OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 28, 2014, 03:21:43 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 4 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: So Why does God allow Bad things to Happen?  (Read 3863 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« on: April 14, 2013, 04:59:56 PM »

Kind of a classic, age-old question--but, still a good one, nonetheless. So, tell me, why does God allow bad things to happen? This is one of those big mysteries that really makes no sense to me no matter how I look at it. No matter how "figured-out" I may think I have it, there always seems to be one fatal problem with it that sends the whole answer sprawling apart. I've noticed this with several of the apologetics that allegedly solve this problem. The western answer to this question is usually something along the lines of "free will hurr hurr!!", which, doesn't make too much sense or hold very much water when you really examine it. I've noticed that the eastern answers I've received are usually something along the lines of God allowing it to happen in order to test and strengthen us. My problem with this answer is that it seems to detract from God's almighty power. If He could do anything, then why would He need evil and suffering to achieve His agenda? Likewise, it gives too much power to the concept of evil, and reduces Orthodoxy to dualism. So what is the proper answer to this question?
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 06:36:44 PM »

This is the ultimate question for me, and I have yet to hear or read a theodicy that works very well. In light of some suffering, the free will argument looks okay. But when you begin to consider the quantity of human suffering, animal suffering, and the secret suffering of some people (say, that of child sex slaves, for instance) that cannot serve any divine purpose whatsoever, there really is no suitable answer to the problem of suffering. As Christians, we can respond to suffering in good or bad ways. But that doesn't get God - an omnipotent, loving, and intervening God - off the hook.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 06:44:21 PM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
William
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Posts: 4,306


« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 08:11:20 PM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
Sinful Hypocrite
Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
Posts: 1,601


Great googly moogly!


« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 08:38:10 PM »

One must look at these things from different angles, and then you can glimpse other possibilities that you never could. There is also time, that it takes time to make sense or turn bad to good.

There is also the fact that suffering can bring great works and end up doing great things. Eric Clapton is always said to be the one left behind to play the blues created by tragedies. He would never have been able to create those things otherwise.
Thomas Edison is said to have been inspired to create the light bulb, when he was young, the doctor who was operating on his mother on the dining room table, had to tell him that he did not need to continue looking for more candles to help the doctor see what he was doing , since she had just died.

I have been taught to be more sympathetic towards those who are downtrodden by experiencing it myself, also the way we learn is through failure, and there is no other way most of the time.


There is the story of Dogface, who is now Saint Christopher. He was born as an extremely handsome man, and he saw as he reached adulthood , that he was too easily tempted and treated better than his fellow, simply because of his looks. So he asked God to give him the face of a dog because he loved God so much that he knew he would never be all he wanted as a Christian with everyone treating him better than others because he was so attractive to women and men.
So God granted his wish and he ended up as a saint.



Those who never experience pain can never understand, those who are rich , in money or good looks and talent,also cannot understand the plight of others less blessed because they are treated different.
Those who have worn a fat suit to make them look like a fat person cannot believe how they were treated while they had the suit on.
So those who suffer are also wiser for it. Your mother also probably told you would thank her for punishing you now, but you never understand that she was right until decades later.

In Alcoholics Anonymous they are taught to believe that they have to admit they are incapable of controlling what happens in your life, and when you think that you are responsible for all that goes in your life, you end up a mess, because not everyone can be a success all the time, and things happen that we cannot control. By teaching to believe in a "Higher power", They have helped more people overcome thier problems more than any other since they started 80 years ago.

Of course there is also pure evil and things which are sickening and useless. But there will never be anyone who can make sense of it, or any science to explain some things, no matter how you try.

Only through faith can you overcome these things.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 08:49:34 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

"A Christian is someone who follows and worships a perfectly good God who revealed his true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.“
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 09:32:13 PM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.

I can't tell if you are being facetious or sincere here. Regardless, it seems to me that the problem of suffering is not necessarily something you have to "iron out" before becoming Christian. Obviously my own reflections in this particular thread are not very supportive of a Christian worldview, but indeed many Christian believers struggle with this issue throughout their lives (Dostoevsky, for instance). The problem of suffering is a biggy, one that I get caught on again and again... both before and since formally becoming Christian. I think that if it doesn't sometimes pose a bit of a problem for an honest thinking person from time to time, then there may be something else going on (e.g. denial, refusal to "go there", complacency, resistance to reality, self-deception, fear, etc). Or perhaps such people, by God's grace, know or can see a lot more than we do (such as the saints)? Lately for me, the hope is that our perspective as creatures in time and matter is simply too limited to understand suffering, and that God ultimately has a good reason for allowing all of it. And it'll all be made right in the end. In the face of all of the terrible suffering in the world, that's not much of an answer. It's just a hope. I guess that is what having faith is all about.  Tongue Smiley
Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 09:37:07 PM »

God allows you to post, doesn't he?
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
William
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Posts: 4,306


« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 09:55:53 PM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.

I can't tell if you are being facetious or sincere here. Regardless, it seems to me that the problem of suffering is not necessarily something you have to "iron out" before becoming Christian. Obviously my own reflections in this particular thread are not very supportive of a Christian worldview, but indeed many Christian believers struggle with this issue throughout their lives (Dostoevsky, for instance). The problem of suffering is a biggy, one that I get caught on again and again... both before and since formally becoming Christian. I think that if it doesn't sometimes pose a bit of a problem for an honest thinking person from time to time, then there may be something else going on (e.g. denial, refusal to "go there", complacency, resistance to reality, self-deception, fear, etc). Or perhaps such people, by God's grace, know or can see a lot more than we do (such as the saints)? Lately for me, the hope is that our perspective as creatures in time and matter is simply too limited to understand suffering, and that God ultimately has a good reason for allowing all of it. And it'll all be made right in the end. In the face of all of the terrible suffering in the world, that's not much of an answer. It's just a hope. I guess that is what having faith is all about.  Tongue Smiley

Well, maybe this particular issue can be an exception to some degree. But James has also made similar threads about stuff like venerating saints, confession and communion, basic catechetical stuff. All after his baptism.

BTW I find the insinuation that you aren't honest if you don't question God because of suffering to be fairly insulting.
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 10:03:17 PM »

BTW I find the insinuation that you aren't honest if you don't question God because of suffering to be fairly insulting.

Sorry, William. I didn't mean to be insulting. Perhaps I am generalizing too much.
Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 10:11:17 PM »

NVM!
 Lips Sealed
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 10:12:59 PM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,100


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 10:18:59 PM »

Perhaps the things we view as "bad", are bad in our human eyes.   He created you, can take you away, or do anything to anybody.  We are his.

Also, consider Adam & Eve, we left the garden.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
Cognomen
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Phyletism Rules, OK
Posts: 1,968


Ungrateful Biped


« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 10:50:25 PM »


Also, consider Adam & Eve, we left the garden.

Point taken, but it's pretty easy to retort that with Adam & Eve, they left the garden.

If one already "buys into the system," then this sort of response works.  Otherwise, I'm not so sure.
Logged

North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,964


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2013, 10:54:41 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2013, 11:00:23 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
William
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Posts: 4,306


« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2013, 11:10:42 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.

There has to be both God and not-god in the cosmos for anything to have been created, really.
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
NightOwl
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 596



« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2013, 01:07:32 AM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.

I can't tell if you are being facetious or sincere here. Regardless, it seems to me that the problem of suffering is not necessarily something you have to "iron out" before becoming Christian. Obviously my own reflections in this particular thread are not very supportive of a Christian worldview, but indeed many Christian believers struggle with this issue throughout their lives (Dostoevsky, for instance). The problem of suffering is a biggy, one that I get caught on again and again... both before and since formally becoming Christian. I think that if it doesn't sometimes pose a bit of a problem for an honest thinking person from time to time, then there may be something else going on (e.g. denial, refusal to "go there", complacency, resistance to reality, self-deception, fear, etc). Or perhaps such people, by God's grace, know or can see a lot more than we do (such as the saints)? Lately for me, the hope is that our perspective as creatures in time and matter is simply too limited to understand suffering, and that God ultimately has a good reason for allowing all of it. And it'll all be made right in the end. In the face of all of the terrible suffering in the world, that's not much of an answer. It's just a hope. I guess that is what having faith is all about.  Tongue Smiley

Well, maybe this particular issue can be an exception to some degree. But James has also made similar threads about stuff like venerating saints, confession and communion, basic catechetical stuff. All after his baptism.

BTW I find the insinuation that you aren't honest if you don't question God because of suffering to be fairly insulting.

I wouldn't be here if Orthodox Christians were discouraged from discussing even the most elemental aspects of the faith at any point in their lives. I appreciate (most of) James' threads because they raise issues that can't really be addressed with short answers and then dismissed; instead, questions such as these must be part of an ongoing discussion. As Dostoevsky said, "My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt."
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 01:08:48 AM by NightOwl » Logged
William
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Posts: 4,306


« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 01:40:58 AM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.

I can't tell if you are being facetious or sincere here. Regardless, it seems to me that the problem of suffering is not necessarily something you have to "iron out" before becoming Christian. Obviously my own reflections in this particular thread are not very supportive of a Christian worldview, but indeed many Christian believers struggle with this issue throughout their lives (Dostoevsky, for instance). The problem of suffering is a biggy, one that I get caught on again and again... both before and since formally becoming Christian. I think that if it doesn't sometimes pose a bit of a problem for an honest thinking person from time to time, then there may be something else going on (e.g. denial, refusal to "go there", complacency, resistance to reality, self-deception, fear, etc). Or perhaps such people, by God's grace, know or can see a lot more than we do (such as the saints)? Lately for me, the hope is that our perspective as creatures in time and matter is simply too limited to understand suffering, and that God ultimately has a good reason for allowing all of it. And it'll all be made right in the end. In the face of all of the terrible suffering in the world, that's not much of an answer. It's just a hope. I guess that is what having faith is all about.  Tongue Smiley

Well, maybe this particular issue can be an exception to some degree. But James has also made similar threads about stuff like venerating saints, confession and communion, basic catechetical stuff. All after his baptism.

BTW I find the insinuation that you aren't honest if you don't question God because of suffering to be fairly insulting.

I wouldn't be here if Orthodox Christians were discouraged from discussing even the most elemental aspects of the faith at any point in their lives. I appreciate (most of) James' threads because they raise issues that can't really be addressed with short answers and then dismissed; instead, questions such as these must be part of an ongoing discussion. As Dostoevsky said, "My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt."

That's not even close to what I said.

Yeah, I am relatively certain that some actual firmness in accepting the Faith is encouraged before entrance into the church. I don't really think converts should join the church and then resolve their issues about basic beliefs. Seems kinda like what the catechumenate is for...
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
Tamara
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of America
Posts: 2,208


+Pray for Orthodox Unity+


« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2013, 02:05:22 AM »

The source of suffering, pain and disease does not come from God. It comes from us and what we do as human beings to each other and to our environment. Our sins radiate out from us like a pebble thrown in a pond. In other words, there is no such thing as a sin that is private and only harms ourselves. And as we have been taught, all sin leads to death.

And for this reason God sent His Son to save us. People forget that because Christ destroyed death with His Godhead there is much power in our prayers and especially in the prayers of the saints and the holy Theotokos. But we do have to make the effort to pray and fast and offer up names to be read during the proskomide. We have had multiple members of my parish healed when we pray as a community for them.

As for the suffering of the innocent, such as children being aborted in the womb, I can only imagine the tears of the Theotokos, streaming down, as She waits for us to take action, to pray, to speak up for the defenseless, to do whatever we can to put a stop to the holocaust.

So the question isn't why does God allow suffering. He has already done everything by suffering on our behalf, dying the cross, destroying death, sending the Comforter, giving us full access to intercessions of His Holy Mother and His beloved saints, and offering us all we need to do battle through partaking of the mysteries of the Church. No the question is why are we too faithless or slothful to pray for those who suffer and to do whatever we can to bring healing to the world?
Logged
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,524



« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2013, 02:23:51 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.

Do you think that our deification cannot happen unless we are immersed in evil? What happened to the idea that we are falling short of the kind of persons that He created us to be? I submit to you that we would still have a challenge even in the absence of evil, suffering, pain and disease. My priest had an interesting take on this, just last week (Sunday of the Holy Cross) he said the following (I am paraphrasing from memory): The creation of man in Genesis ("Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness") was not completed until the Lord was crucified ("It is finished").

This goes along with St Athanasius' dictum that "Christ became like man so that we might become like him." What this means is that we each have our own crosses to bear--affirmative actions that go way beyond eschewing sins, being "good," and overcoming evil, pain and suffering. If you remember the parable of the rich man, he fell short when he could not bring himself to give up all of his wealth, even though he was a righteous man.
Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
orthonorm
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,343



« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2013, 03:00:15 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.

Do you think that our deification cannot happen unless we are immersed in evil? What happened to the idea that we are falling short of the kind of persons that He created us to be? I submit to you that we would still have a challenge even in the absence of evil, suffering, pain and disease. My priest had an interesting take on this, just last week (Sunday of the Holy Cross) he said the following (I am paraphrasing from memory): The creation of man in Genesis ("Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness") was not completed until the Lord was crucified ("It is finished").

This goes along with St Athanasius' dictum that "Christ became like man so that we might become like him." What this means is that we each have our own crosses to bear--affirmative actions that go way beyond eschewing sins, being "good," and overcoming evil, pain and suffering. If you remember the parable of the rich man, he fell short when he could not bring himself to give up all of his wealth, even though he was a righteous man.

Carl,

A slight correction, I don't think the rich man you referring to is a parabolic figure, much to the chagrin of many I believe.

And I have some slight problems with folks reading a bit much into Christ's words it is finished given when they happen and the possible implications which lie within the Greek which might not be apparent in the English. A reading as the one which you include above does seem lend itself to a more "saved by the blood" protestant reading.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,524



« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2013, 07:05:39 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.

Do you think that our deification cannot happen unless we are immersed in evil? What happened to the idea that we are falling short of the kind of persons that He created us to be? I submit to you that we would still have a challenge even in the absence of evil, suffering, pain and disease. My priest had an interesting take on this, just last week (Sunday of the Holy Cross) he said the following (I am paraphrasing from memory): The creation of man in Genesis ("Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness") was not completed until the Lord was crucified ("It is finished").

