If God, Why the Coronavirus subtitles

- This "why?" question, often is asked,by arm-chair philosophers,and some of us may even have asked a question that wayat times in our life, but no one's askingthe question in that way right now.That why is being asked with real emotion,and for many people, even with desperation.I always try to remember that the first conversationI ever had about suffering,after I had become a Christian in my college years,it was with my aunt Regina,and she spoke with me about some serious sufferingin her life and in the life of her son, my cousin, Charles,and after I listened to her speak about this,at the time, I was more interested in the question,the philosophical question, than the questioner,and I quickly began spoutingsome of my philosophical explanationsfor why God might allow Charles to have sufferedand my aunt Regina listened very graciously to meand then at the end, she said, "but Vince,that doesn't speak to me as a mother."And I've always tried to remember that linewhen trying to respond to this type of question.Jesus was much better than I wasat remembering that sentimentwhen his good friend Lazarus was ill,Jesus waited a couple of daysbefore he went to see him,and Lazarus wound up dying before Jesus got there,and reading between the lines and the passage,Mary and Martha were not too impressed,Lazarus' sisters and they said,"Jesus, why didn't you come sooner,if you had been here, our brother would still be alive,what do you have to say for yourself?"And as a Christian,I believe at that time,Jesus could've given an explanation, but he didn't.The text says that Jesus wept.That's the shortest verse in the Bible,and it's very important to me as a Christian,that first and foremost,God weeps at the suffering of this world,and that has to be our first response as well.I'll say a couple of other things,but please hear me at the out set to saythis is not in any way meant to be an exhaustive answerto this question.I do think it's interesting,when we talk about something like the Coronavirus.In philosophy, it would be referred to as "natural evil".And that in itself is an interesting terminology,you might think it's an oxymoron,you might think if it's genuinely natural,if it's just the way it's supposed to be,if it's just the way that physics is supposed to operate,is it actually evil?Can you get a moral category like evilout of something which is just physical and natural?And if it's evil, then is it really natural?If it's genuinely evil,wouldn't that make it unnatural, and not natural?And so it's an interesting terminology,I find myself wondering if actually that classification,if it points towards God, rather than away from God.If it points towards a moral law giverwho can be the ground of a moral standardof more reality that can get us a categorylike moral evil.And also, towards a narrativethat makes some sense of the fact that this seemsvery unnatural, this does not seem like it's the waythings are supposed to be.Another perspective that I'd want to open up here,is that natural evils,they're not intrinsically evil in of themselves.If you have a tornado, and you are watching itfrom a safe distance,it can be majestic to behold,it can beautiful to behold.If you put a virus under a microscope,it could be beautiful to behold,and there's even a category of viruses,friendly viruses, we need them in our body.The vast majority of viruses are not having a bad resultthey're having a good result, and in fact,if we didn't have viruses in the world,bacteria would replicate so quicklythat it would cover the entire earthand nothing could inhabit the earth, including us.It raises the question:Is the problem the fundamental, natural featuresof our universe, or is the problemthe way that we are functioning in our environment?Could it be the case, that we're not functioning,our bodies, the way we're supposed toin the environment that we're in.When a feral child is taken out of all community,out of all relationship, that that childwas intended for, the child does not function properlyin its environment.Could it be the case that we,as humanity, as a whole,are living separated from outside the contextof the relationship that we were most destined for,and we're not operating properly in our environment?There's so much more to say about this topic,I'll open up one more angle, just for your consideration.Often times when we think of suffering,we think about it like this:We picture ourselves in this world,with all of its suffering.We then picture ourselves in a very different world,with no suffering, or far less suffering,and then we wonder to ourselves,well surely, God should have made me in the other world.Reasonable thought,but potentially problematic,because we never asked the question:Would it still be you, and me,and the people that we lovein that very different worldthat we think we wish God had made.In a moment of frustration with my father,this would never actually happen, dad,but in a moment of frustration with my father,I might wish that my mom had married someone else.Might've been taller, like Abdu,might've been better looking, like Abdu,I would've been better off,I could be thinking this way,but then I should stop and realizethat's not the right way to think,if my mom had wound up with someone other than my dad,it wouldn't have been me who came to exist,it would've been a totally different childwho came to exist.Well now imagine changing not justthat little piece of history,but imagine changing the waythe entire natural world operates.Imagine if we were never susceptible to disease,or imagine if plate tectonics didn't behavethe way they did if the laws of physicshad undergone a redesign,what would be the result?And I think one of the resultsis that none of us ever would've lived,and as a Christian,I don't think God likes that resultbecause I think one of the thingshe values about this world,even though I think he hates the suffering within it,is that it is a world that allowed for you to come to exist,and allowed for me to come to exist,and allowed for every person we see walking down the streetto come to exist.I believe that God intended youbefore the foundation of the world,that He knit you together in your mother's womb,that He knew you before you were born.He desired you, and this was a worldthat allowed for you to come to existand to be invited into a relationship with Him.Are we going to have all the answers to this question?No, we're not, but I don't think we should expect to.I was thinking this morning about howmy one-year old son, Rafael,and he generally does not understandwhy sometimes I allow him to suffer,and I was thinking specifically of one instancewhere they had to do some tests on his heart,and I was there, holding him down,while he shrieked in horrorwith all these wires coming out from his chestas they did these tests.He couldn't understand.He couldn't understand that I was loving himthrough that moment,and all I could do as a father,was I just kept saying, "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here."I just kept saying that repetitively.Ultimately, the reason that I trust Godthrough something like the Coronavirusis not because of philosophy,but because I believe the Christian Godcame and he suffered with us.I believe that in the person of Jesus,that is God's way of saying, "I'm here,I'm here, I'm here."And as the words of Jesus himself, "Here I am.I stand at the door and knock,if anyone hears my voice and opens the door,I will come in and eat with him,and he with me."That's the hope that we have,the hope of a beautiful intimacythat can be everlasting and that's a hopeI believe we need to hold onto in this time.

