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Author Topic: The Problem of Suffering/Pain  (Read 8679 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dart
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« Reply #180 on: March 17, 2011, 05:02:39 PM »

Fr Basil Biberdorf has a nice article in regards to responsibilities and repercusions of abuse. You may read it here http://orthodoxleader.paradosis.com/2009/11/30/9/. He quotes from the bible, "Then the LORD said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” 1 Samuel (1 Kings, LXX) 3:11-14"

We can do much to prevent suffering and pain. April is Child Abuse Awareness month and we can begin by wearing a blue ribbon or wristband.

What evil we fail to prevent, God will surly have His vengeance on (Romans 12:19). And we have hope in the ressurection and the life to come when God's will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.
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deusveritasest
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« Reply #181 on: March 17, 2011, 05:08:00 PM »

Have there been any Orthodox saints that have addressed this issue? I guess the only good reason to not believe in God is that evil exists, however I think evil has its divine purpose that out of suffering does one become even more mature in their faith with God "If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters."- Frederick Douglass

What about suffering on those that are faithful to God? Who love Him, but He forsakes them (Has this been addressed with "My God my God why has thou forsaken me?")?

I'd like to read some patristics on this, and the opinions of the board members here.

I don't agree that it is important for evil to have existed. What is important is for the possibility of evil to have existed, not that it actually did come to exist. By that I mean it is important for the Creation to have developed to a point of order and maturity, in mankind, that it was capable of making a rational choice between the path of death and corruption and the path of divinization. The fact that mankind chose the former is a tragedy, and was not at all necessary.

Thus, we can say that evil exists simply because our ancestors chose it, not because God wanted it to be or regarded it as important for it to be.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 05:08:36 PM by deusveritasest » Logged

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Dart
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« Reply #182 on: March 17, 2011, 05:35:27 PM »

Have there been any Orthodox saints that have addressed this issue? I guess the only good reason to not believe in God is that evil exists, however I think evil has its divine purpose that out of suffering does one become even more mature in their faith with God "If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters."- Frederick Douglass

What about suffering on those that are faithful to God? Who love Him, but He forsakes them (Has this been addressed with "My God my God why has thou forsaken me?")?

I'd like to read some patristics on this, and the opinions of the board members here.

I don't agree that it is important for evil to have existed. What is important is for the possibility of evil to have existed, not that it actually did come to exist. By that I mean it is important for the Creation to have developed to a point of order and maturity, in mankind, that it was capable of making a rational choice between the path of death and corruption and the path of divinization. The fact that mankind chose the former is a tragedy, and was not at all necessary.

Thus, we can say that evil exists simply because our ancestors chose it, not because God wanted it to be or regarded it as important for it to be.

I agree that the Devil's work on mankind is a tragedy. But we can conquer evil with Love. We can rebuild the partnership of marriage which God created. We can live the Love of the Holy Trinity rather than the selfish tyranny of the individual, Satan.

Yes, Aposhet, sometimes we feel like we have no control and that God has rejected us like Cain and his sacrifice. It is true that it seems suffering and pain is required for some purpose just like a blood sacrifice was called for in the Old Testament. Trust in God and know that Love will conquer all.
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Jetavan
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« Reply #183 on: November 29, 2011, 08:01:09 AM »

Christian and Jewish [and Hindu] Leaders Discuss Evil and Suffering.

Monsignor James Bridges of St. Stephens Catholic Church, Rabbi Sidney Zimelman of Temple Beth El, Pastor Jay Mayo of Stonegate Baptist Fellowship, Reverend James E. Liggett, Jr. of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church[, and Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami of Kauai's Hindu Monastery] answer the first question posed to the panel at the Permian Basin's first interfaith gathering held at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Midland, Texas, on April 7, 2011.

This question: How does your faith tradition explain the problem of evil and suffering?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 08:03:19 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #184 on: December 08, 2011, 09:53:22 PM »

I think that the main issue is on what grounds can any non-believer classify the world as 'evil'? Evil is just a relative concept, a subjective opinion like our taste in food. Likewise, humans are just animals and you do not call the lion evil for eating the gizelle or the monkey evil for raping the other monkey. By stating God cannot exist, or exists as an evil entity, implies that you believe in a real, objective law of good and evil, and wherever there is a law there is a lawgiver. Therefore, you believe in God. The odd thing is the fact that in order for a non-believer/atheist to use the problem of evil, they have to change the affects of their own worldview and borrow from the Christian worldview so that they have objective good and evil. Besides this, the obvious answer for why there is evil is because of free-will. God created man so that men might become like god writes St. Athanasius. And what is God's most distinguishable trait? His freedom of course. Therefore, humans, being created in His image with the purpose of becoming like Him through grace, also inherited free-will to an extent. Now, this free-will is something that we can use for both good and bad. We can use it to do what God wants, and thus bring peace and goodness, or, we can use it to do the opposite of what God wants, which, is sin and leads to evil and suffering. The biggest issue many people have is accepting the fact that in order to have free-will, we must have the freedom to disobey. If we did not have the freedom to disobey/do evil, then there would be no free-will because freedom by its definition includes both good and evil. And thus, if there was no free-will then there would be no potential for good, because goodness usually implies freedom, no one rewards someone for doing something unwillingly, even if it is great. And if goodness did not exist, then that would mean it is impossible for humans to become like God in the process we call Theosis. But, as a result of the Fall, it is true that mankind has horribly abused its freedom and has made things so difficult that it is impossible to come to God on our own, therefore, God came to us in the Incarnation and as a result of what Jesus has done, sin, evil and suffering, at least for the saved, has been conquered. As Christians, we no longer have to worry about the earthly suffering because God promises comfort at the end and eternal life, and, keep in mind that what I am going to say next is probably the most significant thing in this post. God has even redeemed pain by turning it into a way of redemption. As CS Lewis said 'God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world!' Because we have no more reason to worry about pain, God can now use pain as a way of strengthening us and revealing important spiritual truths to us that aid us in Theosis. And even when we make mistakes, God can use it as a way to correct us and show that we have done wrong. As for Heaven, Heaven is also going to be a place with free-will, but no one is going to abuse that free-will like they have done here. Because, in order to get into Heaven, one must really choose God before everything and meet all of His requirements. Do you really think God is going to accept someone whom He knows is going to rebel against Him into Heaven? No, the eternally damned will be cast into the frying pan because of their own free-will and the eternally blessed will get to come closer to God through eternity in Heaven.
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Malina
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« Reply #185 on: December 10, 2011, 02:51:45 PM »

I absolutely agree that we have to endure all kind of sufferings and pains in life.  Without any difficulties we can`t start spiritual growth.
We have to be strict in every moment and overcome all troubles quietly. Mostly I read that all life is a trial for people, road of preparation. Roads couldn’t be without problems. We always have to accept sufferings like challenge for transformation.
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Isadore
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« Reply #186 on: December 10, 2011, 11:47:23 PM »

"Why does God not spare the innocent?

The answer to that is not in

the same world as the question

so you would shrink from me

in terror if I could answer it.

- Les Murray"

I think the same answer is "God is, and does, because."

what else is there to know?
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"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved."
Isadore
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« Reply #187 on: December 10, 2011, 11:58:18 PM »

Also, reading through this when you're acting arrogant...many people come to Christ through intense suffering or when being faced with death. Many very intelligent and experienced people, again and again throughout history. I have begun to realize that those who don't understand concepts like faith and humility have not endured very much in their lives yet. Everyone does eventually. Anger and arrogance are not constructive. When you understand God, miracles and pain are not surprising.
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"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved."
Tags: Theodicy Problem of Evil 
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