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  1. #1

    Why does God allow Suffering?

    I saw a man today, crippled and deformed, sitting in a wheelchair. He couldn't even sit up properly since his back was twisted and bent almost 90 degrees. His legs were tiny and deformed and twisted. I could only imagine the social exclusion and suffering he must have felt over the decades of his life.

    So what purpose could his suffering serve?

    The usual Christian answers seem empty and vaccuous - almost insulting in their complacent dogmatism. "It is because of the sin of Adam" - "suffering is for the glory of God" etc

    It is noticable that all such glib statements only come from those who do not suffer. Disabled or sick people rarely say such things.

    God does not intervene to heal the sick, so He is very distant from our world. None of us escape suffering though. We all die at a relatively young age compared to the Biblical patriarchs.

    It is possible to argue that Satan is responsible for many natural evils, but why is God reluctant to put right Satan's work then?


    What is a perfect world anyway? Is it a world without death? Is it a world without decay? Is it a world without disease? Is it a world where random things can happen?
    Last edited by Craig.Paardekooper; 09-17-2011 at 08:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig.Paardekooper View Post
    I saw a man today, crippled and deformed, sitting in a wheelchair. He couldn't even sit up properly since his back was twisted and bent almost 90 degrees. His legs were tiny and deformed and twisted. I could only imagine the social exclusion and suffering he must have felt over the decades of his life.

    So what purpose could his suffering serve?

    The usual Christian answers seem empty and vaccuous - almost insulting in their complacent dogmatism. "It is because of the sin of Adam" - "suffering is for the glory of God" etc

    It is noticable that all such glib statements only come from those who do not suffer. Disabled or sick people rarely say such things.

    God does not intervene to heal the sick, so He is very distant from our world. None of us escape suffering though. We all die at a relatively young age compared to the Biblical patriarchs.

    It is possible to argue that Satan is responsible for many natural evils, but why is God reluctant to put right Satan's work then?


    What is a perfect world anyway? Is it a world without death? Is it a world without decay? Is it a world without disease? Is it a world where random things can happen?
    We must understand that we are currently not living in the kingdom of heaven on earth. If we do then there won't be any suffering, disease, death sin, crime etc. We will be living in a world of abundance, of universal brotherly love and peace, of technological and scientific supremacy beyond our wildest imaginations.

    Jesus said regarding a man born blind, "John 9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
    3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.


    Therefore the main reason why there is suffering is so that God's glory and works may be manifested meaning that people will find ways to alleviate sufferings and to help our fellow beings thus glorify the "Godliness" in us. Such ultruistic desire to help our fellow beings in need is an attribute of godliness in us which is righteous, moral and ethically right. Imagine a world without diseases or sufferings, would people be motivated to help fellow being? No, people will be complacent and selfish. As the earth is a farmland for righteous souls such sufferings offer opportunities for people to show theiir godliness and righteousness so as to make themselves eligible for the kingdom of heaven. But important also to remember that good works must come with faith (James); "not everyone that call Him Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but those who did the will of the Father who is in heaven".

    This is also a way to show that our goal in life is not temporary luxury living on earth but luxurious righteous living in heaven eternally where God abides in us. Do not put your treasures on earth where moth and rust destroys but put your treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy. Why look for temporary things when it is prudent to look for things that last eternally?

    As for those who are unlucky to suffer in this life, it's a way in which God used suffering men to show that there is always hope of suffering being alleviated that there is always righteous men willing to help them. That hope may come from godly men or from God Himself. Sufferings build characters of faith and perseverance; refines our characters. It is also a way to show that this temporary earthly life is not the goal in life when we all (sufferers or not) will one day die and faced God and we should be striving for the kingdom of heaven instead. It is also a warning that if we do not reject evil and do the will of God, such sufferings may befall on us also. In beatitudes, we heard that those who suffers in life will be given special blessings from God in heaven.

    Matthew 5: He said:
    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


    The take-home message is do not be deceived by the riches in the world BUT strive for heavenly riches:

    Matthew 13:18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”


    Merciful God have blessings on us Amen.
    Last edited by CWH; 09-18-2011 at 04:42 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig.Paardekooper View Post
    I saw a man today, crippled and deformed, sitting in a wheelchair. He couldn't even sit up properly since his back was twisted and bent almost 90 degrees. His legs were tiny and deformed and twisted. I could only imagine the social exclusion and suffering he must have felt over the decades of his life.

    So what purpose could his suffering serve?

