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Old 06-03-2010, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Washington State
3,371 posts, read 1,835,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyGrl View Post
I am extremely curious about something and these questions are open to anyone who would like to answer them:


Why do you feel the need to give an explanation/purpose for suffering or for anything whether good or bad that happens in this life?

How does accepting that suffering is just a part of life and not some big god plan change things for you or make your current life "hopeless"?

Is your hope of an alleged afterlife really what you dwell on while your living your present life?
The anger I had when it came to religion and suffering used to be quite bad. It comes and goes now, but I have seen the most hideous things and have had to go through much chaos and stupidity in my life. I KNOW suffering and I have watched the little children suffer. I used to fly into a rage when I heard the same 'ol answers coming from religion. I didn't believe them then, and I don't believe them now.

BUT!

Human beings seem to have an in-built need to know why we are here, and we also seem to have this nagging voice in the back of our heads; you know, "what the hel** is going on" kind of stuff. We are totally different from the animal kingdom in that way.

And, the suffering for the greater good doesn't really cover it for me. Especially when it comes to kids. So.......I have REALLY struggled with the typical answers from religion when it comes to suffering.

One thing I am interested in is the Restoration of All Things. I think of it as a big reset button. I don't know why we are allowed to run amok down here. I just know that humans are the ones messing things up. If there was a good god why wouldn't he show himself and take all the bad outta here? I don't know yet, although Mystic and a few others have tried to explain it to me a little better than just a shrug. I think on these things an awful lot. However, I turned to UR because of their understanding of a much broader mystery going on here. They explain things a lot better than most of the religious out there. And they believe that the suffering WILL come to an end for ALL people, and the point being made will probably crush our anger out of us in the end.

By the way, have you ever read a book called the Pilgrim's Regress (not the Pilgrim's Progress)? It's from 1933. Not many people have heard of it. It's by C.S. Lewis. It has something to do with pagan humanity and it's need for religion and philosophy. He also wrote a book called "The Problem Of Pain." He was an agnostic or atheist who saw the links between Christianity and all the myths and legends of old. He was an interesting guy. I believe in the end he turned to Christianity for the truth, as he believed that Jesus was who they said he was and WAS the ONE.

Religion, as always, just turned a beautiful message into a cult of the few and stomped it's way through the centuries. Religion without true love is lifeless. But, I believe He knew that would happen. That is why the UR verse that I hold onto means so much to me. He concludeth ALL in unbelief. No, they don't really believe for the most part; not in the Messiah, the one who truly knew what love was.

Last edited by herefornow; 06-03-2010 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
2,933 posts, read 2,024,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman View Post

Its amazing to me that one person can so clearly see why suffering is necessary in this world and another person can so clearly see why there is no purpose for suffering in this world.

God is revealing different things to different people (if you believe in that sort of thing!) Given this phenomenon, our only hope is to trust in God! Sorry I think I may have went off-topic...
I sometimes feel in the middle - I do not believe that all suffering is there as a result of rebellion or to make us pure - some definitely is -- however there are some that suffer unjustly through no fault of their own (e.g starving, abused children) and that is what it is - as Christy says that is life .

Sown in corruption ............ raised in incorruption
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Little Elm, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herefornow View Post
The anger I had when it comes to religion and suffering used to be quite bad.
One of the hidden sufferings of the saints is the burden of the church as a whole. When the Lord takes you into a people who seemingly have little desire for knowing Him, and He says, "You love them anyway - just as they are!" like He does, you're feeling the heart of Christ in an uncomfortable place.

After I was born again, I was taught the cross as it's applied to our lives. The message of dying to self is incredibly deep and real. Christians are especially used by God to kill our flesh.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Washington State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little elmer View Post
One of the hidden sufferings of the saints is the burden of the church as a whole. When the Lord takes you into a people who seemingly have little desire for knowing Him, and He says, "You love them anyway - just as they are!" like He does, you're feeling the heart of Christ in an uncomfortable place.

After I was born again, I was taught the cross as it's applied to our lives. The message of dying to self is incredibly deep and real. Christians are especially used by God to kill our flesh.

Love them anyway.......yep.

