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Gods love and suffering

Discussion in 'Questions by Non-Christians (Archived)' started by food4thought, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Sharky

    Sharky Rockin dude!

    +157
    Christian
    Incorrect. It's the true account of multiple witnesses who have experienced God of the old and new testament, the story of the Creator of the universe who desires to see everyone saved from a dying world.

    You think it's a story of enslavement.


    I agree to an extent. However you speak of this fear as a negative.

    Why do people not complain about the scare tactics being used in advertisments all around the world to stop people speeding, smoking and taking drugs?

    Your statement of this fear is unjustified.

    Jesus says that hell does exist, and to avoid it at all costs even if it means you need to cut off an arm, plunk out an eye or lose a leg. Your word against His.

    You say it doesn't exist friend and you justify that mere theory by thinking all that you know is sufficient to support that claim.

    When you look outside, how much can you see? The human eye has a maximum of a 170 degree field of vision, most of it is unfocused unless you direct your eyes to an object. In other words, you ain't seen nothing yet. I may suggest that at best, you don't know.


    Ok I wasn't sure if you were directing this in the context of christianity so correct me if I'm wrong.

    If a man, dressed as a police officer, acts like a police officer, going to the police station to work, drives a police car around but in the shadows, he's a drug dealer: is he really a police officer?

    If someone who looks like a christian, talks like a christian but doesn't act like a christian, is he really a christian?

    Do not be so shallow friend, not everything, even if it contains the christian lingos, is of God. Even false prophets will be so dangerously similar that wisdom will be needed to descern whats true and whats fake.


    Jesus says 'I am the way, the truth, the life. Nobody, comes to the Father by through Me.'


    Unbelief doesn't change realities.

    Man that's like being a blind man crying out against a man who can see and call him 'blinder'.

    I'm trying to share with you something you need to hear. God doesn't want you to perish, I don't want you to perish, no christian in their right mind wants you to perish. It will be a frightening day when the afterlife comes as a big surprise to you. When that day comes, your excuses, arguments, thoughts and beliefs will go out the window and you will be facing plain old fashioned reality. The God of the universe will be before you and you need to answer to Him. My friend, if you will not believe now, you will believe if you leave this world without Christ. But by then it is too late.
     
  2. heron

    heron Legend

    +893
    Christian
    In Relationship
    Why does a teenager leave the comfort of home to live in a crack house?
     
  3. R3quiem

    R3quiem Senior Veteran

    +189
    Agnostic
    Private
    Well we are born with original sin- with the inability to ever live up to God's standards. Adam and Eve did the initial sin, but we are BORN into sin.

    He made a perfect little garden, and put two uneducated perfect souls into it. Then allowed the most evil being in creation to enter the garden and mess with them. He could have easily kept Satan out, it's like he set them up to fail.

    Also, the idea of original sin doesn't work so well with evolution.

    I agree here. If Christianity is correct, at least God did this.

    "Reject" I feel is not the correct term for what most of the world does to Jesus. It's not like most people go "Yeah, Jesus is the Son of God, but I don't care and I'd rather not be saved, thanks." Instead, most people stick with the religion they grew up with. They see their religion and deity(s) just as true if not more true than the god that Christians pray to. At most, it's just a lack of information. There is no clear evidence that shows Christianity is more true than other religion. Only about 30% of the world is Christian, if it is the only true religion, one would think that it would stand out, or at least that God would help it stand out.

    I agree, it would be awesome to see the big picture that God has, and yet he doesn't grant us that. Instead, we're in an imperfect world with tons of religions, and it's like a roll of a dice to see if you get the right one.

    I certainly like what is perfectly good, even though I can't get there myself. I think that the morality that Jesus taught was utterly perfect. That's not the problem, other things are the problem.
     
  4. Sharky

    Sharky Rockin dude!

    +157
    Christian
    Heya Requiem. Could you elebarate on the 'other things' for me? I'm having trouble responding :).
     
  5. heron

    heron Legend

    +893
    Christian
    In Relationship
    It's important to look at what sin is. People tend to sense that it's only about God. But most of the sins described by God are common offenses to mankind against each other. It's not a random set of hoops to jump through -- it's a sensibility about life, respect for other people, and value about your own direction.

    When we sin, there are consequences -- not just for us, but for innocent people.
     
