In answer to those who responded to the tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma by claiming that God is absent from the world, cruel, or powerless to prevent such destruction, Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the 11,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas posted a faith-based response on Fox News’ website.
Jeffress notes a nationwide survey that asked, “If you could ask God anything what would you ask?” The greatest response was, “Why is there suffering and evil in the world?” Jeffress offers a tri-partite answer:
- God is loving. Jeffress asserts that although there are disasters, most of the time nature is not out of control, and the response from first responders and those who donate money to help shows that human beings can act as reflections of a beneficent God.
- God is all-powerful. Jeffress writes that the alternative is to believe events happen at random, and that offers no comfort to the sufferer.
- God is ineffable. Jeffress retells the story of a bear caught in a trap who doesn’t realize that a hunter who shoots him with a tranquilizing drug does so in order to help the bear relax so its body can be manipulated to escape the trap. The bear judges the hunter too soon.
In an era when the federal government has shown hostility to those who practice their Judeo-Christian faith, Jeffress and those like him are offering one of the greatest public services: the knowledge that for those of faith, they are not alone.