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Thread: Why does God allow suffering?

  1. #1
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    Default Why does God allow suffering?

    If God is real then why does he allow children and others to suffer: why does he allow evil to exist: if god is real then why doesn't he do something to stop all the suffering and evil in the world.

    That's the questions and arguments that always get thrown at Christians.

    My question back at them is "what or how would you suggest god put a stop to all if it" ?

    Seriously: Chew the fat on that for awhile.
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  2. #2
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    There is coming a day that He will put a stop to it all Jim! I believe that day is coming in my lifetime as well. The signs are out there that make you think that day isn't too far off.
    Eric

    2004 Fishers of Men VA-East Division Champions


  3. #3
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    Our Heavenly Father gives and allows all things (good and bad) for our experience and learning, and there is and has been opposition in all things. This will continue until that coming day when He decides it's time. Could He stop all evil and bad things/consequences from happening now, I believe so, but this then takes away our own agency and freedom to choose the righteous path that He has designed and presented for us thru scripture and revelation. Satan's design is to take away those choices, to beat and wear us down, to numb our senses and/or to make those things that are bad and evil seem good, okay or acceptable. See Isaiah 5:20 that reads: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    This is taken from an old Chinese Fable that was presented in an LDS General Conference talk some years ago.

    “A man travelling through the country came to a large city, very rich and splendid; he looked at it and said to his guide, ‘This must be a very righteous people, for I can only see but one little devil in this great city.’

    “The guide replied, ‘You do not understand, sir. This city is so perfectly given up to wickedness … that it requires but one devil to keep them all in subjection.’

    “Travelling on a little farther, he came to a rugged path and saw an old man trying to get up the hill side, surrounded by seven great, big, coarse-looking devils.

    “‘Why,’ says the traveller, ‘this must be a tremendously wicked old man! See how many devils there are around him!’

    “‘This,’ replied the guide, ‘is the only righteous man in the country; and there are seven of the biggest devils trying to turn him out of his path, and they all cannot do it.’”

    I believe there is much work to do in this world, and that the first step is with me and my family. I know I need to prepare and strengthen my own personal testimony each and every day so that I can face the daily challenges to my faith and choice of lifestyle. I can lead and teach my family in the same, and hope that our examples can influence and encourage others around us. Small and simple steps, line up line, precept upon precept, and a little here and little there (ref Isaiah 28:10) can go a long way to beating and warding off the adversary, and getting thru those challenging times that each of us face.

    If more families did the same, just imagine how great things could be...
    Wishin' I was fishin'...
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    Ok Jim, question back for you. Why does God need to promise an afterlife for people in-order for them to believe in him and follow his word? Why does man need that promise? Why can we all just do the right thing and not expect a reward in the end as a result?
    cheers,
    Steve

    2011/2013 St Jude's Charity Tournament Champion
    Bass East Big Bass Challenge winner of 11-12 and 12-1 hours.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire View Post
    Ok Jim, question back for you. Why does God need to promise an afterlife for people in-order for them to believe in him and follow his word? Why does man need that promise? Why can we all just do the right thing and not expect a reward in the end as a result?
    Answer my question first while I prepare an answer to yours.
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
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    Steve - According to scripture 1 Corinthians 15:22, all will be resurrected, good, bad and indifferent, so to me there is no reward as I think you are inferring. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." This our greatest gift, Christ's infinite atoning sacrifice and resurrection, so that all may be made alive.

    The reward however is our end place within that immortality which all will receive.

    As part of that, I believe that God will judge all men fairly and reward them appropriately with a place within His kingdom. The scriptures we have been given provide us guidance as to what we can do ('the straight and narrow path') to receive a greater exaltation upon resurrection, but at the same time we can only be judged on what we know and how we have chosen to live.

