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Author Topic: Why Does God Allow Evil and why is there Suffering?  (Read 9615 times)

Kyle

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Why Does God Allow Evil and why is there Suffering?
« on: March 25, 2003, 04:32:28 AM »
An age old question. But one which not a lot of people have an answer for. I often wonder about this. Why does God allow children to be raped and killed, famine and brutal wars, and people being tortured? We all know He could stop it at any time.

I don't know what to tell people when they ask me that. What do you guys say. Help.

David Oddo

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2003, 05:36:33 AM »
Hi Kyle.

We know there is a reason for everything that God allows to come to pass. And we know that mankind is desperately wicked, and when these awful things like child rape and so forth happen, we are reminded of this.  And in letting us see these evils of men, God's holiness and goodness stands out apart from men's decadence. We are reminded how evil the heart of man can be, and what wretched fallen creatures the children of Adam are. And how desperately mankind needs salvation. Infact, if God were not restraining the wickedness of man to a great degree, things would be far worse.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?


The fact is, we live in a fallen sin-cursed world, and bad things happen. And we know that these trials of life prove us. God has ordained all that comes to pass, and nothing can happen outside of His control and plan. When some great evil or disaster befalls us, or the people we care about, our faith is tested. Do we curse God? or find fault in Him? Or do we continue to trust in him like Job? We know that even these awful things that occur, God uses for his own sovereign purpose, even though we may not understand why God is allowing them to happen when we see them. We must trust in Him.

Genesis 50:20
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.


Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


In Christ

Jeremiah 23:29
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Layla

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2003, 08:10:48 AM »
Nice Post David!

Peace,
Layla

Kyle

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2003, 05:40:46 AM »
That's sound advice David. Still it is quite a mystery that it's this way.

prover2

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2004, 10:53:36 PM »
An age old question. But one which not a lot of people have an answer for. I often wonder about this. Why does God allow children to be raped and killed, famine and brutal wars, and people being tortured? We all know He could stop it at any time.

I don't know what to tell people when they ask me that. What do you guys say. Help.


Hi !  "Though He were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey him." Heb 5

mattbell

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2004, 10:53:38 AM »
I tell people that Adam and Eve made a choice to sin.  By that choice, all the bad things that happen are a result of sin entering the World.  I tell people that instead of Blaming God, blame Man.  LEt us thank God that he doesn't let the leash go on the world, because can you really imagine if the Lord let every man to himself?  I don't want to.  I thank and bless His name that He is merciful enough to spare the world from being destroyed just yet.

Theo

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2004, 08:21:59 AM »
I recently read this which may shed some light upon the question.

http://www.mountain-retreat.org/sermons/running_to_finish.shtml


andreas

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2004, 01:59:09 AM »
Romans 5:3,4 gives us a good answer.
Suffering produces endurance(Gk.hypomone).How can we learn endurance without suffering?Take suffering away, and there would be nothing to endure.Endurance produces character(Gk.dokime),in other words, we are tried and tested,and how are we going to be tested without suffering?The last link is hope.Suffering produces hope.Hope for what?Hope of glory,and God who gives the suffering will deliver the glory.
andreas. 8)
kai ean diabainhs di¢ udatos meta sou eimi kai potamoi ou sugklusousin se kai ean dielqhs dia puros ou mh katakauqhs flox ou katakausei Isaiah 43:2

Diane Moody

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2004, 06:54:09 AM »
Romans 5:3,4 gives us a good answer.
Suffering produces endurance(Gk.hypomone).How can we learn endurance without suffering?Take suffering away, and there would be nothing to endure.Endurance produces character(Gk.dokime),in other words, we are tried and tested,and how are we going to be tested without suffering?The last link is hope.Suffering produces hope.Hope for what?Hope of glory,and God who gives the suffering will deliver the glory.
andreas. 8)


Great answer and scripture Andreas. We all grow by means of trial and suffering, and God uses this to our benefit. We are blessed and grow by means of these trials.