    The usual Christian answers seem empty and vaccuous - almost insulting in their complacent dogmatism. "It is because of the sin of Adam" - "suffering is for the glory of God" etc

    It is noticable that all such glib statements only come from those who do not suffer. Disabled or sick people rarely say such things.

    God does not intervene to heal the sick, so He is very distant from our world. None of us escape suffering though. We all die at a relatively young age compared to the Biblical patriarchs.

    It is possible to argue that Satan is responsible for many natural evils, but why is God reluctant to put right Satan's work then?


    What is a perfect world anyway? Is it a world without death? Is it a world without decay? Is it a world without disease? Is it a world where random things can happen?
    Hey there Craig,

    I think those are very important questions. I'm glad you asked them. My answer is that there is no God of the kind supposed by most Christians. If there is such a God, then we must imagine that he is sitting in the presence of every evil and choosing to do nothing. But this then makes a mockery of all those Christians who say "PRAISE GOD!" if one child happens to survive a calamity that killed ten thousand. If we say that God is directly responsible for the good, as if he acted to save that child from the tsunami, then we must also say that he is directly responsible for all the evil when he stood by and allowed the tsunami to kill the ten thousand.

    Logical consistency is not a strong point amongst theologians.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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    Richard,

    Is your conclusion that God is unrighteous because He "stands by" and allows all this suffering when He should intervene and stop all suffering of any kind in this world?

    Just trying to understand what your logical conclusion might be.

    Thank you,
    Rick

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

  5. #5
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    I would like to share a very good article from the web that says most of what I have said about why God allows sufferings. Sufferings in this world is not entirely bad. God seems to bless people who suffers more than people who don't as seen in the beatitudes. What more reward would He gives if we suffer for His sake! Important thing is not to be confounded to this temporary life in this world or we will view suffering as negative The apostles never viewed their suffering for Christ as negative but rather as looking forward to their heavenly eternal reward. Temporary riches and luxury in this world cannot be comparable to the eternal riches and luxury in the kingdom of heaven. Do not be deceived by the comfort, riches and luxury in this temporary world. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you, Aleluia!

    http://executableoutlines.com/suf/suf_01.htm

    Excerpt:
    I. SUFFERING KEEPS THIS WORLD FROM BECOMING TOO ATTRACTIVE

    A. THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE ARE "PILGRIMS" AND "SOJOURNERS"...
    1. This world is not truly our home
    2. God has prepared something better for us
    3. Consider the following passages: 1Pe 2:11; He 13:14; 2 Co
    5:1,5

    B. IF THERE WAS NO SUFFERING...
    1. No one would want to leave this temporary world
    2. No one would desire the "eternal" home, and therefore prepare
    themselves for it

    C. BUT THE AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE ARE SO ORDERED...
    1. That the world soon loses its attraction
    2. Most young people may want to live forever...
    a. But by the time a man reaches his "three score and ten"
    b. He begins to desire something better

    II. SUFFERING CAN BRING OUT OUR BEST

    A. THE MAN WHOSE WIFE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED SAW THIS...
    1. In the constant support by friends
    2. In the preparation of food
    3. In the financial support

    B. WE SEE THIS OCCURING QUITE FREQUENTLY...
    1. In times of natural disaster
    2. When someone loses a house to fire, tornado, etc.
    3. In times of terminal illness

    C. THIS MAY BE ONE REASON WHY EARLY CHRISTIANS REJOICED IN THEIR
    TRIALS...
    1. They understood that tribulations could develop character
    2. As Paul wrote in Ro 5:3-4

    III. SUFFERING GIVES AN OCCASION TO SILENCE THE ENEMIES OF GOD

    A. REMEMBER THE STORY OF JOB?
    1. Satan wanted to prove God wrong about Job, that he served God
    only because God had blessed him
    2. But Job's patience under suffering silenced Satan!

    B. LIKEWISE, GOD DESIRES THAT WE SILENCE "FOOLISH MEN" - 1Pe 2:15
    1. Who ridicule the teachings of Christ as foolishness
    2. Who say we are Christians only for what good we can get out of
    it

    C. BY PATIENTLY ENDURING, OR DOING GOOD IN TIMES OF SUFFERING...
    1. The value of being Christians really shines through
    2. In the faith we have that sustains us in suffering, and in the
    love we show towards those who suffer

    IV. SUFFERING MAKES US APPRECIATIVE

    A. WE ALL RECEIVE SO MANY GOOD THINGS IN THIS LIFE...
    1. It is easy for us to become prone to take them for granted
    2. Instead of receiving them with gratitude toward God

    B. SUFFERING CAN HELP US APPRECIATE MORE FULLY...
    1. Good health
    2. Good friends, and a loving family
    3. A good example of how suffering can make one appreciative is the
    apostle Paul when he was in prison - cf. Php 1:3-8

    V. SUFFERING MAKES US MORE DEPENDENT UPON GOD

    A. TOO OFTEN, WE THINK OURSELVES SELF-SUFFICIENT...
    1. "But when a dozen of the most skilled men in their profession
    tell you they have done all they can and it is completely out
    of their hands..."
    2. "...you suddenly realize how much you depend on God."