If God, Why the Coronavirus

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<text sub="clublinks" start="4.28" dur="4.52">- This "why?" question, often is asked,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="8.8" dur="2.18">by arm-chair philosophers,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="10.98" dur="3.7">and some of us may even have asked a question that way</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="14.68" dur="1.92">at times in our life, but no one's asking</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="16.6" dur="2.06">the question in that way right now.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="18.66" dur="4.36">That why is being asked with real emotion,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="23.02" dur="3.4">and for many people, even with desperation.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="26.42" dur="3.48">I always try to remember that the first conversation</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="29.9" dur="1.27">I ever had about suffering,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="31.17" dur="3.05">after I had become a Christian in my college years,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="34.22" dur="2.2">it was with my aunt Regina,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="36.42" dur="2.53">and she spoke with me about some serious suffering</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="38.95" dur="3.2">in her life and in the life of her son, my cousin, Charles,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="42.15" dur="2.5">and after I listened to her speak about this,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="44.65" dur="2.84">at the time, I was more interested in the question,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="47.49" dur="2.68">the philosophical question, than the questioner,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="50.17" dur="1.7">and I quickly began spouting</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="51.87" dur="2.07">some of my philosophical explanations</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="53.94" dur="4.39">for why God might allow Charles to have suffered</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="58.33" dur="3.74">and my aunt Regina listened very graciously to me</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="62.07" dur="2.14">and then at the end, she said, "but Vince,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="64.21" dur="3.01">that doesn't speak to me as a mother."</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="67.22" dur="2.6">And I've always tried to remember that line</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="69.82" dur="2.25">when trying to respond to this type of question.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="72.07" dur="1.5">Jesus was much better than I was</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="73.57" dur="2.39">at remembering that sentiment</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="75.96" dur="2.04">when his good friend Lazarus was ill,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="78" dur="1.27">Jesus waited a couple of days</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="79.27" dur="1.71">before he went to see him,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="80.98" dur="2.68">and Lazarus wound up dying before Jesus got there,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="83.66" dur="1.9">and reading between the lines and the passage,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="85.56" dur="2.1">Mary and Martha were not too impressed,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="87.66" dur="1.35">Lazarus' sisters and they said,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="89.01" dur="1.65">"Jesus, why didn't you come sooner,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="90.66" dur="1.95">if you had been here, our brother would still be alive,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="92.61" dur="1.54">what do you have to say for yourself?"</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="94.15" dur="1.11">And as a Christian,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="95.26" dur="2.27">I believe at that time,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="97.53" dur="3.05">Jesus could've given an explanation, but he didn't.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="100.58" dur="3.14">The text says that Jesus wept.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="103.72" dur="2.49">That's the shortest verse in the Bible,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="106.21" dur="3.08">and it's very important to me as a Christian,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="109.29" dur="1.42">that first and foremost,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="110.71" dur="2.63">God weeps at the suffering of this world,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="113.34" dur="2.45">and that has to be our first response as well.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="115.79" dur="1.97">I'll say a couple of other things,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="117.76" dur="1.95">but please hear me at the out set to say</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="119.71" dur="3.42">this is not in any way meant to be an exhaustive answer</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="123.13" dur="1.29">to this question.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="124.42" dur="2.05">I do think it's interesting,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="126.47" dur="3.33">when we talk about something like the Coronavirus.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="129.8" dur="4.61">In philosophy, it would be referred to as "natural evil".</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="134.41" dur="3.44">And that in itself is an interesting terminology,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="137.85" dur="2.18">you might think it's an oxymoron,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="140.03" dur="2.06">you might think if it's genuinely natural,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="142.09" dur="2.23">if it's just the way it's supposed to be,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="144.32" dur="4.08">if it's just the way that physics is supposed to operate,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="148.4" dur="1.22">is it actually evil?</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="149.62" dur="2.92">Can you get a moral category like evil</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="152.54" dur="3.69">out of something which is just physical and natural?</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="156.23" dur="3.62">And if it's evil, then is it really natural?</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="159.85" dur="1.55">If it's genuinely evil,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="161.4" dur="3.27">wouldn't that make it unnatural, and not natural?</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="164.67" dur="1.99">And so it's an interesting terminology,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="166.66" dur="2.996">I find myself wondering if actually that classification,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="169.656" dur="4.684">if it points towards God, rather than away from God.