This is something we will have to consider carefully. In fact, there is little if any discussion of what we call free will in the Bible. We all want to avoid pain and suffering. Before we jump in we should first understand what it means to “suffer”. Does this mean God is weak or not loving or not intelligent enough to solve the problems? If it was ever so slightly stronger, the universe would have collapsed back in on itself in just a few million years. When heat is radiated from a round object toward a round object very far away, the heat is not distributed evenly. Some struggle with questions about science and the Bible, others with doubts about supposed inconsistencies in the Bible, still others with claims that the Bible is historically fraudulent. I have a master. I often find myself asking God why? One of the causes of suffering, although it is an indirect one, is the existence of free will as a factor in the human condition. Who are we to speak for God in this matter? “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. I stand with those theologians who contend that the problem of pain is the only good argument against the Judeo-Christian concept of God. Site design and hosting by Whistlepig Softworks, LLC, The Problem of Pain and Suffering, Part I. The man suffered when he worked the ground. Seven Helpful New Books on the Problem of Pain and Suffering Sep 18, 2018 Suffering is a perennial problem and we are all affected by it at least to some extent. Even sincere, intellectually honest Christians often find this question to be very troubling despite their willingness to put their faith in God.Pain and suffering is an apologetic question but it is also a human problem. We make a mistake, and sometimes we commit an injustice when we assume all suffering is because of sin. How can you distance yourself from your granddaughter in the same room when she needs you? Their unwillingness to listen resulted in the state of the world today. Bottom line, there is a lot of suffering in the world. (John 9:2) Here we see the human prejudice toward assuming human suffering is automatically the result of someone?s sin. Next, I breathe the words in, visualizing health, and breathe out the pain. We all participate in it. (Luke 9:23). As stated above, this is only an indirect cause of suffering. Why do we take such risks? Please remember, though, that there remains no simple answer. Regardless of when or why the question of pain and suffering is posed, one can propose that it is a problem primarily in the Christian worldview. But then, Job is not right either. The problem of pain exists because of the belief in God. Those of us who have been parents understand this. to Josephus John the Baptist died 5 years after Jesus and that the gospel writers rewrote history to fit the Jesus narrative? Please remember that there will be no simple answer to this question. I believe the opposite is true! AN APOLOGETIC PROBLEM AND A HUMAN PROBLEM. I explained that God held Adam responsible for his deeds. Is the God of the Bible a completely loving God? What makes the difference is our response to pain. Considering all the human suffering in the world?the disease, pain, violence, crime, premature death and much more, it seems reasonable to conclude that there are two possibilities. Friedrich Nietzsche shared at least one fundamental concern with the religions and metaphysical systems that he so criticized: the problem of suffering and how one deals with it. In the words of David, ?The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Pain and suffering is an undeniable burden that humans bear. The alternative is much worse. The Problem of Pain answers the universal question, "Why would an all-loving, all-knowing God allow people to experience pain and suffering?" This essay is an attempt to deal with both questions. Violent crime, rape, sexual abuse, terrorism, genocide, political crimes. It seems that something has to give. The reason? Those who have suffered … Ezekiel 37:5, ESV “…Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”. This past summer I traveled to the UKon a teaching trip. Lewis, Rubenstein, and Wiesel. (John 9:3). Of the kinds of suffering listed above, it is my experience that it is the emotional pain and suffering which haunts us and which we fear the most. The point is this, Job suffered greatly, but it was not because of his sin. Disease, both acute and chronic. While there are many aspects of the problem of evil (such as human suffering, animal pain, natural calamities, etc. The problem of evil has also been extended beyond human suffering, to include suffering of animals from cruelty, disease and evil. If suffering is in fact evil, it is only because those who suffer do not learn and grow from the suffering. Right? The Logical Problem of Evil. Is this an evil thing? If he is able to prevent the litany of human agony, and if he also loves us very much, surely he would put an end to all the suffering. I certainly have not had any sort of extraordinary suffering in my life. What is the cause of all this suffering, and what is the explanation from God?s perspective? We will not be able to dismiss such things with a wave of the hand. No, weather is a blessing. The president who commits us to war is ultimately responsible for any kind of evil which happens as a result of that war?even the random act of evil committed by a single deranged soldier. T he Problem of Evil can be a broad and intellectual subject while at the same time being an extremely personal matter; as such we will look at this issue from two different vantage points. It … First, is God all-knowing and all-powerful? The Bible never tells us to expect this law to be broken, whether we are saved or not. What we are left with is the clear biblical teaching, which seems to be confirmed by our own experiences; God has given his creatures freedom of will to do good or to do evil. Scientists inform us that the force of gravity, the electromagnetic force and the nuclear strong and weak forces are all ?fine tuned.? The Problem of Pain & Suffering. Indeed, I believe it is not my or anyone else?s place to provide ?the answer? Psalm 41:3, NIV “The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”. These laws have inevitable consequences. 