  6. wnwall

    wnwall Member

    110
    +24
    Calvinist
    Single
    I disagree. All sin is primarily an offense against God. Do you remember what God said to David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba? He didn't give David a lecture on the sanctity of marriage or tell him how much he could hurt Bathsheba or himself by doing such things. Nor did God talk about the value of human life after David had Uriah killed. God said,

    The primary offense in David's adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah was his hatred of God in it.

    Similarly, who did Adam and Eve hurt by eating a piece of fruit other than God? God didn't have to banish them from the garden, but he did because they had hated him and done what is evil in his sight.

    The reason hell is eternal is because God is worth so much. If you squish an ant, nobody cares. If you stomp on a cat, people won't like that; you may get a fine, you may even have to do a little jail time. If you murder a human, you'll get into serious trouble. The more worth the being has, the more weighty the sin is against it. God has more worth than all beings combined. To even commit the smallest sin against him is a thousand times worse than any sin we can commit against our fellow men.
     
  7. Digit

    Digit Senior Veteran

    +190
    Christian
    Single
    Not that we should debate about this here, but I agree with Heron. Most sin (if not all indirectly) is because it causes damage to US, the sinners, yet we do it anyway. Remember Paul's words?

    Romans 7:15
    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."

    It's about us, and our bonds to things which cause us hurt and pain, yet we do them anyway, without regard for the consequences because the immediate kickback is generally a positive one. We lack wisdom and forsight, we are but children to God. The sure sign of a child is when they kick and scream, because they want something now, yet adults plan for the future and deny themselves the present. Remember the other statements?

    Matthew 6:24/Mark 8:34/Luke 9:23
    "Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me."

    As much as we are adults, we act like children to God and sin is about us, denying ourselves, planning for our future with our Father and working towards it.

    Cheers,
    Digit
     
  8. wnwall

    wnwall Member

    110
    +24
    Calvinist
    Single
    Nothing is about us.

     
  9. Digit

    Digit Senior Veteran

    +190
    Christian
    Single
    You have odd views of things, but each to their own. It's funny how you say nothing is about us, yet Jesus died for our sins... odd. >_<

    Cheers,
    Digit
     
  10. infaile

    infaile Sweet warmies of freedom and peace!

    524
    +63
    Christian
    Married
    Can we just agree that when a person sins, somebody gets hurt? God, the person, or others? For the purposes of this thread, it doesn't matter who; the point is, it is bad for at least one being, whether that being is divine or mortal... okay. Man, the way threads derail on this forum is amazing.

    To the OP, and others who (throughout this thread):

    * Have mentioned not understanding why God allows suffering, and how that squares with His supremely all-loving nature;

    * Have expressed anger, frustration and rebellious tendencies because you - in your infinite, humanly wisdom - believe that if you don't understand it, then it's "not fair"...

    I empathise. I totally do. I was brought up a Christian and came to a personal belief in God when I was in my early teens. But somewhere in my mid- to late teens, I started thinking about this same problem.

    Why allow people to suffer? Why condemn us to this box, where we're fallible beings, give us 'free will' and then crack the whip when we fall, as we're pretty much bound to do?

    I had a HUGE problem with the story of Pharaoh. How God "hardened his heart" so that he'd not let the Israelites go. Multiple times, if I recall aright. I thought, "How could God do that? Make Pharaoh defy Him, knowing that it would result in the loss of all his empire's slaves? Knowing that that would make him go down in history as the most stubborn and soundly defeated ruler ever?

    And Judas! Good grief. One of the twelve had to betray Him. So already, one of them was condemned. Why do that to one of your twelve closest friends? I mean, really. Allowing Satan to enter one of your mates, knowing he'd kill himself later, all because you need to make some sort of cosmic point?

    I give these examples to show that I still haven't come to grips with a lot of things about this whole suffering vs. God issue. Yet my faith in Him remains. And this is why.

    When I spoke to my then-boyfriend (now-husband) about my struggles - I was at the point of cursing God and denouncing Christianity forever - he pointed something out to me.

    Using my own argument of a "box within a box" (Boiled down: we exist in a certain 'box' of experiences; we can understand pretty much everything in that box, but nothing outside it. God lives in a box outside of ours, which encompasses ours. He understands much more than we ever could, PLUS everything inside our box. Or maybe He's not in a box at all, but whatever - He basically has a bigger sphere of understanding than we do.), Digit - who wasn't even a Christian at the time - said to me something like:

    "You're angry at God because you don't understand why He's done certain things."

    "Yes."

    "You're angry at God because you pretty much have no hope of EVER understanding why He's done certain things."

    "Yes."

