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Author Topic: WHY DOES GOD ALLOW ENORMOUS SUFFERING IN THIS WORLD?  (Read 6198 times) Average Rating: 0
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Etienne
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« on: January 01, 2005, 12:54:30 PM »

A question which perplexes many, is the question of why does God allow great suffering and misery? And if He allows such suffering, what right has He to be called a loving God? For those who rebel against any notion of a God, great suffering, tragedies and events like that in the Indian Ocean become a stick to beat believers.

I have never been troubled by the question but never had a ready answer for aggressive and militant atheists who broach the question.

A article which appeared in today's The Times, by Dr Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth might just have provided a digestable answer?

euphrosynoscafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3479&start=10
« Last Edit: January 01, 2005, 12:55:43 PM by Etienne » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2005, 02:04:05 PM »

So that He can bestow greater gifts to them in the next life.

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery. And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. (Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-6)

So that He can disallow their enormous suffering in the next, by healing the pleasure of sin through temporal sufferings; so that religiously indifferent people wake-up and seek Him. So that people appreciate what they have and be thankful. So that people - especially the rich - can practice charity, etc...

The bottom line is that these events are not indicative of God's wrath, but God's love. God's wrath would be to let us enjoy this life is [sinful] pleasures and perish in the next as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus teaches.

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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2005, 03:09:12 PM »

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The bottom line is that these events are not indicative of God's wrath, but God's love. God's wrath would be to let us enjoy this life is [sinful] pleasures and perish in the next as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus teaches.

Never heard it put that way before...it makes perfect sense. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2005, 05:49:41 PM »

Yes, well put. God as depicted in the article does seem somewhat remote and detached.
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2005, 11:14:12 PM »

But that, I think, would not answer an atheist (who I presume does not believe in any next life).  It also brings the question of "healing the pleasures of sin" in relation to say, a child or infant as an example.  What "pleasure of sin" have they experienced that it is healed by terror and violent death by drowning or having their mother torn from them and killed or starving to death or any number of terrible things? 

Has anyone here read The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis?  "Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." is a quote from it.

Maybe I'm being difficult (my apologies) but why would "pleasures" always be sinful?  or are they?  God created the Universe and the human body.  There is pleasure in a hot shower after a cold day.  Is taking pleasure in this "sinful"?

Ebor
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2005, 10:08:55 AM »

I have never been troubled by the question but never had a ready answer for aggressive and militant atheists who broach the question.

While I do see the wisdom in icxn's reply -- we just read that excerpt from Wisdom last night in Vespers, btw! -- and am a great admirer of C. S. Lewis and the book Ebor mentioned, honestly, I don't really bother with "aggressive and militant atheists."  In spite of the fact that there are answers out there that will satisfy those of us who've already "made the leap" into the Faith, many folks who are the way you say they are -- namely, militant -- use this problem as a "trump card" because they're not really interested in the possibility that there just might be a God; they've already made up their minds for now, and nothing I say can argue them into believing otherwise.

It's like the Athonite monk I heard of who, when a Greek youth came up to him as he walked and demanded, "Give me one good reason to believe in God and go to church!" the monk just looked at him for a moment, then said, "No," and kept walking.

It also brings the question of "healing the pleasures of sin" in relation to say, a child or infant as an example.  What "pleasure of sin" have they experienced that it is healed by terror and violent death by drowning or having their mother torn from them and killed or starving to death or any number of terrible things?
 

I think you're on to something here, Ebor; I don't think any answers, wise (or even true!) though they may be, are fully satisfactory to the grieving person at the time, and they certainly aren't useful for comfort at the time, as there are plenty of tragedies that happen w/out the convenience of knowing the sin for which they've supposedly been sent to help correct. 

"I got cancer?!  What'd I do?!"

"My child was miscarried?!  Why?!"

"My wife was killed by a drunk driver?!  Where was God?!"

It could very well be that God is trying to prove their faith, or correct their sins, but for those who aren't being persecuted for the sake of the faith for the former reason (which is the point of the Wisdom passage, imo), such random, seemingly senseless acts...like a tsunami, claiming victims by the thousands...hardly seem justified in the eyes of man in the latter reason.

In Job we have the perfect opportunty for God to answer the age old question of "why do bad things happen to good people?"  Remember what He said?  All He gave Job was, in a nutshell..."I AM GOD.  YOU ARE NOT."  I don't think we can really presume to give a catch-all phrase if He Himself doesn't tell us.

Has anyone here read The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis?  "Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." is a quote from it.

I actually prefer A Grief Observed, written after his wife's bout with a terminal illness, in which he calls God a "cosmic sadist."  It's an excellent comarison to take Problem and Grief and see the difference between how folks who deal with severe grief change when they have to "wrestle with the Why."

Maybe I'm being difficult (my apologies) but why would "pleasures" always be sinful?  or are they?  God created the Universe and the human body.  There is pleasure in a hot shower after a cold day.  Is taking pleasure in this "sinful"?

I don't think he was referring to pleasure always being sinful.  But in most sins there is some temporary thrill or pleasure, and that needs to be healed.

All squares are rectangles; not all rectancles are squares.

Likewise...

All sins are pleasurable (for a moment); not all pleasure is sin.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2005, 10:10:28 AM by Pedro » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2005, 10:30:38 AM »

Pedro, I just love your quote of the Athonite monk's response. There is another monk of my acquaintance capable of such a dry response.

I see a British newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph, today carries a banner headline: "Archbishop of Canterbury admits: This makes me doubt the existence of God".

Underneath the headline appears the following.

In a deeply personal and candid article, he says, "it would be wrong" if faith were not "upset" by the catastrophe. Prayer, he admits, provides no "magical solutions" and most of the stock Christian answers to human suffering do not "go very far in helping us, one week on, with the intolerable grief and devastation in front of us".

As yet I haven't come across Dr Williams article and so comment is difficult. Not sure about 'stock answers' but that is probably a figure of speech.

Certainly this enormous tradegy will evoke many feelings, and some will demand answers. And as has already been suggested, some will not be satisfied with any answer as their minds are already set.
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2005, 10:56:03 AM »

Here's my 2 cents....

