There is, I think, a darkness in all of us. Call it whatever you may, but it’s hard to deny the fact that everyone has desires – of our own, and as reactions to others – that we know we’d be better off not acting on.
But what then of the darkness we find outside ourselves, in the world around us? The seemingly random acts of destruction – floods, hurricanes, famines – where do they come from? At whose feet do we lay the responsibility?
The Hindu response describes this as yet another facet of Brahman and his reality. Classical Greek mythology attempted to explain it away as being part and parcel of the fickle nature and rivalry between the members of their pantheon.
Again, Norse mythology and Egyptian mythology, even that of the Aztecs, and – I suspect – the belief base of almost every worldview, all of them describe the divine as being, at best, mercurial in nature, if not as evil as it is good.
Christianity does not have this luxury. Instead of describing the discrepancies in ourselves and our environs as reflections of some higher power or ideal, the Christian tradition holds that the darkness is just that – darkness. And God, He is the Light.1
In fact, the Christian goes as far as to claim that while we were indeed meant to be in the image of God, what we are now is but a vague rendering of His Person. And, our time in the darkness has also made it much harder for us to see Him as He truly is.
Even so, the questions remain, and become even more pressing when one considers that this good God has at times not only ordered the destruction of thousands but also allowed the suffering and deaths of millions the world over.2
Why would He do this, or – at best – stand by and allow it to happen?