This goes along with St Athanasius' dictum that "Christ became like man so that we might become like him." What this means is that we each have our own crosses to bear--affirmative actions that go way beyond eschewing sins, being "good," and overcoming evil, pain and suffering. If you remember the parable of the rich man, he fell short when he could not bring himself to give up all of his wealth, even though he was a righteous man.

Carl,

A slight correction, I don't think the rich man you referring to is a parabolic figure, much to the chagrin of many I believe.

And I have some slight problems with folks reading a bit much into Christ's words it is finished given when they happen and the possible implications which lie within the Greek which might not be apparent in the English. A reading as the one which you include above does seem lend itself to a more "saved by the blood" protestant reading.

I apologize for not expressing Father Thomas' point, which was that God created us in His image and likeliness and gave us Jesus the Christ to emulate, to include His self-sacrifice. He does not expect us to replicate His sacrifice on the cross, but he does expect us to emulate Him in self-sacrifice. I thought that the homily was on point given the occasion: Third Sunday of Lent when it St Paul's words, we have "crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). The point then is not crucifixion and death, but self-sacrifice, giving up one's most valuable asset. As St Mark points out in his account of the parable of the rich man, Jesus approved of his disciples' self-sacrifice, which was not giving up their wealth (they had none), but their action in leaving "everything to follow (Him)!" (Mark 10:29).

The parable of the rich man is related to the Lord's admonition in Matthew 10: "38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it." Thus, the rich man's cross was giving up his wealth; others' may be giving up on their ambitions, and even their life.

Now, to go back to "it is finished" and its interpretation as the work of creation being finished, I do not doubt that the main interpretation is that Christ's redemptive work was finished--surely a Protestant notion that we do not ascribe to. That said, I do think that the idea of man as a Christlike creature fits well with his creation in God's image and likeness, as well as with many teachings of our Lord.
Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
Sinful Hypocrite
Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
Posts: 1,601


Great googly moogly!


« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2013, 06:20:01 PM »

If God were to stop all bad things from happening, then there would be no freedom to choose or make mistakes.
This would be similar to the Borg in Star trek, where the collective is in control of all thoughts and minds,and there are no individuals with Freewill.
Logged

The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

"A Christian is someone who follows and worships a perfectly good God who revealed his true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.“
Frederic
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholicism > Eastern Orthodoxy
Jurisdiction: Antioch
Posts: 88


St Frederick of Utrecht


« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2013, 11:05:52 AM »

An interesting piece of work by Saint John of Damascus. An extract of his Dialogue between a Christian and a Saracen:

http://irishanddangerous.blogspot.ca/2008/03/dialogue-between-christian-and-saracen.html
Logged

«One cannot understand the least thing about modern civilization if one does not first realize that it is a universal conspiracy to destroy the inner life.» (George Bernanos)
essene19
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Islam
Posts: 45


« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2013, 11:38:45 AM »

If there is no evil, then where could we get our concept of good?  I think evil has to exist in order to make sense of man's moral struggle on Earth.  If everything was just love and roses, that would be Paradise, but this is not Paradise.

Man's constant questioning the concept of evil and suffering, to me, points to one thing and one thing only - we all want to go back home, back to Eden.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 11:39:14 AM by essene19 » Logged
Dpaula
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian w/ Romanian background
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 295


« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2013, 11:50:38 AM »

If there is no evil, then where could we get our concept of good?  I think evil has to exist in order to make sense of man's moral struggle on Earth.  If everything was just love and roses, that would be Paradise, but this is not Paradise.

Man's constant questioning the concept of evil and suffering, to me, points to one thing and one thing only - we all want to go back home, back to Eden.

++++1
Logged

Not posting anymore due to the rudeness on this site.
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2013, 11:57:13 AM »

If there is no evil, then where could we get our concept of good?  I think evil has to exist in order to make sense of man's moral struggle on Earth.  If everything was just love and roses, that would be Paradise, but this is not Paradise.

Man's constant questioning the concept of evil and suffering, to me, points to one thing and one thing only - we all want to go back home, back to Eden.

++++1


^ Wonderfully said.
Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2013, 03:59:16 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 
Logged
Nathanael
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 195



« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2013, 04:15:25 PM »

Quote
The western answer to this question is usually something along the lines of "free will hurr hurr!!", which, doesn't make too much sense or hold very much water when you really examine it.
Then examine it again and again...
Myself was some years ago under the influence of demons, and I know what it means to have no freedom. It's still the most deep wound in my soul, which I have experienced in my life, although it was just for one, two seconds. Believe me, you don't want to know how it feels like.

For example somebody wants to kill another person, what should God do, but to let it happen? Should he kill every time a person, before he can commit a crime by a bolt or heart-attack?!
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 04:30:34 PM by Nathanael » Logged

"Orthodoxy is the very nature of man" - Father Rafail Noica
Nathanael
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 195



« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2013, 04:17:31 PM »

If everything was just love and roses, I would die in luciferic pride!

And it's interesting, that very often especially people who went through the most terrible suffering - particularly very painful and long illness - understands the deep meaning of suffering much better than others, because they sensed the mystery behind it.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 04:31:28 PM by Nathanael » Logged

"Orthodoxy is the very nature of man" - Father Rafail Noica
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2013, 04:38:50 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.
Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,964


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2013, 10:43:59 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

One could consider the source or the question...
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 04:20:27 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.
Logged
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2013, 08:27:14 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

We believe God can make icons weep, perform various miracles, communicate with prophets, and so forth. We don't worship a deistic God who put everything into motion and then left to make some popcorn (and never returned!). Christianity's God is an interacting and intervening God.

You say that placing blame on God removes all human responsibility. But humans simply cannot prevent a good deal of suffering that takes place. For instance, over 98,000 women have died in childbirth already this year. Ouch. Most of them probably lived in poorer countries with less access to modern medical facilities and doctors. But if you contemplate the amount of women and children who have died throughout the centuries in the birthing process alone, the numbers must be staggering. And there hasn't been anything humans knew or could do to prevent it. Then there are natural disasters, diseases, birth defects, and so on. I agree that humans need to take responsibility for the harm that their actions cause other people and creatures. And we must do our best to alleviate the suffering of others. But if God can do something about certain cases of suffering, and does not do something, and humanity lacks the resources or advanced knowledge to do something effective, then is it not safe to surmise that God allows such things? I personally cannot see any way around this. Additionally, many Church fathers say that we must accept everything that comes to us as being allowed by God (for our own purification, humiliation, or what have you) .
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 08:28:45 AM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
Yeshua HaDerekh
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox pre 100AD
Posts: 318



« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2013, 10:43:20 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

If you take man's free will away only then can you ask that question or blame God for "allowing" bad things to happen.  It was Mary's free will choice to have Yeshua. God did not force her to. the whole universe suffers the consequences of the choice Adam and Eve made...   
Logged

If they hear not Moshe and the Nevi'im, neither will they be persuaded by one that rose from the dead.
88Devin12
Warned
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,864



« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2013, 03:39:12 PM »

Simple answer is, God doesn't, they just happen.

God isn't like a parent who holds their kids hand while they ride a bike down the street. He's like a parent who allows their kid to ride down the street on their own. If they fall, then it happens and he will be there to help the child up, but even so the child has to want to get up.

God has an active hand in creation, buts not like he's going to stick a hand in and stop and explosion or an evil person. What happens happens. If a meteor hits the earth and a quarter of mankind dies, then that is just what happens. It's incredibly sad, but it happens.

I had a childhood friend who refused to wear a seatbelt because God would protect him. But we told him that God trusts that he'd be smart enough to wear a seatbelt and take care of himself. 15 years or so later, he was killed after being thrown from the car during a wreck.
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2013, 01:58:33 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

We believe God can make icons weep, perform various miracles, communicate with prophets, and so forth. We don't worship a deistic God who put everything into motion and then left to make some popcorn (and never returned!). Christianity's God is an interacting and intervening God.

You say that placing blame on God removes all human responsibility. But humans simply cannot prevent a good deal of suffering that takes place. For instance, over 98,000 women have died in childbirth already this year. Ouch. Most of them probably lived in poorer countries with less access to modern medical facilities and doctors. But if you contemplate the amount of women and children who have died throughout the centuries in the birthing process alone, the numbers must be staggering. And there hasn't been anything humans knew or could do to prevent it. Then there are natural disasters, diseases, birth defects, and so on. I agree that humans need to take responsibility for the harm that their actions cause other people and creatures. And we must do our best to alleviate the suffering of others. But if God can do something about certain cases of suffering, and does not do something, and humanity lacks the resources or advanced knowledge to do something effective, then is it not safe to surmise that God allows such things? I personally cannot see any way around this. Additionally, many Church fathers say that we must accept everything that comes to us as being allowed by God (for our own purification, humiliation, or what have you) .

You blame God all you want.  I won't.

You must be able to prove God allows something before you can ask why He allows it, but since no one can do this...
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2013, 02:06:23 AM »

It is always a remarkable spectacle when people who achieve great things focus on their own efforts taking all credit, but when unpleasant events unfold, they question and blame God.  Incredible.
Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2013, 02:20:01 AM »

I love the hypocrisy when it's always "Thank God!" whenever something great happens, but whenever something bad happens, God is always absent. Either God is responsible for everything that happens or He is not responsible at all. God made humans knowing what we would do with our alleged "freedom," therefore, He is at blame for all the bad. That's like me knowing that person A is going to murder person B and refusing to stop person A (even when I am fully capable). I'd be guilty. If you don't solve the problem you are part of it.  The same applies to God.

The whole "free-will" thing seems quite too rooted in the social Darwinist neo-Rayndian logic of the GOP and religious right--which, is actually quite un-Christian because it assumes that everyone starts off with a fair shake and ignores external factors that often impede upon a person's free will.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 02:23:25 AM by JamesR » Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2013, 02:26:56 AM »

I love the hypocrisy when it's always "Thank God!" whenever something great happens, but whenever something bad happens, God is always absent. Either God is responsible for everything that happens or He is not responsible at all. God made humans knowing what we would do with our alleged "freedom," therefore, He is at blame for all the bad. That's like me knowing that person A is going to murder person B and refusing to stop person A (even when I am fully capable). I'd be guilty. If you don't solve the problem you are part of it.  The same applies to God.

The whole "free-will" thing seems quite too rooted in the social Darwinist neo-Rayndian logic of the GOP and religious right--which, is actually quite un-Christian because it assumes that everyone starts off with a fair shake and ignores external factors that often impede upon a person's free will.

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.




You can't?  Ok then...
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2013, 02:30:21 AM »

I love the hypocrisy when it's always "Thank God!" whenever something great happens, but whenever something bad happens, God is always absent. Either God is responsible for everything that happens or He is not responsible at all. God made humans knowing what we would do with our alleged "freedom," therefore, He is at blame for all the bad. That's like me knowing that person A is going to murder person B and refusing to stop person A (even when I am fully capable). I'd be guilty. If you don't solve the problem you are part of it.  The same applies to God.

The whole "free-will" thing seems quite too rooted in the social Darwinist neo-Rayndian logic of the GOP and religious right--which, is actually quite un-Christian because it assumes that everyone starts off with a fair shake and ignores external factors that often impede upon a person's free will.

This ain't the politic forum, boy.  Thanks for keeping politics out in the future. 

And thank God I don't subscribe to the politics forum or I'd rip you to shreds. Wink
Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2013, 02:30:57 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.



Okay, being serious now,

My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried. If God is omnipotent, then He let those things happen. There is no getting around it.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2013, 02:39:14 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.


My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried.

Um, where is the proof its all Gods fault?  It looks like you are either guessing or placing the blame in the wrong place.

My father was an alcoholic womanizer...his fault, not Gods.

My wife’s cousin died in a car wreck...his fault, not Gods.

My friend had both of her breasts removed because of cancer...genetics, not Gods fault.

People are murdered...murderers fault, not Gods.

A lot of people have AIDS/HIV or other incurable STD's...sex outside of the design of God, certainly not His fault.

You see, a lot of crap happens all as the result of the fall of man.  Blaming God is stupid.  You want to blame someone, blame man from Adam and Eve on down, including you and me.  We do most of the stuff to ourselves and all is the result of the introduction of sin.
Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2013, 03:11:21 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.


My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried.

Um, where is the proof its all Gods fault?  It looks like you are either guessing or placing the blame in the wrong place.

My father was an alcoholic womanizer...his fault, not Gods.

My wife’s cousin died in a car wreck...his fault, not Gods.

My friend had both of her breasts removed because of cancer...genetics, not Gods fault.

People are murdered...murderers fault, not Gods.

A lot of people have AIDS/HIV or other incurable STD's...sex outside of the design of God, certainly not His fault.

You see, a lot of crap happens all as the result of the fall of man.  Blaming God is stupid.  You want to blame someone, blame man from Adam and Eve on down, including you and me.  We do most of the stuff to ourselves and all is the result of the introduction of sin.

God created us knowing all of these things would happen but He let it happen; therefore it is His fault. There is no getting around it. If my dog goes and tears someone's sofa, it's my fault because I let the dog loose knowing what it would do. It's the same with God and humanity.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2013, 05:34:22 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.


My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried.

Um, where is the proof its all Gods fault?  It looks like you are either guessing or placing the blame in the wrong place.

My father was an alcoholic womanizer...his fault, not Gods.

My wife’s cousin died in a car wreck...his fault, not Gods.

My friend had both of her breasts removed because of cancer...genetics, not Gods fault.

People are murdered...murderers fault, not Gods.

A lot of people have AIDS/HIV or other incurable STD's...sex outside of the design of God, certainly not His fault.

You see, a lot of crap happens all as the result of the fall of man.  Blaming God is stupid.  You want to blame someone, blame man from Adam and Eve on down, including you and me.  We do most of the stuff to ourselves and all is the result of the introduction of sin.