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="174.34" dur="2.92">If it points towards a moral law giver</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="177.26" dur="2.06">who can be the ground of a moral standard</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="179.32" dur="2.65">of more reality that can get us a category</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="181.97" dur="1.67">like moral evil.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="183.64" dur="2.29">And also, towards a narrative</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="185.93" dur="2.89">that makes some sense of the fact that this seems</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="188.82" dur="3.51">very unnatural, this does not seem like it's the way</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="192.33" dur="1.523">things are supposed to be.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="195.8" dur="3.78">Another perspective that I'd want to open up here,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="199.58" dur="2.21">is that natural evils,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="201.79" dur="3.09">they're not intrinsically evil in of themselves.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="204.88" dur="2.66">If you have a tornado, and you are watching it</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="207.54" dur="1.78">from a safe distance,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="209.32" dur="2.53">it can be majestic to behold,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="211.85" dur="1.75">it can beautiful to behold.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="213.6" dur="2.16">If you put a virus under a microscope,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="215.76" dur="3.04">it could be beautiful to behold,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="218.8" dur="2.33">and there's even a category of viruses,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="221.13" dur="3.17">friendly viruses, we need them in our body.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="224.3" dur="3.9">The vast majority of viruses are not having a bad result</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="228.2" dur="1.6">they're having a good result, and in fact,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="229.8" dur="1.75">if we didn't have viruses in the world,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="231.55" dur="1.9">bacteria would replicate so quickly</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="233.45" dur="2.18">that it would cover the entire earth</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="235.63" dur="4.39">and nothing could inhabit the earth, including us.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="240.02" dur="1.22">It raises the question:</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="241.24" dur="3.03">Is the problem the fundamental, natural features</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="244.27" dur="1.66">of our universe, or is the problem</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="245.93" dur="4.22">the way that we are functioning in our environment?</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="250.15" dur="2.9">Could it be the case, that we're not functioning,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="253.05" dur="1.88">our bodies, the way we're supposed to</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="254.93" dur="1.48">in the environment that we're in.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="256.41" dur="2.77">When a feral child is taken out of all community,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="259.18" dur="2.27">out of all relationship, that that child</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="261.45" dur="3.09">was intended for, the child does not function properly</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="264.54" dur="1.26">in its environment.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="265.8" dur="2.71">Could it be the case that we,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="268.51" dur="1.78">as humanity, as a whole,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="270.29" dur="2.89">are living separated from outside the context</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="273.18" dur="3.83">of the relationship that we were most destined for,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="277.01" dur="3.51">and we're not operating properly in our environment?</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="280.52" dur="3.15">There's so much more to say about this topic,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="283.67" dur="3.76">I'll open up one more angle, just for your consideration.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="287.43" dur="2.31">Often times when we think of suffering,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="289.74" dur="1.79">we think about it like this:</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="291.53" dur="1.59">We picture ourselves in this world,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="293.12" dur="1.59">with all of its suffering.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="294.71" dur="2.98">We then picture ourselves in a very different world,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="297.69" dur="2.33">with no suffering, or far less suffering,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="300.02" dur="1.37">and then we wonder to ourselves,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="301.39" dur="3.93">well surely, God should have made me in the other world.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="305.32" dur="1.84">Reasonable thought,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="307.16" dur="1.97">but potentially problematic,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="309.13" dur="2.2">because we never asked the question:</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="311.33" dur="3.67">Would it still be you, and me,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="315" dur="2.08">and the people that we love</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="317.08" dur="2.06">in that very different world</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="319.14" dur="3.59">that we think we wish God had made.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="322.73" dur="1.94">In a moment of frustration with my father,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="324.67" dur="1.4">this would never actually happen, dad,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="326.07" dur="1.78">but in a moment of frustration with my father,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="327.85" dur="3.67">I might wish that my mom had married someone else.