As Pedro pointed out, God didn't let Job know of all that was going on "behind the scenes" in the spiritual world, but basically said: "I AM GOD and you are not". God says elsewhere in Scripture that (1) His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and that (2)the revealed things are for us and the secret things are for Him (I'll get the exact verses later). Peter Kreeft illustrated this well in Case for Faith[/i] in which he gave the analogy of a man trying to rescue a bear from a trap. The man who is more intelligent than the bear knows he's trying to help, but the bear is only experiencing (temporarilly) increased pain in the process and doesn't realize he's being rescued. Now shift that to God and man. As smart as we are(!) we don't see the end from the beginning and we certainly can't see what is going on in the spiritual realm nor for what purpose God "allows" certain tragic events to occur--nor does He usually tell us. We can only pray that when faced with such tragedy that we will be able to say like Job: "Though He may slay me, yet will I trust Him".
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2005, 12:01:53 PM »

The taste of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is still in our mouth:

From St. Maximus:

30. There is a great and unutterable difference between the tree of life and the one which is not the tree of life. This is clear simply from the fact that the one is called the tree of life while the other is merely called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (cf. Gen. 2:9). Unquestionably, the tree of life is productive of life; the tree that is not called the tree of life, and so is not productive of life, is obviously productive of death.

31. The tree of life, when understood as symbolizing wisdom, likewise differs greatly from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in that the latter neither symbolizes wisdom nor is said to do so. Wisdom is characterized by intellect and intelligence, the state, which is opposite to wisdom by lack of intelligence and by sensation.

32. Since man came into being composed of noetic soul and sentient body, one interpretation could be that the tree of life is the soul's intellect, which is the seat of wisdom. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil would then be the body's power of sensation, which is clearly the seat of mindless impulses. Man received the divine commandment not to involve himself actively and experientially with these impulses; but he did not keep the commandment.

33. Both trees in Scripture symbolize the intellect and the senses. Thus the intellect has the power to discriminate between the spiritual and the sensible, between the eternal and the transitory. Or rather, as the soul's discriminatory power, the intellect persuades the soul to cleave to the first and to transcend the second. The senses have the power to discriminate between pleasure and pain in the body. Or rather, as a power existing in a body endowed with soul and sense perception, they persuade the body to embrace pleasure and reject pain.

34. If a man exercises only sensory discrimination between pain and pleasure in the body, thus transgressing the divine commandment, he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that is to say, he succumbs to the mindless impulses that pertain to the senses; for he possesses only the body's power of discrimination, which makes him embrace pleasure as something good and avoid pain as something evil. But if he exercises only that noetic discrimination which distinguishes between the eternal and the transitory, and so keeps the divine commandment, he eats from the tree of life, that is to say, from the wisdom that appertains to his intellect; for he exercises only the power of discrimination associated with the soul, which makes him cleave to the glory of what is eternal as something good, and avoid the corruption of what is transitory as something evil.

35. Goodness so far as the intellect is concerned is a dispassionate predilection for the spirit; evil is an impassioned attachment to the senses. Goodness so far as the senses are concerned is the impassioned activity of the body under the stimulus of pleasure; evil is the state destitute of such activity.

36. He who persuades his conscience to regard the evil he is doing as good by nature reaches out with his moral faculty as with a hand and grasps the tree of life in a reprehensible manner; for he thinks that what is thoroughly evil is by nature immortal. Therefore God, who has implanted in man's conscience a natural hatred of evil, cuts him off from life, for he has now become evil in his will and intention. God acts in this way so that when a man does wrong he cannot persuade his own conscience that what is thoroughly evil is good by nature.

37. The vine produces wine, the wine drunkenness and drunkenness an evil form of ecstasy. Similarly the intelligence - which is the vine - when well nurtured and cultivated by the virtues, generates spiritual knowledge; and such knowledge produces a good form of ecstasy, which enables the intellect to transcend its attachment to the senses.

38. It is the devil's practice maliciously to confound the forms and shapes of sensible things with our conceptual images of them. Through these forms and shapes are generated passions for the outward aspects of visible things; and our intellectual energy, being halted at the level of what pertains to sense perception, cannot raise itself to the realm of intelligible realities. In this way the devil despoils the soul and drags it down into the turmoil of the passions.

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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2005, 03:31:58 PM »

Quote
It's like the Athonite monk I heard of who, when a Greek youth came up to him as he walked and demanded, "Give me one good reason to believe in God and go to church!" the monk just looked at him for a moment, then said, "No," and kept walking.

Having been a militant Atheist I can agree with everything that's said here. Though they do seem to have a pertinent question and excuse to not believe in God they are really just fooling themselves so that they can be more comfortable and pay no attention to their conscience. They bulldoze their own innate morality with these foolish arguments. The fact is they have already made a selfish decision in their mind. Namely that they will not accept the possibility that they cannot comprehend all of reality. That they will figure things out on their own based on what they see and hear. Many Atheist's are struck when I ask them how there can be Love if there is no proof for it. When I was an Atheist I would answer that we intuit Love, rather than the common materialist argument that Love cannot exist and it's all hedonism, pheromones, etc. The problem is that once you except intuition as a valid form of knowledge you are already beginning to admit the possiblity of a more vast reality beyond what we can comprehend.
I eventually came to realize that ONLY God is good! Nothing without God is good and the pain we go through in our fallen state is proof of this to me.

Quote
34. If a man exercises only sensory discrimination between pain and pleasure in the body, thus transgressing the divine commandment, he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that is to say, he succumbs to the mindless impulses that pertain to the senses; for he possesses only the body's power of discrimination, which makes him embrace pleasure as something good and avoid pain as something evil. But if he exercises only that noetic discrimination which distinguishes between the eternal and the transitory, and so keeps the divine commandment, he eats from the tree of life, that is to say, from the wisdom that appertains to his intellect; for he exercises only the power of discrimination associated with the soul, which makes him cleave to the glory of what is eternal as something good, and avoid the corruption of what is transitory as something evil.

This excellent icxn! Thank you! O ye of little faith do you not know how short this sojourn on this fallen planet is? As we ask, "Death where is thy sting?" 

