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Thread: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffering?

  1. #16
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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Tirapu View Post
    If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffering?
    Are you a loving parent? Then why do your kids suffer when they choose to do something that hurts them?

    We see cities such as Tuscaloosa and Joplin get devastated by tornadoes.
    We see countries such as Haiti get devastated by an earthquake
    Large populations of humans get wiped out by viruses, plagues or diseases
    Man feels immense pain due to many things.
    Man suffers both as a result of natural occurrences and as a result of the actions of other men.
    Your last statement answers your question as to why evil, pain and suffering exist.

    Why doesn't God do anything to alleviate all this pain and suffering?
    He did. Have you heard the good news yet?

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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Tirapu View Post
    If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffering?

    We see cities such as Tuscaloosa and Joplin get devastated by tornadoes.
    We see countries such as Haiti get devastated by an earthquake
    Large populations of humans get wiped out by viruses, plagues or diseases
    Man feels immense pain due to many things.
    Man suffers both as a result of natural occurrences and as a result of the actions of other men.

    Why doesn't God do anything to alleviate all this pain and suffering?
    While I will sometimes quote scripture directly, my preference is discussion where I refer to God and His word saying He has said this or that. I expect others to know God's word well enough to engage in such conversations just as I would expect them to understand the language I program in well enough to engage me in-depth on the topic.

    That said, part of your answer is that God has given man free will. Read the last sentence of your post where you refer to man being the cause of suffering. No, not the sole cause, but let's look at that.

    Throughout man's entire history, the greatest amount of suffering has been due to man. All the natural disasters, diseases and every other form of suffering combined cannot equal the pain, suffering, devastation and death brought to man by man. Now this is a fact.

    What then would you have God do about that? The better question is what would you have man do about that since man can and does choose for themselves and they are the cause of it? You wish to lay this blame at the feet of God but it belongs to man himself.

    You, like so many wish to declare that God should stop others from hurting others but you really have no idea how God should go about doing this. I think that if you are to make such demands, you at least should be able to offer God some suggestions.

    Have you ever hurt anyone? I'm certain you have even if only by uttering some words that caused another to feel emotional pain. Such pain is very real and can in fact last a lifetime. Let me ask you what God should have done to prevent you from hurting someone in this manner? Can you answer my question? You must however refrain in your answer from your free will being denied. Good luck with that.

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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Pain and suffering (evil), exist.
    Because evil exists, then good (God) can not.
    Because evil exists, God cannot exist.
    This seems to be satisfactory to some men.
    But other men see quite plainly with their own eyes that BOTH good and evil exist and act as antagonists to one another.

    Somehow, though I can't quite grasp it, this ties in to the thought that because so many atrocities have been committed in the name of religion, religion is evil, is the problem, and must be eliminated. But this is not a satisfactory solution to our woes, because it does not solve the problem of Hitler, Pol Pot, or any and all systems where God has been killed. The problem still exists without religion, as these political and social systems who have done away with Him show.

    So the problem, as near as I can see, is that men do not think this through. They settle on an answer but do not see that it ISN'T a satisfactory answer. They stop thinking after they are sure they have an answer. If they would test their answer, and be brutal with it, insisting that it must work all the way, they would see that they have left some thinking still undone.

    I do not see how it can be satisfactory to ANY man to settle on: because evil exists, God cannot.
    "knowledge makes arrogant but love edifies"

  4. #19

    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by LookingUp View Post
    If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffering?
    Are you a loving parent? Then why do your kids suffer when they choose to do something that hurts them?
    Poor analogy. Man doesn't choose to be stricken by a plague. Man doesn't choose to get killed by an earthquake or tornado. Man doesn't choose to be stricken with cancer.

    We see cities such as Tuscaloosa and Joplin get devastated by tornadoes.
    We see countries such as Haiti get devastated by an earthquake
    Large populations of humans get wiped out by viruses, plagues or diseases
    Man feels immense pain due to many things.
    Man suffers both as a result of natural occurrences and as a result of the actions of other men.
    Your last statement answers your question as to why evil, pain and suffering exist.
    How do the actions of other men cause humans to suffer from cancer, natural disasters, plagues, heart disease, etc.?

    Why doesn't God do anything to alleviate all this pain and suffering?
    He did. Have you heard the good news yet?
    As recently as today I heard of man suffering. If you're right, why am I still hearing about a lot of human suffering?

  5. #20

    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by EarlyCall View Post
    While I will sometimes quote scripture directly, my preference is discussion where I refer to God and His word saying He has said this or that. I expect others to know God's word well enough to engage in such conversations just as I would expect them to understand the language I program in well enough to engage me in-depth on the topic.
    Does there exist a English-"God's word" translation guide? If I hear God talk, how will I know if it needs to be translated or not?

