Why God Permits Suffering to Humankind

tommy

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God is not to blame for the problems that plague humankind. There are valid reasons to believe that God will soon undo that harm bought on the human family. God has abundant power and invites us to pour out our heart before him Psalm 62:8. Who, though, is to blame when someone gets sick or an animal dies? God did not create man to get old and die. When the first human pair, Adam and Eve, were in the Garden of Eden, God gave them the prospect of everlasting life right here on Earth. Yes, that is right, right here on earth as everlasting life that most people think is only achieveable in Heaven, somewhere other then earth? God made their life prospects conditional. Adam and Eve violated this prospect and allowed both good AND evil to enter out live as out forfathers as this is where out seed is from. They lied to God and that is why suffering is permitted, it is from the devil and not God. Jesus was put into this world by God and his seed was from the Holy Spirit so that those exercising faith in him would once again be given the opportunity to live in an everlasting life. God provides the means to redeem mankind from sin and yes, death. The price God paid for this redemption was his only Son Jesus. You know the verse in John, God loved the world so much he gave his only Son not to judge us but to save us from the inflictions from the devil. We can be certain that is God's due time there will be no more suffering and that mankinds tears will be wiped out from there eye's. Even if you or a family membery die, God has the power to raise us up from the dead and place us in a paradise where there is no satan influences (the enemey of God) and by exercising faith us and others might experience this and God showed us it can be done by raising Jesus and using Jesus to raise Lazerus from the dead as proof of what is to come. And yes, we are in times that are hard to deal with right now as Satan is running freely among earth until Jesus returns to wipe him out as we read in the Book. Bless God

 

juantoo3

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Kindest Regards, tommy, welcome to CR!

I think you will find that the majority of those in the Christianity section of this forum would probably agree with you more than not, but there may be some that see some points a bit differently. I don't think it is unfair or unwise to point out that others in other sections of the site may view things very differently from this. As long as you are open to friendly discussion, you are most welcome. Enjoy your stay! :)
 

tommy

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Thanks for the response Juan, I have been doing quite a bit of Bible study and want to see others view on this subject, especially on why God put Adam on the Earth for a chance at everlasting life and how this relates to heaven and salvation. Also, what is meant by the "new Earth" and "new Heaven"?
 

mynameisstephen

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you make some good points tommy and I agree with you that Suffering is not Gods fault

Study the soil for a moment. It naturally produces weeds. No one plants them; no one waters them. They even stubbornly push through cracks of a dry sidewalk. Millions of useless weeds sprout like there’s no tomorrow, strangling our crops and ruining our lawns. Pull them out by the roots, and there will be more tomorrow. They are nothing but a curse!

Consider how much of the earth is uninhabitable. There are millions of square miles of barren deserts in Africa and other parts of the world. Most of Australia is nothing but miles and miles of useless desolate land. Not only that, but the earth is constantly shaken with massive earthquakes. Its shores are lashed with hurricanes; tornadoes rip through creation with incredible fury; devastating floods soak the land; and terrible droughts parch the soil. Sharks, tigers, lions, snakes, spiders, and disease-carrying mosquitoes attack humanity and suck its life’s blood.

The earth’s inhabitants are afflicted with disease, pain, suffering, and death. Think of how many people are plagued with cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, emphysema, Parkinson’s, and a number of other debilitating illnesses. Consider all the children with leukemia, or people born with crippling diseases or without the mental capability to even feed themselves. All these things should convince thinking minds that something is radically wrong. Did God blow it when He created humanity? What sort of tyrant must our Creator be if this was His master plan?

Sadly, many use the issue of suffering as an excuse to reject any thought of God, when its existence is the very reason we should accept Him. Suffering stands as terrible testimony to the truth of the explanation given by the Word of God. But how can we know that the Bible is true? Simply by studying the prophecies of Matthew 24, Luke 21, and 2 Timothy 3. A few minutes of openhearted inspection will convince any honest skeptic that this is no ordinary book. It is the supernatural testament of our Creator about why there is suffering...and what we can do about it.

