikes, the traditional image of the all-benevolent and almighty God was hard to hold. Many Jews and Christians came to the conclusion that God was neither weak nor cruel, but nothing but an illusion. A world without God, a silent universe that neither shows people a way nor stops them, was and is for many people unbearable. On the other hand, the inferno of the 20th century opened many people's eyes to the compassionate God again.

Pastor Hans Genthe