God created us knowing all of these things would happen but He let it happen; therefore it is His fault. There is no getting around it. If my dog goes and tears someone's sofa, it's my fault because I let the dog loose knowing what it would do. It's the same with God and humanity.

Well, if this is the thought process for placing blame, wouldn't our parents be the first in line because they know we will do stupid stuff, but they have kids anyway...right?

Now that I think about it, we should blame all food manufacturers because they know someone somewhere is going to choke on their product and die so the death of that person is the fault of the company that produces that food.  And lets not forget spoons make people fat.

Maybe we should get rid of all cars because the companies know someone is going to do something stupid in a car and kill someone.  

I like this game...well, except it doesn’t really work.

And in case you missed it, which you did, God created a perfect world without pain, sorrow or death.  Man screwed it up, and you still want to blame God?  You would rather have been a zombie creation?  Yeah, I suppose it is easier to blame God instead of accepting personal responsibilities. 
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 05:37:04 AM by Kerdy » Logged
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2013, 08:53:55 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.

You can't?  Ok then...

I can. Or do you need the same kind of caught-red-handed-on-video-in-real-time proof that you demand for evolution?  Wink The Christian God is an interacting and intervening God. He is not the aloof God of Deism. We believe that God has the power to do anything (omnipotence), knows everything (omniscience), and is all-loving. If we believe that He has the power and resources to intervene in certain instances to prevent or ease someone's suffering, but does not for whatever reason, then it is safe to conclude that He allows the suffering to continue or take place. It's that simple.

Suppose I have a family of a bunch of kids. My first 2 kids disobeyed me, so I just stop caring for them all. A couple of the kids I really favor, though. I feed them, give them the best education, medical and dental care, and pretty much get them anything they want. But I let some of them get horrible diseases, like the butterfly skin disease, where a baby's skin just falls off whenever it is touched, and if lucky, it will grow to be an adolescent with pieces of its limbs falling off before it dies at age 15 or so (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidermolysis_bullosa). At any time I could end this child's suffering. I know how. But I don't. A couple of the kids I just let starve to death. I just don't allow them any access to food. I could feed them, quite easily. But I do not. One kid I allow to get raped and molested, maybe used as a sex slave for all of his youth, and put through the most demeaning forms of torture and humiliation. I could easily stop letting these wicked people hurt this child in this way. But I don't. One of my kids is a schizophrenic who hears voices and pulls his hair out. I can fix it. I know how. But I don't. Maybe I'm still mad about my first two childrens' disobedience? Who knows? The fact is that I can put an end to these childrens' suffering, but I instead allow it all to happen.

Either God chooses not to intervene to end someone's suffering. Or He lacks the power and resources to do so (not a Christian belief). Or He is indifferent (certainly not a Christian belief!). Or it is just waaaay beyond our comprehension why He allows such horrible suffering, but He has a very good reason for it and will make all things right in the end (this is my tenuous hope). As for blaming ourselves, I have enough guilt and shame in my own life that I don't need to try to take responsibility for all of the suffering, sin, pain, disease, childbirth deaths, starvation, plagues, tsunamis, and dental problems in the world!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 08:56:55 AM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2013, 09:34:41 AM »

I see a lot of opinion, but no proof.
Logged
J Michael
Older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy ;-)
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine
Posts: 10,015


Lord, have mercy! I live under a rock. Alleluia!


« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2013, 10:18:05 AM »

I see a lot of opinion, but no proof.

You know, I can't quite put my finger on it (probably because I'm not quite smart enough or well-read enough), but it seems to me that there's a way to reconcile your view and stavros_388's view about this.

Maybe it's in the term "allow", but I'm not sure.  When I think of that term, usually it's in the kind of context of asking permission to do something and then either getting that permission or not.  Just a somewhat random thought as I consider the interesting posts here. Wink
Logged

"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #46 on: April 19, 2013, 10:39:56 AM »

Here is Eugene (Father Seraphim) Rose's response to Ivan Karamazov (and the philosophical 'problem of suffering'), from Father Seraphim Rose - His Life and Works. It presents a Christian approach to suffering. This discussion made me think of it, and re-read it, so I thought I'd post it here. Oh, to have faith like his...

"Once one has risen to the level of doubting, two paths open up to him: the path of questioning, of doubting, of trying to understand until one ends in doubting everything, destroyed by doubt, or else giving oneself over to some false science that 'explains' - i.e., explains the irreconcilable paradoxes of our existence; or the path of acceptance and prayer, accepting even the doubt (without contriving more than one's immediate experience gives one legitimacy to doubt), praying to be given yet more to try and test us, crying for more life, more to accept and weep over, accepting and praying in the midst of doubt, knowing that the way of doubt has as many pitfalls as the way of easy acceptance.... For everyone who rationalizes away the suffering of living--the hedonists, the 'philosophers', those who simply don't care--there is at least one who [falls into these pitfalls of doubt], who drives himself to doubt more than he really (existentially) doubts, who explains away the other side of the paradox of human life (the real goodness, and penitence, and the very pity that drives him to doubt in the first place) as cheaply as the false comforters (whom he hates) explain away the suffering and sin and evil.

"For we have entered the time of the Last Doubt, the final and greatest of all: the doubt of everything, the denial of all coherence, the abandonment of the attempt to make 'sense' of the world and human life.

"But the man of this Last Doubt, in the end, falls into the same pit as the false comforters, those who explain away suffering: for both have thought too much, have tried too hard to make 'sense', to 'explain' life. The one explains it too easily, the other finds the lack of explanation, perhaps, too easy. But both trust the mind, both think that life should make sense, should be explained--and that if I, a normal questioning man, can (or cannot) make sense of it, that is all that is needful.

"O proud and vain man! You can make no sense, no real sense of life until you have lived it far more deeply than your mere doubt reveals. You have gone deeper, it is true, than the false comforters, you have refused to be satisfied with the obvious hypocrisy that shields us from the intolerable suffering of our fellow man; but you too, in your turn, have stopped, stopped at the very threshold of the mystery of life....

"You are at a standstill because you have approached the mystery of existence with the mind, with questions and demand for explanation; whereas it can only be approached through prostration, humility, prayer--and acceptance. Accept all, take all into yourself--all that is given you. If you do not do this, if you shield yourself from one smallest bit of suffering so as to take refuge in the rational attitude of doubt, then the fault lies in yourself, and the world fails to make sense precisely because you, who look at it, make no sense. You are foul, and constantly contradict yourself, yet you expect to see the world pure, and making sense!" (pp. 99,100)

"And so He knows how it is with us... We know existence is suffering, and we know that our God loves us and for this love suffered even more intensely than the greatest saint; we know this, and yet we presume to 'doubt', to offer our petty questioning of the 'meaning' of it all. O vile man! Accept it and suffer more, and pray to God--pray for no object, for no cause, merely give your heartfelt prayers and tears to Him. He knows the 'why' of it. He knows all." (pp.103,104)
Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
Sleeper
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,254

On hiatus for the foreseeable future.


« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2013, 10:56:09 AM »

In regards to this topic, I haven't found a better treatment than David Bentley Hart's The Doors of the Sea. It's brilliant.
Logged
Sinful Hypocrite
Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
Posts: 1,601


Great googly moogly!


« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2013, 09:24:23 PM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.

Okay, being serious now,

My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried. If God is omnipotent, then He let those things happen. There is no getting around it.

So for  the same reason you could hide under your bed, or someplace safe for the rest of your life, Or your mom can fight all yor battles, or you can play it safe all your life.

The point is that freedom has a price, and we do not want what you you think would be good.

There is no anwser specifically to the question, you ask, it is one that silence is best for an anwser. Just as Job's freinds would have been doing him a favor by shutting up and just be there for him.

I seem to remember you talking about joining a monastery. I was just thinking that there you would not be able to ask that without getting silence as an answer, and for a good reason that silence is the answer at monasteries. Especially for this question.
Only wisdom of many years can possibly help us understand this paradox.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 09:29:16 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

"A Christian is someone who follows and worships a perfectly good God who revealed his true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.“
chrisiacovetti
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Uncertain
Posts: 40



« Reply #49 on: July 20, 2013, 03:56:03 AM »

This is probably one of the oldest recorded philosophical questions in human history. From what I've gathered so far, the oldest answer's probably the best answer -- we just don't know. That's really where the book of Job leaves us. To quote G.K. Chesterton (who I realize probably isn't all that popular on here):

“Indeed the Book of Job avowedly only answers mystery with mystery. Job is comforted with riddles; but he is comforted. Herein is indeed a type, in the sense of a prophecy, of things speaking with authority. For when he who doubts can only say, ‘I do not understand,’ it is true that he who knows can only reply or repeat ‘You do not understand.’ And under that rebuke there is always a sudden hope in the heart; and the sense of something that would be worth understanding.”

Personally, I've found peace in accepting that the question's probably always going to be beyond me. I'd also recommend The Tree of Life, (the movie), for an interesting application of Job's answer to the problem of suffering.

Jesus seemed to respond to the Problem of Evil with his life, rather than trying to work out an answer rationally. You can see all sorts of suffering and evil surrounding him throughout the Gospels -- people crippled from birth, demonic possessions, storms, poverty, etc. It seems apparent to me that the Gospel writers had the same question you have in mind when they were narrating Jesus' life, and they each chose to let Jesus' sacrifice be the answer to it. And to quote Nikolai Berdyaev,

"The sacrifice of Christ on Golgotha, made by God and by man, is a theodicy not merely intellectual, but rather in life, and in deed. The Lamb is given in ransom from the very foundation of the world. The sacrifice of God primordially has entered into the plane of the world-creation. God Himself shares in the tragedy of the world, in the sufferings of the world, and takes upon Himself the sufferings of mankind."

That whole essay's great too in full (and Orthodox!): http://www.berdyaev.com/berdiaev/berd_lib/1927_321.html
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 03:57:34 AM by chrisiacovetti » Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2013, 03:19:21 PM »

An interesting thread, I'm sorry I missed it the first time around. 

Do you think that our deification cannot happen unless we are immersed in evil? What happened to the idea that we are falling short of the kind of persons that He created us to be? I submit to you that we would still have a challenge even in the absence of evil, suffering, pain and disease. My priest had an interesting take on this, just last week (Sunday of the Holy Cross) he said the following (I am paraphrasing from memory): The creation of man in Genesis ("Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness") was not completed until the Lord was crucified ("It is finished").

This goes along with St Athanasius' dictum that "Christ became like man so that we might become like him." What this means is that we each have our own crosses to bear--affirmative actions that go way beyond eschewing sins, being "good," and overcoming evil, pain and suffering. If you remember the parable of the rich man, he fell short when he could not bring himself to give up all of his wealth, even though he was a righteous man.

Carl,

A slight correction, I don't think the rich man you referring to is a parabolic figure, much to the chagrin of many I believe.

And I have some slight problems with folks reading a bit much into Christ's words it is finished given when they happen and the possible implications which lie within the Greek which might not be apparent in the English. A reading as the one which you include above does seem lend itself to a more "saved by the blood" protestant reading.

What Carl's priest preached about above is a central theme in the services of Good Friday, at least in our tradition.  Sure, it's poetry, but it's also more than that.  Whatever it is, I've never seen Protestantism in it until you suggested it, and even then I'm not sure I see it.  I'd love to hear more about your view on this, orthonorm. 

If there is no evil, then where could we get our concept of good?  I think evil has to exist in order to make sense of man's moral struggle on Earth.  

We get our concept of "goodness" from its source: God. 

What I find objectionable about the statement I quoted is that it requires evil to exist for God to exist.  Or it requires that goodness be separated from God.  How is either a Christian notion?

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.




You can't?  Ok then...

Though I found James' Kim Kardashian example to be funny and easy on the eyes, when I read this challenge, what immediately came to mind were these (in no particular order): 

Mt 26.47-27.50 (with parallels in Mk 14.43-15.37, Lk 22.47-23.46, Jn 18.1-19.34 [cf. Gal 3.13-14]).  Rom 11.32.  Jn 9.1-3.  Ex 7.3-4.  Jn 21.18-19a (and see vv. 20-22).  And there are others. 

Whether or not God can be said to "do" bad things, it is certainly the case that God allows bad things to happen.  Anyone who reads Scripture, the theological and ascetic writings of the Fathers, the lives of the Saints, etc. without an urgent need to "protect God" can see that plainly.  Equally problematic, however, is the attitude of those who seize on such instances in order to vilify God.  The truth of the matter is in the middle.             
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Faith: refuse
Posts: 29,322



« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2013, 03:56:34 PM »

I came for the philosophical discussion. I stayed for the Berdyaev. (love that guy)

I think I read the thread at some point, but it would have been a month or more ago.

I sometimes feel like there is a double standard when it comes to this stuff. If Pat Robertson blames natural disasters on evil or sin we point the finger and ridicule. If a saint of the Church does so... well are we ok with that? Because they did, so...?  St. Gregory the Theologian, for example, blamed a drought and hail storm (and I think one other thing) on the sinfulness of the congregation. To my modernistic ears this just sounds horrible. God didn't allow a drought--or, if I remember correctly, send a drought as a warning--because of sinfulness; it happened for completely natural reasons. Or so I assume. Though I can't prove it. Either way, if St. Gregory was alive today and blaming hurricanes and whatnot on whatever sins are particularly infamous, would be point the finger and laugh, or scoff?

I guess part of what I'm getting at is, I don't know why God allows bad things to happen (I don't much buy a lot of the theodical reasoning and arguments regarding this kind of stuff), but I also don't get how we respond a lot of the time either. Nor do I know how we should respond, for that matter.

I am rambling now. Perhaps I've got my point across somehow, if I have one...  angel
Logged

.
Romaios
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Romanian
Posts: 2,933



« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2013, 04:15:44 PM »

I came for the philosophical discussion. I stayed for the Berdyaev. (love that guy)

Yeah, until he'd poke his tongue out at you in the middle of a conversation. He had this curious tic, they say.