The Bible tells us that God cursed the earth because of Adam’s transgression. Weeds are a curse. So is disease. Sin and suffering cannot be separated. The Scriptures inform us that we live in a fallen creation. In the beginning, God created man perfect, and he lived in a perfect world without suffering. It was heaven on earth. When sin came into the world, death and misery came with it. Those who understand the message of Holy Scripture eagerly await a new heaven and a new earth "wherein dwells righteous-ness." In that coming Kingdom there will be no more pain, suffering, disease, or death. We are told that no eye has ever seen, nor has any ear heard, neither has any man’s mind ever imagined the wonderful things that God has in store for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Think for a moment what it would be like if food grew with the fervor of weeds. Consider how wonderful it would be if the deserts became incredibly fertile, if creation stopped devouring humanity. Imagine if the weather worked for us instead of against us, if disease completely disappeared, if pain was a thing of the past, if death was no more.

The dilemma is that we are like a child whose insatiable appetite for chocolate has caused his face to break out with ugly sores. He looks in the mirror and sees a sight that makes him depressed. But instead of giving up his beloved chocolate, he consoles himself by stuffing more into his mouth. Yet, the source of his pleasure is actually the cause of his suffering. The whole face of the earth is nothing but ugly sores of suffering. Everywhere we look we see unspeakable pain. But instead of believing God’s explanation and asking Him to forgive us and change our appetite, we run deeper into sin’s sweet embrace. There we find solace in its temporal pleasures, thus intensifying our pain, both in this life and in the life to come.

your brother in Christ
Stephen
 

tommy

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Stephen: :) You guys are really great here, a thoughtful post as well, and there is a flavor of Christian brotherly love in all your comments, which sometimes on the religious interactive web becomes very argumentative and damaging to the soul...not here, thanks!!! I get so much from the Bible and read from seven different Bibles and have really learned to trust this old Book that just will never become outdated. Why can we trust the Bible? It is a Book of instruction. The Bible fills our need for wise direction. The knowledge of God can lead to everlasting life. The Bible covers 3,500 years of human creation and it's Words are still valid today. Most books written this long ago have no application today. All scripture is inspired by God. The OT and the NT blend together and complement each other to create a harmonious theme. There is a common thread from Genesis to Revelations. Jesus read the Bible and quoted from it. Scriptures are beneficial for disciplining in righteousness. Bible reflects a keen understanding that applies to every generation of mankind. The Bible tells us what to do and what pitfalls to avoid in our everyday life. Jesus provided instruction in how to pray in the Bible. The Bible is scientifically accurate for example when the prophet Isaiah 40:22 referred to the sky as a circle 3,000 years ago when it was accepted the world was flat. Historians nearly always exagerate their victories and hide thier defeats. Not in the Bible, we see defeats and mistakes (1Kings 14;25, Isiah 36:1, Luke 3: 1-2). The Bible not only shows prophecies but how they were fullfilled which were not from man but from God.Isaiah's prophecy about the fall of Babylon was recorded 200 years before Babylon was conquered. Zechariah 11:12 fortold that Jesus would be betrayed for 30 sheckles of silver. Yes, that is right exactly 30 sheckles. Psalms 22:18 said that the soldiers would cast lots for Jesus' garments. Hundreds of facts were written about the promised coming of the Messiah. The Bible survived more controversy then any other book and there has been 6 billion copies printed. Micah 5:2 foretold that Christ would be born in Bethlehem. Should not this build our trust in what the Bible promises? God cannot lie. Jesus' main command was to love one another. Yet, there are so many mistakes we make everyday, for example, by getting mad in people in our cars that are mere misunderstandings and if we applied Bible principles people would be nicer to one another. A simple slime and glow of how you would image Jesus when these misunderstandings occur drives the evil out of most situations inspired by Words of love and peace we read. The point behind Christianity is to be reasonable and not argumentative, which we also learn from the Bible. Bible knowledge really benefits people 1 Peter 3:1-2. Bible study brings rich blessings Psalms 19:11 The Bible is God's inspired word and we can trust it. Bless God through Jesus and may we all find peace and love everywhere we happen to be.
 

