Promises and Secrets
A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.
We are not robots who have to follow every command that God gives us. We are allowed to make our own choices, but we must be prepared to accept the consequences - either way.
What do you think?
Why does God allow suffering? Consider the alternative...
If God intervened in our lives every time we were going to do something that would eventually cause us or someone else pain, how would we react? We would want to shake our fists at Him and say "Butt Out!" or "Let me handle my own life."
Suffering. It is a known fact that everyone suffers sometime - some more often and more severely than others. Is it necessary? What causes it?
To fully understand suffering, we should probably define it so we are all on the same page. Webster defines suffering as "the bearing of pain, distress, etc." The consequences of the actions of people are the cause of most the pain, distress, and suffering we see around us. If we want to drink booze all night long and go driving around town while we do it, should God stop us because it might cause a problem? No? If we accidently run over and kill someone's mother, and don't get caught, it doesn't directly affect us (except maybe mentally through guilt) but does affect someone else. Should we blame that on God? Was it His fault? So, when we then see those people crying at the funeral, two things become apparent:
1. It doesn't make sense to ask how God can allow suffering when we cause it
- and -
2. While the clear conclusion is that suffering is our own fault as a society, we don't want anyone saying that it is
But, if we do that, then...
When someone fighting a war drops a bomb on some bad guys, and kills some civilians in the process in order to stop the bad guys from killing thousands more innocent people, should we blame that on God? If you say that God allowed the bad guys to kill others, we are back at the robot question. Is all suffering the fault of God because He created us? Maybe we should draw a line and everyone who is over that line in the amount of evil they have should be imprisoned or killed. But, if you do that, consider whether they were born that way or if consequences made them that way. Can you tell when a person turns bad and must be imprisoned or killed? There seems to be only two solutions: Kill them all and let God sort them out or kill the ones you catch red-handed and let God sort everyone out at the End.
The Bible is not silent on the issue. Some will point to Romans 12:17-19
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
, and say to let them be. Others will read in the very next chapter, Romans 13:1-7
1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
, and realize that we have instructions about how we are to handle this kind of person.
God already has a plan
What few people stop to think about is that God is going to make the decision for us at the end. We all walk around so smug and sure that we are in His will and He will see His way clear to let us have that Pie in the Sky. But, I am certain that is pretty much what all 10 of the Virgins thought. Five were wise, and five were foolish. The parable hinted that the foolish ones only thought they were ready, even after they went to get more oil. They were not ready by the standards of the One who decides.
We must attempt to know the consequences of our decisions and actions. We need to make sure that we are ready, not just assume that we are. How do you do that? Stay in the will of God. Not what someone told you is the will of God, but what He tells you in His Word.
We can't blame our idiocy on God
What about diseases? Well, where did they come from? The world was created perfect by the Creator. Death and pain came about through sin. Sin placed a curse on mankind. Everything bad is a consequence of that. We are paying the price. To think that we can continue to act like idiots and not have further consequences is just plain ignorant. I guess, when you get right down to it, we cause all of our suffering, and God allows it because, again, when you get right down to it, we really want Him to.
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