I sometimes feel like there is a double standard when it comes to this stuff. If Pat Robertson blames natural disasters on evil or sin we point the finger and ridicule. If a saint of the Church does so... well are we ok with that? Because they did, so...?  St. Gregory the Theologian, for example, blamed a drought and hail storm (and I think one other thing) on the sinfulness of the congregation. To my modernistic ears this just sounds horrible. God didn't allow a drought--or, if I remember correctly, send a drought as a warning--because of sinfulness; it happened for completely natural reasons. Or so I assume. Though I can't prove it. Either way, if St. Gregory was alive today and blaming hurricanes and whatnot on whatever sins are particularly infamous, would be point the finger and laugh, or scoff?

Ever been to a Vigil for the Feast of St. Demetrius?

Quote from: Menaion for October 26th

COMMEMORATION OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL EARTHQUAKE AT
CONSTANTINOPLE IN 740 A.D.

Stichera for the earthquake, the composition of Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain:

In Tone II:
When the earth trembled with fear at Thy wrath, the mountains and hills did quake, O Lord; but, regarding us with the eye of Thy compassion, be Thou not wroth with us in Thine anger, but, taking pity on the works of Thy hands, free us from the dreadful threat of earthquake, in that Thou art good and the Lover of mankind.

Stichos: He looketh on the earth and maketh it tremble.

In Tone IV:
Awesome art Thou, O Lord, and who can abide Thy righteous wrath? Who can entreat Thee? Who can render Thee mild concerning Thy sinful and despairing people, O Good One? The ranks of heaven: the angels, authorities, principalities, thrones, dominions, cherubim and seraphim, cry out to Thee in our behalf: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O Lord! Disdain not the works of Thy hands, and in the compassion of Thy mercy save Thou Thine imperiled city.

Stichos: Thou madest the earth to quake and troubled it.

The Ninevites, because of their offenses, heard the threat of destruction by earthquake; ye, through the resurrection of Jonah in the intermediate sign of the whale, cried out in appeal. Thus, taking pity on Thy people and their babes and cattle, Thou didst accept their cry. So also take pity and have mercy on us that are being chastised, for the sake of Thine own Rising on the third day.

Source
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Faith: refuse
Posts: 29,322



« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2013, 04:23:13 PM »

Yeah, until he'd poke his tongue out at you in the middle of a conversation. He had this curious tic, they say.

That's not a tongue sticking out in my avatar, it's a tooth. Smiley

Quote
Ever been to a Vigil for the Feast of St. Demetrius?

Not that I can recall--which is what almost everyone except you and LBK would say to that question. However, good passage, I admit. Having said that, I'm not sure that it's relevant in the larger scope of what I was asking about. What you quoted seems to fit perfectly well within... well... the mindset and thought of the time in which it must have been composed. Today though...?  angel
Logged

.
Romaios
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Romanian
Posts: 2,933



« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2013, 04:45:48 PM »

Yeah, until he'd poke his tongue out at you in the middle of a conversation. He had this curious tic, they say.

That's not a tongue sticking out in my avatar, it's a tooth. Smiley

I had no idea that was Berdyaev there in your avatar. Unrecognizable metamorphosis! 



I thought that was Einstein's Maya mortuary mask...



What you quoted seems to fit perfectly well within... well... the mindset and thought of the time in which it must have been composed. Today though...?  angel

If they still chant it in Church nowadays, I reckon it must be perennial Orthodox phronemaangel
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 05:00:57 PM by Romaios » Logged
Gunnarr
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,741



« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2013, 07:14:57 PM »

Do I have to type out St. Basil's "God is not the creator of evil" homily/writing thing now?
Logged

I am a demonic servant! Beware!
Romaios
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Romanian
Posts: 2,933



« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2013, 07:21:45 PM »

Do I have to type out St. Basil's "God is not the creator of evil" homily/writing thing now?

The Youtube video would be great!  Wink
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Faith: refuse
Posts: 29,322



« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2013, 07:44:31 PM »

Do I have to type out St. Basil's "God is not the creator of evil" homily/writing thing now?

Nah, you don't have to do that... (link -- though I think about 4 pages are missing)
Logged

.
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2013, 09:12:59 PM »

Do I have to type out St. Basil's "God is not the creator of evil" homily/writing thing now?

The Youtube video would be great!  Wink

Only if St Basil himself is reading it. 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #59 on: July 20, 2013, 09:37:28 PM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.

Quote
Me: God, can I ask You a question?
 God: Sure

 Me: Promise You won't get mad
 God: I promise

 Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
 God: What do u mean?

 Me: Well, I woke up late
 God: Yes

 Me: My car took forever to start
 God: Okay

 Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
 God: Huummm

 Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
 God: All right

 Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
 God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

 Me (humbled): OH
 GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

 Me: (ashamed)
 God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

 Me (embarrassed):Okay
 God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

 Me (softly): I see God
 God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

 Me: I'm Sorry God
 God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.

 Me: I will trust You.
 God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

 Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
 God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...
Logged
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,087


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #60 on: July 20, 2013, 10:04:13 PM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.

Quote
Me: God, can I ask You a question?
 God: Sure

 Me: Promise You won't get mad
 God: I promise

 Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
 God: What do u mean?

 Me: Well, I woke up late
 God: Yes

 Me: My car took forever to start
 God: Okay

 Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
 God: Huummm

 Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
 God: All right

 Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
 God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

 Me (humbled): OH
 GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

 Me: (ashamed)
 God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

 Me (embarrassed):Okay
 God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

 Me (softly): I see God
 God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

 Me: I'm Sorry God
 God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.

 Me: I will trust You.
 God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

 Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
 God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...

Food for thought!


Selam
Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #61 on: July 20, 2013, 10:42:09 PM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.

I've seen that before.  It's nice, in a "Footprints" kind of way.  Hardly "theology", let alone "Orthodox theology", but it's nice.  It reminds me of this:

Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #62 on: July 20, 2013, 10:53:41 PM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.

I've seen that before.  It's nice, in a "Footprints" kind of way.  Hardly "theology", let alone "Orthodox theology", but it's nice. 
The point of it is, stop blaming God for things you don’t understand or like.  Sounds pretty Orthodox to me.
Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #63 on: July 20, 2013, 11:10:22 PM »

"Hey God, why do you let millions of innocent children get molested and sold into child prostitution everyday?"
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #64 on: July 20, 2013, 11:12:54 PM »

"Hey God, why do you let millions of innocent children get molested and sold into child prostitution everyday?"
"Hey people, why do you do everything you can to spite God and live for your own desires resulting in many innocent children getting molested and sold into child prostitution every day.  Repent and live a godly life."

James, place the blame where it belongs...on the people doing the evil deed.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 11:13:48 PM by Kerdy » Logged
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,087


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #65 on: July 20, 2013, 11:38:49 PM »

"Hey God, why do you let millions of innocent children get molested and sold into child prostitution everyday?"
"Hey people, why do you do everything you can to spite God and live for your own desires resulting in many innocent children getting molested and sold into child prostitution every day.  Repent and live a godly life."

James, place the blame where it belongs...on the people doing the evil deed.

+ 1


Selam
Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,511



« Reply #66 on: July 20, 2013, 11:39:31 PM »

@op.  Why does God allow bad things to happen?  (not sure why you capitalized the word "bad," but ok)...

Because where sin abounds, grace abounds much more.  Even the innocent would be selfish persons unable to empathize with others.  I would be a selfish person had I not had to suffer what I did.  I thank God for every bit of suffering he has put in my path.  It is up to you as to whether suffering makes you a better or worse person.  My suggestion is to get off your rearend and go visit lonely people at a nursing home for a week rather than posting here.  Then report back.  God make a difference in the world and maybe you will see God working in you.  If we are not willing to visit the sick and lonely, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, our existence is pointless.  Go make a difference, become a saint, and report back that others should do the same.  
Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #67 on: July 21, 2013, 02:58:44 PM »

The point of it is, stop blaming God for things you don’t understand or like.  Sounds pretty Orthodox to me.

I understand that this is the intention behind that FB piece, and agree with you that "blaming God" is spiritually unhealthy and unproductive. 

At the same time, IMO that piece (and many like it) is a caricature of the truth just as much as its opposite (of which there are examples in this thread).  That piece transforms God into a benevolent version of the Teddy Bear in the illustration I posted.  The opposite view denies any human responsibility (as you correctly note), turns God into a monster, and transforms men into God's marionettes.  Neither reflects the Scriptural, Orthodox position on God, on man, or on the "problem of pain". 

Again, it is spiritually unhealthy to "blame God".  But I am not sure if everyone who appears to be "blaming God" is actually doing so, as opposed to seeing and experiencing negative aspects of life, wondering why it is this way, and bringing that struggle to God--struggling with this issue, but doing so with God, in God's presence, in communion with God.  Simple answers like "It's our fault, stop blaming God" or "God can stop it if he wants, but he doesn't, so he's evil" really don't cut it because of how incomplete they are in general and not just when applied to a particular situation.  This problem is really an invitation to enter into a relationship with God, within which things "will click" in their own time.  It's not simply an academic exercise to attack or protect God, as if he could be defeated or needed help.           
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Gunnarr
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,741



« Reply #68 on: July 21, 2013, 03:19:05 PM »

Do I have to type out St. Basil's "God is not the creator of evil" homily/writing thing now?

Nah, you don't have to do that... (link -- though I think about 4 pages are missing)

oh good that is much easier! you have it too? Smiley



Logged

I am a demonic servant! Beware!
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Faith: refuse
Posts: 29,322



« Reply #69 on: July 21, 2013, 03:21:38 PM »

I used to own that book, but I donated it at some point.
Logged

.
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #70 on: July 21, 2013, 07:33:51 PM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.
Not the kinda God I want to worship.
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #71 on: July 21, 2013, 07:33:51 PM »

"Hey God, why do you let millions of innocent children get molested and sold into child prostitution everyday?"
But didn't you read Kerdy's thing? God didn't want the children to starve to death so he got them involved with sex slavery.
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #72 on: July 21, 2013, 07:34:03 PM »

James, place the blame where it belongs...on the people doing the evil deed.
So you didn't read JamesR's post. He asked why does He let...
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
chrisiacovetti
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Uncertain
Posts: 40



« Reply #73 on: July 21, 2013, 07:42:06 PM »

"Hey God, why do you let millions of innocent children get molested and sold into child prostitution everyday?"

I have to say, this question hits much closer to home than the Facebook dialogue or the picture do for me. I mean, yes, technically I suppose God could be something like that Teddy Bear in the picture who is working out completely rational and agreeable ends to all of our problems throughout the day, but it just seems like a horribly lacking answer to me. When we're dealing with "My car took forever to start," the Teddy Bear God sorta fits; when we're dealing with child molestation and prostitution, it just feels far-fetched.

It's not that I don't believe God cares for us the way the Facebook dialogue or the picture make him out to, I just have some sympathy with JamesR in that there are some deeply heavy, emotional, and horrible questions that I just can't work out a satisfying and comforting answer to -- questions like the ones Job deals with. The God in the Facebook conversation seems much more human and agreeable than the God of Job. I guess I just feel it's better to remain agnostic about questions like this than put happy words into God's mouth. Thoughts?
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,321


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #74 on: July 21, 2013, 07:51:43 PM »

I read somewhere a nice contemplation, I think by Fr. Matta al Maskeen in the "Communion of Love", where the question of why does God all bad things to happen was never really answered with a satisfactory response until the incarnation and suffering of Christ, where bad things happen to God incarnate Himself.  And thus, the world may bring forth bad things, but no longer are they looked upon as a curse, but as a partaking of the life of Christ, who deserved nothing bad to be happened to, and took it upon Himself as a form of sacrifice on behalf of all those who do and do not deserve it.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,964


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #75 on: July 21, 2013, 11:28:35 PM »

I read somewhere a nice contemplation, I think by Fr. Matta al Maskeen in the "Communion of Love", where the question of why does God all bad things to happen was never really answered with a satisfactory response until the incarnation and suffering of Christ, where bad things happen to God incarnate Himself.  And thus, the world may bring forth bad things, but no longer are they looked upon as a curse, but as a partaking of the life of Christ, who deserved nothing bad to be happened to, and took it upon Himself as a form of sacrifice on behalf of all those who do and do not deserve it.

Doubtless the response to this will be something like, "If you are the Son of God, save yourself and us."
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2013, 04:46:15 AM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.
Not the kinda God I want to worship.
That's a sad thing to say.
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #77 on: July 22, 2013, 04:48:18 AM »

"Hey God, why do you let millions of innocent children get molested and sold into child prostitution everyday?"
But didn't you read Kerdy's thing? God didn't want the children to starve to death so he got them involved with sex slavery.
Being purposely obtuse again I see, but to what end?
Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #78 on: July 22, 2013, 04:50:46 AM »

If there is no evil, then where could we get our concept of good?  I think evil has to exist in order to make sense of man's moral struggle on Earth.  If everything was just love and roses, that would be Paradise, but this is not Paradise.

Man's constant questioning the concept of evil and suffering, to me, points to one thing and one thing only - we all want to go back home, back to Eden.

So God was not good before Satan's fall?
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #79 on: July 22, 2013, 04:52:02 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #80 on: July 22, 2013, 04:53:58 AM »

Simple answer is, God doesn't, they just happen.

God isn't like a parent who holds their kids hand while they ride a bike down the street. He's like a parent who allows their kid to ride down the street on their own. If they fall, then it happens and he will be there to help the child up, but even so the child has to want to get up.


But at the same time, if a parent saw that one of their children was brutally beating another, would all they be "help the child up," or would they stop the brutalizer?
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,087


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #81 on: July 22, 2013, 04:55:05 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam
Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #82 on: July 22, 2013, 04:55:54 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?
Satan fell because he attempted to equal himself with God.  I would be careful if I were you.
Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #83 on: July 22, 2013, 04:55:59 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

We believe God can make icons weep, perform various miracles, communicate with prophets, and so forth. We don't worship a deistic God who put everything into motion and then left to make some popcorn (and never returned!). Christianity's God is an interacting and intervening God.