Bandit

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hey tommy.:)

i am thinking the same way. it will never be outdated & it covers more than 3,500 years because it covers the beginning & the end.

a new heaven & earth, I cant say for sure, but i know it means something good. maybe some others will have some thoughts on that for you.

welcome to the club & yah, i trust that old book & the thought of being without it would sure put us in some big trouble:)

I also liked the post on the weeds & soil by stephen. it looks right on track to me.
even the tender grape suffers when it starts out & clear up to just before the harvest but it has to wait for that latter rain to make a good crop.


then I think of how far we have come in the medical field & how it has helped so many. but flip side of that, some new medicines & surgeries we find out later cause a lot of harm to us. so yes we do create some of our own suffering & we should not be blaming God for our own inventions.
 

tommy

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I have not read one word so far here that I would not agree with. Here’s my thoughts on the new Heaven and Earth from what I can learn and as a Bible student, this is only an opinion, and I probably have some gaps in my reasoning that I welcome anyone to fill if possible. The Earth was intended for everlasting life until Adam sinned and life spans were 950 years originally. That’s also how long Noah lived. Once Satan is driven out of the Earth, two thirds of the Earths population will be destroyed and we will have paradise Earth restored with true believers of Jesus Christ for 1,000 years while Satin is locked up in the Abyss (and then only released for a short perioed of time to fulfill further prophecies and test loyalty to God) according to Revelations. The 144,000 anointed ones will rule with Jesus in Heaven for all prophecy in the Bible has come true. The rest of the true believers will have a beautiful restored life in an Earthly paradise with no Satan influences. Adam and Eve lost everlasting life for mankind by eating the fruit of knowledge, which gave them the power to know good from evil. However, some believe that by eating the fruit it meant that they had intercourse and this is not what I think God meant because he had instructed mankind to go fourth and multiply. My point is that if Adam and Eve were given the chance for everlasting life and they were on Earth, was Earth, intended to be the place for everlasting life? Imagine the pleasures of an earthly paradise where you can adore our happy God’s pleasures, to pet the Lion who is friendly to us. To cuddle with a Bear similar to how we enjoy our household pets. To gaze at the funny birds God created and the many different flowers He gave us. I have a new hope with this dream of reading about the new earth and how it may apply. Perhaps the everlasting life is not all spiritual and the splendors we enjoy here can last forever because the Almighty One has such love for us. He demonstated His awsome power in Moses days that give me the goose pimples just thinking about parting the Dead Sea and the 10 plagues that went down in history that were ven acknowledged by God's enemies as miracles. Maybe the spiritual heavenly class is for the anointed ones, the martyrs, the Mighty Jesus Christ and the millions of Angels that rule with Christ, I do not know the answer here. I believe Christ was with God going back to the days of the ancients. Genesis 3:22 “And God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…” Who is us in this verse? Us implies that this means more than one (two beings). Perhaps, God and his Son Jesus are us in this verse in the beginning of the Book? We are made in God’s image and even the Almighty One did not want to be by Himself. Please keep in mind that I am only an intense Bible student and I really do not know all the answers and am very hopeful that my personal opinions to not offend anyone. Peace and Love, tommy
 

Bandit

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i dont know all the answers either tommy & i think some others have some better insight on the new earth than me, but what you have so far is not too bad.

i know Jesus took on an immortal flesh & bone body (no blood) so that is kind of what I am expecting in the new millenium. the children will be able to sit with bees & not get stung & the lion will lay down by the lamb, at leat that is how peaceful it will be:)

& i think you are right. somehow Jesus was there with God, in the beginning of the book & the beginning of man.;)
 

Cerealkiller

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I know I am a little ways out of the "mainstream" of Christian thought, but hopefully my thoughts won't upset anyone.

I don't think there is a such thing as objective evil. I don't think it is evil when a tornado tears through a town, I don't think it is evil when a hurricane rips apart a coastal village. I don't think its evil when weeds take over a field, nor do I think it is evil when a leopard hunts humans. I think these things are natural. I think the evil comes in from human response to these things.

Instead of accepting the inevitably of our own deaths, instead of embracing the natural order we rage and scream against it. We make evil of nature, in everything from the demonization of women and sex, to our abhorence of disease. I do not mean to suggest we should all be trying to die, but we should be accepting of that being the inevitable end of our lives.


As far as not blaming God for the destructive side of nature and the world, I can't accept that it isn't God's fault. Even if we accept as fact the story from Genesis, God is still at fault. He still placed a tree in the center of the Garden as temptation, He still created man capable of evil, and He still created Satan capable of tempting man to evil. In short God created a world that was systematically designed to be capable of corruption. If God didn't want suffering to exist, then why make it almost unavoidable?
 