 Mt 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Mitchell

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 05:31:38 AM »
 
  Yes, but what is the purpose of suffering, if there is a purpose?


Tony Warren

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 08:51:33 AM »
>>>
Yes, but what is the purpose of suffering, if there is a purpose?
<<<

I'll give the short answer again. There is a purpose in everything, though sometimes we may never know that purpose. Yet we should never think like the world that there is "purposeless suffering" in the world, as strange as that may sound. Because if we are faithful to believe that God is truly sovereign, then there is nothing that happens that is outside of his divine authority and control. So while we may not know nor perhaps understand completely why God allows these sufferings, we know that it is #1, because of sin and ultimately to His glory and the good of His people.

Romans 8:27-28
  • "And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
  • And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Suffering could be to show forth the truth that nothing in this world can be depended upon but God. Not money, nor position, nor doctors or self-righteousness. Suffering could be a chastisement to the one suffering, or it could be a means of our witness or of comfort to another. Suffering could be a demonstration of the fragile nature of man, and his ultimate end without Christ. Suffering could be a means by which we are strengthened, or the means where we put greater or total trust in the Lord. Whatever the reason, sound minded Christians should always look upon it in terms of the Sovereignty and glory of God. Even the suffering of our own person is to the glory of god, and we should not despair or "naturally" feel sorry for ourselves. Rather we should count it a blessing, that God has given us the patience and faith to endure, even in this.

Jamess 5:10-11
  • "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
  • Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."

Look at all the suffering, trials and tribulations Job endured, and yet (unlike many Christians today) he would not turn on God, point the finger accusingly and cry, "Why God?" The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. That should be our position when we see suffering, disasters, trials and tribulations. God is still in control and God is still on the throne. Nothing is out of control in His sphere.

We should glory in the Churches of God for the patience and faith we continue to have in all sufferings, persecutions and tribulations (2nd Thessalonians 1:4-5). Because we endure, not because of our own goodness, but because of His. And this is the revealed token of His righteousness, that we may be counted worthy of the kingdom. That in times of disasters, sufferings and trials, we endure to the end. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints, and here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Christ. For what purpose is the suffering you ask? It is often for the purpose of trial by fire, and the judgment of this world--that in it we may see that when the wicked should naturally turn to the lord, they turn away in anger, judgment, resentment and disdain.

"nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Reformed Baptist

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 06:14:11 PM »
Hey Tony,
  That's our view also, but people who are not of the sovereign grace theology don't really understand this faith, and they feel that God is being "MEAN" if he doesn't make nice and heal people who are suffering. Christians are not immune to these feelings either. I've even heard Christians doubt God.

 Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

We don't have to fully understand every minute detail of why God wants this or that, as Abraham we simply keep hope and trust in what the Lord tells us.

You really cannot explain to people what would happen to this world in a few years if God healed everyone, every time. No one would ever die and in a few years the world would be unihabitable. People have to die that others may live. Needless to say, suffering, trials and tribulations are necessary in God's creation. Life and death is a part of this world that no one escapes from and everyone cries about.

I say "Thank God" for the time we are here. And if we are unsaved and determined to blame God, then eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow you die.


Trevor

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2011, 06:08:57 AM »

There is so little written on this subject, and that seems very strange to me because it is the first thing that unbelievers, and sometimes even Christians ask. I think it should be addressed more and written about frankly.

There is a good book on the subject by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. If you want to pick it up it is appropriately called, "Why Does God Allow Suffering?"

But if you are looking to find anything else good or free online on the subject, the best you will find is a few interesting discussions on some forums. The rest are short and uninspiring articles that fail to address the subject scripturally. Or if you find any good articles, I would appreciate passing on the link here. I'd like to read it.

Is it just me, or did there use to be a lot more articles online on Christian subjects?

