hotrodhell

Suffering

In Apologetics on November 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Suffering poses many problems for faith. At one level, it poses a knotty riddle for any serious minded Christian who has to try to explain why its existence does not compromise the Christian faith. The main issue with suffering for apologetics is primarily because it appears to demonstrate the logical incoherence of Christianity to most critics of the faith.

a. God is omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all wise)

b. God is completely good

c. There is suffering and evil in the world.

d. A good and omnipotent God could and would eliminate suffering entirely.

e. There could not be morally sufficient reasons for God permitting suffering.

These three statements are inconsistent: The omnipotence and goodness of God are not consistent with the existence of suffering and evil in the world. All three statements cannot be true at one and the same time. The reality of suffering and evil cannot be denied. It is an experiential reality.

Therefore, either God is not all powerful or he is not God. The logical coherence of the Christian faith seems to unravel. A fatal logical flaw has been exposed.

Or has it? Your thoughts and answers on this one then I’ll offer mine.

 

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  1. What is evil? Anything contrary to God’s nature. So…, if He were to obliterate evil, where should He stop? The murder level? The the lying level? The thinking level? All sin is contrary to His nature (this is sin’s definition), so that means He would have to obliterate all of it, including us as we are sinful, evil people in rebellion from Him, because He is a just God. Personally, I prefer His plan of salvation to this alternative obliteration (I like “being” thank you!). I would argue that the problem of evil and suffering is not an issue with the Christian worldview. In fact the Bible is the only thing that adequately explains why evil and suffering exist. Mankind rebelled from its Creator and the Creator decided that instead of destroying every human like He could have (He would be just to do so), He decided would redeem a portion by dying on a cross and allowing this to serve as the penalty for those “who did receive Him, who believed in His name, [and] he gave [them] the right to become children of God”. The reason He did this is because he is not only a just God, but a GOOD GOD and He deserves my praise just because HE IS!

  2. A Response 

    In order to bring this into context that I can grasp, I must first reduce the scope slightly from the world to just the USA as it is the place that I am most familiar with. So the question is reworded from why is the evil and suffering in the world to just my little “Christian Nation”. I look at the nation that we have built and how it started with God in mind and to bring Him glory. If you don’t the story of the first settlers, the Plymouth Rock folks, that was a Church plant. They came to start a new Church because they wanted to honor God. So, from those most humble beginnings to the state we now find ourselves in. You look around our country and we have thousands of murders, rapes, and all kinds of evil that one does not like to even consider take place each and every year. So there is no question that evil is present and suffering abounds.

    Now to try to answer the question, why is evil so rampant in the world. If God is such a loving God then why?. I have to say I have asked this question many times in my walk. But the question has always been a finger pointed at God asking why do You, God, allow this to happen? In the past I simply did not allow the possibility that I am the answer to this question. After all He is omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient and (all wise) and thus must have a hold of the strings. But what I failed to consider is the one thing that God gave us that makes all the difference in this equation. Free Will… the ability to have a choice wither to follow the commands of God and to honor Him with your life or to live it the way YOU think is good for you and others.

    This leads to the question of what have we done with personal choice of free will. Let’s look at the history of just our little corner of the world. We had a great start, but within just a few generations we began, as a nation, to turn our backs on God. It started in the universities with letting liberal thought into leadership positions as a more “enlighten way of thinking”. It continued down this path until where we find ourselves now. God is not welcome in our schools, our government, our public gatherings, our jobs, and sadly for the most part He is not welcome in our families, at our dinner tables, or to be active in our daily lives.

    God put for a very simply proposition for all of us. If you will except and submit to His leadership He will come in a make a new person, a new nation, a new way of thinking that will benefit all who would honor Him. If we reject Him, as we as a nation and the world has done, He promised to let us manage our own affairs. That means that we as corrupt thinkers are then turned over to our own corruption and that corruption is allowed to flourish into the evil we now see. Why, because we asked to be the master of our own affairs. We have told God time and time again that we do not want Your leadership, Your guidance, Your way of thinking, we just want Your protection when it suits us. God answers and says, as He has always said, I will have all of you and you will have all of Me or you will have none of Me and I none of you.

    We have sadly chosen the later of the choices and then ask the question of God; why do you let there be evil in the world? We have yet to really understand as in evidenced by the question itself.
    The question displays our ignorance of the situation that we have made. The question should not be, why does a loving God let there be evil in the world, the question should be , Why does a people, a nation, a world that has a loving God insist on rejecting His leadership and then descending into an evil despair of their own design?

    But alias God has answered the question of the Why he allows such evil… His answer: because of your foolish pride and your ignorance of the things of Me, you asked for it to be this way.

    So instead of shaking your fist at God, denying His existence, look at His words and know that we, as a nation, as a people, as a world are totally responsible for the state we now find ourselves in. The Bible clearly lays out that it would be this way. We ignored His words, now find that we dislike result.

    Jeremiah 9:3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.

    Romans 1:28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

    Ephesians 4: 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

    Matthew 22:29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

    Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery

    Mark 12: 28 … “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

    Dan

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
    Thomas Jefferson

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