June 13, 2013

Three Mistakes We Make When Talking about the Sovereignty of God

The following is a conversation that recently took place in my daughter’s middle school group. And I think it does a good job highlighting three mistakes that we often make when we talk about the sovereignty of God and how it relates to sin and suffering in the world.

Youth pastor: God is sovereign. That means he controls everything that happens.

Middle-schooler: So God was in control when my dog died? Why would God kill my dog?

Youth pastor: That’s a tough one. But sometimes God let’s us go through hard times so that we’re prepared for even more difficult things in the future. I remember how hard it was when my dog died. But going through that helped me deal with an even more difficult time later when my grandma died. Does that make sense?

Middle-schooler: (Long pause.) So God killed my dog to prepare me for when he’s going to kill my grandma?

Youth pastor: (Silence.)

Ah, youth ministry. There’s nothing like a question from a 12-year old to make you realize that what you just said doesn’t make as much sense as you thought it did when you said it.

Like I said, if you look closely at this quick exchange, I think you’ll see three mistakes that people commonly make when talking about the sovereignty of God and how it relates to the bad things that happen in the world.

Read the list of three mistakes here.