    I'll add in this one too - 1 Corinthians 2:9 - "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
    Wishin' I was fishin'...
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by just1more View Post
    Answer my question first while I prepare an answer to yours.
    Jim, you won't like this answer, and it is not meant to stir the pot at all, so please no hate mail from the rest of you. Sidebar: Jim and I love to debate religion and we respect each other tremendously...or at least I him

    Answer: How can something that doesn't exist change what they didn't create? Put it another way: The Earth will end when the Sun turns into a white star (loses its mass and thus its coherence) and expands into the planetary system and envelops the earth. Think about this for a moment. You always hear about the universe and how its expanding and the search for dark matter and other things in nature. Look out into the sky some night and see the stars and realize that at no speed imaginable could you ever reach the end of the universe even with infinite time. It can never have an end. Now to me, that is why I love science and the discovery process. That is just an amazing thought to me.....Arguing over a book written by many authors and translated many times by people with known agendas and who describe events with wonder and awe because they had no formal education (didn't know what an earthquake was for example and the Walls of Jerico) nor a way of passing learning from generation to generation except word of mouth, is interesting from a historical perspective and yes, a moral one as the lessons in this book are valid. If you delve into philosophy you realize that man has been wondering for an eternity about things like "what is good" and if there are basic questions that all "man" wonders about...
    cheers,
    Steve

    2011/2013 St Jude's Charity Tournament Champion
    Bass East Big Bass Challenge winner of 11-12 and 12-1 hours.


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    Steve,
    You sir have the ability to put my exact thoughts into words.

  9. #9
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    I have prepared a formal answer for you Steve but a few things first. Eric should be a preacher ha-ha. That was a great answer. And yes I do enjoy or discussions on this matter as well Steve.

    You assume that the universe has no creator because of the shear vastness and complexity of it? That the universe is here due to the big bang theory and then followed by the evolution of life; that all life and the diversity of every living creature and thing seen and unseen; all started from one simple celled organism? Evolution is just a theory and a flawed theory at that. I would argue that a God who is able to create the heavens and the earth is more than able to maintain it or cause it to come to an end. And it is written that there will eventually be a “New Heaven and a New Earth”. So I do agree that one day this earth and this universe will come to an end but replaced by new ones by the same creator that created the first one.

    That aside there is no scientific proof that man evolved from nothing into the complex beings that we are. Nor is there unequivocal proof that God exists either. Not that it would matter if there was. It is by faith only that we believe and are saved.

    But back to your original questions and break it down one point at a time:

    1. Why can’t we all just do the right thing and not expect a reward in the end as a result?

    “If there is no expectation of receiving a reward for doing “good” then it’s illogical to expect to receive punishment for doing the “bad”. After all; wouldn’t it be unfair to not reward the good and punish just the bad? That in it-self would be the wrong thing to do would it not?
    Either there is no life after death or there isn’t: So for arguments sake let’s say there is no life after death. All there is; or ever will be is the here and now. So what’s the incentive to do the right thing? None! Why and for what purpose? If there is no God then who is anymore righteous than myself to say what is and what isn’t the right thing to do? Who sets the standards of what is right or wrong; good or bad; moral or immoral? I would argue that it’s the person with the most power and guns pure and simple.

    Then there is the promise of a life after death: So either everyone goes to the same place after death or there is a judgment and we enter into heaven or placed in hell. If everyone goes to the same place without reward or punishment; making judgment unnecessary; then what makes the afterlife any different than this one?

    Then there is scenario #3; there is a judgment that takes place in the afterlife that has rewards for doing “good”. When the saved are judged; all of our works will be tested by fire. The fire will consume every work except the good works that were done in the name of Jesus Christ or to put it another way; doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