You say that placing blame on God removes all human responsibility. But humans simply cannot prevent a good deal of suffering that takes place. For instance, over 98,000 women have died in childbirth already this year. Ouch. Most of them probably lived in poorer countries with less access to modern medical facilities and doctors. But if you contemplate the amount of women and children who have died throughout the centuries in the birthing process alone, the numbers must be staggering. And there hasn't been anything humans knew or could do to prevent it. Then there are natural disasters, diseases, birth defects, and so on. I agree that humans need to take responsibility for the harm that their actions cause other people and creatures. And we must do our best to alleviate the suffering of others. But if God can do something about certain cases of suffering, and does not do something, and humanity lacks the resources or advanced knowledge to do something effective, then is it not safe to surmise that God allows such things? I personally cannot see any way around this. Additionally, many Church fathers say that we must accept everything that comes to us as being allowed by God (for our own purification, humiliation, or what have you) .

You blame God all you want.  I won't.

You must be able to prove God allows something before you can ask why He allows it, but since no one can do this...


Kerdy, do you believe in a God of Power and Might, or in a God Who has no force, Who has no ability, Who has no control?

If God is capable of stopping me from burning down a home with 10 people locked inside, and doesn't, then He has allowed it.  If God can prevent something from happening, and doesn't, then He allows it.

Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #84 on: July 22, 2013, 05:00:34 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

We believe God can make icons weep, perform various miracles, communicate with prophets, and so forth. We don't worship a deistic God who put everything into motion and then left to make some popcorn (and never returned!). Christianity's God is an interacting and intervening God.

You say that placing blame on God removes all human responsibility. But humans simply cannot prevent a good deal of suffering that takes place. For instance, over 98,000 women have died in childbirth already this year. Ouch. Most of them probably lived in poorer countries with less access to modern medical facilities and doctors. But if you contemplate the amount of women and children who have died throughout the centuries in the birthing process alone, the numbers must be staggering. And there hasn't been anything humans knew or could do to prevent it. Then there are natural disasters, diseases, birth defects, and so on. I agree that humans need to take responsibility for the harm that their actions cause other people and creatures. And we must do our best to alleviate the suffering of others. But if God can do something about certain cases of suffering, and does not do something, and humanity lacks the resources or advanced knowledge to do something effective, then is it not safe to surmise that God allows such things? I personally cannot see any way around this. Additionally, many Church fathers say that we must accept everything that comes to us as being allowed by God (for our own purification, humiliation, or what have you) .

You blame God all you want.  I won't.

You must be able to prove God allows something before you can ask why He allows it, but since no one can do this...


Kerdy, do you believe in a God of Power and Might, or in a God Who has no force, Who has no ability, Who has no control?

If God is capable of stopping me from burning down a home with 10 people locked inside, and doesn't, then He has allowed it.  If God can prevent something from happening, and doesn't, then He allows it.
Asking more questions doesn't prove the claim.
Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #85 on: July 22, 2013, 05:04:37 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #86 on: July 22, 2013, 05:05:26 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

We believe God can make icons weep, perform various miracles, communicate with prophets, and so forth. We don't worship a deistic God who put everything into motion and then left to make some popcorn (and never returned!). Christianity's God is an interacting and intervening God.

You say that placing blame on God removes all human responsibility. But humans simply cannot prevent a good deal of suffering that takes place. For instance, over 98,000 women have died in childbirth already this year. Ouch. Most of them probably lived in poorer countries with less access to modern medical facilities and doctors. But if you contemplate the amount of women and children who have died throughout the centuries in the birthing process alone, the numbers must be staggering. And there hasn't been anything humans knew or could do to prevent it. Then there are natural disasters, diseases, birth defects, and so on. I agree that humans need to take responsibility for the harm that their actions cause other people and creatures. And we must do our best to alleviate the suffering of others. But if God can do something about certain cases of suffering, and does not do something, and humanity lacks the resources or advanced knowledge to do something effective, then is it not safe to surmise that God allows such things? I personally cannot see any way around this. Additionally, many Church fathers say that we must accept everything that comes to us as being allowed by God (for our own purification, humiliation, or what have you) .

You blame God all you want.  I won't.

You must be able to prove God allows something before you can ask why He allows it, but since no one can do this...


Kerdy, do you believe in a God of Power and Might, or in a God Who has no force, Who has no ability, Who has no control?

If God is capable of stopping me from burning down a home with 10 people locked inside, and doesn't, then He has allowed it.  If God can prevent something from happening, and doesn't, then He allows it.
Asking more questions doesn't prove the claim.

Then let me restate my conclusion: If God can prevent something from happening, and doesn't, then He allows it.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #87 on: July 22, 2013, 05:09:15 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

We believe God can make icons weep, perform various miracles, communicate with prophets, and so forth. We don't worship a deistic God who put everything into motion and then left to make some popcorn (and never returned!). Christianity's God is an interacting and intervening God.

You say that placing blame on God removes all human responsibility. But humans simply cannot prevent a good deal of suffering that takes place. For instance, over 98,000 women have died in childbirth already this year. Ouch. Most of them probably lived in poorer countries with less access to modern medical facilities and doctors. But if you contemplate the amount of women and children who have died throughout the centuries in the birthing process alone, the numbers must be staggering. And there hasn't been anything humans knew or could do to prevent it. Then there are natural disasters, diseases, birth defects, and so on. I agree that humans need to take responsibility for the harm that their actions cause other people and creatures. And we must do our best to alleviate the suffering of others. But if God can do something about certain cases of suffering, and does not do something, and humanity lacks the resources or advanced knowledge to do something effective, then is it not safe to surmise that God allows such things? I personally cannot see any way around this. Additionally, many Church fathers say that we must accept everything that comes to us as being allowed by God (for our own purification, humiliation, or what have you) .

You blame God all you want.  I won't.

You must be able to prove God allows something before you can ask why He allows it, but since no one can do this...


Kerdy, do you believe in a God of Power and Might, or in a God Who has no force, Who has no ability, Who has no control?

If God is capable of stopping me from burning down a home with 10 people locked inside, and doesn't, then He has allowed it.  If God can prevent something from happening, and doesn't, then He allows it.
Asking more questions doesn't prove the claim.

Then let me restate my conclusion: If God can prevent something from happening, and doesn't, then He allows it.
Like I said, blame God all you want.  I will place the blame where it belongs, if it belongs anywhere.  Man brought pain and suffering into this world.
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #88 on: July 22, 2013, 05:11:21 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.  It is sort of like saying guns kill people.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 05:12:09 AM by Kerdy » Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2013, 05:13:09 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.

Who isn't accepting that man is responsible?  Does one person being responsible for something mean that no one else is?  Man is certainly responsible for the injustices done to man, but why does that mean that God shares no responsibility?
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #90 on: July 22, 2013, 05:20:15 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.

Who isn't accepting that man is responsible?  Does one person being responsible for something mean that no one else is?  Man is certainly responsible for the injustices done to man, but why does that mean that God shares no responsibility?

As I stated, man brought pain and suffering into this world.
Logged
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,087


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #91 on: July 22, 2013, 05:34:49 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

Shall the pot of clay condemn the One who fashioned it? Some will attempt to do that on Judgment Day, but I certainly don't suggest it.

I don't fault your questions. They are honest. And to be honest, there are no easy theological answers. I don't know why God allows the innocent to suffer so much. But I do know that He was so bothered by such suffering that He suffered Himself in order to redeem the world from evil, sin, and death. So He is not an absent tee God. He suffered as much - if not more so - than any innocent human being ever has.

And I personally take comfort in the fact that our God is a God of holy vengeance. Evil and injustice will indeed be recompensed. "The righteous shall rejoice when they are avenged. They shall bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." [Psalm 58:10]


Selam
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 05:40:20 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Faith: refuse
Posts: 29,322



« Reply #92 on: July 22, 2013, 05:36:09 AM »

I think the point James is trying to make is... well, as someone once put it: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
Logged

.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,321


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #93 on: July 22, 2013, 05:45:48 AM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.
Not the kinda God I want to worship.
That's a sad thing to say.
I agree with Achronos. This seems to have a tendency to be a Calvinistic God, which is understandable considering the Protestant source.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #94 on: July 22, 2013, 06:00:23 AM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.
Not the kinda God I want to worship.
That's a sad thing to say.
I agree with Achronos. This seems to have a tendency to be a Calvinistic God, which is understandable considering the Protestant source.

You don't worship a God who watches over and cares for you?  Interesting.
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #95 on: July 22, 2013, 06:04:26 AM »

I think the point James is trying to make is... well, as someone once put it: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

I think the point James is trying to make is, "Blame God for all of our problems and sufferings", when we really should be saying, "Praise God for all of our blessings, opportunities, gifts and grace."

Also, this was Abraham attempting to get God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the end, God was proven right.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 06:09:26 AM by Kerdy » Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,321


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #96 on: July 22, 2013, 06:28:52 AM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.
Not the kinda God I want to worship.
That's a sad thing to say.
I agree with Achronos. This seems to have a tendency to be a Calvinistic God, which is understandable considering the Protestant source.

You don't worship a God who watches over and cares for you?  Interesting.
No! I don't worship a puppetmaster.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #97 on: July 22, 2013, 06:37:01 AM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.
Not the kinda God I want to worship.
That's a sad thing to say.
I agree with Achronos. This seems to have a tendency to be a Calvinistic God, which is understandable considering the Protestant source.

You don't worship a God who watches over and cares for you?  Interesting.
No! I don't worship a puppetmaster.

You deny part of who God really is.  Again, interesting.  The fact you think this makes God a puppet master is also interesting.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 06:37:47 AM by Kerdy » Logged
Greatest I am
Muted
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Gnostic
Posts: 304



« Reply #98 on: July 22, 2013, 10:02:53 AM »

God allows evil to happen because he creates all evil for his pleasure according to scriptures.
God is responsible to all good and all evil. There cannot be another co-creator.

I am not sure what pleasure God would get from evil but scriptures cannot be denied.

It may have something to do with his being the law maker but I would be speculating but this is the only thing that would make God moral instead of immoral.

Regards
DL

Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,321


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #99 on: July 22, 2013, 10:36:30 AM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.
Not the kinda God I want to worship.
That's a sad thing to say.
I agree with Achronos. This seems to have a tendency to be a Calvinistic God, which is understandable considering the Protestant source.

You don't worship a God who watches over and cares for you?  Interesting.
No! I don't worship a puppetmaster.

You deny part of who God really is.  Again, interesting.  The fact you think this makes God a puppet master is also interesting.

I find it "interesting" you worship a God who takes away man's free will.  The fact that you think I deny part of who God really is is "interesting", considering you believe God is a puppetmaster.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
IoanC
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,354


« Reply #100 on: July 22, 2013, 11:19:18 AM »

You want to know the real truth? God allows bad things to happen because He has no choice (bad things happen...)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 11:20:04 AM by IoanC » Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #101 on: July 22, 2013, 02:46:45 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.

Who isn't accepting that man is responsible?  Does one person being responsible for something mean that no one else is?  Man is certainly responsible for the injustices done to man, but why does that mean that God shares no responsibility?

As I stated, man brought pain and suffering into this world.

And God permitted it.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #102 on: July 22, 2013, 02:50:31 PM »

I think the point James is trying to make is... well, as someone once put it: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

I think the point James is trying to make is, "Blame God for all of our problems and sufferings", when we really should be saying, "Praise God for all of our blessings, opportunities, gifts and grace."

Also, this was Abraham attempting to get God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the end, God was proven right.

This is not at all what I'm saying.  But believe whatever you will.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,321


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #103 on: July 22, 2013, 04:03:25 PM »

I think the point James is trying to make is... well, as someone once put it: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

I think the point James is trying to make is, "Blame God for all of our problems and sufferings", when we really should be saying, "Praise God for all of our blessings, opportunities, gifts and grace."

Also, this was Abraham attempting to get God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the end, God was proven right.

This is not at all what I'm saying.  But believe whatever you will.

He's very good at misrepresenting people and say "interesting" after it.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
chrisiacovetti
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Uncertain
Posts: 40



« Reply #104 on: July 22, 2013, 04:34:12 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.

Who isn't accepting that man is responsible?  Does one person being responsible for something mean that no one else is?  Man is certainly responsible for the injustices done to man, but why does that mean that God shares no responsibility?

As I stated, man brought pain and suffering into this world.

And God permitted it.

With all due respect to both of you, it just seems to me like either side is trying to rationalize something that shouldn't be rationalized. This whole debate feels really Western in nature. One of the biggest things that draws me to Orthodoxy, (and the East in general), is its willingness to accept mystery without dissection and rationalization. I'm just not seeing that here.

Why not just say:

1. God is good
2. God loves us
3. The world is full of all sorts of evil
4. Men are sinners
5. God is putting his world to rights, and making all things new
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

I can't stop thinking that the Book of Job already settles this whole debate. God doesn't answer Job's probing questions; he changes Job's perspective. Until we can answer any of the questions God asks Job in chapters 38-42, what makes us think we can answer the questions Job and his friends ask in the rest of the book? Isn't that the whole point of the book?

This great quote from the Talmud also popped into my head: "Let thy tongue acquire the habit of saying, 'I know not', lest thou be led to falsehoods."
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 04:36:52 PM by chrisiacovetti » Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #105 on: July 22, 2013, 05:17:06 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.

Who isn't accepting that man is responsible?  Does one person being responsible for something mean that no one else is?  Man is certainly responsible for the injustices done to man, but why does that mean that God shares no responsibility?

As I stated, man brought pain and suffering into this world.

And God permitted it.

With all due respect to both of you, it just seems to me like either side is trying to rationalize something that shouldn't be rationalized. This whole debate feels really Western in nature. One of the biggest things that draws me to Orthodoxy, (and the East in general), is its willingness to accept mystery without dissection and rationalization. I'm just not seeing that here.

Why not just say:

1. God is good
2. God loves us
3. The world is full of all sorts of evil
4. Men are sinners
5. God is putting his world to rights, and making all things new
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

I can't stop thinking that the Book of Job already settles this whole debate. God doesn't answer Job's probing questions; he changes Job's perspective. Until we can answer any of the questions God asks Job in chapters 38-42, what makes us think we can answer the questions Job and his friends ask in the rest of the book? Isn't that the whole point of the book?

