Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tough Question: How can God be loving when there are 33 million people in Africa with HIV?

A Kanakuk Kamper sent me this message over facebook looking for some advice. We thought this would be worth posting as many believers are faced with similar situations.

"a friend of mine were in a non-hostile religious debate about a youtube video (ill post the link to it on your wall) and he simply brought up a response that someone else had written commenting on the video saying- your god is an awesome god.he can stop the chalk from breaking but meanwhile murder and rapes are occuring. tell the 33 million people with HIV in Africa that there is an all powerful god who loves them." could i respond to this? ive been challenged with questions like this, but this one seems very difficult for me to find answers to." -Chris, GA

Here is my advice:

"Great question bro, thanks for using me as a resource.

First of all we live in a broken world and Satan is "the prince of this world". In 1st Peter Chapter 1 Peter starts off by addressing his letter to all who are "aliens and strangers". This is not our home. Our home, as Christ followers, is in heaven.

God did not make us Robots, he gave us free will-which we should be thankful for. Man has used his free will, a gift from God, to do evil. As a result we live in this imperfect world-full of evil, rape, aids etc. In the midst of all this junk that we have brought upon OURSELVES God in His loving mercy gave us a way out. And as broken and helpless as things seem, all of us (you, me and your friend) deserve to be punished. But while we are still sinners CHRIST died for us (Romans 5:8).

Chris, this is the perfect opportunity to share the gospel message. It isn't God who brought all this filth into our is man. Scoffers point thier fingers at God. Believers point thier fingers back to themselves, get on thier knees, and repent. Yes, God could swoop down and clean up our mess, and He will someday, but He is patient. He is waiting, giving us an opportunity to take a step of FAITH."

I know that is a simple answer to a complex question but I hope it gives you some perspective when faced with this kind of opposition. Proud of you Chris.


  1. You seem to imply that the Africans with HIV lack faith in some way, or they are being punished for completely unrelated people lacking faith. Either way, it leaves the feeling that God could be a bit sadistic.

    On the topic of that video, I have heard that story a bazillion times, but never actually seen a citation saying who this professor is. It also implies that atheists are horrible oppressive people designed to turn Christians into more of these horrible evil Atheist monstrosities. As an Atheist, I always find this incredibly offensive just as a Jew would find being accused of having gold, a Christian of hating Jews, books, and free thinking, or a Muslim being accused of being a terrorist.
    The entire video implies that there is only one path, as if there is what about the numerous chains of Christianity, are some left out? Or what about the Jews and Muslims, they still believe in the same God. Or what about the Buddhists, they only try to help people and seek inner peace by doing good deeds. I may not believe in heaven, but if there is a big club in the sky for those who are good, shouldn't it be open to everyone who has helped one another?

  2. You'll have to forgive the above commenter, his name is not really "kaiserbill", it's actually "Adam", he likes to be an arbiter of good and evil.