I saw the above picture on Facebook and it sparked an interesting exchange of comments. Lets start with the first comment.
Everything is either caused by God
If something is caused by God then it is automatically His decree. Creation was caused by God and the order of Creation is a decree of the Lord. If you are looking for other examples, the flood that Noah survived was caused by God, and was His decree; His judgment. No one can reverse God’s decree. Sin is not a reversal of God’s decree. It is defiance of His decree, an act of rebellion. The Law of the Lord is immutable. It is eternal. It will never cease to be, only ever cease to be necessary. This is why Jesus said:
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
It is the fallen condition of the world that necessitates the existence of the Law. When this ceases to be the case, when we live in the world described in Revelations 21, the Law will no longer be necessary. It’s worth digressing incidentally, that the Law exists so we may live holy lives that glorify God but also for our protection, protection from the capricious tormentor, Lucifer. If a parent tells a child not to touch the hot fire, they are not being controlling but the loving protectors of that child.
Lucifer has a role to play in the next statement:
or allowed by God.
If God allows something then He is NOT the direct cause. Lucifer is. Lucifer CANNOT reverse a decree of the Lord, he CANNOT make the sky purple, he CANNOT, contrary to every popular culture myth, make the dead walk or live again. Death is the wages of sin. The punishment for original sin. This is God’s decree and as such Lucifer cannot overrule or reverse it, only God can, which he does, through the promise of eternal life for those that have faith in His only Begotten Son.
However, Lucifer can act within the boundaries of the Law of the Lord freely and independently. This is made most clear at the beginning of the Book of Job:
“All right,” the Lord said to Satan, “everything he has is in your power, but you must not hurt Job himself.” So Satan left.
So the Lord said to Satan, “All right, he is in your power, but you are not to kill him.”
In both passages we see the dynamic clearly. Lucifer is allowed to do what he wants to Job within the parameters laid down by the Lord. However, none of the disasters afflicting Job are caused by God, Lucifer is the active agent who inflicts suffering, as he chooses, within the parameters by the Lord. So, God is in control, but He is still not the active agent. It is dangerous if you repeat the lazy lie that God causes everything because you then end up saying a good God causes and is the active agent in inflicting evil on suffering on people. You can be in control without being the cause.
In fact, the whole purpose of this passage is to illuminate that dynamic, but this is not the dynamic that the Church teaches us is the true one. If you confuse the two things, it is no wonder people scratch their heads and fail to understand our faith and see things in their true light. The Church in lazily failing to explain this is once again a failure to the Lord our God as it ailbis the lie that God can somehow be ‘evil’ and unjust. We all know this is far from the truth and as children of light we must fight for that truth to be heard.