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Hebrews 12:
5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

I only hope that someday I will suffer for God. I hope to one day either be a missionary or a monk. Yes I want a family and to have a job but I have already asked God to allow that someday I may throw off this worldly life and more fully dedicate myself to Him.
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2005, 09:37:24 AM »

What an interesting debate. A small point. Militant atheists like others of 'fixed' mind are unlikely to swayed by any arguement no matter how well though through. However, an answer to them is important because of those whose belief may be so shaken by the event or those who have been entertaining belief and find this inundation turning them away from God. For such as these an answer to the atheists may be useful or even necessary. For such as these did not Our Lord give us the parable of the Good Shepherd, going in search of the one lost sheep?

Anyway, I really am finding this thread thought-provoking......
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2005, 12:34:07 AM »

This question perplexes me frequently. I do not understand the suffering in this world. I have asked this question to many, and I have come to the conclusion that we don't know why suffering exists. We give our best stab at it but in the end we don't know why. I found the Archbishop of Canterbury's comments to be candid and refreshing.  He is right that prayer provides no magical solutions, it doesn't provide much of anything.

Quote
The bottom line is that these events are not indicative of God's wrath, but God's love. God's wrath would be to let us enjoy this life is [sinful] pleasures and perish in the next as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus teaches.

I don't quite understand this logic, it is almost along the lines of "in order to love you I must kill you."  Sending suffering doesn't bring everyone closer to God but instead can drive and alienate people from him.  I don't understand how seeing your child washed out of your arms by a tsunami is indicative of God's love. Giving money and aid is not going to replace the people who perished.


Creation is a botched process, thing is why didn't God just start over after Adam and Eve? I mean he could have very easily gotten rid of them and just create another set of human beings, and that way not condemn the rest of humanity to pain and suffering. If God is so mighty and powerful, then why is it at times he appears to be aloof and incompetent? Why is it that Satan is given so much power? I mean if God is so mighty, then why didn't he wipe out Satan completely before he created the earth? Since he is God he would surely know the damage Satan would inflict upon this creation he loves so dearly. God sounds like the wizard from the Wizard of Oz, where everyone thinks they are going off to see the mighty and powerful Oz, and yet they are disappointed to find out who the wizard really is. I That is God sounds like to me, everyone saying he is mighty and powerful yet where is that might and power? Where is the mightiness in letting innocent people die, including children? Doesn't God feel saddened by all of this?  I know we have free will and that God respects it, but I wonder if he regrets giving us free will. I mean why did he give us free will, and here is another thing, why does God need us? For love? If that is the case, then isn't God the perfect love? Why would he need create some miserable creatures who could never reciprocate that love back?

Quote
God didn't let Job know of all that was going on "behind the scenes" in the spiritual world, but basically said: "I AM GOD and you are not".  God says elsewhere in Scripture that (1) His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and that (2)the revealed things are for us and the secret things are for Him

Based on this quote from the Book of Job, it seems that God just wants us to shut up and take it from him without asking why. In other words, this doesn't answer why we suffer but that suffering exists and don't bother asking why. God isn't interested in imparting understanding.    I admit I don't understand God, of course according to the Bible we can't know God's thoughts because they cannot be fathomed by our simple little minds. All of this is completely frustrating but I have concluded that God is indeed either a cosmic sadist or woefully incompetent.  But we are stuck, we cannot change to  a different place where there is a different god.  Life is a cruel joke. The lucky ones are those who are not born, and the cruel joke is on us who are born into the world.
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2005, 12:56:37 AM »

You know Father and I were talking last night at work, when someone had mentioned some stuff about suffering, Tsunamis and the Apocalypse. His answer was pretty simple. Maybe it will help.

Suffering is the consequence of ourfall from God. When Adam was created, their was was no calamities, suffering, or death. But when Adam and Eve made their choice Man and Earth fell far from God.

My note: Just remember when someone suffers it is an opportunity for God to show His love and compassion through your prayers, counsel and service.  The joy is that death is the means for us to once again be re-united to our All Compassionate Father the way that we were meant to be.
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2005, 03:56:28 AM »

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He is right that prayer provides no magical solutions, it doesn't provide much of anything.

I have to disagree. I've met agnostics who believe in the power of prayer. Prayer always helps!

Quote
Based on this quote from the Book of Job, it seems that God just wants us to shut up and take it from him without asking why. In other words, this doesn't answer why we suffer but that suffering exists and don't bother asking why. God isn't interested in imparting understanding.    I admit I don't understand God, of course according to the Bible we can't know God's thoughts because they cannot be fathomed by our simple little minds. All of this is completely frustrating but I have concluded that God is indeed either a cosmic sadist or woefully incompetent.  But we are stuck, we cannot change to  a different place where there is a different god.  Life is a cruel joke. The lucky ones are those who are not born, and the cruel joke is on us who are born into the world.

The other day I broke the humerus bone (top half) of my left arm just because I slipped on ice trying to get the family dog to run back home after taking off without a leash. My first thought was thank you God that now I suffer for once. I might need surgery, am still in pain in spite of all the pain killers, and find it terribly annoying having to type with one hand in addition to being unable to sleep lying down due to the position my broken arm is propped in. But somehow I feel more alive now than usual. I'm not saying losing loved ones is good or that feeling extreme pain is good. I'm just saying that this life is transitory, full of pain and not good and incorrupt as it was before the Fall. We must put all faith in God Jesus Christ in his Church! That is the cure! We must pray with warmth and if we have something to offer, if we think we can help we should. I plan on going into the Peace Core soon so that I can help people. But ultimately it is God's and all must be rendered unto him as he is the source of Love and is Love itself!

Quote
All of this is completely frustrating but I have concluded that God is indeed either a cosmic sadist or woefully incompetent.

This is contrary to Orthodoxy which absolutely says, THERE IS NO COMPARISON BETWEEN THAT WHICH IS UNCREATED WITH THAT WHICH IS CREATED! 

Quote
Just remember when someone suffers it is an opportunity for God to show His love and compassion through your prayers, counsel and service.

