Saturday, 22 December 2012

What Kind of God?

Why does God allow bad things to happen?

1.  It's not God doing them.
     We do these things to each other of our own free will.
     (Usually out of fear).

2.  There is a reason for them.
     Birth, experience, education, environment.

3.  Natural justice is a human (not a divine) concept.
     i.e. Rewarding good and punishing evil.

4."'You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy."  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."'  Matthew 5:43-48 (NRSV)

5.  "'Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.'"  Luke 23:34 (NRSV)
     The greatest forgiveness is to forgive those that are harming you even while they are inflicting pain.
     Forgive your tormentors.
     The greater faith forgives the greater sins.

6.  In the end we are suffering for their (our attackers') sake.
     That they might be forgiven.

7.  God answers prayers.
     Not always immediately or in the way that we might expect.

(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.)

Photo Credit: chrisjohnbeckett Flickr via Compfight cc

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