I just always felt like the black sheep, never understanding what they (Christians) were saying to me, so it feels a little strange being the one on the other side, if you know what I mean. I still tend to get a little defensive around the religious.

I just NEVER got ANY of Christianity (not the holidays, not the rituals, not the patriotic links, NONE of it!!). All the time I sat in private school and church, the message never made any freaking sense to me. As I got older it just got worse and I started getting desperate. It looked as though I was going to be forever stuck in confusion-land, until recently. I had started to give up any hope of ever being "found."

People would tell me to read the New Testament, but I really didn't get ANY of the New Testament until I started reading the OLD (Mystic might scoff at that). I don't know why. Just one of those mysteries. NOW it is all starting to fall into place. Yeshua WAS the messiah! Ah-ha!
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Pike Road, Alabama
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OK...now can someone actually answer the questions I posted????
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:02 AM
 
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its easy-karma-thats why some suffer more than others,and in that karma their is learning........,look-, before we entered the material platform we knew that the law was,reaping what we sow,because our actions have effects ,we must take responsibility for them,but like all suffering it is onoy temporary,just as one poster said,what about the starving children,well we dont know exactly why God put them in such a miserable condition,but at least after this life they are free from that particular karma,will they act in another the same way ,probly not,after what will be put into their deepest consioussness........just like a criminalm after serving a sentence,if he is wise he wont do it again,and he can live freely and happily once his time is served--thats the way i see it

you know there are alot of evil corrupt people out there,life has to teach them,to be humble,commpassionate,tolerant,patient,caring,nobl e,understanding and most of all how to love the self ,God and the fellow man.

who knows maybe the starving children were once rich people who had the opportunity to help others but refused,that dosen tmean that we should not help nor show commpassion though,because that would make us like them.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:05 AM
 
6,171 posts, read 3,602,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyGrl View Post
Why do you feel the need to give an explanation/purpose for suffering or for anything whether good or bad that happens in this life?
For some reason I have an urge to understand life and find out the truth. Theorizing an explanation for suffering - ie. the "problem of evil" - is a huge part of that. Theorizing how we came to be here is also a part of that.

Quote:
How does accepting that suffering is just a part of life and not some big god plan change things for you or make your current life "hopeless"?
I guess it depends what you are hoping for. I'm not sure specifically how to answer your question, because I believe suffering is a part of life and its a "big god plan" too.

But, if suffering just happens for no apparent purpose, then what hope is there that suffering will ever be gone? On the other hand if suffering is actually part of a plan to achieve a greater purpose, there is hope that things will be better.

Quote:
Is your hope of an alleged afterlife really what you dwell on while your living your present life?
Not always, but maybe moreso as I get older. Definitely I have joy in this life, I am blessed. I also have times of sadness and moments where I wonder what is the point of my life. It is out of these moments that questions arise like the ones in this topic.

If you are content with the way things are then I suppose there is no need for you to ask these questions.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Pike Road, Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman View Post
For some reason I have an urge to understand life and find out the truth. Theorizing an explanation for suffering - ie. the "problem of evil" - is a huge part of that. Theorizing how we came to be here is also a part of that.
We are human Lego, we have a brain/conscience, and we use it to question the things that go on around us. While there is nothing wrong with this, what disturbs me the most is that so many take their theories and explanations and call them "TRUTH", when in all actuality it is nothing but pure speculation. NO ONE no matter how vitriolic they are about their convictions KNOWS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE "TRUTH" OF THE MATTER and if we all want to live in the REAL world we'd be better off admitting that to ourselves and know that it is something we may NEVER KNOW. We hope, speculate, theorize, give explanations we think are true...but the simeple FACTS are WE DON'T REALLY "KNOW" ANYTHING.

Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman View Post
I guess it depends what you are hoping for. I'm not sure specifically how to answer your question, because I believe suffering is a part of life and its a "big god plan" too.

But, if suffering just happens for no apparent purpose, then what hope is there that suffering will ever be gone? On the other hand if suffering is actually part of a plan to achieve a greater purpose, there is hope that things will be better.
This is the fundamental problem with believers who "hope" for something better in some alleged afterlife...they don't do anything about it NOW! They just sit back "hoping and day dreaming about what will happen later" instead of doing something about it NOW! I have had friends say that they don't worry about what's happening in this world cause hey....jesus is coming back and there will be a new world. Unfortunately...many, many, many people in this world have the exact same attitude and NOTHING gets changed.

