Permit me to lay out two questions, and invite you to express your thoughts in the comment box. The first one is this –
Does a person who believes that God has a) decided who will be His children, and b) also extends His grace only to those that He has effectively called to salvation, have reason to be bothered if people reject God and His salvation in Jesus? . . . . In fact, is there any reason to consider it a sin if a person not called by God rejects God? Behind that question is the appearance that those who reject God are living in accord to God’s calling on their lives. Can we call such rejection a sin when those folk are living in conformity with what God wants for them?
The second one is this –
In Joel 2, there is a reference to a plague of locusts, and in verse 11 that plague is referred to as the day of the Lord, when “The Lord thunders at the head of his army.” The incident being described is God’s action to bring devastation on the land.
That being the case, we can think of a plague that decimates an area, such as the Bubonic Plague, and sense that God might be responsible. Perhaps Albert Camus’ The Plague comes to your mind. Those that have intellectual problems with pain and evil vis a vis God aren’t completely without their reasons.
On one hand, it is too simple to advocate atheism as the answer to the problem of natural evil. But, must we not also admit that it is too simple to say that God has nothing to do with natural evil, and perhaps even evil wrought by humanity on itself? Is this another case of setting up an invalid either-or scenario (false dilemma / false disjunction)?