An atheist laid out this challenge on Facebook:
· Why do people believe God is guiding and protecting them, yet children die across the world? Can someone religious please give me a legitimate reason as to why a child has to die?
Here is my response:
“Thanks for your challenging question. However, I must warn you from the start that my answer will not be a comprehensive one. However, even science cannot give us comprehensive answers. In fact, science cannot even give us comprehensive answers about the basics – What is time, space, matter, light, not to even mention the nature of sub-atomic particles? However, here are some basic assumptions to shed light on your question:
1. God will not shield us from the implications of our freewill choices. In fact, we need to be cognizant of the fact that God will not always bail us out from our irresponsibility. One probationer had explained to me, “Now that I have a child, I am going to change and get a job.” He understood that he had to bear responsibility for his child’s welfare, just as God would have it.
2. We go bad without sorrow and loss. We begin to take others for granted, if there are no consequences, namely death. We have seen scenes of people being found alive in the rubble, days after an earthquake. The family members are filled with hugs, tears, and gratefulness. But why don’t we experience this on a daily basis? We become jaded and need to be awaken by tragedy.
3. The suffering and loss are preparation for our final destiny. Perhaps we will not appreciate the end of all pain unless we know what pain and destruction are like.
You mention your own sorrow and sense of unworthiness when you hear about others who suffer far more than you. This is a healthy response, because none of us are worthy. However, to walk around in a state of guilt and unworthiness leads to self-destruction. (We might even resort to masochism to reduce the guilt.)
God knows this and He addresses our guilt by first confirming that our feelings of unworthiness are revelatory, but that He has made provision for our guilt by dying for our sins. This is a sacrifice available to any who will come to Him acknowledging their need.”