    B. AT NO OTHER TIME...
    1. Is one more likely to realize that we depend upon God for our
    very breath!
    2. As Paul proclaimed: "in Him we live and move and have our
    being" - Ac 17:28

    VI. SUFFERING HELPS PURIFY US

    A. CONSIDER THE IMPORT OF TWO PASSAGES...
    1. 1Pe 1:6-7 - Suffering can be like fire purifying gold
    2. Jm 1:2-5 - Maturity can be developed through trials

    B. TO ILLUSTRATE HOW, CONSIDER THE MAN WHOSE WIFE WAS INJURED...
    1. "Many times I searched my own life during these past six weeks
    in order to confess my every failure and shortcoming to God..."
    2. "I surely did not want my own sins to stand in the way of God
    hearing my prayers for Jane..."
    3. "It was absolutely necessary to be truthful with God and myself,
    and I am a better man today than before."

    VII. SUFFERING MAKES US SYMPATHETIC

    A. PAUL WROTE OF THIS VALUE OF AFFLICTION...
    1. To the church at Corinth, in his second epistle - 2Co 1:3-4
    2. It helps us to be better able to comfort others in their
    affliction

    B. WE MAY THINK WE CAN SYMPATHIZE WITH SOMEONE...
    1. But until we have been there personally, there is no true
    understanding of their hurt
    2. Experiencing suffering...
    a. Makes us more likely to "weep with those who weep" - Ro
    12:15
    b. Better enables us to serve others

    VIII. SUFFERING TEACHES US HOW TO PRAY

    A. WE ALL MAY BE A PRAYING PEOPLE...
    1. We pray at the right times
    2. We pray for the right things

    B. BUT IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING WE LEARN HOW TO PRAY...
    1. "Earnestly"
    2. "Perseveringly"
    3. "With groanings which cannot be uttered" (Ro 8:26)

    C. AS OUR FRIEND SAID:
    1. "I have been a praying man since I became a Christian. But
    never like this."
    2. "I have learned more about prayer in the past six weeks than
    in the previous twenty years. My prayers will be different
    for the rest of my life."

    CONCLUSION

    1. Can we begin to see why a RIGHTEOUS and MERCIFUL God would allow
    suffering, even to the innocent?

    2. If we look at suffering purely from MAN'S point of view, we will not
    understand why suffering is permitted

    3. But remember what God said through the prophet Isaiah:

    8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways
    my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the
    earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than
    your thoughts. (Isaiah 55)

    4. When we look at suffering from GOD'S point of view, from the viewpoint
    of His plans for us in preparation of eternity, then we can begin to
    appreciate why He would allow suffering to occur...

    5. And never forget those words of Paul, which reminds us of God's never
    failing love:

    35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall]
    tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,
    or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed
    all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37
    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him
    that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
    nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor
    things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
    shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in
    Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8)



    Praise God in the Hghest, Amen
    Last edited by CWH; 09-18-2011 at 02:43 PM.
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    Seek and You shall find,
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Richard,

    Is your conclusion that God is unrighteous because He "stands by" and allows all this suffering when He should intervene and stop all suffering of any kind in this world?

    Just trying to understand what your logical conclusion might be.

    Thank you,
    Rick
    Yes, but I would word it in the subjunctive. I'm saying that God would be unrighteous if he just "stood around" watching all the suffering in the world when he could, and should (as a moral agent), do something to help the people he created. Therefore, such a God cannot exist.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    I would like to share a very good article from the web that says most of what I have said about why God allows sufferings. Sufferings in this world is not entirely bad. God seems to bless people who suffers more than people who don't as seen in the beatitudes. What more reward would He gives if we suffer for His sake! Important thing is not to be confounded to this temporary life in this world or we will view suffering as negative The apostles never viewed their suffering for Christ as negative but rather as looking forward to their heavenly eternal reward. Temporary riches and luxury in this world cannot be comparable to the eternal riches and luxury in the kingdom of heaven. Do not be deceived by the comfort, riches and luxury in this temporary world. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you, Aleluia!

    http://executableoutlines.com/suf/suf_01.htm
    If suffering is so good, then I guess I should do everything in my power to ensure people suffer more, right? The Bible does say that we should "be followers of God" ... he is our moral example ....

