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Where is God in all this? - Idle Chit-Chat - The Lounge - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 12:49 am
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booklover
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OK, first things first. I'm not writing this to tweak anyone's nose, nor am I trying to start an argument for the sake of said argument. I truly want to know what those of you on this board who are believers feel about the topic I'm about to bring up. I almost wrote this on the NIU post, but decided to make it a new post simply because I didn't want to hijack Joe's thoughtful words about his sister-in-law. So, with that caveat, here goes.

In Joe's post I quoted Rabbi Laszlo Berkowits, who when asked where was God during the Holocaust asked instead "where was man?" I think it's a pretty powerful statement, but it points to one of the main reasons that I lean toward athiesm. Believers are always saying God doesn't cause bad things to happen, but rather, in a case like the NIU shooting, it is the fault of a single man. But yet, I'm told that God is this all-knowing and all-powerful being that created the world out of nothing and populated it with man and all the animals and could do anything he chooses. Man, in God's infinite wisdom, is given free will, however, and so can either choose to accept or reject God and his teachings, and it is from this rejection that evil happens. Forget about personal things like disease or heartache. I'm talking about external actions, or actions outside of man's ability to control. In other words, I'm not talking about someone who gets lung cancer after smoking for 40 years.

In all this, no one has ever been able to explain to me why a just and loving God would allow those people who are innocent to have to pay for the sins of someone who rejected him. The shooter at NIU may have been a believer, or he may have been an atheist, I don't know. But because he chose to reject God's commandment not to kill, five people are now dead and several families will have to deal with this for years to come (including the shooter's family). And don't tell me they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. If God exists, and if God is omniscient, he knew what this person was going to do. He knew this person wasn't going to shoot himself until he was able to kill other people. In this knowledge, and by not stopping it, he allowed those people to die.

In her book Evil in Modern Thought, Susan Nieman paraphrases the words of Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) a French Protestant who wrote constantly on the problem of evil in the world. Nieman writes "To imagine a God who judges many of the forms of life He created to be sinful, then tortures us eternally for our brief participation in them, is hardly to imagine a solution to the problem of evil. Positing a God who may permit infinite and eternal suffering is of little help in stilling doubt about a God who clearly permits finite and temporal suffering." (pg. 19)

Where was God?

More and more, I am coming to the conclusion that he is only in the mind.

Best
Rob



 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 03:10 am
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Johan Steele
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We are God's TV, and proof that he has a sense of humor.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 09:45 am
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BigPowell
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Booklover, I can understand how you have come to feel the way you do.

I myself am becoming more and more convinced that if there is a Supreme Being (or Beings), he/she/they aren't in the JudeoChristian model of Godliness, but rather, more like the old Gods - say, the Greco-Roman or Norse Deities. They don't give a hoot about us mortals, except to use and abuse us according to whatever momentary whim that strikes them dictates.

Faith is faith, and this works for me. I can have a God of Love and Mercy and all that stuff, but I don't trust Him any farther than I could throw Him - at any moment, he could shank me, or kill a grandchild in a car accident, or give my father pancreatic cancer, or send a plague or a famine.   

Valhalla, I am coming. 



 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 03:19 pm
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Dixie Girl
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God is in us that believe in Him. we have to keep believing in him cause everyones taking Him away. He's out of schools, out of public places, and soon they'll try to take Him out of homes and Churches.



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 05:04 pm
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ole
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Valhalla, I am coming. 

Careful, Big Powell, you don't get your quota of virgins in Valhalla.

ole



 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 07:35 pm
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younglobo
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Where is God during tragedy?? Same place he has been since the beginning of time on his throne. I am a believer do my best and go to church, read the word and pray. If you read the bible it is full of tragedy and how God uses it for his will and his ultimate plan.

Booklover wrote

Believers are always saying God doesn't cause bad things to happen

Book I would like to say that either the believers where taught wrong or couldnt explain to you correctly . God dosnt cause bad things to happen (he does not sap people) he will however let Satan (if you believe in God you have to believe in satan) do his will as the ruler of this world . My example would be Job in the old testament. I had it explained this way to me . Life is like a parade we cant see the whole parade from start to finish from our vantage point on the curb but if we move up to the top of a local building we can see the parade from start to finish (Gods Perspective) and it all becomes clear.

My point is that Satan is to blame or free will your choice to decide what works for you . Every bad thing that happens happens for a reason God Does use bad to make good things happen.  Think of sept 11 why did God allow that day to happen , In my view many lives where changed for the better that day in the face of a national tragedy, The gov. has stopped terroist events that might have been worse than 11th I will never know. There is a book I would recomend to you "God at Ground Zero" By Ray Guinta  .

This is an age old question one that someone can point you in the right direction , like some folks have done for you , but the bottom line believing in God is a decision you have to make on faith with your heart, not your intellect . You just have to take on faith that a good who

God is this all-knowing and all-powerful being that created the world out of nothing and populated it with man and all the animals and could do anything he chooses. Man, in God's infinite wisdom,  

As a believer you have to believe that God in his Infinite Wisdom as you said will use events in your life and others lifes to produce his utimate plan for the good of man kind .

To quote Tod Agnew my favorite Christian artist In his song "where were you?" which is basically a song about a man asking this same question Gods reply is

"Where were you when I split the sky and sea, where were you when I taught the lion to roar,where were you when I made electricity fall from the sky during a thunderstrom , Where were you?"

 

 

Last edited on Sun Feb 17th, 2008 08:14 pm by younglobo



 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 10:26 pm
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Doc C
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God's not here because Eve sold us all down the river.

