From a Leadership article about Steve Jobs:
"In July 1968 Life magazine published a shocking cover showing a pair of starving children in Biafra. Jobs took it to Sunday school and confronted the church's pastor, 'If I raise my finger, will God know which one I'm going to raise even before I do it?'
"The pastor answers, 'Yes, God knows everything.'
"Jobs then pulled out the Life cover and asked, 'Well, does God know about this and what's going to happen to those children?'
"'Steve, I know you don't understand, but yes, God knows about that.'"
The pastor's answer badly underestimated the young teen's intellect and left him unsatisfied. According to Isaacson, Jobs walked away from the church that day and never returned.
For the pastor, that brief exchange was likely incidental and forgettable. Yet it was a turning point that would point Steve Jobs toward eastern philosophy.
I am very sorry about Steve Jobs. I am never happy to see anyone abandon the faith. But it is not at all clear how this little exchange would “point Steve Jobs toward eastern philosophy.” God does know about deprivations and evils in this world. Should we pretend that He does not?
There seems to be a never-ending analysis among Christians that parallels the author’s evaluation of this episode. “If only we had used a different word. If only I had turned a different phrase.” In other words, if only Christians could refine their marketing and presentation techniques, think of how many people would accept God’s grace!
While there is nothing wrong, of course, with making the best presentation of the Christian faith we can, there is an important factor that is ignored here: the individual will. When you read this rest of this article, you learn that much of Steve Jobs’ character was at odds with the Christian faith. To be a Christian, Jobs would have needed to repent (as does anyone) of many of his attitudes and actions.
And Steve Jobs was not willing to do that. It’s sad, but its not the fault of a minister’s Sunday School class.
It was Steve Jobs fault.