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Biblical authority, End times

Why cancer in a world created by a good God?

For the last couple years my wife and I have performed, with our music ministry called UNITY, for a local Relay for Life in support of cancer research.  Each year I am reminded about the problem of cancer existing in a supposedly God-created world.  To a lot of people this is a conundrum.  How can a world created by a good God have such debilitating diseases like cancer?  I think we have good Biblical answers to this issue.

God did not create cancer.  Cancer is an unfortunate byproduct of a fallen world.  I believe the Bible teaches that the world was created perfectly, and in fact God himself walked the earth alongside Adam and Eve.  I also believe humans chose to disobey the God that had given them so much in a long for power.  As a result the Bible teaches that the world changed.  Death now entered the world.  You see there was no death before sin (Romans 5:12).  Genesis confirms this when it instructs all the animals and people to only eat plants (vegetarian). 

After God left our immediate presence, He stopped upholding the earth as a perfect state.  He killed the first animal to create coverings for Adam and Eve.  From this point out, upon reproduction, copying errors began to happen in the genetic code.  Today we call these mutations.  They are what are to credit for all the variation of life we see today.  But they are also to blame for all the bad biological changes as well.  If we did not disobey God, and choose sin – these mutations would have never occurred.  Therefore God is not to blame for cancer, we are. 

There are many implications this interpretation pulls along with it.  The secular fossil record records cancer supposedly millions of years before Adam ever “evolved”.  If you are a theistic evolutionist (one who believes God created through evolution) then you cannot offer the above answer to cancer.  In your worldview God created cancer and sat back on day seven of creation and declared it “very good”.  I am not comfortable assigning this horribly deteriorating disease (or all other diseases) to a perfect creator God!  I am also not willing to compromise the rest of the Biblical implications that interpretation would bring.  Death itself would no longer be an enemy on the created order (at the Bible states several times).  It would be a welcome mechanism that God used to create through.  In this worldview God would be a horrible tyrant.  I am not willing to machete up my Bible to make that interpretation stand.

Cancer is an intruder on the created order.  Something God never intended for us to have to deal with.  Because of sin, and mankind turning its back on God, the original perfect creation began to deteriorate.  Modern, observable science confirms that most mutations are either neutral or harmful, and that positive mutations do not occur at a quick enough rate to accumulate / cancel out the harmful ones (see this post).  So instead of an evolutionary worldview, we are actually de-evolving.  Cancer is only one of the unfortunate side effects of a history of continual distancing ourselves from God.

Although cancer research is a worthwhile endeavor, and God chooses to heal people with life-threatening illnesses all the time (meaning He has more of a mission for them), the human race will continue to deteriorate and decay until Christ comes again to restore us to that paradise state that was always intended for us.

 

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Why cancer in a world created by a good God?

  1. The Bible says nothing about God creating things in a “perfect state”. Instead, it uses the word TOV, “good”. In Hebrew, much like in English, “good” is not the same as “better” and “best”. It definitely is not the same thing as “perfect.” It means “suitable” or “appropriate.” The creation was EXACTLY as God wanted it to be! That is what the Bible states. Why not agree with it instead of following a human tradition added long after?

    This is one of the most common examples of human TRADITIONS replacing what God has actually revealed in the Bible. I encourage you to prayerfully consider what God has WRITTEN instead of what your favorite sect has told you according to TRADITION. “Perfect” comes from that man-made tradition.

    Among other obvious statements in Genesis in opposition to your traditions, how could it be “perfect” if there was a rebel serpent in that garden? Doesn’t sound very “perfect” to me if a tempter who brought death to HADAM (“the human one”) was part of that environment.

    I pray that God would give you the wisdom to replace man-made traditions with God’s revealed truths.

    Posted by bibleandscienceforum | July 18, 2014, 3:47 pm
    • So, your position is that God created the world full of cancer and called that “appropriate” and “suitable”. That is the god you worship as holy and good? Sorry if I choose to disagree.

      Posted by Tim | July 18, 2014, 3:49 pm
  2. We know quite a lot about cancer. It is the “flip side” of processes which are essential to life on earth. I don’t have time to give you a science lesson, especially when you and I both know that you will reject it. But it should not surprise you that God’s creation was a mixture of phenomena. For example, mutations can bring major defects—but they also bring adaptation to changing environments. And a basic activity of life involves death: food. Even before the fall, Adam and Eve ate food. That food ALWAYS involves death. (Living cells die when consumed, so that their nutrients can be recycled, just as ALL organisms die and are recycled. Adam and Eve were special because they were given an “exemption” from death as long as they were in obedience in the garden and eating the fruit of the Tree of Life. Why not accept the Bible’s statements instead of replacing them with human traditions?)

    Posted by bibleandscienceforum | July 18, 2014, 3:52 pm
    • Why did your god not create a process of creation that didn’t have to include harmful mutations?

      “What is the difference between plants and animals or man? For the answer we need to look at the phrase nephesh chayyah.6 Nephesh chayyah is used in the Bible to describe sea creatures (Genesis 1:20–21), land animals (Genesis 1:24), birds (Genesis 1:30), and man (Genesis 2:7).7 Nephesh is never used to refer to plants. Man specifically is denoted as nephesh chayyah, a living soul, after God breathed into him the breath of life. This contrasts with God telling the earth on Day 3 to bring forth plants (Genesis 1:11). The science of taxonomy, the study of scientific classification, makes the same distinction between plants and animals.

      Since God gave only plants (including their fruits and seeds) as food for man and animals, then Adam, Eve, and all animals and birds were originally vegetarian (Genesis 1:29–30). Plants were to be a resource of the earth that God provided for the benefit of nephesh chayyah creatures—both animals and man. Plants did not “die,” as in mût; they were clearly consumed as food. Scripture describes plants as withering (Hebrew yabesh), which means “to dry up.”2 This term is more descriptive of a plant or plant part ceasing to function biologically.”

      https://answersingenesis.org/biology/plants/do-leaves-die/

      Posted by Tim | July 18, 2014, 3:55 pm

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