Also remember why we each affirm ourselves as the worst of all sinners. Because we are the ones to blame and the only solution is to give up everything for God. Of course most of us cannot even do that. We must as you wrote do good as much as our weakness will allow us and take no credit as only God is good and due honor and worship.

Quote
Suffering is the consequence of our fall from God.  When Adam was created, their was was no calamities, suffering, or death.  But when Adam and Eve made their choice Man and Earth fell far from God.  The joy is that death is the means for us to once again be re-united to our All Compassionate Father the way that we were meant to be.

Ortho Celt I already have taken a liking to you because you are one of the few who does not question that all was made to be good and incorrupt before the Fall. Nice to meet you!
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2005, 01:41:37 PM »



all was made to be good and incorrupt before the Fall.

Well for all those on the New Calender, today is The Theophany, and all is good again. Christ has blessed His Fathers Creation through the waters of the Jordan.
 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2005, 01:42:41 PM by Ortho Celt » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2005, 08:20:56 PM »

Ortho Celt I hope you enjoyed the ceremonies. I wanted to go to church for the outdoor blessing but am still snowed in.

Quote
Well for all those on the New Calender, today is The Theophany, and all is good again. Christ has blessed His Fathers Creation through the waters of the Jordan.

Indeed! Now we all look to that day when all we be transformed in the final baptism of the Second Coming, when all will be incorrupt and better than before the fall. Our souls rejoice inside our corrupt flesh. Glory to God!

And Merry Christmas to those on the Julian calendar!
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2005, 08:48:10 PM »



I have to disagree. I've met agnostics who believe in the power of prayer. Prayer always helps! 

That was my personal opinion. I don't believe that prayer does much good.  In the end God decides, so why bother asking Him in the first place?

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The other day I broke the humerus bone (top half) of my left arm just because I slipped on ice trying to get the family dog to run back home after taking off without a leash. My first thought was thank you God that now I suffer for once. I might need surgery, am still in pain in spite of all the pain killers, and find it terribly annoying having to type with one hand in addition to being unable to sleep lying down due to the position my broken arm is propped in. But somehow I feel more alive now than usual. I'm not saying losing loved ones is good or that feeling extreme pain is good. I'm just saying that this life is transitory, full of pain and not good and incorrupt as it was before the Fall. We must put all faith in God Jesus Christ in his Church! That is the cure! We must pray with warmth and if we have something to offer, if we think we can help we should. I plan on going into the Peace Core soon so that I can help people. But ultimately it is God's and all must be rendered unto him as he is the source of Love and is Love itself!


Based on your statement it sounds like you haven't suffered much. I have suffered in my life and it is no fun. You know it is no fun? Because it never ends. I have tried to pray for this suffering to end, but it doesn't. Finally, I have given because I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I don't believe in sadomasochism and I don't look upon suffering as something joyful, because let's face it suffering can be unjust and cruel.  I refuse to suffer unjustly and I refuse to be joyous about it.  As for God's love, I question how much he really loves us but that is another topic entirely.  I agree that life is full of pain and sorrow, which is why I don't care for it much.



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Also remember why we each affirm ourselves as the worst of all sinners. Because we are the ones to blame and the only solution is to give up everything for God. Of course most of us cannot even do that. We must as you wrote do good as much as our weakness will allow us and take no credit as only God is good and due honor and worship.

We are the ones to blame? What about babies when they suffer, are they to blame because they are miserable sinners? What about the children that died in the tsunami? Are they to blame for what happened?  I can understand suffering for adults where yes it can be our fault, however there are people who suffering when it has nothing to do with their own choices in life.


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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2005, 09:21:59 PM »

With the Fall of Adam and Eve, mankind fell, as well as his creation.  This includes babies, and children.  Heck even the Most Pure Theotokos suffered.  Think of how she felt, as her son was being nailed to the cross.  Because Christ took on the nature of Man, he suffered, for mankind.  And I can't think of anyone more innocent than Christ himself, can you?  Yet he suffered.  While yes it is saddening and disheartening to see others suffer, especially infants and children.  Many infants lost their lives during the original Passover when the Angel of Death passed over each house.  Many infants were killed at Herod's hand due to the birth of the Christ Child.  We need to look beyond this temporal life and temporal suffering, for there is a far greater life beyond death.  If you are still having a hard time understanding all this, I would suggest stop looking in the forums and the words of men to find comfort.  For we have none for you, but spend much time in quiet prayer, where God will settle your heart.  Do not become discouraged, but instead continue to open your heart to our Merciful God who will give you the peace that passeth all understanding.

Like Fr. Seraphim Rose say's (which is also in my sig):

"Do not trust your mind too much; thinking must be refined by suffering, or it will not stand the test of these cruel times."

I would add that thinking must be refined not only by suffering, but prayer as well.

My prayers will be with you during this time of great suffering.
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2005, 09:33:43 PM »



That was my personal opinion. I don't believe that prayer does much good. In the end God decides, so why bother asking Him in the first place?



Based on your statement it sounds like you haven't suffered much. I have suffered in my life and it is no fun. You know it is no fun? Because it never ends. I have tried to pray for this suffering to end, but it doesn't. Finally, I have given because I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't believe in sadomasochism and I don't look upon suffering as something joyful, because let's face it suffering can be unjust and cruel. I refuse to suffer unjustly and I refuse to be joyous about it. As for God's love, I question how much he really loves us but that is another topic entirely. I agree that life is full of pain and sorrow, which is why I don't care for it much.



Alright alright, quite with the pity party, and stop trying to drag others into your self created misery.  It time you stopped blaming everyone else and minimizing other people struggles and suffering.  As for suffering unjustly, well I would ask yourself a few questions?  What is the justification for you to create all this extra suffering for yourself and for others?  What are you doing to help aid those who are suffering instead of creating more?  To many times we create way to much un-needed suffering because things do not meet our ideal.  I have been there.  I spent 2 years secluding myself from the world in a self induced depression.  We can either look at the night as a place of darkness, or as an opportunity to view the beauty of the stars of God's wonderous creation.
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2005, 12:16:36 AM »

I am not trying to drag others into my misery. In fact I am not inflicting suffering on anyone else. Nobody is inflicting this suffering upon me except for God himself In fact, you are right online is not the place to discuss these things. People don't like to here stuff like this, and I regret posting my opinions. Nobody wants to here doubts about faith or when things are not going well.  With this, this is my last post here at this site. I bid everyone good bye and farewell, it has been an interesting two years. So long.
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2005, 03:16:40 AM »

Ha! That's about the 10th time you quit this site. I await your next return, my friend. I think your a good chap, just maybe a little fickle and depressed. Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2005, 04:40:01 PM »

I am not trying to drag others into my misery. In fact I am not inflicting suffering on anyone else. Nobody is inflicting this suffering upon me except for God himself.