    "Don't you think that if you could understand everything He does, you'd BE God?"

    I was silent for a bit. Then he said:

    "Is that what you want? To be God?"

    And THAT, my friends, is essentially what it all comes down to. We want to know everything. We know enough to know that we DON'T know everything, nor are we likely to in our lifetimes, or even the lifetime of our species. And that grates on us. We're such proud, stupid, arrogant beings. We are intelligent, but only intelligent enough to know that we aren't FULLY intelligent, and oh boy, don't we just hate that?

    When Digit told me, in no uncertain terms, what I was actually saying, I went cold. My first thought was to crawl into the ground and hide from what I felt sure would be God's imminent wrath against me for presuming to be His equal, WORTHY of such knowledge. I am not worthy of it, nor have I the faculties to understand the entirety of His motives, actions or thoughts. No human is. And so we have not been gifted with such knowledge. Should we then complain that He didn't tell us, when we would have been overwhelmed and possibly sent mad by the effort of trying to comprehend Him?

    So to all of you who complain about God and suffering, or anything else that God chose not to tell us, I posit that you are trying to be God, you will never be God, and you might as well stop trying. The man who is intelligent knows that he has hard, unbreakable limits. The man who is wise doesn't bother to try breaching those limits, because it'd be a waste of effort, time and mental processing power. He sets his mind and his abilities to tasks he CAN accomplish, and for how measly we humans are, we can accomplish very great things, and for that I thank God. He gave us a taste of what it's like to have the power to achieve, and I imagine when we finally meet Him face to face, we'll be able to at last see the full width, length and breadth of what IS achievable - mortally, OR divinely. And it will be a revelation.

    I see no problem in having questions. We all do. I really want, when I finally stand before God, to ask Him about Pharaoh, and Judas, and that little girl in the UK that Digit was talking about. I have other questions, too, not related to suffering. Lots of questions! We humans are curious, and it is, on the whole, a good thing. But to let curiosity become anger when our belief that we deserve to know is not fulfilled - that's where we overstep our bounds, and that's where the danger lies.

    All of what I've just said is not, in any way, a solution to the question you asked, but it IS something that you should probably consider before you keep on irritating God by trying to be Him. Whilst He exercises great - GREAT, and inconceivable - patience with us, because we're human and so full of ourselves, there will come a day of reckoning, and of judgement.

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    If you would be a deity, supreme in knowledge, understanding everything, and comparable to the God of the Christian faith, would you also be willing to bet that He doesn't exist and that He's not going to be mad that you broke the first of the Ten Commandments by considering yourself equal to Him?

    On the off-chance that you're wrong, I'd suggest not pushing the issue further. ;)
     
  11. Emmy

    Emmy Senior Veteran

    +789
    Salvation Army
    Dear food4thought. May I point out one more thing? perhaps it helps your thoughts. A loving and benevolent God, will not, and cannot, create Evil. It is always there, like dark is, God made Light, and where there is no light, there will be dark. Where there is no LOVE, there is EVIL, and it will come in many disguises. If Adam and Eve had loved God above everything else, they would never have succombed to the Serpent`s evil temptings. We have free will, we can choose the good, as well as the bad. We are on Earth to learn to recognise Evil for what it is, everything BUT the love God wants us to have for Him, and share wih each other. We are given scores of years to learn to recognise Evil, resist Evil, and overcome Evil. That is not easy, but we also have Jesus to help and guide us. He paid the price which God`s Law demanded, and we could NOT pay, because we had wandered too far from God. Jesus reconciled us to God, and is waiting lovingly to lead us back to God, where we came from, in whose image we are made. I say this humbly and lovingly, food4thought, and send greetings. Emmy, sister in Christ.
     
  12. MtSugarloaf

    MtSugarloaf New Member

    27
    +7
    Salvation Army
    Single
    I think that the question is perhaps one of the hardest to answer because we do not understand and can never even come close to comprehending the mind of an infinite God. The Bible tells us that God's ways are not our ways, that His ways are higher than ours, and that even the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of man.

    An article by Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (CARM) called If God Is All Knowing Why Did He Create Satan Who He Knew Would Fall? goes a long way in giving a list of possible reasons why God did. I'd agree with those and also number 5. As I said above, we cannot know the higher ways of God and His wisdom.

    I cannot strongly enough suggest that you read the article (it's only small) because I truly believe that it could help you in answering some questions that you had. Even bookmarked it for later if the question comes around again. :)

    God bless.
     
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