This great quote from the Talmud also popped into my head: "Let thy tongue acquire the habit of saying, 'I know not', lest thou be led to falsehoods."

Except that I wasn't trying to answer why.  All I've said is that God permits evil things to happen, He allows them.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #106 on: July 22, 2013, 08:22:34 PM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.
Not the kinda God I want to worship.
That's a sad thing to say.
I agree with Achronos. This seems to have a tendency to be a Calvinistic God, which is understandable considering the Protestant source.

You don't worship a God who watches over and cares for you?  Interesting.
No! I don't worship a puppetmaster.

You deny part of who God really is.  Again, interesting.  The fact you think this makes God a puppet master is also interesting.

I find it "interesting" you worship a God who takes away man's free will.  The fact that you think I deny part of who God really is is "interesting", considering you believe God is a puppetmaster.
I have no idea where you get that idea from, but it is wrong.  God helping people is not taking away free will.  I don't know what could cause you to believe this.
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #107 on: July 22, 2013, 08:23:54 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.

Who isn't accepting that man is responsible?  Does one person being responsible for something mean that no one else is?  Man is certainly responsible for the injustices done to man, but why does that mean that God shares no responsibility?

As I stated, man brought pain and suffering into this world.

And God permitted it.

Yep.  Everything bad is Gods fault.  Problem solved.  Burn the churches. Roll Eyes 
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #108 on: July 22, 2013, 08:25:03 PM »

I think the point James is trying to make is... well, as someone once put it: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

I think the point James is trying to make is, "Blame God for all of our problems and sufferings", when we really should be saying, "Praise God for all of our blessings, opportunities, gifts and grace."

Also, this was Abraham attempting to get God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the end, God was proven right.

This is not at all what I'm saying.  But believe whatever you will.
That's what you posted.  If you meant something different now would be a great time to explain.
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #109 on: July 22, 2013, 08:25:49 PM »

I think the point James is trying to make is... well, as someone once put it: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

I think the point James is trying to make is, "Blame God for all of our problems and sufferings", when we really should be saying, "Praise God for all of our blessings, opportunities, gifts and grace."

Also, this was Abraham attempting to get God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the end, God was proven right.

This is not at all what I'm saying.  But believe whatever you will.

He's very good at misrepresenting people and say "interesting" after it.

If people are unable to clearly state what they are attempting to say and then claim they meant something else they didn't say, that isn't my fault.  They misrepresent themselves.
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #110 on: July 22, 2013, 08:27:52 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.

Who isn't accepting that man is responsible?  Does one person being responsible for something mean that no one else is?  Man is certainly responsible for the injustices done to man, but why does that mean that God shares no responsibility?

As I stated, man brought pain and suffering into this world.

And God permitted it.

With all due respect to both of you, it just seems to me like either side is trying to rationalize something that shouldn't be rationalized. This whole debate feels really Western in nature. One of the biggest things that draws me to Orthodoxy, (and the East in general), is its willingness to accept mystery without dissection and rationalization. I'm just not seeing that here.

Why not just say:

1. God is good
2. God loves us
3. The world is full of all sorts of evil
4. Men are sinners
5. God is putting his world to rights, and making all things new
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

I can't stop thinking that the Book of Job already settles this whole debate. God doesn't answer Job's probing questions; he changes Job's perspective. Until we can answer any of the questions God asks Job in chapters 38-42, what makes us think we can answer the questions Job and his friends ask in the rest of the book? Isn't that the whole point of the book?

This great quote from the Talmud also popped into my head: "Let thy tongue acquire the habit of saying, 'I know not', lest thou be led to falsehoods."

Except that I wasn't trying to answer why.  All I've said is that God permits evil things to happen, He allows them.
Whether you want to admit it or not, that is an answer to why.  You jumped in and want to changes the rules afterward.  Doesn't work that way.  You made a claim, now its is up to you to support it.  So far, you have not done as much.
Logged
Incognito777
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: N/A
Posts: 282


« Reply #111 on: July 22, 2013, 08:47:11 PM »

The explanation for why bad things happen, is in the Bible.
Logged
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,205



« Reply #112 on: July 22, 2013, 08:48:30 PM »

With all due respect to both of you, it just seems to me like either side is trying to rationalize something that shouldn't be rationalized. This whole debate feels really Western in nature. One of the biggest things that draws me to Orthodoxy, (and the East in general), is its willingness to accept mystery without dissection and rationalization. I'm just not seeing that here.

Why not just say:

1. God is good
2. God loves us
3. The world is full of all sorts of evil
4. Men are sinners
5. God is putting his world to rights, and making all things new
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

I can't stop thinking that the Book of Job already settles this whole debate. God doesn't answer Job's probing questions; he changes Job's perspective. Until we can answer any of the questions God asks Job in chapters 38-42, what makes us think we can answer the questions Job and his friends ask in the rest of the book? Isn't that the whole point of the book?

This great quote from the Talmud also popped into my head: "Let thy tongue acquire the habit of saying, 'I know not', lest thou be led to falsehoods."

Good post, chrisiacovetti. As far as I'm concerned - and I've probably thought about it waaay too much - is that your (and Job's) response is the only really acceptable response to the problem of suffering (aside from action aimed at alleviating suffering). And I think your number 6 sums it up quite well:

Quote
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

If one insists on a rational answer, or does not trust that God will somehow make all things right in the end, the problem of suffering can tear a person apart.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 08:49:18 PM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,321


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #113 on: July 22, 2013, 09:28:56 PM »

I think the point James is trying to make is... well, as someone once put it: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

I think the point James is trying to make is, "Blame God for all of our problems and sufferings", when we really should be saying, "Praise God for all of our blessings, opportunities, gifts and grace."

Also, this was Abraham attempting to get God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the end, God was proven right.

This is not at all what I'm saying.  But believe whatever you will.

He's very good at misrepresenting people and say "interesting" after it.

If people are unable to clearly state what they are attempting to say and then claim they meant something else they didn't say, that isn't my fault.  They misrepresent themselves.

Ya...but it's not my fault for people being jerks to people, rather than ask them "What do you mean by that?" people reap what they sow.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 09:30:03 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #114 on: July 22, 2013, 11:18:59 PM »

With all due respect to both of you, it just seems to me like either side is trying to rationalize something that shouldn't be rationalized. This whole debate feels really Western in nature. One of the biggest things that draws me to Orthodoxy, (and the East in general), is its willingness to accept mystery without dissection and rationalization. I'm just not seeing that here.

Why not just say:

1. God is good
2. God loves us
3. The world is full of all sorts of evil
4. Men are sinners
5. God is putting his world to rights, and making all things new
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

I can't stop thinking that the Book of Job already settles this whole debate. God doesn't answer Job's probing questions; he changes Job's perspective. Until we can answer any of the questions God asks Job in chapters 38-42, what makes us think we can answer the questions Job and his friends ask in the rest of the book? Isn't that the whole point of the book?

This great quote from the Talmud also popped into my head: "Let thy tongue acquire the habit of saying, 'I know not', lest thou be led to falsehoods."

Good post, chrisiacovetti. As far as I'm concerned - and I've probably thought about it waaay too much - is that your (and Job's) response is the only really acceptable response to the problem of suffering (aside from action aimed at alleviating suffering). And I think your number 6 sums it up quite well:

Quote
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

If one insists on a rational answer, or does not trust that God will somehow make all things right in the end, the problem of suffering can tear a person apart.


I agree with both of you.  Good posts.
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #115 on: July 22, 2013, 11:19:37 PM »

I think the point James is trying to make is... well, as someone once put it: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

I think the point James is trying to make is, "Blame God for all of our problems and sufferings", when we really should be saying, "Praise God for all of our blessings, opportunities, gifts and grace."

Also, this was Abraham attempting to get God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the end, God was proven right.

This is not at all what I'm saying.  But believe whatever you will.

He's very good at misrepresenting people and say "interesting" after it.

If people are unable to clearly state what they are attempting to say and then claim they meant something else they didn't say, that isn't my fault.  They misrepresent themselves.

Ya...but it's not my fault for people being jerks to people, rather than ask them "What do you mean by that?" people reap what they sow.

Maybe God shouldn't allow that to happen.

While we are at it, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 11:22:02 PM by Kerdy » Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #116 on: July 22, 2013, 11:20:31 PM »

The explanation for why bad things happen, is in the Bible.

In Genesis Chapter 3
Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,103


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #117 on: July 22, 2013, 11:56:26 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

If I know for a fact that my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, and yet I do nothing about it, do I bear responsibility?

Yep. Just like we bear responsibility for the murder of unborn innocents that occurs down the street with our apathy and indifference.


Selam

And if my neighbor rapes his 12 year old daughter every night, what then of God, who doesn't stop it?  Does He bear responsibility?

The responsibility is that of the neighbor and you if you do not report it.  It sure is easy to blame God for every little thing.  It's more difficult to accept people do bad things.

Who isn't accepting that man is responsible?  Does one person being responsible for something mean that no one else is?  Man is certainly responsible for the injustices done to man, but why does that mean that God shares no responsibility?

As I stated, man brought pain and suffering into this world.

And God permitted it.

With all due respect to both of you, it just seems to me like either side is trying to rationalize something that shouldn't be rationalized. This whole debate feels really Western in nature. One of the biggest things that draws me to Orthodoxy, (and the East in general), is its willingness to accept mystery without dissection and rationalization. I'm just not seeing that here.

Why not just say:

1. God is good
2. God loves us
3. The world is full of all sorts of evil
4. Men are sinners
5. God is putting his world to rights, and making all things new
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

I can't stop thinking that the Book of Job already settles this whole debate. God doesn't answer Job's probing questions; he changes Job's perspective. Until we can answer any of the questions God asks Job in chapters 38-42, what makes us think we can answer the questions Job and his friends ask in the rest of the book? Isn't that the whole point of the book?

This great quote from the Talmud also popped into my head: "Let thy tongue acquire the habit of saying, 'I know not', lest thou be led to falsehoods."

Except that I wasn't trying to answer why.  All I've said is that God permits evil things to happen, He allows them.
Whether you want to admit it or not, that is an answer to why.  You jumped in and want to changes the rules afterward.  Doesn't work that way.  You made a claim, now its is up to you to support it.  So far, you have not done as much.

How is that an answer to why?  Do you not believe that Job is a part of the Holy Scriptures?  In it, God sends forth Satan to do terrible things to Job.  And the fact that He does that is entirely separate from the question of why He does that.

Likewise, God allowing all the evil things that happen to happen, is an entirely different question from why God allows it, and from why they happen.  But you have no interest in listening to anyone else because you're afraid of what they might have to say, and so I'm no longer going to respond to any post you make in this thread.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #118 on: July 23, 2013, 12:30:55 AM »

If you can stop something evil from happening but don't, then you are just as responsible as if you had done it yourself.

The question is ultimately what reason does God have to justify all of this? We constantly hear about justice and light at the end of the tunnel and all that stuff, but how do we know it is really worth it? How do we know we'll like God? What makes Him worth respecting and following? I mean, if the guy would just talk to me once for maybe ten minutes than this would all make more sense, but as it is, this doesn't make a bit of sense at all. I don't get how we are told to follow a guy who's never even spoken to any of us  Huh
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Incognito777
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: N/A
Posts: 282


« Reply #119 on: July 23, 2013, 01:30:32 AM »

James, that's not true. Speak for yourself. God spoke to me in a vision when I was about 15 years old. And He constantly speaks to man through the heart, and through divine revelation and special revelation.

Modern philosophers have admitted that the problem of evil does not present any problems for the God of Christianity. The skeptic or atheist would have to prove that God does not have any morally sufficient reasons to allow evil. The existence of evil is evidence for the existence of God. A person cannot know what is evil, unless they first have an idea about what is good.

William Lane Craig talks about the issue of evil on several Youtube videos and debates. Norman Geisler also talks about it. These men are Evangelical "Christians," but good philosophers.

Our world is the best of all possible worlds leading to the best world. God never claimed this world was the best. Scripture discusses free will and the fall of man.
Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #120 on: July 23, 2013, 01:43:13 AM »

James, that's not true. Speak for yourself. God spoke to me in a vision when I was about 15 years old.

Oh, goodie!  I was worried after reading your earlier posts about having seen devils, but this calms all my fears. 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
J Michael
Older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy ;-)
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine
Posts: 10,015


Lord, have mercy! I live under a rock. Alleluia!


« Reply #121 on: July 23, 2013, 09:15:58 AM »

With all due respect to both of you, it just seems to me like either side is trying to rationalize something that shouldn't be rationalized. This whole debate feels really Western in nature. One of the biggest things that draws me to Orthodoxy, (and the East in general), is its willingness to accept mystery without dissection and rationalization. I'm just not seeing that here.

Why not just say:

1. God is good
2. God loves us
3. The world is full of all sorts of evil
4. Men are sinners
5. God is putting his world to rights, and making all things new
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

I can't stop thinking that the Book of Job already settles this whole debate. God doesn't answer Job's probing questions; he changes Job's perspective. Until we can answer any of the questions God asks Job in chapters 38-42, what makes us think we can answer the questions Job and his friends ask in the rest of the book? Isn't that the whole point of the book?

This great quote from the Talmud also popped into my head: "Let thy tongue acquire the habit of saying, 'I know not', lest thou be led to falsehoods."

Good post, chrisiacovetti. As far as I'm concerned - and I've probably thought about it waaay too much - is that your (and Job's) response is the only really acceptable response to the problem of suffering (aside from action aimed at alleviating suffering). And I think your number 6 sums it up quite well:

Quote
6. God's ways aren't like our ways, and it's really not our place to understand everything he does

If one insists on a rational answer, or does not trust that God will somehow make all things right in the end, the problem of suffering can tear a person apart.


To both of you, +1.
Logged

"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
J Michael
Older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy ;-)
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine
Posts: 10,015


Lord, have mercy! I live under a rock. Alleluia!


« Reply #122 on: July 23, 2013, 09:20:22 AM »

If you can stop something evil from happening but don't, then you are just as responsible as if you had done it yourself.

