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Why does God permit suffering?

 
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 02:20 pm
@Lightwizard,
How long does it take for the lights in the galaxies to travel to earth?
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 03:01 pm
@cicerone imposter,
The speed of light is 186,000 miles/sec but I'm sure you knew that and it wasn't the question you wanted to ask. The Hubble Deep Field images appears to show that the most distant galaxies are somehow defying the laws of physics.











0 Replies
 
auroreII
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 06:40 pm
@cicerone imposter,
"Why did god kill all those innocent people with his great flood? Love means to forgive, and not to extract vengeance on whole populations out of anger. "

Were they innocent? How do you know this? What does the bible say? Was it vengence or was it justice? Before Christ there was the law. The law demands justice. Would you prefer there was no law? The law hasn't changed. You say love does not require sacrifice if you 're God. Surely God must be true to himself if he is to be a just God? He can't just wink at and ignore sin. Would he be just if he did?
When God put his rainbow in the sky and vowed never to destroy the world by flood again. Ask yourself why. Was it love? I believe the bible says God was sorry about his decision. Do you think God wants his beloved creation to be destroyed because of the law? The bible says he wants people to be saved.
You say love means to forgive. When you forgive someone a debt who pays the price? Who makes the sacrifice? Justice exacts a price. Christ, who was perfect, did not demand justice for sins. He forgave. The love and mercy of Christ paid the price. Ask yourself why. Was it love?
I don't claim to know why God allowed the flood. Maybe God wants us to learn something. Some things only God knows. (I think you believe some people were innocent, or at least the action was too harsh to be just. I believe the bible says that those who did not know Christ will not be held as accountable as those who do.)
Anyway this is all just my opinion.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 09:08 pm
@auroreII,
Are you trying to tell me that babies were not innocent? What was their religious crime? Being born?

When those wise men wrote the bible, they didn't know that a couple of thousand years later, science could prove there never was a world flood.

cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 09:16 pm
@auroreII,
Sacrifices were common practice over two thousand years ago. Some practiced human sacrifice while others practiced animal sacrifice. That's the only basis on which those wise men wrote the bible. They could only write what they were aware of through their own life experience and hearing of others.

It wasn't that long ago that some cultures still practiced cannibalism. It had nothing to do with any gods; it was brought down from generation to generation; which we can now determine as total ignorance of human nature.
auroreII
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 05:40 pm
@cicerone imposter,
“Are you trying to tell me that were not innocent? What was their religious crime?
Being born?”


I once watched a movie where the cavalry was fighting indians. The movie was filmed from a different point of view than the usual soldiers fighting their enemies, the indians. In this movie the cavalry was poised to swoop in and kill everyone in the indian village. Some new recruits questioned the ethics of killing innocent women, children and babies.
Who could they hurt?
One of the older soldiers replied that the women were the breeding machines of their enemy and the children and babies were little rats that grow up to be big rats.
(This certainly should offend christian sensibilities who are encouraged to love their enemies and isn’t it easy to love the innocents, the little children and harmless people. It's a little harder to love those who would hurt you.)

There is a saying that sinners are not sinners because they sin. People sin because they are sinners.
The bible says everyone is a sinner. So who's the enemy? Guess it depends on your perspective.

In the bible God boasts to satan about how good his servant Job is. The devil seems to indicate that because God has richly blessed Job with wealth and good health Job's love and respect for God is based on what God has given him, not true love for God. So satan asks God if he can trouble Job and take all that away. Even though Job loses much he manages to stay true to God, but satan just hangs back and keeps at it sure that eventually he won’t.
I'm not sure if Job does sin (don't quite understand that part of the story), but when it looks like Job might curse God for his bad luck, God intervenes. God asks Job just who he thinks he is to tell God how things should be done. Job knows who he is- he's not God. He humbles himself and willingly bows to God's will trusting in God's justice and love. God restores to Job all that he lost and more, sort of like the way God promises to do with those who trust and follow him in this life.

I know I'm not perfect. Only God is perfect. God loves us, but God is also just and righteous. It would seem he must resolve how to love imperfect humankind while maintaining his righteousness. These two things do not go together easily.

The bible refers to God as our father.
Fathers love their children. Most fathers agree that it would not be responsible of them to raise their children without rules(laws) by just letting them do as they please. If a child breaks a rule punishment may be meted out, but that does not mean that a father does not love his child. It does not mean that God does not love us.

“Sacrifices were common practice over two thousand years ago. Some practiced human sacrifice while others practiced animal sacrifice. That's the only basis on which those wise men wrote the bible. They could only write what they were aware of through their own life experience and hearing of others.