Bandit

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it is unavoidable & we will suffer but in the psalm He says,

'I remember your frame and I know that you are dust'

IN the book of Isaiah it says God suffers with us (paraphrased) & will redeem us from our suffering.

so while He allows suffering, we benefit & grow. if there was no challenge, then we would have no choices. bringing us back to the perfect balance of predestination & free will. (but you dont have to believe that exactly like I do)

i dont think tornadoes & forest fires are evil, they are part of the cycle of the earth. Weeds are just used in type, not that they are literally evil.
but when a man takes a life in cold blood & hurts another man, that is evil.

i am quite content with this old stinky body going back to the ground & count it as joy.

Ceralkiller, so that i can better understand you...
why do you think God put that tree right in the middle of the garden & said dont eat from it or you will die, as a commandment?
does it seem like a choice to you? does it seem like the serpant told a lie & she believed the lie?

i mean he could have put it high on a mountain making it much harder to get to. but no, it was right smack in the middle of Eden.
What do you think?
 

Bandit

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p.s. sorry if it seems i am hijacking any threads lately, but i have some extra time this week & have enjoyed being here with everyone.:)
 

mynameisstephen

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Cerealkiller said:
As far as not blaming God for the destructive side of nature and the world, I can't accept that it isn't God's fault. Even if we accept as fact the story from Genesis, God is still at fault. He still placed a tree in the center of the Garden as temptation, He still created man capable of evil, and He still created Satan capable of tempting man to evil. In short God created a world that was systematically designed to be capable of corruption. If God didn't want suffering to exist, then why make it almost unavoidable?

good few points you posted there cerealkiller and to be honest these questions have gone round my head a few times.

The Bible tells us that the Genesis creation was "good." There was no sin and therefore no suffering or death. Why then did God give Adam and Eve the ability to sin, knowing full well that they would sin and bring death and pain to the human race? Some believe that if Adam had been created without the ability to chose, then he would have been a "robot." A father cannot make his children love him. They choose to love him because they have a free will. Others point out that humanity would never have seen the depth of the love of God, as displayed in the cross, unless Adam had sinned, and that fact could be one reason why God allowed sin to enter the world.
 

tommy

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Bandit, I like your posts and please put up as many as you like as I learn from you and others.I think that sin is inherent in man from Adam and Eve and Jesus, the Christ, came to correct this because his seed was from the Holy Spirit and not man. Even though Mary's ovum was from Adam, the Holy Spirit overshadowed the sinful seed and created a perfect being, Jesus.Therefore, we all posses some degree of sin. Now God could have put someone like Noah or Moses to be in Adams role as our first forefather, but he didn't because he loved us and that was for a reason. He wanted to test our loyalty to him. If fact God could have wiped out the entire race when the great flood came and started over because Noah still had Admans seed. Here is why he didn't. He wanted to prove to Satan that not all men are greedy as the devil thought, and act based on their belief and trust in God even if there is nothing in it for man to gain materialistically. We aee unforetunately in Satans world when it comes to possessions, lies and quest for human gain and all those things belong to Satan, not God. God wants what is his and that is the spiritual belief and love in His name. The devil is His enemy and He knows we have to deal with what Satan has put in front of humans for ages as it usually works. But the devil does not always know what the outcome will be or else he would not have wasted his time tempting Christ.
 

JonMarc

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mynameisstephen said:
...
Why then did God give Adam and Eve the ability to sin, knowing full well that they would sin and bring death and pain to the human race?
...
i do not see it so much as God giving us the ability to sin, but rather as Him limiting our ability to fully concieve of and know Him. because in my mind giving us the ability to sin is equated with giving us the sin, and i see a difference between the two. He does however give us the tools to get know to Him better in our way (free will, cognitive thought, etc.). the combination of these factors was the door through which sin entered this world. He knew that by creating something like us with our limitations, we would at some point disobey something he said. but that does not mean that He created the sin and put it in our hearts. He simply gave us the ability to fill our hearts with what we would choose. which is exactly our purpose in this existence, in my opinion.

my belief is that if we had the ability to fully KNOW God and His infinite glory, there would be no room in our hearts for anything but love.