The question is ultimately what reason does God have to justify all of this? We constantly hear about justice and light at the end of the tunnel and all that stuff, but how do we know it is really worth it? How do we know we'll like God? What makes Him worth respecting and following? I mean, if the guy would just talk to me once for maybe ten minutes than this would all make more sense, but as it is, this doesn't make a bit of sense at all. I don't get how we are told to follow a guy who's never even spoken to any of us  Huh

God doesn't owe you an explanation.  If He did "talk" to you for maybe ten minutes, would you a) believe it was Him "talking", and b) believe what He told you?  Maybe He is talking to you and you are not hearing Him--did that ever occur to you?

You are not required to follow this "guy".  No one is holding a gun to your head making you do so.
Logged

"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
Sinful Hypocrite
Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
Posts: 1,601


Great googly moogly!


« Reply #123 on: July 23, 2013, 07:46:45 PM »

If you can stop something evil from happening but don't, then you are just as responsible as if you had done it yourself.

The question is ultimately what reason does God have to justify all of this? We constantly hear about justice and light at the end of the tunnel and all that stuff, but how do we know it is really worth it? How do we know we'll like God? What makes Him worth respecting and following? I mean, if the guy would just talk to me once for maybe ten minutes than this would all make more sense, but as it is, this doesn't make a bit of sense at all. I don't get how we are told to follow a guy who's never even spoken to any of us  Huh

God doesn't owe you an explanation.  If He did "talk" to you for maybe ten minutes, would you a) believe it was Him "talking", and b) believe what He told you?  Maybe He is talking to you and you are not hearing Him--did that ever occur to you?

You are not required to follow this "guy".  No one is holding a gun to your head making you do so.

We never speak with many people , but they are there affecting our lives without us ever seeing, hearing or touching them , we have also relied on such people every day to supply our food, energy and and many things we all take for granted, until they are not there.
Logged

The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

"A Christian is someone who follows and worships a perfectly good God who revealed his true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.“
PoorFoolNicholas
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Theologoumenon
Posts: 1,664


« Reply #124 on: July 23, 2013, 08:00:39 PM »

Quote
"The righteous shall rejoice when they are avenged. They shall bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." [Psalm 58:10]

What a Christian sentiment Gebre...

Do you have a thing for bathing in blood? Because this isn't my idea of heaven...
Logged
chrisiacovetti
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Uncertain
Posts: 40



« Reply #125 on: July 23, 2013, 08:23:22 PM »

If you can stop something evil from happening but don't, then you are just as responsible as if you had done it yourself.

The question is ultimately what reason does God have to justify all of this? We constantly hear about justice and light at the end of the tunnel and all that stuff, but how do we know it is really worth it? How do we know we'll like God? What makes Him worth respecting and following? I mean, if the guy would just talk to me once for maybe ten minutes than this would all make more sense, but as it is, this doesn't make a bit of sense at all. I don't get how we are told to follow a guy who's never even spoken to any of us  Huh

What it comes down to is (1) your reason for believing in/following God to begin with, and consequentially (2) what 'qualifications' he must fulfill to be "worth respecting and following" if you do decide to believe in him. While I can relate to and empathize with much of what you're saying, I can't help but cringe at the question "what reason does God have to justify all of this?"

If God does exist, (which it seems like you do believe?), then he owes no justification or answer or whatever else to us. What standards could we be weighing him against other than ones that came from him to begin with, though?

I'd encourage you to remember, from a biblical perspective anyway, that God "has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who [is] the brightness of His glory and the express icon of His person." The Christian God, regardless of whatever we do or don't understand about him or his decisions, is (and looks just like) Jesus Christ.

Jesus lamented, wept, and mourned over human suffering. But he didn't seem to try to rationalize it, or demand that God "justify all this;" he did his work. He responded to the evil around him by taking it all upon himself -- he didn't waste his time waiting for God to lay out a divine answer to an entirely human question. As George MacDonald put it, "I find that doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans."
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 08:25:24 PM by chrisiacovetti » Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,321


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #126 on: July 23, 2013, 08:51:53 PM »

My wife found this on Facebook this morning.  I think it says a lot.

Quote
Me: God, can I ask You a question?
 God: Sure

 Me: Promise You won't get mad
 God: I promise

 Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
 God: What do u mean?

 Me: Well, I woke up late
 God: Yes

 Me: My car took forever to start
 God: Okay

 Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
 God: Huummm

 Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
 God: All right

 Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
 God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

 Me (humbled): OH
 GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

 Me: (ashamed)
 God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

 Me (embarrassed):Okay
 God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

 Me (softly): I see God
 God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

 Me: I'm Sorry God
 God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.

 Me: I will trust You.
 God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

 Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
 God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...

Here is why this is a God I don't worship, and why I agree with Achronos.  It pretty much means that "everything happens for a reason".  In my opinion, this particular quote is both pseudo-Calvinistic or pseudo-deterministic and heretical.  When you share a story like this, you share a story about God where everything that happens happens because God made it so, not because man had a part in it.  It is an immaturity in spirituality for people to believe in a Protestant story like this one.

I refer to this blog that refutes in a relational sense the heresy of "Everything happens for a reason":

http://semantron.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/not-everything-happens-for-a-reason/

Quote
I don’t believe that everything does happen for a reason, that God is playing something like a game of cosmic chess. In chess you play tactically; you make a move based on a hoped-for chain of events: “If I move this pawn, then it puts his queen in danger and he will have to move his bishop to protect it, opening up his rook for attack.”

The reason I don’t believe this is twofold: God is love, and because of this love there is free will in humanity, and freedom in all of creation. If God did have a hand in every single event that happened, if He made sure that nothing happened without a specific reason, then it would negate this freedom. This isn’t to say that I am a deist and believe in the great “Watchmaker God” who set the world in motion and then moved on, but I do believe that God created a system around himself, and lets that system play out according to the laws it was designed by.

Our baby did not die for some overarching reason. God did not “want her before her time” (as one person told me) and so take her away from us. I don’t believe this because God is love, and to actively take something away from us which is both an expression of the love shared between my wife and myself, as well as His love for humanity by allowing us to continue on, is not an act of love. Our baby died because something went wrong during her development which caused the placenta to not form as it should, and so not be able to supply Anastasia with what was needed in order to sustain her.

So, your wife found on facebook a heretical story that negates man's free will.  Congratulations!

Now Kerdy, you may continue with your pointless misrepresentations and arrogant and stubborn posts, or you can actually engage in this discussion like a mature adult.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 08:53:51 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #127 on: July 23, 2013, 09:45:00 PM »

Quote
"The righteous shall rejoice when they are avenged. They shall bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." [Psalm 58:10]

What a Christian sentiment Gebre...

Do you have a thing for bathing in blood? Because this isn't my idea of heaven...

Well, you can take it in at least a couple of ways.  Take it at face value, read the whole psalm, and here's a guy who was having a really bad day dealing with some powerful people and was honest with God about how he felt about it.

Or...

Quote
Isaiah 63

Who is this that comes from Edom,
    in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he that is glorious in his apparel,
    marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, announcing vindication,
    mighty to save.”
2 Why is thy apparel red,
    and thy garments like his that treads in the wine press?
3 “I have trodden the wine press alone,
    and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
    and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments,
    and I have stained all my raiment.

4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
    and my year of redemption[a] has come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help;
    I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me victory,
    and my wrath upheld me.
6 I trod down the peoples in my anger,
    I made them drunk in my wrath,
    and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth
.” 

And...

Quote
Revelation 19

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. 13 He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses. 15 From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Word of God, you say?  What's that?

Quote
John 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

...

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 15 (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”) 16 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

And when it was time to wage war...

Quote
John 19

Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe; 3 they came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again, and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”

...

16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

17 So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Gol′gotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

...

28 After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nu3naK92WI

Notice the colour of the clothing of the Cross?  Wink

Quote
Qolo: quqoyo

The Almighty rose from the tomb
With great power.
The prophet met Him and marveled at Him.
He [Isaiah] drew near and asked Him:
"What happened to You, my Lord?
Why are Your garments red?
Your side and hands pierced?"
"I have mightily trodden the winepress in Sheol.
I have fought the fight alone and was splashed with blood."
Hallelujah, "I rose from the tomb."


Syriac Orthodox paschal hymn at the veneration of the Cross

Moral: You have to read the whole Bible, and not just get stuck on things that bother you, in order to understand the Bible. 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,511



« Reply #128 on: July 23, 2013, 11:36:08 PM »

Quote
"The righteous shall rejoice when they are avenged. They shall bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked." [Psalm 58:10]

What a Christian sentiment Gebre...

Do you have a thing for bathing in blood? Because this isn't my idea of heaven...

Your idea of heaven... be careful what you wish for...
Logged
PoorFoolNicholas
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Theologoumenon
Posts: 1,664


« Reply #129 on: July 23, 2013, 11:46:09 PM »

Quote
Moral: You have to read the whole Bible, and not just get stuck on things that bother you, in order to understand the Bible. 

Exactly my point. Thank you.
Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #130 on: July 24, 2013, 03:58:49 AM »

Quote
Scripture discusses free will and the fall of man.

LOL

Scripture is actually pretty silent on the problem of suffering entirely, save for the book of Job, where free-will had nothing to do with it.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #131 on: July 24, 2013, 04:02:01 AM »

You are not required to follow this "guy".  No one is holding a gun to your head making you do so.

No, but when He is threatening to send me to Hell for eternity (or a "state of" Hell or whatever some folks on here call it) you can't help but feel that He is requiring something and not really giving us freedom.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Romaios
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Romanian
Posts: 2,933



« Reply #132 on: July 24, 2013, 04:03:50 AM »

Quote
Scripture discusses free will and the fall of man.

LOL

Scripture is actually pretty silent on the problem of suffering entirely, save for the book of Job, where free-will had nothing to do with it.

Matthew 26:36-46

Hebrews 5:7

Psalms
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 04:18:43 AM by Romaios » Logged
chrisiacovetti
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Uncertain
Posts: 40



« Reply #133 on: July 24, 2013, 04:50:51 AM »

LOL

Scripture is actually pretty silent on the problem of suffering entirely, save for the book of Job, where free-will had nothing to do with it.

That's quite a stretch -- (since Romans, Genesis, Ecclesiastes, and the Gospels all deal with it) -- but even so, why do you seem so discontent with Job's answer? I feel like it asks (and answers) the questions you're asking pretty seriously thoroughly. It may not give the answers you're desiring, but it does give a divine response to them. Would you disagree?
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #134 on: July 24, 2013, 05:14:19 AM »

I read in a book last night something I thought was rather insightful.  It dealt more with atheists, but touches on why evil exists.

Quote
“If believers ask the question, “If God exists, why is there evil in the universe?” then nonbelievers must answer a far more difficult question, “If there is no God, why is there good in the universe?”

Perhaps bad things happen to measure the good in a way we see and understand.  With no reference of how bad things can actually be, we could not understand the graciousness and glory of God and His goodness.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 05:15:13 AM by Kerdy » Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #135 on: July 24, 2013, 01:33:20 PM »

Now Kerdy you sound like a dualist. If God is all-powerful and evil doesn't even ontologically "exist"--as some folks say--but is unnatural and foreign, then God should not have to use it or rely on it as a part of His will at all. This is also my problem with the "good things can come from suffering" arguments. God shouldn't need to use evilness in the first place. Little kids shouldn't need to be molested in order for some little good thing to come from it.

I don't get how God can't be responsible for evil. We assert in the Creed that He created everything visible and invisible, which should mean evil as well. Likewise, if a man is responsible for something evil if he does not do anything to help it, then how come God isn't responsible for all of the carnage in human history that He has just silently sat through and allowed to happen? If I unleash my dog knowing it would tear up your furniture and it is my fault as the owner, then how come it is not God's fault for our mistakes since He created us with "freedom" and allowed us to do evil?

I also don't get the Christian idea of overemphasizing the goodness of God while downplaying the bad. God heals someone, must be God, oh thank God! A million kids die; it is not God's fault. God delivers the Israelites from slavery, praise Him! But then He orders the genocide of Canaan. Christ defeats death, hurray! Now if we don't meet the mark we will stay in a state of Hell forever, all thanks to Christ!
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
J Michael
Older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy ;-)
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine
Posts: 10,015


Lord, have mercy! I live under a rock. Alleluia!


« Reply #136 on: July 24, 2013, 02:33:15 PM »

You are not required to follow this "guy".  No one is holding a gun to your head making you do so.

No, but when He is threatening to send me to Hell for eternity (or a "state of" Hell or whatever some folks on here call it) you can't help but feel that He is requiring something and not really giving us freedom.

Well...there's another whole thread about Hell, but....if you end up there, it won't be because He sent you there.  The only thing that I'm aware of that God "requires" of us (and I don't think the term "require" is accurate) is to obey His commandments and to do His will.  We are always free not to do so.
Logged

"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #137 on: July 24, 2013, 02:52:33 PM »

You are not required to follow this "guy".  No one is holding a gun to your head making you do so.

No, but when He is threatening to send me to Hell for eternity (or a "state of" Hell or whatever some folks on here call it) you can't help but feel that He is requiring something and not really giving us freedom.

He can't threaten you if he's not there. 

So if we accept that he's out there in some form, as opposed to you having mental issues or succumbing to peer pressure to believe or something, then the ball is really in your court: what are you going to do with that information? 

As J Michael said, you're not required to do anything about it, you can go on living your life as you see fit.  Many people believe that God exists without believing anything else about it.  And God isn't threatening you with hell if you can truthfully claim in multiple posts that he doesn't even talk to you.  If you want to live your life as you see fit, then man up and do so.  God respects men.

So why do you feel threatened? 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,321


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #138 on: July 24, 2013, 03:36:47 PM »

One gives thanks to God "for every condition, concerning every condition, and in every condition". He "covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us into Him, spared us, supported us, and has brought us to this hour", and may I add, trough bad times and good times. In other words, diseased or healthy, suffering or in comfort, alive or dead, we thank God for His blessings to us, for standing by our sides in our sufferings, for giving us eternal life and sharing in the conquering of suffering through suffering, and killing death through death.