Well in some regards you were right at first by saying you are not inflicting suffering onto anyone else, because truth of the matter is you choose to suffer.  It's a choice that you make.  God doesn't put it on you.  That fact that you think that God is inflicting is a sad by product of heterodox teachings especially that of Catholics, Charismatics, and Pentecostals.  If you look deep inside, and are willing to accept the accountability of your own suffering, you will see that it is all self induce.

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 In fact, you are right online is not the place to discuss these things. People don't like to here stuff like this, and I regret posting my opinions. Nobody wants to here doubts about faith or when things are not going well. With this, this is my last post here at this site. I bid everyone good bye and farewell, it has been an interesting two years. So long.

Posting them wasn't the problem, the problem was that you were minimizing other peoples suffering, and making yours greater.  Like I said I know what it's like to be depressed.  You want to drag everyone into it, and you want to believe that no one is suffering greater than you.  This was when posting your depressive comments became wrong, and I recognized that being on the forums would not find you any solace.  Because at this point you don't want to hear truth.  There are many people that have passed through this world have suffered far greater than you, but in truth yours is the greatest of all these for you hold onto it and keep it like a prized possession.  Let it go, and for once open yourself up to the Glory of God.

As for us not wanting to hear DOUBTS about faith, this is not true.  Doubts are part of our struggle.  Without struggle there is no growth.  My prayers will be with you, and I hope to here from you again soon.
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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2005, 04:50:52 PM »

That fact that you think that God is inflicting is a sad by product of heterodox teachings especially that of Catholics, Charismatics, and Pentecostals.

Wouldn't have been easier just to say "All other Christians".  You are certainly over generalizing here. As a convert from Baptist and Pentacostal, I certainly did not here this teaching from the pulpit.
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2005, 05:17:13 PM »

Being that most Baptist churches are separate entities unto themselves, with no real church structure other than within the parish itself. I would have to disagree as there are many that teach this. Matter of fact I spoke with a lady the other day, who said that her kids were taken away from her is a punishment from God. She never said that her kids were taken away because she was a drug user, and unfit to be a mother at time.  She herself was a Baptist, and said this is how her church taught. The teachings are certainly out there in many of your mainstream church. And God Dr. Harold Camping teaches it on Family Radio broadcasted all over America. It's no wonder why so many give up hope in a loving God. I wouldn't worship HC's God even if if I was one of the predestined (Contradiction noted).


As for saying All Christians. Well, this in itself would be an overgeneralized statement, and would outwardly be false.

I just think it is most arrogant put all of our blame onto God for the problems of the world today.  If God went around and fixed everything for us, we might as well be robots, instead of humans with free will.
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2005, 05:52:23 PM »

Ha! That's about the 10th time you quit this site. I await your next return, my friend. I think your a good chap, just maybe a little fickle and depressed. Smiley

I await it, too.  All good trolls always return to their spot under the bridge.
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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2005, 07:49:09 PM »

Look at what I foung at: http://www.roca.org/

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For what glory is it if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (I Peter 2:20)

If a man has a friend and he is absolutely certain that his friend loves him, and if that friend does something to cause him suffering and be troublesome to him, he will be convinced that his friend acts out of love and he will never believe that his friend does it to harm him.  How much more ought we to be convinced about God who created us, who drew us out of nothingness to existence and life, and who became a man for our sake and died for us, and who does everything out of love for us? - Abba Dorotheos (+ c. 570)

If you are not willing to repent through freely choosing to suffer, unsought sufferings will providentially be imposed on you. - St. Thalassios (7th c.)

Suffering cleanses the soul infected with the filth of sensual pleasure and detaches it completely from material things by showing it the penalty incurred as a result of its affection for them. This is why God in His justice allows the devil to afflict men with torments. - St. Maximos the Confessor (+ 662)


Say does anybody watch that show Scarborough Country? I was watching it last night and they discussed the same topic. And the 'Christian' guests were awful. Pat Robertson, and the Anti-Semite Catholic League President were the best they could do?
The Rabbi was one of those Talmudic Jews who thinkswe can 'hold God accountable' as a mass-murderer.
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2005, 04:56:50 AM »

Alright, here is the scoop. Possible error in some of my thinking. Started reading "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology", and found a section on suffering. Now be advised this is only an excerpt. If any questions do not direct them to me, as I am only a catechumen. But I would suggest picking up the book, reading it, and then going over it with your spiritual Father, backed with a lot of prayer. It might sting a little for some.

To a certain extent, the unpleasant, shadowy sides of our human life make us value and sense more the highly joyful sides of life. But the word of God itself tells us that difficult sufferings, sorrows and afflictions cannot be acknowledged as manifestations completely in accordance with law and therefore normal; rather, they are a deviation from the norm. The sufferings of the human race began with the appearance of moral evil and are the consequences of sin, which entered into our life at that time. Of this the first pages of the Bible testify: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy sighing; in pain thou shalt bring forth children (the words addressed to Eve after the fall into sin); Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou seat of it all the days of thy life (the words spoken to Adam; Genesis IIIxvi-xvii). Sufferings are given to man as a means of chastisement, enlightenment and corruption. According to St Basil the Great, sufferings and death itself "cut off the growth of sin." Numerous examples of the awareness of the tie between suffering and sin as a result of its cause are given to us in the word of God: Lay hold of chastisement, lest at any time the Lord be angry (Psalm IIxii); it is good for me that Thou has humbled me, that I might learn Thy statutes (Psalm CXVIIIlxxi). Careful observation itself shows that the causes of diseases and sufferings, in the overwhelming majority of cases, are men themselves, who have created artificial and abnormal conditions for their existence, introducing a cruel mutual warfare while chasing after their own egotistic physical well-being; and sometimes these things are the direct result of a certain demonic attitude - pride, revenge, and malice.
As the word of God instructs us, the consequences of moral evil spread from people to the animal world and to the whole of creation: For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now...(Romans VIIIxxii)"
Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Father Michael Pomazansky
(Orig. in Russian, trans by Heiromonk Seraphim Rose)
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2005, 09:59:24 AM »

That was my personal opinion. I don't believe that prayer does much good.  In the end God decides, so why bother asking Him in the first place?