It wasn't that long ago that some cultures still practiced cannibalism. It had nothing to do with any gods; it was brought down from generation to generation; which we can now determine as total ignorance of human nature. “


What do you mean by sacrifice? Are you talking about pagan sacrifice- throwing virgins into volcanoes to appease the volcano gods?
The bible says the wages of sin is death. There was sacrifice for sin in the bible/throughout the Old Testament. Animals were sacrificed on the altar to atone for people’s imperfections/sin because righteousness must be honored or else justice becomes a joke.
Even so an animal sacrifice might atone for past sins, but then you need to make another sacrifice and another and another...
I think it was Abraham who was instructed by God to take his son and make him a sacrifice. Here you have a vivid image of the price justice requires for sin. But God reconciles the situation by sending the ram to take the place of Abraham’s son.
Later God would reconcile his love for us and his righteousness by sending the perfect sacrifice, the lamb of God, his son, to make atonement once and for all, for what animal sacrifice could not do. We will die to pay the debt for our sin. Jesus died. Jesus was righteous, perfect in all his ways. He did not sin. He did not deserve to die so he was raised from the dead. But what about the injustice of his death. He did not deserve to die.
Where is the justice, where is the atonement for this injustice. Well, what if he were to take his death, the death he did not deserve, and offer it to pay for our lives as an atonement for our sins so that through him we too may be risen with him. The wages of sin is death. The debt has been paid.

When I mention sacrifice I'm talking about sacrifices of the heart. Giving up a part of ourselves, like the way a father sacrifices his good times and money for his children's welfare, the way the good samaritan gave up his time and money to help someone in distress who he didn't even know, and like Jesus' willingness to give of himself for us, etc..

Didn’t realize this was so long. Well all this is simply my opinion.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Mar, 2009 05:50 pm
@auroreII,
Your ignorance shows with every post you make.


Here are some truisms you need to learn:
All cultures have good and bad people. This includes all the races and tribes of this world - past, present and future.
Good parents have bad children.
Good children come out of bad parents.

If you are god, you should should know better than to penalize everybody when just a few are bad. It doesn't matter whether its a village, a district, a metropolis, a state, or a country.

Even humans (should) know better.
perfectlyimperfect
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 01:45 pm
@neologist,
The earth is not our home. It is temporary. Heaven is our home.
God does not want us to get too attatched to this world. Also, he uses this time as a test of our faith and character. Read the book of Job in the Bible. God took away everything of his- his family, wealth, gave him leprosy, but Job kept on believing in God, thanking God for what he did have, and continued to love God. By then, most people would have said "I'm suffering so much. There must not really be a 'God'" But they are wrong. Eventually, Job was rewarded for his faith. We should all do this, but not just for a reward. God gave us free will, so we can choose to either choose Him-happiness for eternity or the devil-everlasting punishment. God sent His son down to us so we could have the option to be forgiven. It is that simple- the only way to heaven is through Christ, by trusting Him, accepting Him, believing in Him, and creating a friendship with Him. We sin without even realizing it. Even people who have lived a pretty moral life can still go to hell if they haven't accepted Jesus' offer. I hope that helped with your confusion Smile
auroreII
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 01:45 pm
@cicerone imposter,
What is good? Are my friends who don't like hunters to kill the beautiful deer good? Are my friends who like to eat venison bad? Maybe they are just ignorant.

What is good? You say there are good and bad people in this world. What is good? I don't want you to say something like love is good because good is an adjective used to describe love. I want to know what is good? I don't want your opinion of what is good. I want to know what intrinsic factor there is that makes up good.
Jesus' answer to that question is that God is good.

I'm a pro life advocate and I believe life begins at conception. From there life continues to exist and grow and develop, prenatal, postnatal and on and on until something happens to put an end to that life. When you look at an acorn do you see an oak tree? Could that oak tree exist without that acorn? Show me one that does. And yet once planted that acorn grows up with all the traits and attributes of an oak tree. The bible says we are all sinners.

Would it be bad for an all knowing God to take the life of a young innocent child if it would prevent that child from growing up to be a serial killer? The bible says we are all sinners. Ah but maybe you think there are different degrees of sin? You may agree that serial killers should be stopped but maybe you think some sins don't seem as bad as others. I refer you back to the original question- What is good?

