Suing God

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In fact, it is quite common to shake their puny fists at God in the middle of tragedy and suffering. Nebraska State Senator, Ernie Chambers took his complaints to court.In October 2007, Sen. Chambers sued God for "causing untold death and horror" in the form of "fearsome floods…horrendous hurricanes, [and] terrifying tornadoes." Furthermore, says the senator, God has wrought "widespread death [and] destruction" and terrorized "millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants."

Chambers filed the suit to make a statement about the American court system. Outraged by a recent lawsuit he considered frivolous, the senator intends to demonstrate that "anybody can file a lawsuit against anybody." His motion against God, then, is tongue in cheek; Chambers, who has a history of antagonism against Christians, has no vested interest in his suit against the Almighty.

Nevertheless, the case raises important questions about God's activity in this broken world. Is God to blame for poverty, warfare, and natural disaster? Chambers seems to think so. To him the facts are clear: there is suffering everywhere, and God is everywhere.

But his reasoning makes one giant presumptive leap: He assumes that God plays by his rules; that He sees things from our perspective and, therefore, should reach our conclusions. He does not! God does not move in the ways that we anticipate. It has been that way from the beginning. Abraham, tired of waiting for the promise and nagged by Sarah, his wife, had a son with Sarah’s servant, Hagar, and lived to regret his intrusion into the prerogative of the Almighty. The Pharisees of Jesus days expected a conquering King, not a humble servant, and so they crucified the very Messiah that God had sent. God does not play by our rules. His power will not be harnessed by our desire

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