Thursday, January 15, 2004

God (doesn't) work in mysterious ways

The Atlanta news has been dominated over the past couple of days by this home-invasion / double-murder story from Lilburn. A beloved Tucker High School coach and his son (a student at the school) were shot by some fucknut who broke in to their house.

The only good news is that said fucknut was then shot and killed by police. (late-breaking development: the killer was the son of a woman who killed a preacher and her own mom in a Kirkwood church a few months back - odd).

I'm not so damn cold-hearted that I'm going to make light of the killings themselves, although I do want to tell the kids at Tucker High to try not to get quite this distraught - lots of open grief has been shown on the news - over a "tragedy" outside of your own family. Live a bit more of your life and you'll realize you should save some of your grief potential for the really bad things that are likely to impact you directly later on.

But there was one bit of the story that I can't let go unmocked. The night of the murders, the coach and his son had been at a wrestling meet in Athens. They got back from that about 10 and were killed at home an hour or so later.

Fox 5 interviewed a kid on the wrestling team who said everybody had been bitching about having to drive all the way out to Athens during the week for the meet. But now, in the wake of the killings, they were happy to have had that time with their coach and his son.

Fair enough.

But, as the kid put it, God must have arranged for the meet to happen so they could spend that final time together.

OK. So if God arranged this time together in advance of the murder, then God must have also known the murders were going to happen. And if God was able to make the meet happen, he could have also stopped the murders from happening. But, of course, he didn't.

Maybe the coach and his son weren't such good people, after all. Why else would God let them die? Or maybe God wanted the fucknut to die, and he'd been unable to get the guy in front of a train. Or maybe God wants to let the big things play out on their own, and feels just sorry enough for we humans to give us extra time with the doomed before the deal goes down.

A spokesman for God, pastor Mike Cash of the First UMC in Tucker, denied that his boss was involved in any way.

"It's a great tragedy ... I just want the kids to know this is not the will of God for things like this to happen," Cash told the AJC.

That's an odd statement for a Godservant. According to the "What We Believe" section of the Tucker First UMC's website, Cash's own church specifically believes:

• There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible.

So God is of infinite power and is the maker and preserver of all things ... except in this case?

• [God] is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and rules with gracious regard for the well-being and salvation of men, to the glory of his name.

So except for at the coach's house Tuesday night, God uses this infinite justice to rule (graciously) for the well-being and salvation of men?

I suspect Cash "wants the kids to know this is not the will of God" because it's a very poor marketing tool (the Unique Selling Proposition for you marketing types) to say "yeah, God was behind this. I don't know why, but since God is the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible, he must have his reasons."


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