1. This physical judgment will obviously cause emotional pain as well. However, the one comfort I receive is that God helps me in the middle of my sickness. He refers to his personal experience around pain and suffering in the following paragraph: I was raised around people who suffered greatly; my mother had one physical problem after another and this in part sparked my interest at an early age in the problem of pain and suffering. The entrance of this phase of human existence occurred when man disobeyed God’s command according to the Creation narrative. By the end of the experience I was grateful to have been asked to speak on this question. Some self-righteous ?Christians? Having said that, I believe we can make a strong case that the idea of free will is very much a biblical one. When an earthquake happens or when outbreak of an infectious disease occurs, the victims seem random. Which is correct? This is not the end of the story. Plate tectonics, a necessity for life, also produces earthquakes. John Oakes Sermons in Bakersfield: John XI Jesus Raises Lazarus. Most of their offspring did even worse than they did. Not all our pain can be traced to sin, but consider the amount of suffering, on an individual, family, community and even nation-wide level is produced by sin. As soon as their perfect health is secured there will be an end of all suffering. The combination of deep breathing, speaking, and visualizing helps the pain to subside for both of us. The secon d installment will cover the question of pain and the issue of death and mourning. Of course, there is a sense in which all suffering is, by definition, God?s fault. In this life, selfishness, drunkenness, violence, sexual abuse will cause suffering, both in the life of the one who commits the sin and in the lives of others. God took a risk with them. true love?gives choices. As stated more than once already, no single answer can explain all suffering, but I believe that by far the greatest part of human suffering is caused by sin on the part of individual people. 9,000 meters above bomb - nicknamed “Fat Boy”—detached from the “Enola Gay” and glided down ; Forty-three seconds later a purple flash dazzled the city. "If God were good, He would make His creatures perfectly happy, and if He were almighty He would be able to do what he wished. We want to give and to receive love freely. Selfishness, greed, anger, jealousy; these sins hurt innocent people. Do we suffer the punishment for the sins of others or not? Second, is this suffering truly evil? My granddaughter asked me why she suffers, and that it is not fair. If we are able to deal with the intellectual challenge of the apologetic question raised above (and that is a big if), this alone does not solve the problem. As for myself, I do not blame God for giving me a choice. Consider the case of parents who dramatically over-control their children, removing almost all freedom of choice. Even if we can understand the nature of suffering, the question remains: what will our personal response be to those we find in pain and suffering around us? This may be true, but if we think that this Christian mother?s self esteem is not affected and that it has absolutely no effect on her children, we do not understand the consequences of sin. But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people.? He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’ So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.”. He continues, concerning a very sinful man, ?But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things?He will not die for his father?s sin; he will surely live. Concerning a man born blind, his apostles asked Jesus, ?who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?? 2. 5. in pain you will eat from it every day of your life.” Our tradition has a long and complex relationship with pain and suffering. This passage tells us that the son does not suffer the consequences of the sin of his father. This is the universe which he created. Ther e are eternal consequences involved, but that is not the point. Without the magnetic properties of iron, highly energetic charged particles from the sun would destroy all life on the earth. To suffer means to experience emotional and/or physical pain. Interestingly, God never told Job why he was made to suffer. The intellectual quandary raised above is based on the assumption that suffering itself is inherently an evil. The question is whether God is both all-powerful and loving. Their pain is no pleasure to Me, for My one object is their eternal well-being (Lam. Let us look at it from God?s perspective (if that is possible). Even sincere, intellectually honest Christians often find this question to be very troubling, despite their willingness to put their faith in God. His friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar tell him that God is punishing him for his sin. carbon?with the properties required to build the large molecules required for life to exist. Encounters with Mr. One of the questions raised above about the suffering and evil in the world is whether they are God?s fault. I was asked to speak on the problem of pain and suffering. So, for this chapter, … The most significant problem, as it relates to the POE is the fact of suffering. Nevertheless, when great tragedies occur (especially when numerous people suffer and die), the existence of pain and suffering becomes an apologetic problem, because people assume it to be impossible that God is both omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnibenevolent (all-loving). Just to be human is to deal with emotional and physical pain on a day-to-day basis. Do they raise different kinds of questions? This moral law of suffering brought into lives because of sin is not eliminated altogether even if the daughter of abuse comes to Christ. Take a look. Surely anger, greed, addictive behavior, pride, jealousy, violence, sexual perversion, selfishness, jealousy, lack of self control, the ungodly desire for power and other sins are the cause of most of the emotional suffering and even much of the physical suffe ring we experience. Before we move on to the next cause of suffering, I want to emphasize an important point. Your response. Cuddling her hand in mine, I implore her to not fight pain, but to embrace the pain to overcome it. We could live in a world in which we do not have freedom of choice, but is that the world we would choose for ourselves? When I was a child my parents told me the truism that ?sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.? Sin causes suffering. (Joshua 24:15) Jesus seems to agree that human beings are given free choice whether we will serve God or not. Pain and suffering is the consequence of sin, and should be understood as the just recompense for humanity’s rebellion. Bear in mind that there will be kinds of suffering which none of us can explain. Master Christian apologist C.S. I now believe that this proverb cannot be further from the truth. It is fair to broaden this out to say that those