Why does God not stop wars?

Such a good answer.

In this chapter, we enter into the very heart of the question: “Why does God not stop the war?” The answer is to be found in another question: “What would be the divine cost of stopping this war?” The answer is, God would have to destroy human freedom.

This needs some explanation. Let us begin with this fact: that this is not the only kind of world God could have made. He could have made a world without freedom.

He could have so fashioned us that we would have been good with the same necessity with which the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. We might all have been saintly with the same necessity, with which the lily is white, or fire is hot, or ice is cold.

But God willed not to make a mechanical universe, peopled by automata; rather did He choose to communicate to us something of Himself, namely, His Freedom — not in the same degree of perfection, of course, but enough of it to say a no which would give charm to a yes, when we freely chose to say it.

In other words, God chose to make a moral universe, where characters would emerge by the right use of freedom — a universe where there would be patriots because men might be traitors; a universe like a nation, like a battlefield, where there would be heroes because men might be cowards; a universe like the Church, where there would be saints because men might also be devils…

God willed to make a moral universe of praise and blame, but this could be done only by making men captains and masters of their own fate and destiny.

There is one word which sums up God’s plan in making the universe, and that is love. Got made each heart capable of love. But love implies a choice.

A heart that loves must be a heart to give or to keep. Because, therefore, God willed to make us, so we could love Him in this world, He had to make us free; but if He made us free to love, He had to make it possible for us to be free to hate.

The universe thus became populated with free wills, little gods, each armed with a reflection of God’s freedom.

That some of these little gods would will wrongly was inevitable, for they had not God’s Wisdom; that some of them would be rebellious was inevitable, for, being free, they could make a false declaration of independence and become like little foolish rays of the sun attempting to make themselves independent of the sun.

The fact that we come from God would not necessarily dispense us from the evil effects of such a rebellion, any more than because a child is the son of a king he is immune from drowning if he disobeys and goes into the whirlpool.

God gave us the power to rebel that there might be meaning and honor in our allegiance when we freely choose to give it.

God pledged Himself, after giving us that freedom, never to destroy it, regardless of how many petulant souls would shriek against him: “Why does God not stop the war?”

God could challenge us, overrule us, permit us to be visited by the consequences of our misdeeds — but He would never destroy that great gift of freedom.

-War and Peace: An Anthology, Sophia Institute Press, 2022. at pp. 87-88

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5 months ago

Thanks so much for this Ab. I think back to a little green stucco house next to a truck stop in Billings Montana back in the 50s and early 60s where I grew up. Fulton Sheen was broadcast, and I don’t know if it was on radio or B&W grainy TV. I think both as I have an image of the man in my head. Of course I was young and did not grasp anything, but I thank my mother for exposing me to things like this. Bishop Sheen in our household was a source of truth, though I would… Read more »

5 months ago

This fabulous thanks. And so should we enter into this war, not regarding ourselves as innocent victims of other sins, for we are all sinners, but as transgressors, assuming part of the blame for the sins of the world. If there is anyone who thinks he is good, let him realize that he lives in an evil world and therefore he must redeem it. If, however, we feel ourselves as guilty because we abuse God’s freedom, then we have need of making atonement for ourselves. In either case, we are under God’s purposes, humbly submitting ourselves to his will, either… Read more »

5 months ago

Freedom, right. I agree!

Except, in the old testament, God did get involved with human wars, chose favourites, punished people, etc.

So is it that God changed, or did his value system, or something else? In any case, its strange behaviour for an omniscient being.

5 months ago
Reply to  realalex

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