i equate it to the feeling we get when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. i imagine most of us have experienced that. in that moment when the Holy Spirit's presence is felt by you in a room, is there a single part of you that is sinning, or open to sin? i do not believe there is. and i believe that is the closest to fully knowing God that we can ever become in this life. or, if you'd like, that is perhaps something like the EFFECT of fully knowing Him. every so often we get to feel that effect when He does His works directly and in our presence, maybe even through us, or maybe inside of us, a more personal thing.

i don't know... it makes sense in my head, but is always much harder to get written down with such clarity. perhaps someone will come along in a day or two and make some sense out of what i'm trying to say in another post. haha.

anyway... to stephen, bandit, tommy, and the gang:
very good points, interesting and throught provoking thread.... very thought provoking. now i'll go meditate on all of this and read my bible some more to see what else i can draw from the things that have been said, and/or the implications of those things!
to all a goodnight (where i'm at anyway :) )
 

path_of_one

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mynameisstephen said:
Study the soil for a moment. It naturally produces weeds. Millions of useless weeds sprout like there’s no tomorrow, strangling our crops and ruining our lawns. Pull them out by the roots, and there will be more tomorrow. They are nothing but a curse!
Couldn't disagree with you more. Weeds are only a curse because we define them that way. Lawns are useless and suck up water. Weeds like Dandelions take less water and are edible. Some are medicinal. Maybe we need to stop growing lawns and go with what God gave us- the weeds.

Consider how much of the earth is uninhabitable. There are millions of square miles of barren deserts in Africa and other parts of the world. Most of Australia is nothing but miles and miles of useless desolate land.
Well, you might find this land "uninhabitable," "barren," and "useless," but the indigenous hunter-gatherers who happily lived there for generations from the beginning of human habitation there don't. It looks barren to you because you don't know where to go for food and water. It looks useless because we're trained to live in climate-controlled structures and turn water on the tap. But to the native people there these places are lands that are filled with life and meaning, and are beautiful and rich with life-giving sustenance. Us Westerners define this land as "bad," when it is actually very good.

Not only that, but the earth is constantly shaken with massive earthquakes. Its shores are lashed with hurricanes; tornadoes rip through creation with incredible fury; devastating floods soak the land; and terrible droughts parch the soil. Sharks, tigers, lions, snakes, spiders, and disease-carrying mosquitoes attack humanity and suck its life’s blood.
Yes, and without these forces, life on earth would cease to exist. Without the capacity for things to be remade, to die, to be flooded... no change would occur. There would be no possibility for new life, because the planet would be saturated with life-forms.

Furthermore, in the natural cycles of destruction and in predatory animals, there is great wisdom and beauty. There is the tangible power of God and the cycles of life and death and new life. There is the constant creation of the earth. There is art. Have you ever stood in an extreme thunderstorm, feeling the power of the gusting wind and the lightening, and the boom of the thunder, the driving rain streaking down your body? Let me tell you from experience- God is in that wind, rain, and thunder. Have you ever felt the earth writhe with an earthquake, or watched a flash flood devour a canyon? In person? I have, and let me tell you it is a spiritual experience. There is a raw power there that speaks to God's majesty and glory. Indeed, the very rocks and trees cry out the glory of God, and His voice is in the thunder. Have you ever been in the wild in close proximity to a predator- a bear, or cougar, or bobcat, or wolf? Hung out with a snake? Looked deep in the eyes of lion? They are beautiful creatures with much more sentience than you may realize.

I would propose... all nature is a living testimony to the Presence of God. Complete with its cycles of destruction and birth, it is very good. As it is written- "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." Adam and Eve did not cause nature to become "fallen." It is as God intended it to be. Death is not our enemy, but our friend, for it is only the birth into a new life. Destruction paves the way for new creation.

All these things should convince thinking minds that something is radically wrong. Did God blow it when He created humanity? What sort of tyrant must our Creator be if this was His master plan?
I would like to consider myself a thinking mind, but I do not feel anything is radically wrong with nature. I am no stranger to pain, or to death, or to suffering. But the suffering in nature that you speak of teaches me valuable lessons. I learn the power of God, the comfort of Christ. I learn that in my deepest pain, God holds my hand. I learn that after a flash flood rips apart homes, or an earthquake flattens a city... it brings the best of all humanity's traits out. People who were fighting and self-centered just weeks before come out in neighborly love, forgive each other, and help each other rebuild. Strangers take one another into their homes and love abounds. I learn that after a devastating forest fire, wildflowers peep out from beneath the ashes. And so life is borne of death, and the creative acts of God continue.