    That said, part of your answer is that God has given man free will. Read the last sentence of your post where you refer to man being the cause of suffering. No, not the sole cause, but let's look at that.
    Why did God give man free will?

    Throughout man's entire history, the greatest amount of suffering has been due to man.
    How do you measure suffering?
    Is man the single greatest killer of other humans?

    All the natural disasters, diseases and every other form of suffering combined cannot equal the pain, suffering, devastation and death brought to man by man. Now this is a fact.
    Please provide some examples of brutality on a large scale that tops natural disasters, plagues or diseases in which hundreds of thousands died.

    What then would you have God do about that? The better question is what would you have man do about that since man can and does choose for themselves and they are the cause of it? You wish to lay this blame at the feet of God but it belongs to man himself.
    If the Christian God is all-powerful, he would stop human suffering & pain. Without his doing anything to alleviate suffering, it means one of the following:
    1) He can alleviate suffering but chooses not to
    2) He is incapable of alleviating human suffering

    If he is omnipotent, as Christians say, then #2 is not a possibility. So it raises the question of why does God not do anything to alleviate human suffering? What is more important to him than to alleviate human suffering?

    You, like so many wish to declare that God should stop others from hurting others but you really have no idea how God should go about doing this. I think that if you are to make such demands, you at least should be able to offer God some suggestions.
    If God was capable of creating the universe, then he would be able to come up with a way to stop human suffering.

    Have you ever hurt anyone? I'm certain you have even if only by uttering some words that caused another to feel emotional pain. Such pain is very real and can in fact last a lifetime. Let me ask you what God should have done to prevent you from hurting someone in this manner? Can you answer my question? You must however refrain in your answer from your free will being denied. Good luck with that.
    Putting aside denying man free will, God could make diseases and illnesses less painful. God could have earthquakes and tornadoes strike uninhabited areas instead of places where lots of people live. That's just a start.

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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Tirapu View Post
    Poor analogy. Man doesn't choose to be stricken by a plague. Man doesn't choose to get killed by an earthquake or tornado. Man doesn't choose to be stricken with cancer.
    I don’t know that it’s a “poor” analogy. Imperfect maybe. God is the parent in a sense. He desires that His children obey Him and He desires that His children love Him. We are parents (don’t know if you are) and I, for one, am glad my children have the freedom to choose whether to obey me or not and the freedom whether to love me or not. My child is stricken by a plague or cancer because either he has done something to bring it on or someone else has. My child is killed by an earthquake or tornado because the earth is cursed because man, in general, has broken God’s law of nature. My child is not innocent in breaking these laws of nature.

    Are you a loving parent? Then why do your kids suffer when they choose to eat foods filled with chemicals that cause cancer, why do they choose to work for companies that put these chemicals in the foods that cause cancer, why do they contract a disease that is only contracted through sexual contact, why are they killed by an earthquake or tornado when they abuse the earth they’ve been given to protect? I love my kids, but they continue to do things that will cause them to suffer and eventually kill them.

    How do the actions of other men cause humans to suffer from cancer,
    Parents allow their kids to eat foods that cause cancer. This is one example.

    natural disasters,
    Natural disasters? Look up the butterfly effect online to get an idea.

    plagues,
    STDs and HIV, for example, occur because people have sex with animals and people rape innocents. This is only one example of how other men cause others to suffer from plagues.

    heart disease, etc.?
    Again, parents allow kids to eat incredibly infected foods. One example. So many other examples if you think for just a few minutes.

    As recently as today I heard of man suffering. If you're right, why am I still hearing about a lot of human suffering?
    I am suffering right now. As a Christian, a believer in Christ Jesus as Savior, I “lock in” to the promise given to me by God in Christ that pain and suffering are as good as conquered by Christ our Lord. In reality, pain and suffering are real, but in the faithfulness of God, pain and suffering are a vapor, a mist soon to be forgotten. The good news is hope. The good news, when embraced with all of your being, is quite real. It’s a remedy. It’s a cure. It’s a miracle. You will not experience the reality of what is to come until you embrace the promise of what is offered to you NOW.

  7. #22

    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by LookingUp View Post
    My child is stricken by a plague or cancer because either he has done something to bring it on or someone else has.
    . . .

    My child is killed by an earthquake or tornado because the earth is cursed because man, in general, has broken God’s law of nature.
    How does this make any sense? Tornadoes and earthquakes occur because of the fundamental way our planet is put together. To suggest that they are the result of "the fall" implies that plate tectonics and thermodynamics did not originally exist. Is that really a tenable position?

