Who is to blame for the bad? (City of God Book II & III)

When Things go bad, who is to blame? Because, when something bad happens we want accountability and we want to know how to prevent it the next time.
When Rome fell, one of the more popular answers to the blame question was that the gods were angry. Many blamed Roman citizens for turning their backs on the gods and embracing the Christian God as the one and only God. They reasoned that the gods were angry because of this and they caused the calamity to come down on Rome. In other words, God could not protect them.
So, Augustine takes a look at the gods and asks some questions about these objects of worship. Were they worth worshipping? Augustine says they were just as immoral as the Roman people. They never brought an ethical code to Rome. In fact, Augustine says, their influence was a corrupting influence.
As more and more plays were produced about the gods, their immoral influence spread. As more and more people “worshipped” them through acts of immorality, the empire fell further and further into decay.
In Book III, he turns his attention to the fact that history showed the gods had never saved Rome, even when they were worshipped. He delivers an extensive history lesson about the gods failing to protect Troy and Rome.
And here is the thought that is worth considering. Far too often, we blame everyone and everything else for the misfortunes that fall on the world in general and our world in particular. There are still Atheists who are all too willing to blame God when disaster strikes. There are Christians who are all too willing to blame God.
Augustine is shaking us and saying, ‘Maybe the answer is closer then you want to admit. Maybe the blame is right at your own doorstep.’


2 Responses to “Who is to blame for the bad? (City of God Book II & III)”

  1. Monica Peña says:

    Bro Wes the last few years have been very difficult ones for me and my family. I have since 2009 lost my mom and grandmother within 3 days of each other, the next year my house burned to the ground, and a few weeks later I had major surgery, last year, I lost my dad, and this May I ended up having emergency open heart surgery. Family and friends look at me a some have even asked what I have done to make God so angry at me, and how can I continue to have faith in HIM when so He has allowed so many horrible things to occur in my life. Right before I went into surgery about 4 weeks ago explained to my sons and family that I loved my LORD and I do not see anything that has occurred to me as punishment or the LORD being angry at me. I see bad health choices, financial choices. On the other hand I know that HE has been with me through all my difficult times. HE has interceded for me and whispered in my ear and led me to seek help when I would not have other wise, and saved my life. Shortly after my open heart surgery I woke up before I was suppose to. So much physical pain, and chaos, fear, and I closed my eyes an I asked my GOD to please hold me, hold my hand until the pain became tolerable and the chaos was over, and HE did. It was a glorious time, HE was glorious, my time with HIM was glorious, I wish that I coud be there with HIM again, I wish that I could explain it but I can’t. It is so easy for us to blame HIM for our mistakes, our bad choices and to forget how much HE has sacrificed for US and how much HE loves us. We are like spoiled selfish children who are easy to get along with as long as things are going our way. Indeed the blame is usually at our own doorstep….

    • Karen M. says:

      I’m just joining in on the Battle series books. I totally agree with Augustine & Monica; our choices have a direct impact on our lives. We have the option to make wise choices under God’s guidance & direction, or we can step out in self- determination & “knowing it all”, then deal with the consequences that follow.

      We think He should bail us out of the fallout and / or give us what we think is best for us, what we want. We have the privilege of prayer, obey Him & leave the results to Him, or we can play the blame game when we mess up, which is old as creation.

      He is sovereign; He never has nor ever will operate under our expectations & guidelines. WE need to own many of our wrong choices, and thank Him for His grace, love,& mercy.

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