In that coming Kingdom there will be no more pain, suffering, disease, or death. We are told that no eye has ever seen, nor has any ear heard, neither has any man’s mind ever imagined the wonderful things that God has in store for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Actually, God did not curse all creation. He cursed humanity- Adam and Eve. I believe the rest of creation is as God intended it. God only said "cursed is the ground for thy sake"- that is, that their offspring would have to work hard to be fed. He didn't say the ground (and the rest of Nature isn't even mentioned, aside from the serpent) was cursed for any other purpose, only that it would be difficult to work for Adam and Eve, and they would have to toil to get grain for their bread.

In fact, the Bible says that Nature is a testimony of God and glorifies Him. Even after "the fall," God's people gave Him praise for all the goodness of Nature. Read psalm 65 and 104, for example.

Out of destruction and suffering come all the best traits of humanity, and indeed if we look at the world, we often find that people in the third world who suffer the most are also the most content, loving, and hospitable people, whereas us in the U.S. with all our stuff are suffering from enormous rates of depression and anomie.

Suffering occurs here on earth for two reasons, in my experience:
1. People causing suffering to each other- war, a lot of disease (not all, but a good portion is because of lack of health care and/or unhealthy behaviors), poverty, loneliness...
2. People fearing things that really need not be feared. Death is the biggie. Rather than accepting the cycles of Nature, learning from them, and supporting one another, we sit around moaning about them and worrying.

Think for a moment what it would be like if food grew with the fervor of weeds.
It does. Those weeds are food. Take any survival course or learn about indigenous people's foodways (hunter-gatherers), and you realize that the earth is chock full of food and medicine. God gave us all we need, and it's still here for the taking, except where we've paved it over and built strip malls and parking lots.

Consider how wonderful it would be if the deserts became incredibly fertile, if creation stopped devouring humanity.
The deserts are fertile, but with drought-resistant plants. If the whole earth was the same ecosystem, I'd find it boring. The desert is beautiful and full of life too, you just have to hang around a while and learn where to look. And creation devouring humanity? We're the ones that are consuming resources and destroying habitats- who is devouring whom? Personally, I love wilderness and wild animals. In that solitude and wildness, I feel the closest to God that I come to in this lifetime. Not all Christians want the whole earth to be only about humans. Some of us even think God created us as stewards of the earth- dominion isn't just about our own desires and needs, but also about responsibility.

Imagine if the weather worked for us instead of against us, if disease completely disappeared, if pain was a thing of the past, if death was no more.
If we build according to common sense, the weather typically does work for people. Yes, if we build in a flood plain or try to grow crops in a desert, we're going to run into problems. But God gave us plenty of suitable places to build houses and grow food, aside from giving us lots of wild resources that are edible, medicinal, and useful. It is our own stupidity that is causing us to have most of our problems. Yes, occasionally there is a real natural disaster, but mostly it's of our own making.

Disease is caused by organisms that also were created by God. They have a purpose. Unless you propose that bacteria and viruses and parasitic insects were somehow created by someone else.

Pain... pain is tough. I have an illness that sometimes puts me in excrutiating pain. And while it is awful, it also causes me to call on God, to lean on Him even more. Pain can result in good as well as bad.

Death is not a bad thing to me. Spiritual death is horrid, but physical death is simply transition. It is the birthing process into the Presence of God. It doesn't bother me at all to consider that I will die one day and be born into the Kingdom. I look forward to that day when I become spirit and perfect.

The whole face of the earth is nothing but ugly sores of suffering. Everywhere we look we see unspeakable pain.
I'm really sorry you feel this way. I'd find it incredibly depressing. I go out in nature, into the wild, and I find beauty. Joy. The power of God. Solitude. Yes, I see a lot of pain, mostly in human beings. But I see celebration too. Love. Hope. Faith. Even in pain, I see goodness- grief shows love and compassion. Sorrow shows sensitivity. Loneliness shows a desire to reach out to each other and to God.