    Parents allow their kids to eat foods that cause cancer.
    Diet and obesity are tied to cancer. . .as are radiation, chemicals, certain infections, heredity, etc. Regardless, why would god create a universe in which cancer could occur?

    Natural disasters? Look up the butterfly effect online to get an idea.
    Human beings cannot cause tornadoes - they occur because hot air rises and cool air sinks. Human beings cannot cause earthquakes - they occur due to tectonic forces deep within the earth.

    STDs and HIV, for example, occur because people have sex with animals and people rape innocents.
    {Sigh} No. . .just. . .no. Diseases evolve, that's what allows them to jump species. Lots of diseases have jumped from other species to our own without the aid of beastiality.

    In reality, pain and suffering are real, but in the faithfulness of God, pain and suffering are a vapor, a mist soon to be forgotten. The good news is hope. The good news, when embraced with all of your being, is quite real. It’s a remedy. It’s a cure. It’s a miracle. You will not experience the reality of what is to come until you embrace the promise of what is offered to you NOW.
    Even if this is true, how does it explain why pain and suffering exist?

  8. #23

    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by LookingUp View Post
    Are you a loving parent? Then why do your kids suffer when they choose to do something that hurts them?
    I'm a parent, and I would never allow them to get cancer, or starve, or be tortured (in my name no less), or be brutally murdered if it was within my power to prevent it. What normal parent would? We call parents who purposely allow their children to become ill and die negligent and often put them in prison. How could god be anything other than a negligent, morally reprehensible parent in this analogy?




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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Tirapu View Post
    Does there exist a English-"God's word" translation guide? If I hear God talk, how will I know if it needs to be translated or not?


    Why did God give man free will?


    How do you measure suffering?
    Is man the single greatest killer of other humans?


    Please provide some examples of brutality on a large scale that tops natural disasters, plagues or diseases in which hundreds of thousands died.


    If the Christian God is all-powerful, he would stop human suffering & pain. Without his doing anything to alleviate suffering, it means one of the following:
    1) He can alleviate suffering but chooses not to
    2) He is incapable of alleviating human suffering

    If he is omnipotent, as Christians say, then #2 is not a possibility. So it raises the question of why does God not do anything to alleviate human suffering? What is more important to him than to alleviate human suffering?


    If God was capable of creating the universe, then he would be able to come up with a way to stop human suffering.


    Putting aside denying man free will, God could make diseases and illnesses less painful. God could have earthquakes and tornadoes strike uninhabited areas instead of places where lots of people live. That's just a start.
    You ask me if man is the single greatest killer of other human beings. You ask me to provide some examples of brutality on a large scale that tops natural disasters, plagues or diseases in which hundreds of thousands have died.

    Are you serious? Are you completely ignorant of history or simply refuse to see truth because it doesn't fit your agenda?

    Research online how many died because of hitler, stalin, mao tse tung. Once you have done that, then you show me just one single example of where anything other than man caused more deaths. You can try the black plague, but it doesn't beat any of the three I mentioned.

    As for the remainder of your post, I won't bother to respond because of the lack of knowledge in this one area alone. Find the answers as I've asked you to do, then we can discuss this further. Get some facts first, then we'll go forward from there.

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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Itinerant Lurker View Post
    How does this make any sense? Tornadoes and earthquakes occur because of the fundamental way our planet is put together. To suggest that they are the result of "the fall" implies that plate tectonics and thermodynamics did not originally exist. Is that really a tenable position?
    This earth began dying at the fall. The new earth will not. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”

    Diet and obesity are tied to cancer. . .as are radiation, chemicals, certain infections, heredity, etc. Regardless, why would god create a universe in which cancer could occur?
    For the same reason God created a child who could grow into a wicked man who could rape and murder your child. The only other alternative was to not create creatures who could genuinely love. Apparently, God felt love was worth the risk of hate.

    Human beings cannot cause tornadoes - they occur because hot air rises and cool air sinks. Human beings cannot cause earthquakes - they occur due to tectonic forces deep within the earth.
    Other than the verse I quoted regarding the dying earth, demonic forces also play a role in “natural” disasters. Again, free will creatures choosing evil over good.

    {Sigh} No. . .just. . .no. Diseases evolve, that's what allows them to jump species. Lots of diseases have jumped from other species to our own without the aid of beastiality.
    Illness, disease, death, dying—none of it would have entered our world had it not been for the fall.