    I have no problem with "suffering" being a part of reality. And it can have a very important role to play the our lives. I would choose to allow my children to "suffer" in many things such as the suffering of getting up to go to school, or the "suffering" of a skinned knee learning to ride a bike, and all the other suffering that is normal and healthy. But that's not really what we are talking about, is it?

    The real issue is gratuitous suffering. God acts as if he does not exist. He allows all the suffering to go on without any intervention. I cannot call myself "good" if I see suffering and choose to ignore it. How then could I call your concept of God "good" if it says that God does things that I know are wrong?

    It's the same old story. Christians have double standards in their thinking. They say that we can't "judge" what God does because we are mere humans, but then they very boldly "judge" that everything God does is "good." If you have the right to judge his actions as "good" then you have the right to judge his actions in truth, whether his actions are good or bad. The double standard is irrational. If you can't judge God then you can't say he is good (except as a mindless parrot repeating meaningless sounds learned from the Bible).
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  8. #8
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    QUOTE=RAM;34674]If suffering is so good, then I guess I should do everything in my power to ensure people suffer more, right? The Bible does say that we should "be followers of God" ... he is our moral example .... :hysterica
    We all suffers in order to learn....fall when learning to bicycle, hurt when touching fire, fine for overspeeding etc. Parents punished their children for wrong doings hoping that their child will learn not to do it again as it is for their own good. They don't go on punishing their children after their children have repented. Same with God. Do you think the parents enjoy punishing their children. No, it pains them, yet they have to do
    it as part of parental responsibilities. Same with God. The issue comes when a child is incorrigible or did a heinous crime, what do the parents do then?....

    I have no problem with "suffering" being a part of reality. And it can have a very important role to play the our lives. I would choose to allow my children to "suffer" in many things such as the suffering of getting up to go to school, or the "suffering" of a skinned knee learning to ride a bike, and all the other suffering that is normal and healthy. But that's not really what we are talking about, is it?
    Exactly, my point. Punishment can come in many forms not just physical pain such as loss of money, inconvenience etc,

    The real issue is gratuitous suffering. God acts as if he does not exist. He allows all the suffering to go on without any intervention. I cannot call myself "good" if I see suffering and choose to ignore it. How then could I call your concept of God "good" if it says that God does things that I know are wrong?
    If you saw someone punishing his child, do you approach him and say it is wrong? Do you call yourself "good" for doing so? As I said that this world is not the world that we should be focusing on. What God has destroyed, He can easily put back unlike humans. To us death is death, to God death is sleep which is reversible. Note also that Bible mention death as sleep. See my thread. http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1925 Human laws incorporate capital punishment for heinous crimes, is it good or bad? Soldiers kill the enemies, is it good or bad? What I am trying to say here is that human thought about what is good or bad may be imperfect. If we say that capital punishment is bad, we may be wrong or we may be right. Just because capital punishment destroys a human life, it is wrong? Just because a soldier kill the enemy such as Osama or Hitler, he is wrong? How about abortion, is it right or wrong?

    It's the same old story. Christians have double standards in their thinking. They say that we can't "judge" what God does because we are mere humans, but then they very boldly "judge" that everything God does is "good." If you have the right to judge his actions as "good" then you have the right to judge his actions in truth, whether his actions are good or bad. The double standard is irrational. If you can't judge God then you can't say he is good (except as a mindless parrot repeating meaningless sounds learned from the Bible).
    It is not that we cannot judge God, it is that our human knowledge about good or bad is inadequate in many areas to make the right decision. God ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

    Imagine how good would it be, if humans can put another person to death for several hundreds of years as a punishment for heinous crimes and then raise that person up again after the time is done and when he has repented. Obviously, this is not humanly possible but not with God.

    Lord judge us not, Amen .
    Last edited by CWH; 09-19-2011 at 01:17 PM.
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    Why All the Suffering?

    Reading the Bible in a solitary cell, from memory, I am struck by the extent to which suffering pervades it.


    It begins with the catastrophe of mankind's expulsion from paradise, and it concludes with the majority of mankind entering hell.


    Why do even saints have to suffer?

    Why are there sufferings in the animal kingdoms?

    Why is a baby born with suffering?

    Is suffering God's only educational method?

    Why does evil exist?

    Why have Christians suffered for decades in Communist jails?