A Mind For Truth
Dr. C. Trevor Bavinck
New York, NY

Maurice

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2011, 08:35:16 AM »

There is so little written on this subject, and that seems very strange to me because it is the first thing that unbelievers, and sometimes even Christians ask. I think it should be addressed more and written about frankly.

You want frankness? There is no answer to why God allows suffering. I have yet to hear one that answers the question. People should really stop looking for an answer. And maybe that is the answer.


Quote
Is it just me, or did there use to be a lot more articles online on Christian subjects?

It's just you. I don't see any less Christians or their writings  on the web.


John

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Re: Why Does God Allow Suffering?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2011, 08:14:44 PM »
Quote
Why does God allow children to be raped and killed, famine and brutal wars, and people being tortured? We all know He could stop it at any time.

There are probably just two competing explanations for suffering: 1) God can't stop bad things from happening  or  2) God allows bad things to happen for His own reasons.

After Japan suffered so much damage and suffering the media went to Franklin Graham (Billy's son) for advice. His reply was that God didn't want the earthquake or tsunami to happen, He doesn't want bad things to happen to people because He loves everyone, but He wasn't able to stop it. This idea is part of the Arminian thought process: God is certainly powerful, but He doesn't meddle in the affairs of men - unless His help is requested. This fits their overall theological framework wherein man is the supreme sovereign and God is sidelined as a cheerleader for good, though powerless to act unless "we let Him into our heart".

The thought for Arminians is that because the defining quality of God is said to be "love", He is bound by the rules of His love (as defined by Arminians) and can only act in 'loving' ways. That is, God can do anything and everything because He is all-powerful, but His "love" constrains Him to be a gentleman, and as such, He is not able or willing to dethrone mankind's lordship by overruling the world of men.

Such explanations don't really answer the question and are viewed as foolishness by most. For if God is all-powerful, which He is, then He must be held responsible for His acting to cause evil or for His failing to act to stop it. If it is as the Arminians say, that love constrains God to permit evil – then how is love still love?

So, Arminians are left with a God whose divine nature constrains Him to helplessly watch evil happen. It's that old refrain from fearful people who would do nothing in the face of evil because:  “I don't want to get involved” – God’s nature is redefined to match the cowardice of men.

The other alternative, a Biblical one, is that God chooses to allow in this rebellious world, a world that is under His curse, to bring forth evil, injustice, suffering, and death, both upon the good and the bad. That means that God’s primary defining nature is not love – but rather Holiness. God is Holy and therefore His will is Supreme – no one can stay His hand.  His ways are not man’s ways – therefore He wills evil (hurricanes, floods, disease, suffering, and death) because man has corrupted the otherwise perfect world he was given – in this there is a real and abiding price that men must pay for Adam's sin, for his own sin, and at the hand of his neighbors' sin.

Men say that a God who allows wickedness and evil to scourge the earth is being ‘unfair’ and ‘unjust’. Fallen men judge God by their own standards – which is, a compelling desire to avoid suffering and death at all costs. Under this rubric, God is indicted for not keeping mankind content and safe – at the same time God is hated for His Character of Holiness. On a sin-ridden earth God’s Holiness demands suffering – and men want release from that suffering – but do not want an end to their sin.

So, with God we have a divine plan of the design for this earth that is mysterious, being beyond our finite understanding – but also in our limited capacity it is understandable.  All men are subject to the privation of sin – whether regenerate or heathen, to include the groaning of the physical earth itself.  The whole cosmos is immersed in the causality of sin’s effect – from the moment Adam (the Federal Head rebelled). In this life we do not get release from the effects of sin – but we are promised in the age to come the restoration of all things, to include ourselves (we have that down payment in the indwelling Holy Spirit and a regenerated spirit).

Therefore, if we are able, we can see the brilliance of the divine plan of redemption. It does not seek to answer or solve the current predicament of all men – we all suffer together under the curse. Why? Because by it we are defined, marked, and our character made clearer through the daily tension of confrontation with evil people and events; either to our condemnation (the unregenerate) or to our glorification (the elect).

john
Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!

 


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