Everything Happens For A Reason Is Unbiblical

James Preston 5 8:29 AM
Yes, you read that correctly. The popular phrase "everything happens for a reason" is entirely unbiblical. As in; it is not a Bible verse.

I wanted to tackle this common misconception in light of some tragic events in the past few days. The devastating Tornadoes in Oklahoma and the shocking and brutal attack on a British Soldier in broad daylight by crazed extremists. News channels were working overtime.

The people of Oklahoma must be wondering "what on earth just happened?" after a 2km-wide Tornado ripped through the town of Moore just outside Oklahoma City. Many are now homeless while a precious 24 people lost their lives.

Unfortunately, the all-too-familiar comfort-phrase "everything happens for a reason" will be doing the rounds as people try and put reason on something so tragic and devastating. It is very Human to attempt to attach reason to every event that takes place in this life. But it is also very dangerous.

As human beings we are designed to have purpose. That we feel a deep sense of purpose and reason for our lives is what separates us from the animal-kingdom. But the danger with this "sense" is that we naturally point to the Heavens when events out of our control take place. We as human beings don't have the power to create a Tornado or a Tsunami, so who else must it have been? God. Clearly.

Wrong answer.


Wrong Conclusions

Human beings, and mostly Christians unfortunately, have made a logical conclusion and used Scripture to support this conclusion. Whereas A) it isn't very logical and B) the Scripture doesn't even say that.

From a logical perspective, if everything happens for a reason; what was the reason for... say... Hitler's decimation of the Jews in World War 2?

Technically, I can give you a reason...  It was because Hitler was mad and he had very skewed beliefs. THAT is the reason. God didn't make him do it.

Let's look at it Biblically. The verse so often quoted by the well-meaning among us is Romans 8:28:

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Can you believe this is the only verse people use when trying to substantiate the beliefs that "everything happens for a reason".

This verse is saying something quite different. It is saying that "no matter what happens in this life, it is going to work out for the good. If you place your life, your brokenness, your tragic situation, your good situation, whatever situation, God is so good He will turn it around and work it out for the good. He will take it, and make things better."

I like how the NIV interprets the verse...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him."

In all things. No matter what you've been through, no matter what has happened, God will turn it around and make it work out, for you! Not for Him! But for YOU! That's how good He is! If you would just place your circumstances in His hands, He will turn it around and make it work out.

This is very different from the philosophy that "everything happens for a reason." You see, if we believed that "everything happened for a reason" then we would be asking for the reason in these tragic events, and the only conclusion we would come to is that God had some purpose for it. Which is sick, twisted and sadistic. What possible purpose could God have for wiping out entire towns and villages, and killing thousands of people, when in fact He died for them to have Life at the Cross?

What About Old Testament Examples?
Now, if you're a Christian, I know your mind is going straight to the Old Testament stories of God instructing Israel to destroy entire cities and taking out the likes of Sodom and Gomorrah in His Power. I don't want to tackle all these in this Post, but just briefly...

1. God said He would spare the entire city of Sodom and Gomorrah if there were just TEN righteous people. (What people are saying if HE was the One who caused the Tornado, Tsunami etc. then there were not even TEN righteous people among those in its path!)

2. Now take this example above, and place it in light of the New Covenant. Jesus died to give mankind His Righteousness. He credits us with HIS Pure Righteousness!  

3. Jesus showed things had changed when His disciples asked if they could call fire down from Heaven to destroy a Samaritan village for not receiving Him. Instead of saying "yes", Jesus rebuked His disciples (A) because He had come into the world to save it, not condemn it (B)!

4. Stories in the Old Testament are not a 100% accurate representation of God's Nature. ONLY JESUS is an accurate representation of God's Nature. Nothing else! Old Testament Scripture points us to Jesus. Hebrews 1:3 says only Jesus is the exact representation of The Father. (And Jesus actually STOPPED storms, not created them! He healed EVERYONE who asked Him. Etc. Etc.)

5. For more in this topic I'd suggest you read these 2 articles by my friend Phil Drysdale on "Suffering in this world" and "the lies that so many Christians believe".


CONCLUSION

So you see, not everything happens for a reason. I know you may be asking "well, why do bad things happen"? Again, that's an entire article! But basically... for God to create an environment for True Love, He had to create an environment of Freedom and choice. Man chose to go his own way, and the consequence of that was dramatic. The world broke. We now live on a planet that is afflicted with disease and tragedy not because God is causing these things to happen, but because we, in our disobedience in the Garden of Eden, caused the planet to go into a frustration. A brokenness. And now, this planet is crying out for its liberation. To return back to its original plan of perfection. You can check out Romans 8:20-22 for confirmation there.

The reality is, bad things do happen in this world. But God isn't pleased when these things happen, let alone causing them to happen! Not everything happens for a reason. God does not cause tragedies. They happen because we live in a fallen world, and He weeps with us.

He invites us to find comfort and peace in His arms, and to trust Him to help us rebuild.
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Has this article helped you in your understanding of the brokenness in this world?  If so, what did you always believe?


5 comments

Very interesting response. I agree that God doesn't want these things to happen and that most of the time he is not the cause of these disasters. However, i must ask, isn't there a reason why these things happened? The statement being analyzed was that "everything happens for a reason." Ultimately, i agree that everything does happen for a reason. I think what your trying to say is that God isn't behind the evil that does happen. You should realize though that everything does happen for a reason. Why did these terrible things happen? Because the enemy caused them to happen!! Therefore, everything does happen for a reason. In this case, the reason behind this is that the enemy caused it to happen. So, the reason it happend was because of evil. When people say everything happens for a reason, it doesn't necessarily mean that its Gods will. Because we live in a world filled with many evils, bad things are going to happen. Not because of God, but because of the many evils in the world. Evil is behind all disasters! This is relevant to the statement "everything happens for a reason." Though i agree with what you said, i still hold onto my belief that everything does in fact happen for a reason!

so the evil one also causes natural disasters and what not to occur? @ ^^

Sometimes we can be the cause of natural disasters and other bad things that happen to us, due to the evil in the world. Yes, i believe that evil does cause bad things to happen. However, bad things still happen to innocent people. There is just lots of things in this life that we don't understand. Why does bad things happen to good people? Sometimes its because of evil. Like when Hitler killed all those innocent Jewish people. Hitler was the cause of these innocent peoples death. And sometimes its just part of life, because the world we live in is far from perfect. We just need to trust in God and understand that he does not cause evil to happen, but only allows it to happen. ? God knows what we are going to do before we even do it. One might ask, " Why did God create Rameses if he Knew he would not listen to Moses?" Free will is the answer! Yes, God knew Rameses would sin before Rameses made the choice. That is just how powerful our God is!! Nobody is doomed for hell, God created everyone with free will, so even though God know what we r gonna do before we do it, we still have a choice. Therefore, God does not cause, but allows. However, miracles still happen!

This comment has been removed by the author.

Yes Satan certainly does cause natural disasters.

Job 1:12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

Here we see Satan given authority to afflict Job. So it is Satan who rained fire from heaven on the sheep and servants and not God and Satan who sent the dessert wind to collapse the house on Job's children.

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