We, ALL human beings, can put a stop to suffering by getting off our behinds, getting out there in the world, and doing SOMETHING about it NOW!! Suffering will NEVER end if we all sit back, do nothing, and wait for the big god plan to take effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman View Post
Not always, but maybe moreso as I get older. Definitely I have joy in this life, I am blessed. I also have times of sadness and moments where I wonder what is the point of my life. It is out of these moments that questions arise like the ones in this topic.
This is better known as "facing your mortality" Lego...it's something we all have to do...no matter how much we hope for something better in this world...we will all die. See, I am not content to just sit back and "hope" for something better...I'm into doing. And if more people were into "doing" we could accomplish great things. The legacy I "hope" to leave behind is that we can ALL DO SOMETHING!


Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman View Post
If you are content with the way things are then I suppose there is no need for you to ask these questions.
I am definitely not content with the way things are in this world but I am also not content to just sit back, watch it all happen, and "hope" the god plan takes effect one day either. It is going to take ALL OF US to make this world a better place, a more tolerant place, a more loving place. That is never going happen when one side tells the other I have the truth and you don't...the every one else is wrong but me syndrome...which causes nothing but strife, war, intolerance and hate. I would love, in my lifetime, to see it all completely eradicated...to see a world where we have mutual respect and tolerance for each others beliefs and to see a world where there is no longer any condemnation or hate for others because they don't believe exactly the way I do...that is what I hope and live for.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Florida
559 posts, read 384,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman View Post
I'm having a discussion over in R&P about why there is suffering in this world, and if this means an all-powerful/all-loving God cannot exist. I'm wondering what people think here. Of course the atheist OP says that an all-loving/all-powerful God would not allow suffering to exist, therefore an all-loving/all-powerful God cannot exist.

But my counterpoint is that suffering must exist if we are to learn certain character traits and virtures: things like Compassion (caring for those who suffer), patience (longsuffering), Endurance (bearing through suffering), etc. Without suffering we would not fully learn or understand these attributes.

Another response: If God is all-powerful, He could just give us compassion (or whatever) without suffering. But IMHO this makes no sense because compassion has a component of suffering within its own definition. The one who is compassionate feels sorrow (and suffers) for the one who is suffering. Therefore compassion cannot exist without at least a knowledge and experience of suffering. You can't get away from it. Positive virtues come out of suffering.

And scripture confirms it:

Romans 5:2 And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Heb 2:10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

Ecc 1:13 It is an experience of evil Elohim [God] has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.


And thus we see the purpose of suffering and evil, and why God would allow and even intend for us to suffer (temporarily): suffering develops character and virtue, and makes things perfect. Similar to a process of refinement I guess.

Comments?
Just adding...
2 Corinthians 1:5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
2 Corinthians 1:6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
1 Peter 5:9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
I myself at one time asked God why I was going through these sufferings, however through the word of God I knew God inhabits the praises of his people. The more I praised God through the sufferings the more I understood. The sufferings were for me to know Christ's sufferings that he suffered before me. This has rendered in me empathy beyond all I could imagine in Christ. Knowing how my Savior felt in his heart, how he spoke, the strength and power of his mission. Also it has brought so much more compassion for others, to help, with the Spirit of God in me, those who have and are suffering. The understanding and passion of Paul wanting others to reap the benefits of his suffering in Christ, whether by God's word or the deeds empowered by the Holy Spirit in him. To know our Savior more. To walk hand in hand with my Savior on water. To never take my eyes off Jesus and sink as Peter did, but if I do start to sink, I know Jesus will take my hand and save me.

God Bless,
Mercy
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Hot-Houston Texas
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View whatever comes your way as something God is going to use for His greater purpose and your good Romans 8:28.

Keep your focus on the Lord no matter what Isaiah 41:10

Trust Him Proverbs 3:5

Recognize you are fighting a spiritual battle and put on the armor God Ephesians 6:1-17

Expect to be victorious Isaiah 43:2

If you believe He is sovereign and have committed yourself to Him, what is there to worry about, nothing can tough us except what He allows.
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