    After dedicating forty years of his life to missionary work among the Australian aborigines, a pastor fell sick. He suffered greatly as he was being transported on primitive roads to the city and was barely able to breathe. He asked his family to sing and to read to him from the Bible. Finally he said, "Stop the praises. I have served Him my whole life and He does not care for me." He took the Bible from his wife's hand and threw it into the bush. He could find no answer to the problem of suffering.


    The only answer, which I believe should be given, is not to ask the question.


    Jesus, when He was on the Cross, asked God why He had forsaken even His only begotten Son. His question is followed only by a question mark. All that is revealed to us is that the question exists and that we can live with it.


    A sufferer once came to a pastor and asked him many questions. The pastor answered, "Kneel here in the church and ask Jesus for the answers." The man replied, "Do you really think I will hear a voice from heaven?" "No," said the pastor, "but by keeping quiet in prayer for several hours before God, you will realize that you can go along without answers to all your problems. This would have been Jesus' answer and it will quiet you."


    You do not need more than His peace, which surpasses all understanding.

    You do not need both peace and understanding, for understanding presupposes qualifications which most of us do not have. (Richard Wurmbrand, 100 Prison Meditations)

    And he said unto me, My graceissufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2Co 12:9)

    Rick

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Reading the Bible in a solitary cell, from memory, I am struck by the extent to which suffering pervades it.

    It begins with the catastrophe of mankind's expulsion from paradise, and it concludes with the majority of mankind entering hell.

    Why do even saints have to suffer?

    Why are there sufferings in the animal kingdoms?

    Why is a baby born with suffering?

    Is suffering God's only educational method?

    Why does evil exist?

    Why have Christians suffered for decades in Communist jails?


    After dedicating forty years of his life to missionary work among the Australian aborigines, a pastor fell sick. He suffered greatly as he was being transported on primitive roads to the city and was barely able to breathe. He asked his family to sing and to read to him from the Bible. Finally he said, "Stop the praises. I have served Him my whole life and He does not care for me." He took the Bible from his wife's hand and threw it into the bush. He could find no answer to the problem of suffering.

    The only answer, which I believe should be given, is not to ask the question.

    Jesus, when He was on the Cross, asked God why He had forsaken even His only begotten Son. His question is followed only by a question mark. All that is revealed to us is that the question exists and that we can live with it.

    A sufferer once came to a pastor and asked him many questions. The pastor answered, "Kneel here in the church and ask Jesus for the answers." The man replied, "Do you really think I will hear a voice from heaven?" "No," said the pastor, "but by keeping quiet in prayer for several hours before God, you will realize that you can go along without answers to all your problems. This would have been Jesus' answer and it will quiet you."

    You do not need more than His peace, which surpasses all understanding.

    You do not need both peace and understanding, for understanding presupposes qualifications which most of us do not have. (Richard Wurmbrand, 100 Prison Meditations)

    And he said unto me, My graceissufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2Co 12:9)

    Rick
    Good morning Rick!

    I'm glad you chose to venture into these deep waters. And I'm glad you acknowledge the most obvious fact that the Bible does not answer this question. Indeed, God seems to be toying with us on this issue. He filled the first 37 chapters of the Job with an extended set up and then thunders from the whirlwind, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." He totally refused to give any answer at all to the question he so laboriously posed! What's up with that? God's response to Job is probaby the the greatest anti-climax in the history of literature. And Paul does the same thing - tells us to just "believe" and never "question" his doctrines. Is it a "mere coincidence" that this is the essential characteristic of every cult that has ever existed?

    This brings us to an a question of grave importance. What is the effect on the human mind when it is taught to receive and believe incorherent concepts as the very "truth of God?" How can a person be rational and sane if their fundamental concepts of reality - God, Morality, and Reason - are fundamentally irrational?

    I note that you believe that "majority of mankind" will suffer eternal conscious torment in hell. Can you not see that this is an infinite evil? The concept of hell elevates the problem of evil from a mere temporary discomfort in a short life to an infinite evil. And you are compelled to beleive this not because of any objective truth, but because you have chosen to believe without question what you have been told by the fallible men that gave you the Bible and it's interpretation. In light of these facts, now in the world could you think the best response is "not to ask the question?" Is that not the path of mindless, brainwashed, cult members? Does Scritpure really teach us to not think? To abandon our reason and to subject our minds to the fallible teachings of fallible men?

    Do you realize that if you are wrong about hell, then you are falsely accusing God of an infinte evil?

    Again, I'm really glad you entered into this conversation.

    All the very best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

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