But instead of believing God’s explanation and asking Him to forgive us and change our appetite, we run deeper into sin’s sweet embrace. There we find solace in its temporal pleasures, thus intensifying our pain, both in this life and in the life to come.
I believe it goes farther than this. If we truly repented- not just asking forgiveness, but turning also away from sin and equally importantly toward Christ's teachings, our world would change. We would cure ourselves of our deepest suffering- a self-imposed separation from God and one another, the ultimate and meaningless pain of killing each other, of the consequences of our greed.

In Peace,
Kim
 

Quahom1

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To be sinless...isn't that the same as being in perfect harmony with God? Logically then the antithesis of this would be to sin, or become out of balance with God. Evil is committing sin, regardless of how small a sin is, therefore evil is the manifestation of being out of balance with God, perhaps in some cases, to an extreme.

Lucifer and the fallen, are eternally out of balance with God, with no hope for redemption. Man on the other hand has hope for redemption and coming into balance with God, therefore shaking the bonds of evil.

I agree (or am also of the opinion) that much of the natural problems on earth are the cause of Man being out of balance with God (I read once that 90 percent of the disasters on earth are caused by Man).

Reminds me of an engine which the timing is off. It will run, but it is rough running, and eventually the engine will fail prematurely if the timing is not balanced with the firing of the pistons. Same thing can be said of an electric motor that is being fed electricity out of phase. Sooner than later, the brushes and windings will wear and short causing total failure.

Something to ponder...;)

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Q
 

tommy

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More provoking detail thoughts added here, thanks for putting the time into your addition to this essay Path to One. Yes, much of todays suffering is blame of humankind, non-spiritual. For example, a female gets pregnant. She has an idol of smoking. Baby is born deformed. Baby grows up to an adult and says, Why did God do this to me and allow me to suffer. The suffering was brought about by an act of a human who could not repent of their idol. Another example, two brothers grow up together, now they are young adult men. One brother stays in ABC country and the other moves to XYZ country. Then, the greedy leader of XYZ country says we must go to war with ABC country and all citizins must be involved to defend their nation. First brother then is obligated to pull out his sword on the battleline and attack the second brother. Even though these two brothers loved each other, nation said they had to either do that or suffer in jail. The point is if the brother is injured by his brother, nation caused this suffering. Therefore Path to One makes a good point that not all suffering is from the devil, but also from humankind, nation and greedy leaders. However, Adam and Eve did not have to fear animals in the Garden of Eden, it was a perfect paradise. It did not matter if they wore clothes, they didn't notice they were naked until learning the difference between good and evil. What then changed this? Humans often bear the responsibility for harm done. Those who violate Godly standards often do experience bad effects (Gal. 6:7) God is not causing the earthquakes, floods and droughts today, to a large extent these are caused by natural forces. Even when ample warning is given people often refuse to get out of a danger area or fail to take ample precations Prov 22:3 compared to Matt 24:37-39. God can control weather for example when he empowered Jesus to calm a storm. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says that "time and unforeseen occurances" also have a bearing on what happens to us. For example, a car crashes through the center divide on a freeway. It is a roll of the dice who the poor soul is going to be in the oncoming car. It is because of chance that we are in the wrong place at the wrong moment in time. But even King Soloman who wrote Ecclesiates indicated that with every pleasure of life that he emassed on earth that life here was "meaningless, like chasing the wind" and pure earthly satisfaction cannot be fully achieved here on earth in the short days we have because at the end we all meet the same fate, death and perhaps suffering. Was death and suffering intented for humans in the garden of eden? Was not the garden of eden meant to be a place right here on earth, yes here on earth, for everlasting life with no pain and suffering???
 
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path_of_one

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Thanks for the response! :)

tommy said:
Therefore Path to One makes a good point that not all suffering is from the devil, but also from humankind, nation and greedy leaders.
I would actually say that some suffering is natural- and is only suffering due to our perspective. Most suffering is from the evil forces (which you personify as the Devil, but I don't), that flow through humankind, including corrupt leaders.