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="331.52" dur="1.35">Might've been taller, like Abdu,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="332.87" dur="1.72">might've been better looking, like Abdu,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="334.59" dur="1.11">I would've been better off,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="335.7" dur="1.59">I could be thinking this way,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="337.29" dur="1.5">but then I should stop and realize</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="338.79" dur="1.14">that's not the right way to think,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="339.93" dur="2.44">if my mom had wound up with someone other than my dad,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="342.37" dur="1.46">it wouldn't have been me who came to exist,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="343.83" dur="1.88">it would've been a totally different child</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="345.71" dur="1.39">who came to exist.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="347.1" dur="1.83">Well now imagine changing not just</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="348.93" dur="1.09">that little piece of history,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="350.02" dur="1.63">but imagine changing the way</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="351.65" dur="2.72">the entire natural world operates.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="354.37" dur="2.86">Imagine if we were never susceptible to disease,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="357.23" dur="2.43">or imagine if plate tectonics didn't behave</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="359.66" dur="1.92">the way they did if the laws of physics</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="361.58" dur="1.19">had undergone a redesign,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="362.77" dur="1.78">what would be the result?</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="364.55" dur="1.77">And I think one of the results</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="366.32" dur="2.97">is that none of us ever would've lived,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="369.29" dur="1.76">and as a Christian,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="371.05" dur="1.87">I don't think God likes that result</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="372.92" dur="1.4">because I think one of the things</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="374.32" dur="1.62">he values about this world,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="375.94" dur="3.46">even though I think he hates the suffering within it,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="379.4" dur="2.91">is that it is a world that allowed for you to come to exist,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="382.31" dur="1.64">and allowed for me to come to exist,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="383.95" dur="2.76">and allowed for every person we see walking down the street</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="386.71" dur="0.93">to come to exist.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="387.64" dur="2.18">I believe that God intended you</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="389.82" dur="1.91">before the foundation of the world,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="391.73" dur="2.66">that He knit you together in your mother's womb,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="394.39" dur="2.77">that He knew you before you were born.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="397.16" dur="1.91">He desired you, and this was a world</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="399.07" dur="2.08">that allowed for you to come to exist</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="401.15" dur="3.22">and to be invited into a relationship with Him.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="404.37" dur="2.65">Are we going to have all the answers to this question?</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="407.02" dur="3.1">No, we're not, but I don't think we should expect to.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="410.12" dur="1.82">I was thinking this morning about how</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="411.94" dur="2.17">my one-year old son, Rafael,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="414.11" dur="3.08">and he generally does not understand</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="417.19" dur="2.38">why sometimes I allow him to suffer,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="419.57" dur="2.04">and I was thinking specifically of one instance</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="421.61" dur="2.34">where they had to do some tests on his heart,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="423.95" dur="3.063">and I was there, holding him down,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="427.88" dur="1.73">while he shrieked in horror</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="429.61" dur="3.39">with all these wires coming out from his chest</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="433" dur="1.96">as they did these tests.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="434.96" dur="2.22">He couldn't understand.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="437.18" dur="2.2">He couldn't understand that I was loving him</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="439.38" dur="0.833">through that moment,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="440.213" dur="1.397">and all I could do as a father,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="441.61" dur="3.61">was I just kept saying, "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here."</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="445.22" dur="2.52">I just kept saying that repetitively.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="447.74" dur="2.38">Ultimately, the reason that I trust God</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="450.12" dur="2.41">through something like the Coronavirus</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="452.53" dur="2.03">is not because of philosophy,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="454.56" dur="1.78">but because I believe the Christian God</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="456.34" dur="2.53">came and he suffered with us.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="458.87" dur="2.04">I believe that in the person of Jesus,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="460.91" dur="2.33">that is God's way of saying, "I'm here,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="463.24" dur="2.5">I'm here, I'm here."</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="465.74" dur="2.62">And as the words of Jesus himself, "Here I am.</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="468.36" dur="1.85">I stand at the door and knock,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="470.21" dur="2.49">if anyone hears my voice and opens the door,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="472.7" dur="1.77">I will come in and eat with him,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="474.47" dur="1.47">and he with me."</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="475.94" dur="1.65">That's the hope that we have,</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="477.59" dur="3.06">the hope of a beautiful intimacy</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="480.65" dur="1.73">that can be everlasting and that's a hope</text>
<text sub="clublinks" start="482.38" dur="2.483">I believe we need to hold onto in this time.</text>