    Even if this is true, how does it explain why pain and suffering exist?
    It doesn’t. The poster asked why God had not done anything to rid the world of pain and suffering. This was in response to that comment. The good news of Christ Jesus is the remedy, cure, miracle, that rids the world of pain and suffering. The reason we continue to experience pain and suffering even after Jesus has conquered sin and death on the cross is because King Jesus has asked those who choose to partner with him to continue to fight the kingdom of darkness that has reigned since the fall until his return. With each prayer for healing and with each heart that chooses the love of God over wickedness, the kingdom of darkness diminishes and the kingdom of God advances as God’s kingdom breaks forth on this dying earth.

    I'm a parent, and I would never allow them to get cancer, or starve, or be tortured (in my name no less), or be brutally murdered if it was within my power to prevent it. What normal parent would? We call parents who purposely allow their children to become ill and die negligent and often put them in prison. How could god be anything other than a negligent, morally reprehensible parent in this analogy?
    If it’s a matter of choosing whether your child exists at all, you would rather they never have been born? You see, that’s the point. God must allow sin and the suffering it creates if He wants to share His love with any children at all. Can you think of a better way for a God of love to create creatures who can experience genuine love without also allowing the chance for those creatures to sin and rebel against that love?

  11. #26

    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Itinerant Lurker View Post
    I'm a parent, and I would never allow them to get cancer, or starve, or be tortured (in my name no less), or be brutally murdered if it was within my power to prevent it. What normal parent would? We call parents who purposely allow their children to become ill and die negligent and often put them in prison. How could god be anything other than a negligent, morally reprehensible parent in this analogy?
    I often wonder why Christians are so quick to use the parent/child analogy to convey the relationship of man/God. As you've shown, this analogy is a blatant failure.

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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Tirapu View Post
    I often wonder why Christians are so quick to use the parent/child analogy to convey the relationship of man/God. As you've shown, this analogy is a blatant failure.
    No, it’s not. You assume it’s within God’s power to prevent it. God cannot prevent the sin man commits and the suffering it causes if He wants to have a reciprocal loving relationship with man.

    Can you think of a better way for a God of love to create creatures who can experience genuine love without also allowing the chance for those creatures to sin and rebel against that love?

    If you can think of a better way, then maybe Christians will consider what you have to say on this matter of reconciling God and suffering.

    I wrote to you in the “hello” thread in introduction. I’d like to hear your comments.

  13. #28

    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by LookingUp View Post
    For the same reason God created a child who could grow into a wicked man who could rape and murder your child. The only other alternative was to not create creatures who could genuinely love. Apparently, God felt love was worth the risk of hate.
    Um. . .what? What on earth are you basing that on? Because it's certainly nothing biblical, not to mention rational. Unless you're prepared to explain why this is "the only alternative" this assertion is absurd.

    Other than the verse I quoted regarding the dying earth, demonic forces also play a role in “natural” disasters.
    Um. . .and you know this. . .how exactly?

    Illness, disease, death, dying—none of it would have entered our world had it not been for the fall.
    No. That is wrong. Death and disease are built in to the universe and, by all evidence, have been since the beginning of life. The only way they could be products of "the fall" is for god to have retroactively altered the history of our world and fundamentally altered the physical laws of the universe to boot. In which case we're still left with a god who purposely created us to get diseases and die.

    If it’s a matter of choosing whether your child exists at all, you would rather they never have been born? You see, that’s the point. God must allow sin and the suffering it creates if He wants to share His love with any children at all.
    Um no, he could simply have forgiven human beings for being created sick instead of commanding them to be well. Or, if that was too distasteful, he could have created a world in which children did not get diseases.

    Can you think of a better way for a God of love to create creatures who can experience genuine love without also allowing the chance for those creatures to sin and rebel against that love?
    Yes, in fact it's absurdly easy. First I would hopefully not view living things as having the sole purpose of their lives to love me as that's rather psychopathic. Don't get me wrong, I'd be thrilled if they did love me. . .but I wouldn't make them roast for eternity if they didn't. Next, I'd create a world in which they could learn right from wrong and make their own choices and in which those choices had consequences, but not particularly harsh ones - so there wouldn't be a need for kids to get cancer just because some guy ate an apple thousands of years before. In fact, I'd just never allow the evolution of any diseases.

    That took about two minutes tops. THAT'S how a good father actually treats his children - by providing them opportunities to learn, to make their own choices, but also by trying to prevent the consequences of these choices of being disastrous. It's also generally considered poor parenting to burn your child with a hot iron for not loving you, much less with a lake of fire for eternity.