    2. Why does God need to promise an afterlife for people in-order for them to believe in him and follow his word?

    If you found out Steve that someone was being your friend only because you were wealthy what would you do? We both know the answer to that so no comment is necessary. Or when parents bribe or reward their children into good behavior: or try to buy their kids love; favor; or acceptance; how do the kids always respond when the goodies are cut off? Most of the time the kids respond with contempt and anger towards the parents; yes? God knows our hearts; I doubt seriously that God; the creator of life; who has the power to resurrect the dead would be little himself trying to bribe us into loving him. Therefore there must be another purpose for that promise.
    The promise of an afterlife in heaven is not a reward for doing good; we cannot “work” our way into heaven. It’s a gift of grace: given freely to those that believe by faith in his Son Jesus Christ: (Grace being given something that we do not deserve to receive). Nor is the promise of an afterlife a bribe to get us to believe in him or follow him either. In the beginning we were created to fellowship with God: his creation; family; children; offspring or however you want to view it. Though Adams sin however we became separated from him. The promise of an afterlife is Gods promise to restore us to himself as he intended in the very beginning. God isn’t bribing us into believing in him. He wants us to accept him and choose to love him as a free choice.

    3. Why does man need that promise?

    Because our simple minds can only grasp the simplicity of doing “good” = reward; and doing bad = being punished. God’s wisdom is unfathomable to us; his ways are a mystery to us pure and simple. God is spirit; not of flesh and blood. Until we become saved we can only understand the carnal nature of a thing. Only after we are saved does the Holy Spirit come to dwell within us. And it is through the Holy Spirit and by the Holy Spirit that begin to start to understand more of the true nature of God;

    Well buddy; I gave it my best shot as I understand it. Dam you ask some tough questions though lol. I have a night tournament tonight so I will look forward to continuing this again latter tonight or tomorrow.
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  10. #10
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    This first part is to expand what Steve said since he was brave enough to put it out there. Don’t put any of these words in Steve’s mouth. I don’t want to speak for him. Like Steve, I love to debate religion…. (and politics) Please no hate mail. I admire those who have more faith from a biblical standpoint than I do. I still believe in saying a prayer to start and end your day and think the world would be a better place if some type of non denominational prayer was said before school or any public event.

    Did we make you before you made us.

    What makes our modern god anymore real to us than the Sun god was to the Romans or any of the other 20 Sun Gods of other cultures or the gods of any other Ancient religions. Answer I don’t know.
    I don’t pretend to know. I am sure they had every bit as much faith in their God(s) as modern humans do now. They probably thought that the people of other religions were honoring false gods, in the same way that we think they did then. I think we as humans have a need for someone or something to be responsible for all that happens. When I was younger, I knew much more than I do now. Now I am a skeptic of almost anything and everything. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools all my life. Maybe that’s where my skepticism was born. Fellow reformed Catholics feel free to step in here. I am not atheist by any means. I am actually pretty spiritual. I am just skeptical of any organized religion, because organized religion seems to be based on religious politics and money.

    Example of Religious politics from history. Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633, "for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the sun is the center of the world" - Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy," namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe, that the Earth is not at its Centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_affair

    My own personal religion or spiritualism is based more on Karma and the belief in a higher power. Treat others how you want to be treated- with respect, patience and kindness. Help those who are less fortunate than you. Don’t hold hate in your heart for people that are different than you or may have done you wrong. If you treat others like Christ would treat them then you can look your maker in the face who ever he/she/or them may be and say “I did my job, please treat my soul as I have treated my brothers and sisters” I still pray every night to whatever god it is that created the universe and has given me so many blessings in my life. I just don’t know if it is the God talked about in the Bible and its many revisions based the politics of the time it was assembled or if it is a God of the universe and not just one of planet earth. I am 99% sure there is a god of some type out there though that created all of this.

    To Jims question
    I have no idea why god allows such suffering in this world. It does not coincide with my philosophy of some type of Karma because I see too many good people suffer horribly and many others who seem to have no regard for God or their fellow man somehow rewarded for being a bad person. It has baffled me more than the movement of fish on the river – and that is saying something. I truly got something out of GNFSVAs post as well.

    Hope I don’t get beat up too bad for this. The topic just made me get my thinking cap out and put down my jumbled thought into jumbled words.

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