Not that there's a definite answer to this, but I think it's because He wants us to prove, or rather act on, the caring we have for one another.

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Based on your statement it sounds like you haven't suffered much. I have suffered in my life and it is no fun. You know it is no fun? Because it never ends...I refuse to suffer unjustly and I refuse to be joyous about it.

Well, if he's already gone, then I guess there's no point in my addressing him personally, so I'm going to "broaden the audience" to include all who are saying things like this.  First of all, folks like this are absolutely right in terms of analyzing what they perceive.  The problem isn't that.  The problem is that what they perceive -- that is, how much of life they actually can see -- is so limited as to make their interpretation of life very narrow and small.  G.K. Chesterton deals with this in his book titled, ironically enough, Orthodoxy.

I've talked some with sinjinsmith online, and while I don't know all of his suffering, ISTM that, were folks like this able to "lift their eyes," see a broader picture of the world, and make an honest comparison between their and others' suffering, they wouldn't feel the need to make such bizarre comments as, "Based on your statement it sounds like you haven't suffered much."  Who knows anyone on this forum -- that is, on this forum EXCLUSIVELY and not in real life -- well enough to make a call like that?  No one!  But that's what a narrow view of life will do when spent focusing on the gloom and doom of his/her own life and comparing the great suffering of tsunami victims to their own, relatively tame lives.

As for the "I refuse to suffer unjustly and I refuse to be joyous about it" part of it...I'll just share my own wake-up call with everybody.  The priest who chrismated me was having a little sit-down with me during my catechumenate and we were dealing with some of the crap that was in my heart that we all try to BS ourselves out of.  We basically came to the conclusion -- much to my surprise! -- that I basically thought I was above everybody else when I uttered a quote like the above.  He just looked right at me and, with a smirk, said, "And just who the hell do you think you are, huh?"  I like Ortho Celt's observation that folks much more innocent than I have suffered much more brutally than I.  Who am I to say, "Oh, why me?" 

Hear what (not-so-) comfortable words Christ tells us:
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Luke 13

   1There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

  2And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
 
  3I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
   
   4Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
   
   5I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Basically, He acknowledges that this world sucks a lot of the time. It's brutal, people die, people get tortured by other people, they get kicked out of their countries, they die of terminal illness, they get crushed by tsunamis or swallowed by earthquakes...IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR SIN.  But we lift up our eyes and we see that there's more -- and a better more it is! -- that we've got to get ourselves ready for!

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We are the ones to blame? What about babies when they suffer, are they to blame because they are miserable sinners? What about the children that died in the tsunami? Are they to blame for what happened?  I can understand suffering for adults where yes it can be our fault, however there are people who suffering when it has nothing to do with their own choices in life.

...and the innocents are in the bosom of the Lord.
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2005, 02:16:46 PM »

very nice post, Pedro. Smiley tis quite uplifting, IMO - thanx for it!
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2005, 06:13:33 PM »

A question which perplexes many, is the question of why does God allow great suffering and misery? And if He allows such suffering, what right has He to be called a loving God? 0[/url]

I suggest that you read The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis.
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« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2005, 12:01:18 PM »

...and then A Grief Observed by the same.
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« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2005, 12:47:40 PM »

Good posts, Pedro.
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« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2005, 08:58:50 PM »

I think we must all remember in this that the Fall was the fault of mankind. In the Garden, we had it all. this creation was made for us. All of it. God needs none of it to edify Him. But we wanted more. We chose to disobeythe Father who knew better than His childer, and lisened to the deciever. We merited more than the Fall. We merited perhaps the full anger of God which may have been the disolution of all creation. But God is a loving god, and rather than destroy us, He enacted the plan for our salvation by coming down to earth and teaching us the way, then dying for our sins and breaking the power fo death, then rising from the grave to show us it was not only possible but a done deal. He has done everything for our sanctification and salvation. It is we who choose to live apart form him. A part of that is our choice of pride. We choose to hang on to our personal hells and making our lives miserable. We choose to remain angry at God. We choose to justify our sins rather than repent. We see the medicine in front of us and we refuse to take it because it tastes a little bitter. True love and dedication involves pain and suffering. But it does not last in the face of love or joy. And no suffering is forever. At times it is the decision to let God do what needs be done is the hardest. We are truly control freaks. But through it all, he loves us. We keep on messing up, cursing him, spewing hate at the people of the world, thinking we are better, and yet still he loves us. We need let go of this pride if we are to obtain theosis. Someone said it best when they wrote the per communal prayer "I beieve, oh Lord and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who didst come into the world to save sinnners of whom I am chief....." God have mercy upon us all and save us.

We live in a fallen world, wherein we let sin, pain, and death.  We are prommised something better in the world to come.  And yet, the world can be redeemed.  Our Savior said "The kingdom of God is within you."  Let us show fourth that world inside, that it may be manifest without.

Thank you for reading.

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« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2005, 07:24:30 AM »

From The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Page:

Tremors of Doubt
What kind of God would allow a deadly tsunami?

BY DAVID B. HART
Friday, December 31, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

On Nov. 1, 1755, a great earthquake struck offshore of Lisbon. In that city alone, some 60,000 perished, first from the tremors, then from the massive tsunami that arrived half an hour later. Fires consumed much of what remained of the city. The tidal waves spread death along the coasts of Iberia and North Africa.