Therefore, yes God is good. Peace He gives to us, peace He leaves with us. But the world does not give what He gives.  Therefore, blessed are you who weep now, who are hungry now, who are persecuted now. Because you will receive your reward in heaven.  Through Christ, we no longer just thank God for all the physical good that happens. Even in all the worldly evils that happens, we can still recognize God's goodness, not because God permits evils "to strengthen us" or to "avoid a greater evil." But because the world no longer matters, whether it offers rewards or curses. For the curses of the world Christ carried, that whatever the world offers us in terms of "bad" is more of a blessing than the worldly rewards. So as Mor Ephrem said, "MAN UP" because Christ did.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 03:38:54 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #139 on: July 24, 2013, 05:56:08 PM »

Now Kerdy you sound like a dualist.
That's ok.  It's not the worst accusation I've received here.
Logged
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,511



« Reply #140 on: July 25, 2013, 01:47:01 AM »

You are not required to follow this "guy".  No one is holding a gun to your head making you do so.

No, but when He is threatening to send me to Hell for eternity (or a "state of" Hell or whatever some folks on here call it) you can't help but feel that He is requiring something and not really giving us freedom.

So let me get this straight:
1.  You resent God for giving others too much freedom to harm kids
2.  You don't like God because He will send you to hell if you harm kids, and you feel that restricts your freedom

We are free to do or attempt to do whatever we want, but there are consequences for every action that we do.   You are free to go rob a bank.  The cops are free to arrest you afterwards. 
Logged
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #141 on: July 25, 2013, 05:48:17 AM »

I just finished the story with my children about Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers.  One of the learning points is basically understanding what one considers bad can happen, but keeping faith in God and realizing God has the master plan, which we are not privy to, will end in good.  Sometimes bad things happen so God can do better than good.  Not always, but many times.  Sometimes people are just evil and do evil things which have nothing at all to do with Gods hand.  Others, like Joseph, God did have His hand in the mix.
Logged
Sleeper
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,254

On hiatus for the foreseeable future.


« Reply #142 on: July 25, 2013, 08:38:52 AM »

What's interesting in this question is that God has already shown us what He thinks of evil, in the life and death of Christ. Whatever philosophical, moral, or emotional problems we have with evil, God feels them too, joined us in our predicament, experienced its full effect on the cross, and gave us hope through His resurrection. That overshadows any sort of "reasoning" we can try to throw back at God. He already knows, and He has ultimately already taken care of it. So we can either believe that the life and death of Christ were irrelevant, or we can believe that God is not indifferent, that He knows deeper than any of us what true evil is, and that He would move Heaven and Earth (literally) to make it right.

In the meantime, we do what Christ did: weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
Logged
J Michael
Older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy ;-)
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine
Posts: 10,015


Lord, have mercy! I live under a rock. Alleluia!


« Reply #143 on: July 25, 2013, 09:32:17 AM »

What's interesting in this question is that God has already shown us what He thinks of evil, in the life and death of Christ. Whatever philosophical, moral, or emotional problems we have with evil, God feels them too, joined us in our predicament, experienced its full effect on the cross, and gave us hope through His resurrection. That overshadows any sort of "reasoning" we can try to throw back at God. He already knows, and He has ultimately already taken care of it. So we can either believe that the life and death of Christ were irrelevant, or we can believe that God is not indifferent, that He knows deeper than any of us what true evil is, and that He would move Heaven and Earth (literally) to make it right.

In the meantime, we do what Christ did: weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
^ THIS!!
Logged

"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
AV
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Catechumen
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 27


« Reply #144 on: July 25, 2013, 09:45:00 AM »

What's interesting in this question is that God has already shown us what He thinks of evil, in the life and death of Christ. Whatever philosophical, moral, or emotional problems we have with evil, God feels them too, joined us in our predicament, experienced its full effect on the cross, and gave us hope through His resurrection. That overshadows any sort of "reasoning" we can try to throw back at God. He already knows, and He has ultimately already taken care of it. So we can either believe that the life and death of Christ were irrelevant, or we can believe that God is not indifferent, that He knows deeper than any of us what true evil is, and that He would move Heaven and Earth (literally) to make it right.

In the meantime, we do what Christ did: weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

Never heard it said better, ever. Excellent post!
Logged

Christianity; The perfect message delivered by imperfect messengers.
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: On-n-Off
Jurisdiction: OCA (the only truly Canonical American Orthodox Church)
Posts: 5,232


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #145 on: July 25, 2013, 05:19:26 PM »

You are not required to follow this "guy".  No one is holding a gun to your head making you do so.

No, but when He is threatening to send me to Hell for eternity (or a "state of" Hell or whatever some folks on here call it) you can't help but feel that He is requiring something and not really giving us freedom.

So let me get this straight:
1.  You resent God for giving others too much freedom to harm kids
2.  You don't like God because He will send you to hell if you harm kids, and you feel that restricts your freedom

We are free to do or attempt to do whatever we want, but there are consequences for every action that we do.   You are free to go rob a bank.  The cops are free to arrest you afterwards. 

Perhaps my problem is more so with what type of actions God condemns and which lead to Hell.

I don't see any fault in sending people who harm other non-consenting people to Hell, but why people who do not harm any non-consenting person? I mean, fornicators aren't hurting anyone but themselves, yet, it's seen as a grave sin. Why can't God just give us our body and let us do whatever we want with it provided we don't hurt others?
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Kerdy
Moderated
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,732


« Reply #146 on: July 25, 2013, 05:25:22 PM »

You are not required to follow this "guy".  No one is holding a gun to your head making you do so.

No, but when He is threatening to send me to Hell for eternity (or a "state of" Hell or whatever some folks on here call it) you can't help but feel that He is requiring something and not really giving us freedom.

So let me get this straight:
1.  You resent God for giving others too much freedom to harm kids
2.  You don't like God because He will send you to hell if you harm kids, and you feel that restricts your freedom

We are free to do or attempt to do whatever we want, but there are consequences for every action that we do.   You are free to go rob a bank.  The cops are free to arrest you afterwards.  

Perhaps my problem is more so with what type of actions God condemns and which lead to Hell.

I don't see any fault in sending people who harm other non-consenting people to Hell, but why people who do not harm any non-consenting person? I mean, fornicators aren't hurting anyone but themselves, yet, it's seen as a grave sin. Why can't God just give us our body and let us do whatever we want with it provided we don't hurt others?
Fornicators don't hurt people?  Allow me to introduce you to the worlds of STD and single mother broken family units leading to fatherless, angry, unproductive children numbering in the millions.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 05:26:35 PM by Kerdy » Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #147 on: July 25, 2013, 05:27:01 PM »

I don't see any fault in sending people who harm other non-consenting people to Hell, but why people who do not harm any non-consenting person? I mean, fornicators masturbators aren't hurting anyone but themselves, yet, it's seen as a grave sin. Why can't God just give us our body and let us do whatever we want with it provided we don't hurt others?

That looks a bit better now.

Why is hurting yourself OK?  It's still hurt.  
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,372


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #148 on: July 25, 2013, 05:29:35 PM »

And there's this pesky thing called I Cor 6.19-20.  Easily bypassed, if you just forget the whole Jesus thing, until you die.  After that, all bets are off.
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Sinful Hypocrite
Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
Posts: 1,601


Great googly moogly!


« Reply #149 on: July 25, 2013, 06:46:31 PM »

Now Kerdy you sound like a dualist. If God is all-powerful and evil doesn't even ontologically "exist"--as some folks say--but is unnatural and foreign, then God should not have to use it or rely on it as a part of His will at all. This is also my problem with the "good things can come from suffering" arguments. God shouldn't need to use evilness in the first place. Little kids shouldn't need to be molested in order for some little good thing to come from it.

I don't get how God can't be responsible for evil. We assert in the Creed that He created everything visible and invisible, which should mean evil as well. Likewise, if a man is responsible for something evil if he does not do anything to help it, then how come God isn't responsible for all of the carnage in human history that He has just silently sat through and allowed to happen? If I unleash my dog knowing it would tear up your furniture and it is my fault as the owner, then how come it is not God's fault for our mistakes since He created us with "freedom" and allowed us to do evil?

I also don't get the Christian idea of overemphasizing the goodness of God while downplaying the bad. God heals someone, must be God, oh thank God! A million kids die; it is not God's fault. God delivers the Israelites from slavery, praise Him! But then He orders the genocide of Canaan. Christ defeats death, hurray! Now if we don't meet the mark we will stay in a state of Hell forever, all thanks to Christ!

Evil is not a part of creation as even Einstein would have to agree. Evil is not something created that has mass, or is a Law of physics.
Evil is a concept of what man can perpetuate. It is without form and function without man doing something which creates it. Therefore man created evil .

 God created man with great expectations just as our parents do. This does not make them responsible for what you create, just as God is not responsible for what man has wrought .
Logged

The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

"A Christian is someone who follows and worships a perfectly good God who revealed his true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.“
Sinful Hypocrite
Everyday I am critical of others. Every day I make similar mistakes. Every day I am a hypocrite.
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
Posts: 1,601


Great googly moogly!


« Reply #150 on: July 25, 2013, 06:56:44 PM »

I don't see any fault in sending people who harm other non-consenting people to Hell, but why people who do not harm any non-consenting person? I mean, fornicators masturbators aren't hurting anyone but themselves, yet, it's seen as a grave sin. Why can't God just give us our body and let us do whatever we want with it provided we don't hurt others?

That looks a bit better now.

Why is hurting yourself OK?  It's still hurt.  
'Anything that we do has an effect on others , there is also a scientific theory called the Butterfly effect, which is more proof that even little butterflies can effect great changes in our world.

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks earlier.
Although the butterfly effect may appear to be an esoteric and unlikely behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems. For example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill may roll into any surrounding valley depending on, among other things, slight differences in initial position.
The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction, especially in scenarios involving time travel. Additionally, works of fiction that involve points at which the storyline diverges during a seemingly minor event, resulting in a significantly different outcome than would have occurred without the divergence, are an example of the butterfly effect.
Logged

The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

"A Christian is someone who follows and worships a perfectly good God who revealed his true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.“
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,964


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #151 on: July 25, 2013, 07:44:10 PM »

I don't see any fault in sending people who harm other non-consenting people to Hell, but why people who do not harm any non-consenting person? I mean, fornicators masturbators aren't hurting anyone but themselves, yet, it's seen as a grave sin. Why can't God just give us our body and let us do whatever we want with it provided we don't hurt others?

That looks a bit better now.

Why is hurting yourself OK?  It's still hurt.  

No sin is ever self-contained because by such personal offenses, we still miss the mark. We fall and are affected and because we are affected negatively, we are not able to function as we might otherwise, and this deficit can and does negatively affect others.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
J Michael
Older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy ;-)
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine
Posts: 10,015


Lord, have mercy! I live under a rock. Alleluia!


« Reply #152 on: July 26, 2013, 02:19:21 PM »

And there's this pesky thing called I Cor 6.19-20.  Easily bypassed, if you just forget the whole Jesus thing, until you die.  After that, all bets are off.

Excellent reference!

How incredibly easy it is, especially when masturbating, fornicating, or otherwise debauching, to forget (or just plain ignore the fact) that "our" bodies are not ours--they are God's.
Logged

"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
Greatest I am
Muted
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Gnostic
Posts: 304



« Reply #153 on: July 30, 2013, 04:57:20 PM »

The explanation for why bad things happen, is in the Bible.

In Genesis Chapter 3

Is that where Adam and Eve are said to have first sinned when in reality, Satan was the first sinner and he was put there by God.

His purported lies came first so to blame man for what God and his helper Satan did is not quite fair.

Regards
DL
Logged
Greatest I am
Muted
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Gnostic
Posts: 304



« Reply #154 on: July 30, 2013, 06:28:41 PM »

Christians are always trying to absolve God of moral culpability in the fall by whipping out their favorite "free will!", or “ it’s all man’s fault”.

That is "God gave us free will and it was our free willed choices that caused our fall. Hence God is not blameworthy."

But this simply avoids God's culpability as the author of Human Nature. Free will is only the ability to choose. It is not an explanation why anyone would want to choose "A" or "B" (bad or good action). An explanation for why Eve would even have the nature of "being vulnerable to being easily swayed by a serpent" and "desiring to eat a forbidden fruit" must lie in the nature God gave Eve in the first place. Hence God is culpable for deliberately making humans with a nature-inclined-to-fall, and "free will" means nothing as a response to this problem.

If all sin by nature then, the sin nature is dominant. If not, we would have at least some who would not sin.


Having said the above for the God that I do not believe in, I am a Gnostic Christian naturalist, let me tell you that evil is all human generated. Evil is our responsibility.

 Much has been written to explain what I see as a natural part of evolution.

Consider.
First, let us eliminate what some see as evil. Natural disasters. These are unthinking occurrences and are neither good nor evil. There is no intent to do evil even as victims are created.

Evil then is only human to human.
As evolving creatures, all we ever do, and ever can do, is compete or cooperate.
Cooperation we would see as good as there are no victims created. Competition would be seen as evil as it creates a victim. We all are either cooperating, doing good, or competing, doing evil at all times.

Without us doing some of both, we would likely go extinct.

This, to me, explains why there is evil in the world quite well.

Be you a believer in nature, evolution or God, we should all see that what Christians see as something to blame, evil, we should see that what we have, competition, deserves a huge thanks for being available to us.

There is no conflict between nature and God on this issue. This is how things are and should be. We all must do what some will think is evil as we compete and create losers to this competition.

Regards
DL  
Logged
Incognito777
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: N/A
Posts: 282


« Reply #155 on: August 03, 2013, 10:37:20 PM »


Oh, goodie!  I was worried after reading your earlier posts about having seen devils, but this calms all my fears. 

I saw a demon, not demoms or devils (plural). I don't have a history of hallucinations either.

In this short video, William Lane Craig explains the existence of evil in the world, and why God allows it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtx5GyP7i7w
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 4 All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.511 seconds with 184 queries.