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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Itinerant Lurker View Post
    Yes, in fact it's absurdly easy. First I would hopefully not view living things as having the sole purpose of their lives to love me as that's rather psychopathic. Don't get me wrong, I'd be thrilled if they did love me. . .but I wouldn't make them roast for eternity if they didn't. Next, I'd create a world in which they could learn right from wrong and make their own choices and in which those choices had consequences, but not particularly harsh ones - so there wouldn't be a need for kids to get cancer just because some guy ate an apple thousands of years before. In fact, I'd just never allow the evolution of any diseases.

    That took about two minutes tops. THAT'S how a good father actually treats his children - by providing them opportunities to learn, to make their own choices, but also by trying to prevent the consequences of these choices of being disastrous. It's also generally considered poor parenting to burn your child with a hot iron for not loving you, much less with a lake of fire for eternity.
    You're confusing the contemporary view of hell with what hell actually is. Jesus tells us that while we wait for judgement day, we are tormented day and night by the fact that we made the wrong decisions while in this life time. In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man is tormented by fire (symbolic of God's coming judgement, facing you with the reality of your decisions while on earth) of which is soothed by a mere drop of "the water". What kind of fire is put out by a single drop of water? This isn't a physical fire we're talking about. No, this torment is embarrassment and self-loathing hatred that is what is talked about when we say "wailing, and gnashing of teeth".

    The lake of fire is, we're told by Jesus, "the second death". That's fairly clear, and death is final, and death of the soul is like as you had never existed. Hence, why you're "removed from the book of life, and remembered no more". The wages of sin, is death. Period.

    And so God, who loves us, tells us how to live a "godly" life, and be holy, to be like Him. It's not because he's a egotistical psychopath. He just doesn't want to destroy His beautiful creation: You! He loves you that much, that He was willing to come to us in the flesh, through Jesus, and warn us of our choices without the help of God in our lives to guide us. In our rebellion towards God, we move directly into the path of where Satan is going: The second death. The wages of sin, is death.

    The question is, who do you follow? Who do you trust? We can do this God's way, or our way, which is exactly what Satan wants anyway. Following Satan's path of rebellion, leads to death. It is as simple as that.

    I don't worry about the second death or the torment, it's not even on my radar. So I don't talk about it much except to say that, a loving God would surely not physically torture you for eternity, and put you in physical pain because of it. No, this pain is a spiritual pain. This pain is knowing that you rejected God.

    One question is, why are so many people angry over the fact that their sin might lead them to spiritual death? Why does it bother so many people, to the point of questioning and then rejecting, God?

    But the real question is, why do YOU reject God?
    John 10 (KJV)
    27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

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    Re: If God is loving, good and omnipotent, why is there so much evil, pain and suffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Itinerant Lurker View Post
    Um. . .what? What on earth are you basing that on? Because it's certainly nothing biblical, not to mention rational. Unless you're prepared to explain why this is "the only alternative" this assertion is absurd.
    The ability to genuinely love is not possible without the ability to not love. It’s that simple. You will not be able to come up with another way.

    Um. . .and you know this. . .how exactly?
    From experiencing them and from reading about them in Scripture.

    No. That is wrong. Death and disease are built in to the universe and, by all evidence, have been since the beginning of life…
    Who built death and disease into the universe?

    In which case we're still left with a god who purposely created us to get diseases and die.
    God created us with the ability to choose right from wrong knowing that wrong choices could lead to disease and death.

    Um no, he could simply have forgiven human beings for being created sick instead of commanding them to be well.
    Sick? I’m not sure what you mean. No one needs to be forgiven for being sick. Maybe you mean sinful? No one is created sinful. People can act sinfully but they’re not born that way.

    Or, if that was too distasteful, he could have created a world in which children did not get diseases.
    How would you create a world without the potential for disease when disease is the result of using your free will for bad rather than good?

    Yes, in fact it's absurdly easy. First I would hopefully not view living things as having the sole purpose of their lives to love me as that's rather psychopathic.
    You wouldn’t think that if you knew YOU were the ultimate source of love.

    . .but I wouldn't make them roast for eternity if they didn't.
    Neither does God.

    Next, I'd create a world in which they could learn right from wrong and make their own choices and in which those choices had consequences, but not particularly harsh ones – so there wouldn't be a need for kids to get cancer just because some guy ate an apple thousands of years before. In fact, I'd just never allow the evolution of any diseases.
    It wasn’t the apple specifically that led to disease. Other poor choices after that poor choice led to diseases. In any event, whatever degree the potential of love, the opposite must have equal potential.

    ... It's also generally considered poor parenting to burn your child with a hot iron for not loving you, much less with a lake of fire for eternity.
    You don’t know Scripture as thoroughly as you think you do.

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