Voltaire's "Po+½me sur le d+¬sastre de Lisbonne" of the following year was an exquisitely savage--though sober--assault upon the theodicies prevalent in his time. For those who would argue that "all is good" and "all is necessary," that the universe is an elaborately calibrated harmony of pain and pleasure, or that this is the best of all possible worlds, Voltaire's scorn was boundless: By what calculus of universal good can one reckon the value of "infants crushed upon their mothers' breasts," the dying "sad inhabitants of desolate shores," the whole "fatal chaos of individual miseries"?

Perhaps the most disturbing argument against submission to "the will of God" in human suffering--especially the suffering of children--was placed in the mouth of Ivan Karamazov by Dostoyevsky; but the evils Ivan enumerates are all acts of human cruelty, for which one can at least assign a clear culpability. Natural calamities usually seem a greater challenge to the certitudes of believers in a just and beneficent God than the sorrows induced by human iniquity.

Considered dispassionately, though, man is part of the natural order, and his propensity for malice should be no less a scandal to the conscience of the metaphysical optimist than the most violent convulsions of the physical world. The same ancient question is apposite to the horrors of history and nature alike: Whence comes evil? And as Voltaire so elegantly apostrophizes, it is useless to invoke the balances of the great chain of being, for that chain is held in God's hand and he is not enchained.

As a Christian, I cannot imagine any answer to the question of evil likely to satisfy an unbeliever; I can note, though, that--for all its urgency--Voltaire's version of the question is not in any proper sense "theological." The God of Voltaire's poem is a particular kind of "deist" God, who has shaped and ordered the world just as it now is, in accord with his exact intentions, and who presides over all its eventualities austerely attentive to a precise equilibrium between felicity and morality. Not that reckless Christians have not occasionally spoken in such terms; but this is not the Christian God.

The Christian understanding of evil has always been more radical and fantastic than that of any theodicist; for it denies from the outset that suffering, death and evil have any ultimate meaning at all. Perhaps no doctrine is more insufferably fabulous to non-Christians than the claim that we exist in the long melancholy aftermath of a primordial catastrophe, that this is a broken and wounded world, that cosmic time is the shadow of true time, and that the universe languishes in bondage to "powers" and "principalities"--spiritual and terrestrial--alien to God. In the Gospel of John, especially, the incarnate God enters a world at once his own and yet hostile to him--"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not"--and his appearance within "this cosmos" is both an act of judgment and a rescue of the beauties of creation from the torments of fallen nature.

Whatever one makes of this story, it is no bland cosmic optimism. Yes, at the heart of the gospel is an ineradicable triumphalism, a conviction that the victory over evil and death has been won; but it is also a victory yet to come. As Paul says, all creation groans in anguished anticipation of the day when God's glory will transfigure all things. For now, we live amid a strife of darkness and light.

When confronted by the sheer savage immensity of worldly suffering--when we see the entire littoral rim of the Indian Ocean strewn with tens of thousands of corpses, a third of them children's--no Christian is licensed to utter odious banalities about God's inscrutable counsels or blasphemous suggestions that all this mysteriously serves God's good ends. We are permitted only to hate death and waste and the imbecile forces of chance that shatter living souls, to believe that creation is in agony in its bonds, to see this world as divided between two kingdoms--knowing all the while that it is only charity that can sustain us against "fate," and that must do so until the end of days.

Mr. Hart, an Eastern Orthodox theologian, is the author of "The Beauty of the Infinite" (Eerdmans).
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« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2005, 09:19:46 AM »

...
When confronted by the sheer savage immensity of worldly suffering--when we see the entire littoral rim of the Indian Ocean strewn with tens of thousands of corpses, a third of them children's--no Christian is licensed to utter odious banalities about God's inscrutable counsels or blasphemous suggestions that all this mysteriously serves God's good ends. We are permitted only to hate death and waste and the imbecile forces of chance that shatter living souls, to believe that creation is in agony in its bonds, to see this world as divided between two kingdoms--knowing all the while that it is only charity that can sustain us against "fate," and that must do so until the end of days.

Hmm... it doesn't sound right. What forces of chance? What fate? It sounds that Mr. Hart is trying to introduce a fourth element in the Orthodox Doctrine of Causality.

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...But not God alone is personal. Personal are also the angels, personal is Satan with his perverse hosts of demons, and finally personal are men. If you carefully read the Bible, without the prejudices of so-called "natural laws" and the supposed "accidental causes", you will find three causal factors, and all the three personal. They are: God, Satan and Man. They are, of course, not equal in personal attributes, and there is no parity among them. Satan has lost all his positive attributes of an angel of light, and has become the chief enemy of God and Man, but still he has remained a personal being, bent though to do evil. Man, since the original of sin, has darkened his glory and deformed God's image in himself; yet, he has remained a personal being, conscious, intelligent and purposefully active, wavering between God and Satan, with his free choice to be saved by the first or destroyed by the second.
(Source: http://www.stvladimirs.ca/library/orthodox-doctrine-causality.html)
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« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2005, 10:29:37 AM »

Hmm... it doesn't sound right. What forces of chance? What fate? It sounds that Mr. Hart is trying to introduce a fourth element in the Orthodox Doctrine of Causality.

I'm not sure that was the author's intent. Notice he did put "fate" in quotes. ISTM like he's saying that from our perspective such calamities appear to be "chance" or "fate". But your next quote describes the real situation....

Quote
...But not God alone is personal. Personal are also the angels, personal is Satan with his perverse hosts of demons, and finally personal are men. If you carefully read the Bible, without the prejudices of so-called "natural laws" and the supposed "accidental causes", you will find three causal factors, and all the three personal. They are: God, Satan and Man. They are, of course, not equal in personal attributes, and there is no parity among them. Satan has lost all his positive attributes of an angel of light, and has become the chief enemy of God and Man, but still he has remained a personal being, bent though to do evil. Man, since the original of sin, has darkened his glory and deformed God's image in himself; yet, he has remained a personal being, conscious, intelligent and purposefully active, wavering between God and Satan, with his free choice to be saved by the first or destroyed by the second.
(Source: http://www.stvladimirs.ca/library/orthodox-doctrine-causality.html)
Excellent point. I do agree that events cannot be necessarily be reduced to the natural "laws" that describe them. There are other personal agents in the world that may affect the course of natural events (all within God's Providence of course) for good or for ill. I think Mr. Hart alluded to these when he mentioned "principalities" and "powers".
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« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2005, 03:48:19 PM »


I actually prefer A Grief Observed, written after his wife's bout with a terminal illness, in which he calls God a "cosmic sadist." It's an excellent comarison to take Problem and Grief and see the difference between how folks who deal with severe grief change when they have to "wrestle with the Why."