However, Adam and Eve did not have to fear animals in the Garden of Eden, it was a perfect paradise. It did not matter if they wore clothes, they didn't notice they were naked until learning the difference between good and evil.
This gets tricky, because there are people who don't fear animals and don't mind being nude. There are cultures in which nudity is perfectly acceptable. It is our own society that makes the human body a symbol of lust, immodesty, imperfection, and tells us to cover up. If we transcended our sinful thoughts of lust and self-denigration (I'm too old/fat/whatever) and learned to look at the human body as an amazing gift from God, a beautiful piece of artwork, we wouldn't have the mess of worrying about nudity and covering up to protect ourselves. It's a cultural thing, not a universal thing. As for the animals- wise respectfulness is not the same as fear. I don't fear animals, but I respect them. I've been face to face with bears, for example, many times in the wild. I'm not afraid, but I respect them for what they are- bears. I don't try to go over and stick my head in their mouth, but I also don't chuck rocks at them and scream at them to go away. I just sit and watch, and sometimes (believe it or not!) have a little chat. They like me, they watch me with a bit of curiousity and then eventually amble away. Folks have lived up close and personal with wolves, with big cats, with snakes. You learn to respect a creature for what it is- to learn its habits and fears and preferences- and then to respectfully get along with it, just as you would a person. Yes, just as humans can be dangerous, so can animals if you provoke them. But mostly if you understand their behavior, you need not fear. Communicating this way with animals, especially in the wild, is an amazing thing. I daresay it gives me fleeting glimpses into what the Garden of Eden was like, before humans trashed the planet, hunted the animals, and caused them to fear and loathe us. But they are amazingly forgiving creatures, if you only will learn from past mistakes and come to them in humility and love and peace. Animals sense these things. I truly believe it is our own fault that we have problems with animals today- and I don't mean due to original sin. It's the constant sin of our disrespect, our harmfulness, our blatant cruelty, to which they respond. By the way, they still talk (in their own way). We just have forgotten how to listen, and we don't have the patience to relearn.

God can control weather for example when he empowered Jesus to calm a storm.
Yes, He can. But that doesn't mean He'd always want it 70 degrees and sunny. There is a reason for the weather patterns- it produces the beautiful diversity of His Creation. Note that Jesus was not perturbed by the storm, nor did He think it was a bad thing. He stopped the storm because the disciples flipped out and He used it to teach them a lesson.

pure earthly satisfaction cannot be fully achieved here on earth in the short days we have because at the end we all meet the same fate, death and perhaps suffering. Was death and suffering intented for humans in the garden of eden? Was not the garden of eden meant to be a place right here on earth, yes here on earth, for everlasting life with no pain and suffering???
Well, it depends on what you mean by pure earthly satisfaction. I don't mind that my days here are short and I'm going to meet death. It will release me to my Creator.

I believe the Garden of Eden is a symbol for a time when humans were not separated from God and lived in harmony with all Creation. I don't believe the Garden is a literal place on earth, but rather a powerful symbol that was filtered through the cultural and historical perspective of the early Jewish people. I do believe it is a concept that is inspired by God, and I myself have had visions of what I would think of as the Garden. But in my experience, nothing really existed as actual physical manifestations. Tough to explain. Suffice it to say that in both biblical interpretation and personal intuition- I believe the Garden of Eden refers to a state of being at one with God and all Creation, not a literally paradise on earth (though the result of this state would be paradise).
 

tommy

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More though provoking thoughts here, especially how we get along with animals. I too notice the harmony with animals as sometimes birds and even bees will not be afraid of me if I do not provoke them and appear to be in harmony with them. It is my belief however that since Adam and Eve was given an earthly paradise that was conditional, we today would not bear the grunt of proving our devotion to God. It would have already been proved. What would have it been like if Eve reminder herself that Yahweh God (note his personal name naturally which seperates him from others gods) told her not to do the one thing God told her not to do and didn't listen to the devil that told her through the serpent not to worry about it, go ahead and eat it anyway. Would life be any different today?
 

Quahom1

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tommy said:
More though provoking thoughts here, especially how we get along with animals. I too notice the harmony with animals as sometimes birds and even bees will not be afraid of me if I do not provoke them and appear to be in harmony with them. It is my belief however that since Adam and Eve was given an earthly paradise that was conditional, we today would not bear the grunt of proving our devotion to God. It would have already been proved. What would have it been like if Eve reminder herself that Yahweh God (note his personal name naturally which seperates him from others gods) told her not to do the one thing God told her not to do and didn't listen to the devil that told her through the serpent not to worry about it, go ahead and eat it anyway. Would life be any different today?
I don't think we would be having this conversation...;)

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