Is God To Blame?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
I have heard some of our believers, young in the faith, question if God is to blame, due to these recent events. I am sure most, if not all, of us here do not believe God is to blame, but for those who might I find this comforting.

"As therefore the physician is a benefactor even if he produces distress or pain in the body, for he fights the illness  and not the sick person, so also God is good, who provides salvation to all, through particular punishments. And you do not accuse the physician of any wrong in his cutting and burning and complete mutilations of the body; but rather you probably pay him money and you call him a savior, since he has produced illness in a small part of the body to prevent the suffering from spreading throughout the whole of it. But whenever you see a city fall down on it's inhabitants in an earthquake, or a ship and it's whole crew lost at sea, you do not hesitate to wag your tongue in blasphemy against the true Physician and Savior. And further, one must understand that there are moderate and curable illnesses of human beings, which are helped by care, but whenever the disease is shown to be too severe for treatment, it becomes necessary to cut off the part that has become useless, so that the illness does not continue and proceed to spread into the vital organs. Therefore, as the physician is not the cause of the surgery or the cautery, but the illness is, so also, as the obliteration of cities has its source in the excess of those who have sinned, God is acquitted of all blame."

St. Basil the Great, On the Human Condition, p.68


  • Absolutely beautiful brother! Very comforting! Thank u
  • Ioannes, I very much like what St Basil has said, although in this specific case I do not think many people died or were injured due to their sins as an act of "cutting off" from the Body of Christ. I believe God allowed it so that these people could in fact suffer for His name, so that they may receive the crown of martyrdom. I think its the other way around, because they were good people, they were worthy, if I may say that, of receiving this great crown in heaven. My two cents. Thanks for sharing, its beneficial regardless.

    God Bless and Pray for me and my weakness
  • Jy, the whole of what St. Basil is speaking of here encompasses all forms of suffering, and even death. These people were martyred for a reason, and when I looked around in our church I have never seen people so aware of their spiritual reality. So this also speaks of that, not that these people died because of their sins, but that God as the Physician is doing this for the healing of others, as we are one body.
  • Thanks Ioannes.

    This was a great help :). I really love St. Basil and he really beautifully explains why God "produces distress or pain".

    Thanks again!!!!
  • I recommend reading "On the Human Condition" by St Basil the Great to everyone. It is not terribly difficult to understand.
  • I am definitely reading this.
  • Ioannes, where can one find this book. Do you know?
  • This quote is beautiful thanks Ioannes.

    I would just note that the terror attacks were in fact not an act of God, though we can agree that God allowed it to happen - but not to forget that God has also prevented further attacks we were not aware of from being done, whether on the sad days in Naga Hamady, in Alexandria, etc. or later during the Nativity day.

    We thus thank the Lord and must constantly pray for Him to protect us in our weakness.

  • This is a preview of the book posted by the publisher on Google books:

    It limits how much you can read of it but it does give a sample of it. It seems to be very good, and I'll, God willing, start reading it. Thanks for recommending it Ioannes!!
  • [quote author=anba bola link=topic=10412.msg126669#msg126669 date=1294515735]
    Thanks Ioannes.

    This was a great help :). I really love St. Basil and he really beautifully explains why God "produces distress or pain".

    Thanks again!!!!

    Careful, God does not 'produce' pain or distress, but allows it...Just thought I should point that out.
  • Hey Jshouk

    I was quoting St. Basil. In the quote Ioannes posted, St. Basil says: "As therefore the physician is a benefactor even if he produces distress or pain in the body".

    What I meant was what temporarily seems as pain or distress just like what a physician does. I would think that it would be like a doctor performing a surgery that would cause temporary pain in the body for a short while so that we may be healed of something larger. I think in this way God "produces" pain.

    In the case of what happened in Alexandria, I think God allowed it, but didn't cause it. However in our daily lives when there may be what seems to be causing pain, but actually is looking to heal us for the future, I think God causes that.

    Would that be correct to say? Or does St. Basil mean something else by produces? I suddenly got very confused. Please let me know if I'm on the right track here.
  • My bad, didn't notice it was St. Basil's words. The way you are interpreting the saying, seems correct. I simply wanted to make sure not to conclude that all bad things are this 'process of healing'. I simply imagine the story of Job. The devil wants to hurts us. Does all he can to achieve that goal. God isn't the source of these pains and struggles, but then He helps us get the most out of it, helping us refine our weakness, making us stronger. It's a bit confusing,  but I hope it makes somewhat some sense...

  • jshouk, its ok, it is a bit difficult to understand. When you read the whole homily on why God is not to blame for suffering, you will understand a bit better. sells it fairly cheap, I recommend buying it.
  • Thanks jshouk,

    Please don't ever hesitate to correct me, even if you think you might be mistaken, because through that I can learn more. Thanks also for explaining I have a much clearer picture now.

    God Bless you
Sign In or Register to comment.