“God’s plan” is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents. For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God’s plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God’s plan.
Think about Adolph Hitler. He was evil incarnate, and Hitler is well known for the atrocious things he did. What I would like you to do right now is to consider this statement: “Hitler is part of God’s Plan.”
If God has a divine plan for each of us, then he had a divine plan for Hitler too. It is when you stop to think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.
Now let’s imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they would still die. The idea of a “plan” makes the idea of a “prayer-answering relationship with God” a contradiction, doesn’t it? Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the irresolvable problem the two ideas create.
Think about what God’s plan means for you personally. If the plan happens to say that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow, or that terrorists will blow you up, or that you will be shot in the head four times, then that’s what will happen. It would be the same with any disease. If you contract cancer this afternoon and die three months later, that is God’s plan for you. Praying to cure the cancer is a waste. God plans for you to die, so you will die. He has pre-programmed the exact time of your death. There is nothing you can do to change the plan — no amount of prayer will help — because your death will have meaning and your death will cause side-effects that are also part of the plan.
Who will you marry? You actually have no choice in the matter. God has pre-planned your wedding in minute detail. Therefore, your spouse was pre-chosen by God for you so that you would create the children who are a part of his plan. You also have no choice in the number of children you will have — God has pre-planned their births.
In addition, this sort of universe means that Hitler is blameless. Hitler was not “evil,” because Hitler had no free will at all. Hitler was simply an actor forced to play his role in God’s plan. God planned for millions of people to die in the Holocaust — he planned their deaths in exact detail according to Rick Warren. Hitler had to kill those people. Hitler was God’s puppet in making that those millions of deaths happen right on schedule.
In the same way then, every murderer is blameless. Since God has planned each of our deaths in exact detail, murderers are actually essential to God’s plan. Why do we punish them? We should be rewarding them for doing their God-planned duty. What if you get raped tomorrow and get pregnant? God did that because he planned the exact time of that child’s birth and death. God actually pre-planned your rape, and the rapist was God’s puppet. Rather than hating the rapist, we should celebrate God’s plan.
Do you believe that murderers and rapists should be rewarded? Do you believe that Hitler was sent by God to kill millions of people in the Holocaust? Do you believe that you have no choice in your spouse or the number of children you have? Probably not. But that is what you are saying when you state that Hitler or cancer or anything else is part of “God’s plan.”
If you think about it as an intelligent person, you will realize that the statement “It is part of God’s plan” is one of those meaningless palliatives. When you sit down and think it through using your common sense, the statement makes no sense. That lack of sense shows us how imaginary God is.