Suffering and death

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Thomas Helwys, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wasn't sure where to put this thread, so decided on here.

    For many years, I have been bothered by questions and experiences of suffering and death. I especially hate to see the innocent suffer; that would include children and animals. It bothers me to the point that I can't kill for food, by hunting or fishing. I don't know how or why I got so sensitive to this, but I did.

    Have you ever wondered if all the suffering and tormented death in the world moves God? I admit I have sometimes wondered that and wondered why He allows so much of it. I know, free will and all that, but I wonder sometimes why He doesn't prevent or stop some of it. And I know everything that lives must die, but why the extreme suffering?

    Anyway, I think if anything could ever cause me to lose my faith, it would be this.

    I grieve at losing even a pet. I grieve for the 50 million aborted babies in the US since abortion became legal. I grieve for all the innocent victims of warmongering. I grieve for what this country did to the Native Americans.

    For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would want to hurt people or animals. I can't understand why there is so much extreme pain and suffering in this life. To me, pain, suffering, and death are not redemptive. On the contrary, they are devastating and the enemy which Jesus conquers.
     
  2. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,658
    Likes Received:
    158
    The problem of pain and suffering is one that thinking people, not just Christians, have struggled over for centuries. I do not know if there is a really satisfactory answer.

    Two books come to mind that have been helpful to readers:

    1. The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis
    2. When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    It is a result of the fall. Sin is just that terrible and destructive. And you and I nor anyone else deserves anything more than all the evil that you see around you. It took very little time after the fall of Adam for murder to come along. If you are going to focus more on the sinfulness of this world, see those who suffer from it as victims, then that is where you will stay.

    But according to scripture no one is a victim. Romans 1 makes this abundantly clear. Until you can come to grips with that you will struggle.


    (Just a side note: if you believe that the Native Americans were nothing but innocent victims then you do not know history.)
     
  4. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thomas, try also Making Sense of Suffering by Peter Kreeft.
     
  5. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    I disagree with almost everything you say, and I'm glad I don't believe as you do.

    And by the way, I do know history.
     
  6. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. I especially like Lewis.
     
  7. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. I'll check it out.
     
  8. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Randy Alcorn has a book out;
    "If God is Good Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil", so many of us have picked up the liberal deal of it just isn't far. Good people due suffer today, in the past and in the future. Just look at the NT and Christians from there on.
     
  9. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thomas, I understand what you are saying. Death is a very horrible, final thing. It HURTS. It is not normal or natural to enjoy suffering and death of animals or people.

    The book of Genesis shows us that death came into the world when Adam sinned. The curse of pain and death came over everything, even the innocent as a result of ONE MAN'S sin. That gives us a look at how horrible sin is to God. One little bite of forbidden fruit caused doom, pain, suffering, horror and death. The fall of mankind and the resulting carnage is a disturbing, heartbreaking thing.

    Seeing how awful sin's results are, I cannot imagine how greatly it must have pained God to send His own son to suffer and experience death just to redeem us. By one man, sin entered the world, and death as a result of that sin--but by one man, Jesus Christ, death is conquered. I believe that's why for the Christian, death has lost it's sting. Jesus already conquered death for us. He himself had to go through great suffering to do so, but HE DID IT.

    Yes, in the world we will have suffering and death, but with Jesus we can have HOPE. He is the only one who can beat death and heartache. That's why he is God, and why we can trust him.
     
  10. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your heartfelt post, and as a Christian, I of course believe everything you said. But it doesn't change how I feel as stated in my first post.
     
  11. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    Interesting, she said the same thing I did.
     
  12. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why should it? It is no sin to have a tender heart! Having the ability to kill does not make a person more of a "man" (or woman.) Some of us are just more sensitive to death and suffering. There's no need to feel guilty over it. (On a side note, this is why I believe God never wanted women to serve in active combat. We ladies tend to be more affected by death, emotionally.)

    Now, I don't think God would have us to all become vegetarians and never eat meat because something died so we could have food. I do think, though, that being sensitive to suffering and death makes us more appreciative of the sacrifices made on our behalf--sacrifices on the part of our military in keeping us free and safe, sacrifices of an animal's life so that we might eat and live, and especially the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross so that we could escape death and hell.
     
  13. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    You really think so?
     
  14. Bronconagurski

    Bronconagurski
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't want to put words in your mouth, but you seem to be saying if you were God, you would intervene and do things differently. I understand where you are coming from, but we are not omniscient, and we are not holy. We don't know the beginning from the end, nor much in between. If I had my way, would my mama have died when I was 6? No way. But I accept God's will in my life and know that this life down here is just like a vapor of breath on a cold morning that appears and is gone just as quick. The sufferings of this world can't be compared with what is to come for a Christian.

    The problem is that we think no one deserves to suffer, or die. Yet it is part of life, and God allows it to happen to us all, just as He allows it to rain on the just and the unjust. I surely don't fully understand it all, but what has caused me to weep more than a baby being killed is when I think about how God's Son, who has done no evil whatsoever, and always did those things that please the Father, was tortured so bad He didn't even look like a man, and he was mocked unmercifully, spit upon, and every joint was out of place, yet He said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." We look for heroes in this world in athletes, etc, but Jesus is mine, for He suffered the death that I deserved.
     
  15. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent post. Thank you!
     
  16. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    Uh, I know so.
     
  17. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    All anyone needs to do to see that is not true is to read the two posts.

    But if you don't have anything helpful to contribute, why bother to say anything at all?
     
  18. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    I gave you a detailed response to your op. All you said was you didn't believe it.

    You could not give a reasonable answer why. I realize it is difficult to refute facts.

    Then someone else posts the same thing I did just worded differently and you are now confused about it so let me help you out:

    I said:
    She said :
    The same thing

    I said:
    She said:
    Again the same thing
     
  19. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's easy to refute half-truths and bull, though.

    It's also easy to see the difference between your post and hers; it not only has to do with some of the content but the manner: yours is objectionable; hers was not.

    Here is what I objected to about your post: You said, "And you and I nor anyone else deserves anything more than all the evil that you see around you........ If you are going to focus more on the sinfulness of this world, see those who suffer from it as victims, then that is where you will stay.

    (Just a side note: if you believe that the Native Americans were nothing but innocent victims then you do not know history.)"

    Little children and animals do not deserve the evil, and they are the victims.

    And again, this charge that I don't know history, and yet here I am with degrees in it. I did not say that the Native Americans were guiltless; I do say that they were much less guilty than the whites who drove them off their land and broke treaties over and over. The only Christian denomination that treated the Indians like Jesus said to treat people was the Quakers. It is said that Penn's treaty with the Indians was "the only treaty never sworn to and never broken." Frank Mead, in his "Handbook of Denominations", says that "If all our cities had been like Philadelphia and all our states like Pennsylvania, our national history would have been vastly different."
     
    #19 Thomas Helwys, Feb 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2013
  20. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    You really need to go back and reread what I posted. And consider every word as a whole and in context not just a few.
     

Share This Page

Loading...