around the sinner do not suffer the consequences for the acts of the sinner. We will begin by considering the range of the question. We have considered free will and subsequent sin as well as natural causes of suffering. Is it because God is aloof?because he does not love us enough to step in and prevent the suffering that happens in the world which he created? The biblical response is a definite yes. As we will see, that is not God?s way. That being true, we need to be very cautious to give pat answers to our friends as to why they are suffering. In the final analysis, any conceivable natural system for sustaining advanced living beings will be dangerous. For myself, I am unwilling to declare bacteria and disease caused by bacteria evil. Consider Adam and Eve. Without intervention, the cycle of abuse will continue ?to the fourth generation.? Lessons from Five Years of Ordained Ministry, Selling Enlightenment: On The Dangers Of Commercialising Spirituality. This is the first of a three-part series on the problem of pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is an undeniable burden that humans bear. Again, simple answers will not do here. In this essay, we will attempt to give a reasonable explanation of the nature of this suffering and the cause of it from God?s perspective. I say that love? On Aug. 6, 1945, at 8:15 AM, Hiroshima awoke after a restless night of alarms. world which God made, and which he said was very good! In The Problem of Pain, Lewis grapples with the problem of suffering in a world creating by an ultimately good and powerful God. According to Genesis 3–4 in the Old Testament, suffering entered the world through an act of transgression. Instead he appealed to their hearts, their minds and their consciences. Examples include the death of a young child from brain cancer, birth defects which leave a child completely unable to have any significant quality of life, the death of hundreds of thousands in the tsunami of Dec. 30, 2004, the holocaust of the Jews under the Nazis or of the Armenians under the Turks in 1917. God has also created and revealed moral laws. Obvious examples include earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. They influence through example, love and discipline, but they do not manipulate or remove choice. The agnostic, or even the believer asks, why, if God is all-powerful and completely loving did he allow two hundred thousand people to die in the great tsunami on December 30, 2004? Even if we can somehow simultaneously defend the omnipotence of God and his love, we are still left with a lot of pain and suffering in the world. SPOILERS AHEAD Pain posted a serious objection to Christianity (and to Heavenly authority in general), aggravated by claiming that Love is the essence of God. Some of the suffering which comes into people?s lives is caused by natural phenomena. Pain can be devastating, especially, when he parks on your doorstep for 15 years. No, they are necessary to life. I know unless there is a medical miracle cure or a divine intervention, that the pain will never cease entirely. This master is kind to me as long as I obey.Yet, when I move beyond the confines my master has set for me, there is hell to pay.He uses instruments of torture to put me back within my boundaries.He pounds nails into the vertebrae of my spine and coats my feet with honey, setting bees upon them.Tonight, I lifted a basket of clothes, and he knocked me to my knees.I asked for forgiveness while lying in a fetal position on the floor. The problem of pain and suffering is a subject that demands more than what can be fairly expressed here in such limited time and space. Not all suffering is the result of sin. How did Matthew learn about the dream that Pilate's wife had? Not only that, but we know from experience that the children of the victim of abuse also suffers. She will be healed spiritually and emotionally by God. What is suffering, anyway? The soul who sins is the one who will die.? This is the God tells Job that his friends are wrong. The argument can continue. (Virtually) all suffering can be used for the good in the end. Are all to be considered equally? 4. How is a believer to hold onto their theology in view of this apologetic question? The punishment for this transgression was banishment from the Garden of Eden. The Problem of Pain and Suffering:? When I attempted to clarify pain in those terms — all of creation suffers — my granddaughter began to understand, just a little bit, the problem of suffering. We have already considered free will and, more directly, sin committed by those given their freedom as the cause of a great proportion of the suffering of human beings. Does the existence of suffering in the world prove that God, if he exists, is evil, or at least that he is not totally good? The Problem of Pain is a 1940 book on the problem of evil by C. S. Lewis, in which Lewis argues that human pain, animal pain, and hell are not sufficient reasons to reject belief in a good and powerful God. This is as true today as it was in the days of Moses. There is only one magnetic element; iron. iii.31,33).” I hope this article has helped you to gain a better understanding about the problem of pain and suffering from a … Although suffering and pain came about as a result of sin, God sovereignly uses pain and suffering to accomplish good in His people. What seems complicated at first is actually quite simple. I taught this method to my granddaughter, and we have used it together when she has had an asthma attack. When I’m lying in bed because moving is too painful I cry out is this ever going to stop? However, E xodus 20:5 informs us that in this life we will be affected negatively by God?s physical punishment for the sins committed by those we are close to. God created us as companions with free will to choose our actions. A 150-meter-wide ball of fire engulfed the center, Genesis 3: 22–23 NIV “And the Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Did Moses copy the Old Testament from other sources? We do this because in this sense we are like God. This is the practical and existential problem of suffering that affects, and is affected by, our world view. Is this because God was not powerful enough or not loving enough? After banishment from the Garden of Eden, people began to experience the effects of Adam’s rebellion. Is this a loving way to treat our offspring? E ither God is very loving, but not all-powerful?he would like to eliminate such evil from the lives of humans but is unable to, or he is all powerful, but not completely loving toward the humans he created.

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