Doc C



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 01:22 am
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Dixie Girl
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it wasnt all Eve's fault. Adam helped to



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 03:10 pm
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booklover
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OK, so far I haven't really seen much that answers my question. I'm not wondering about the evil this guy committed, but rather how can a God who is supposed to be so merciful and good can justify allowing five innocent people to die and several others to be wounded just because one man decided to quit taking his medication. If God is so weak that he cannot stop such a action, or so uncaring that he won't, then what possible reason would I have to believe in him?

Best
Rob



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 03:55 pm
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Doc C
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How does god let newborn babies, infants, children suffer? The most difficult aspects of my job is sitting down with parents to tell them they have lost their infant or child. Thus, my question, which is similar to yours, has been raised by myself for decades. On a similar note, I've seen infants survive who I felt had not even a miniscule chance of survival survive while on the other hand have lost some who I felt stood a good chance. Also, I certainly believe in evolution and how we arose from 2 cells. I can't as a scientist buy into the biblical description of creation in 7 days. Irregardless of this, it doesn't affect my beliefs. However, I also believe that life is too complex just to have been created without a plan. In summation, I think your question has been asked for centuries, not just by christians. My answer is that one just has to have faith in the one above whether his/her name is god, allah, budda, etc. and lead a good a life as one can.

Doc C



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 04:35 pm
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younglobo
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booklover.. If God where the kind of superman God that alot of people are looking for (to solve all of our problems) that would eliminate free will and thus you would have no reason to turn to him except as a great problem solver, you would not love him ,people would just use god for thier own means. God loves us and is looking for love in return . JOHN 3:16

DOC C is correct this is the age old question. Faith as he said is the only answer. I choose Christ he is the only one out of the 3 God, allah & budda that gave a free gift to me and anyone else that wants it and has faith.



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 05:32 pm
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David White
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Booklover:

The answers to your questions are in what you originally posted, if you reject them that still doesn't mean they aren't the answers.

God gives us all a full life to serve him. For some of us it lasts minutes, for others years.



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 09:28 pm
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younglobo
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David.. good consise, great answer excellent post



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 09:28 pm
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younglobo
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oh and amen brother



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 10:51 pm
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Doc C
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These are the same questions individuals from the north and south faced during and after the civil war. Look at Lincoln's last inauguration speech.

Doc C

Last edited on Mon Feb 18th, 2008 10:52 pm by Doc C



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 11:21 pm
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Fuller
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It's called free agency.  We were all given it. 

"In all this, no one has ever been able to explain to me why a just and loving God would allow those people who are innocent to have to pay for the sins of someone who rejected him"

Booklover, It sounds to me like you're trying to disprove Jesus on the cross in a round about way.

If God exists, and if God is omniscient, he knew what this person was going to do

I was given children to raise and I take that job seriously.  I can "foresee" certain situations where my kids will get hurt.  I can step in every single instance and intervene as an annoying, over protective mom or I can let my kids live, learn and grow.  My best learning came from my parents allowing me to be me and experience heartache and pain and even embarrassment.  They taught me their best and hoped for the best (still do!!).  I look at God as more of a Heavenly Father.  He has given me tools to have the best and hopes for the best.

I listen more intently to the words of an optimistic person, who still gives heartfelt service to others, even in a time their own personal tragedy, over the pessimistic philosopher/author.

 



 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 11:41 pm
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ashbel
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Booklover

Tough question.  A few thousand years of discussing, debating, fighting and dying over this one still has not given us an answer.  I think it all comes down to what you yourself believe in.

In my case, my God is not responsible for any event.  He (or she) was not responsible for the tragedy at NIU any more than he was responsible for the University of Texas beating Baylor in basketball.  He wants the best for all of us. Unfortunately, we humans have a way of messing things up.

My God does not answer "gimme prayers" and I am offended when sports teams pray for victory for their team.  Of course, the other team is doing the same.  So I guess it means the players did not pray hard enough rather than play hard enough when their team loses.

My God gives me guidance if I listen.  He helps me make the decisions to do the next right thing to get the most out of every day.

Ten years ago I could have written your initial post.  But some serious illnesses in my family have changed my beliefs.  I received no solace from saying "why me?" when these events happened.  But I have received much comfort and joy from knowing my higher power.

 

 

 



 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2008 06:38 am
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booklover
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I realize that the questions I've asked are certainly nothing new. People much smarter than I have thought about this and have yet to come up with what I consider to be a satisfying answer. Probably no one ever will. But for those of you who answer that one just has to have faith, I remember the words of Philip Yancy who once wrote that to tell someone who has no faith to just have faith is the cruelest and least helpful thing a person can say.

Considering free will, how free is my will if my choice to reject God means that I will go to hell? I know the argument....if I choose to break the law and get caught, there are consequences to that action. I have free will as to whether or not I will break the law. But what if I don't get caught? The free will argument, at least in the terms of consequences, doesn't apply. Choosing to reject God, if free will is truly free, would mean that I would not be able to partake in whatever there might be to partake in when I die, but it shouldn't mean that my soul will forever be condemned to some "fire and brimstone" torture simply because I can't live up to something that no human being supposedly can. If God is this all powerful being, can my skepticism really hurt him that much? Plus, let's face it. If there is a final judgment, and if Christianity is the one true path, there will be a lot of good and decent people who never massacred a bunch of innocent people and did all they could to make the world a better place who will end up writhing in agony because they don't believe in a bunch of contradictory and mythological stories.

Finally, if the shooter, whose actions were truly evil, is going to hell, does that mean the victims, who were truly innocent, will go to heaven, even if they were non-believers?

Best
Rob



 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2008 06:41 am
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ole
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Life is a test. It is only a test. If it were the real thing, you'd have been given better instructions.

ole



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