Well, I recommended Problem of Pain first, because A Grief Observed is stronger stuff and some people may not be able to understand "cosmic sadist" in context.  Some might even read that as Lewis turning against God or say that he wasn't a Christian if he wrote that.  There are greater and lesser griefs in life and sometimes people have be able to reach adulthood without experiencing many shattering ones.  This may lead to not understanding the anguish of another person in grieving.

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All sins are pleasurable (for a moment); not all pleasure is sin.

Are they? As a fr'instance: what pleasure is there in cowardice?  (You can probably tell that I've been leafing through "Screwtape"  Wink  )

Ebor
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« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2005, 03:54:10 PM »

Well, I recommended Problem of Pain first, because A Grief Observed is stronger stuff and some people may not be able to understand "cosmic sadist" in context.

Yeah, like I said...it's good to compare the two.

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  Some might even read that as Lewis turning against God or say that he wasn't a Christian if he wrote that.

Yes, because God forbid we should ever get mad at Him!  That would just be...honest!   Wink

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There are greater and lesser griefs in life and sometimes people have be able to reach adulthood without experiencing many shattering ones.  This may lead to not understanding the anguish of another person in grieving.

Which is why the progression you mentioned is a good one.  I wouldn't have them stop at Problem, though.  It's pretty much necessary, imo, to proceed to Grief.

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Are they? As a fr'instance: what pleasure is there in cowardice?  (You can probably tell that I've been leafing through "Screwtape"  Wink  )

Well, cowardice does preserve your life/health, at least temporarily, which is a momentary release from the stress experienced just prior to the running away.
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« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2005, 04:15:47 PM »


Not that there's a definite answer to this, but I think it's because He wants us to prove, or rather act on, the caring we have for one another.

And caring/helping someone in pain or tragedy takes compassion and not lectures about how it's due to sin or to test us.  That *won't* help and may, in fact, harm or even drive a person away from God or cause dispair. 

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I've talked some with sinjinsmith online, and while I don't know all of his suffering, ISTM that, were folks like this able to "lift their eyes," see a broader picture of the world, and make an honest comparison between their and others' suffering, they wouldn't feel the need to make such bizarre comments as, "Based on your statement it sounds like you haven't suffered much." Who knows anyone on this forum -- that is, on this forum EXCLUSIVELY and not in real life -- well enough to make a call like that? No one!

True, Pedro.  For most of us, others are crunchons, mere words and emoticons on a screen.  It's important to remember that there are Real Live Human Beings somewhere who have made the words.  And we don't know their sorrows and hurt unless they tell us.  Err on the side of compassion, it seems to me.  Also, I try to remember that there are lurkers who may never post here, but read our words both good and ill.

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Basically, He acknowledges that this world sucks a lot of the time. It's brutal, people die, people get tortured by other people, they get kicked out of their countries, they die of terminal illness, they get crushed by tsunamis or swallowed by earthquakes...IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR SIN. But we lift up our eyes and we see that there's more -- and a better more it is! -- that we've got to get ourselves ready for!

But, it isn't All Bad, either.  One has to not fall into the fallicy that the only things that are Real are the bad/ugly/painful things while anything that is Good/happy/beautiful is only an illusion. (Lewis again)

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...and the innocents are in the bosom of the Lord.

But care should be taken, maybe to not casually say that to a grieving mother who's only thought is her dead child.  Wait a while. Listen to her.  Pray with her. Don't tell her not to morn.  Empathy, if only it were easy to learn.

Ebor
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« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2005, 04:28:18 PM »

Yes, because God forbid we should ever get mad at Him! That would just be...honest! Wink

I've read people, though, who would say that such feelings are *Not* those of a real Christian.  That any doubt is wrong.  It's in my mind from long ago something about such doubt might be the sin against the Holy Spirit.  Easy for them to say, and harmful to the person addressed.

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Which is why the progression you mentioned is a good one. I wouldn't have them stop at Problem, though. It's pretty much necessary, imo, to proceed to Grief.

Just read them in the right order.  Though there may be a time in one's life to read it.  Maybe "Grief" is too strong for say a teenager in good health with a home and family.  Sometimes, sorrow/experience prepares us to learn or understand things that otherwise we wouldn't.

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Well, cowardice does preserve your life/health, at least temporarily, which is a momentary release from the stress experienced just prior to the running away.

But is there actual pleasure in being a coward?  Cowardice is still shameful to the person who has experienced it.  You don't hear someone bragging about being a coward the way they might about being drunk or stealing or lustful.... 

Ebor 
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« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2005, 04:34:48 PM »

There are some instances of suffering that I would not necessarily believe that God particularly allows but are merely just due to natural forces, the tsunami for example.
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« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2005, 05:37:15 PM »

There are some instances of suffering that I would not necessarily believe that God particularly allows but are merely just due to natural forces, the tsunami for example.

But whether He does or not, tragedies and sorrow and bad things happening frequently have people asking questions like "Why did this happen?"/"Why did God let this happen?".  Pain makes Humanity cry out for answers.

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« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2005, 03:07:41 AM »

Pain makes Humanity cry out for answers.


Some things are meant to remain a mystery until the end has come.

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« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2005, 04:48:41 AM »

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There are some instances of suffering that I would not necessarily believe that God particularly allows but are merely just due to natural forces, the tsunami for example.

So God is not in control of these natural forces?   Huh

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« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2005, 05:12:55 AM »



So God is not in control of these natural forces? Huh

Wondering,
Aaron

God designs the natural law and sets it in to motion and then allows it to work on its own. Think of Newtonian physics.
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