I think that God, being the all powerful God that he is, is capable of making things right. If indeed there really were children during the flood as you have assumed and if indeed they really were innocent then I think God would probably be capable of raising them up from the dead, like he did with Jesus who the bible says was innocent. The bible says that some day Christ will return to judge to quick and the dead and those who died in Christ
will be raised with him. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. KJ John3:16

I just recently viewed the movie Charlie Wilson's War. Charlie saw the devastation and loss of life ("innocent" children with their arms and legs blown off) in Afganistan that resulted from the Russians’ bomber helicopters. He thought it was wrong for these people to die like sitting ducks because the russians had greater technology and he wanted to do something about it. Was it the right thing to do? At the end of the movie he's talking with his friend, a covert agent who helped him change the war, and asking his opinion about what they did. The answer was, we'll see....
Gust Avrakotos relays this story to Charlie about how things work: There's a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse... and everybody in the village says, "how wonderful. the boy got a horse" And the Zen master says, "we'll see." Two years later The boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, "how terrible." And the Zen master says, "We'll see." Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have
to go off and fight... except the boy can't cause his legs all messed up. and everybody inthe village says, "How wonderful."and ...
At this point Charlie Wilson cuts in and adds: Now the Zen master says, "We'll see."
In the movie Charlie Wilson was no innocent. He believed he was doing a good thing. It sure seems that way to me, but the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. It doesn't seem likely that we are able to fully determine what is good and what is bad. So if we in our finite wisdom don't really know what is good maybe it isn't by deeds that we are justified. So what then? Faith in one who is? Faith in one who can make things right? The bible says God can use evil for good. God is merciful. He sent his only son to die on the cross so that all those who believed in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

It seems to me there are three factors that God has to reconcile. Freedom, our freedom of choice so that we can be independent individuals. Justice, that which determines when our freedom has overstepped the boundaries of good and demands a price to even the scales. Love and mercy, loving so much you are willing to forgive the debt that justice demands and accept the loss of time, money, justice, life, etc. to restore harmony rather than seek revenge and exact the price required for justice. It sure looks like it would be hard to make these three things all work together.
I am always amazed to see how well these aspects are all reconciled by God in Jesus, our example, who paid the price for our sins.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 02:36 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

License to do what? We just want to be left alone without being forced through legislation that are religious' based such as a) restrict stem cell research, b) teach ID in public schools, c) discrimination against gays and lesbians denied "marriage," and d) intrusion into privates lives concerning abortion.
Sorry to have been away for so long, but you folks seem to be doing just fine without me.

For what its worth, CI, I also dislike being micromanaged by the government.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 02:39 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Love doesn't require "sacrifice" if you are god. Think about that. Why did god kill all those innocent people with his great flood? Love means to forgive, and not to extract vengeance on whole populations out of anger.

The man-made christian god has too many flaws.
Because they were not innocent. None of us are.

Were you to read the Bible, you would discover that any who perished at any time in the past because of not knowing God will have a second chance. Didn't know that, did you?

Read John 5:28
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 02:46 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Are you trying to tell me that babies were not innocent? What was their religious crime? Being born?

When those wise men wrote the bible, they didn't know that a couple of thousand years later, science could prove there never was a world flood.


Everyone who has lived on this planet up until the last 100 years or so has died. Whether they died a horrible death or died peacefully in their sleep is irrelevant. They are all dead.

If the promised resurrection is indeed to come about, how would you think the mistreated ones would feel after 100 or so years of peace and good health? Would they thank God for their lives or curse him for their now long forgotten pain?

As for whether or not there was a global flood, I consider the jury to be still in session.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2009 02:57 pm
@perfectlyimperfect,
perfectlyimperfect wrote:

The earth is not our home. It is temporary. Heaven is our home. Really? Read Isaiah 45: 18:He the [true] God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it, He the One who firmly established it, who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited. . ."
Psalms 37: 10,11: "And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more;
And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be.
11 But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth,
And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace."
I believe Jesus quoted this thought in his Sermon on the Mount.


God does not want us to get too attatched to this world. Also, he uses this time as a test of our faith and character. Read the book of Job in the Bible. God took away everything of his- his family, wealth, gave him leprosy, God did not take away. Satan did. BIG difference. but Job kept on believing in God, thanking God for what he did have, and continued to love God. By then, most people would have said "I'm suffering so much. There must not really be a 'God'" But they are wrong. Eventually, Job was rewarded for his faith. We should all do this, but not just for a reward. God gave us free will, so we can choose to either choose Him-happiness for eternity or the devil-everlasting punishment. God sent His son down to us so we could have the option to be forgiven. It is that simple- the only way to heaven is through Christ, by trusting Him, accepting Him, believing in Him, and creating a friendship with Him. We sin without even realizing it. Even people who have lived a pretty moral life can still go to hell, Except that the concept of eternal punishment in hell is not supported by the Bible. if they haven't accepted Jesus' offer. I hope that helped with your confusion Smile Good work!
0 Replies
 
 

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