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Flag embeddedtech July 22, 2010 6:03 PM EDT

I get that maybe life is a test so when bad things happen we are supposed to learn from them and grow. But that doesn't hold up when some peoples "tests" are so horrific and others are relatively non-existent.


There are a lot of people that are born to affluent parents, are intelligent and good looking, live their whole lives in relatively good health, have families and are reasonably happy. Now of course I'm sure everyone has a few less than ideal things happen in their lives. Maybe they lose a job, or they have a difficult kid, or their investments go south a bit, but other than relatively small hiccups, many of us don't ever really have any serious tests.


On the flip side, there are people dying every day around the world that have done nothing to deserve it. Small children are left starving to death. Women are raped and are then punished for it.


Doesn't make any sense does it?


Someone has to explain to me why some people are so blessed while others are seemingly abandoned. I have never understood this. And don't say "God works in mysterious ways" either. 


I honestly believe that if there was a good answer to this question there would be a lot more Christians around.

Flag Esdraelon July 22, 2010 7:01 PM EDT

Jul 22, 2010 -- 6:03PM, embeddedtech wrote:


I get that maybe life is a test so when bad things happen we are supposed to learn from them and grow. But that doesn't hold up when some peoples "tests" are so horrific and others are relatively non-existent.


There are a lot of people that are born to affluent parents, are intelligent and good looking, live their whole lives in relatively good health, have families and are reasonably happy. Now of course I'm sure everyone has a few less than ideal things happen in their lives. Maybe they lose a job, or they have a difficult kid, or their investments go south a bit, but other than relatively small hiccups, many of us don't ever really have any serious tests.


On the flip side, there are people dying every day around the world that have done nothing to deserve it. Small children are left starving to death. Women are raped and are then punished for it.


Doesn't make any sense does it?


Someone has to explain to me why some people are so blessed while others are seemingly abandoned. I have never understood this. And don't say "God works in mysterious ways" either. 


I honestly believe that if there was a good answer to this question there would be a lot more Christians around.





Hi. Welcome. Excellent question, in fact, the question for the ages.


I could give you a reasonable answer, but it would take several pages, but if you are interested, I will direct to you Lee Strobel's "The Case for Faith", it has a section devoted to this exact question.


The way I approach it is what is 'blessed'? I am deaf, I have cancer, hard times economically,  given my type career(s) but to look at my overall existence, I consider myself exceedingly blessed. I have been married 35 years, have a wonderful son, now 27, doctors told us we could not have due to my wifes endometrosis. I could go on an on. It's all in the way one approached what they consider a 'blessing'.


Yes, there are a lot of people that are born to affluent parents, are  intelligent and good looking, live their whole lives in relatively good  health, have families and are reasonably happy. And yes, on the flip side, there are people dying every day around the world that  have done nothing to deserve it. Small children are left starving to  death. Women are raped and are then punished for it.


As to the beautiful people born into prosperity, is that 'blessing', or a curse? Do they ever feel they need God since they have everything else? I don't really think about them, nor envy them in the least. Salvation is a personal, individual thing, and as it said at the End of the movie, Barry Lyndon:


Epilogue...It was in the reign of King George III that the aforementioned  personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or  poor, they are all equal now.


Small children left starving, women raped then punished for it. (Just to name a couple of a myriad of travesties) Does it make any sense?  Not to me. No. All I can say is look at the depth of it and try to assimilate how we got to this point in time in the world.... All this is a result of sin....and evil....those who do not agree can offer their own cause and effect, but when all is said and done, sin and evil is the cause. There is rampant evil and suffering in the world but this does not suggest there is no God. He warned man of what would be his fate.


I have begun to think that God simply does not see life on this world as we see life. He does not see the physical body as we see it. Obviously He has His reasons. It is the disposition of the soul that is important to Him. My brother was killed in an industrial back in 2002. He was 35. We have body bags coming in almost daily from the Middle east of 18 year old kids who were just setting out on the road of life now they will rest for the ages before they even got started. That is why a person should be concerned with their soul. What will be the disposition of it when you are dead? Tomorrow may be the last day of your life.  What was your short life as compared to eternity?


If there is no God, there are no worries, you will just be dead in the ground. . If there IS a God then hopefully you cared for your soul very well, in the time you had, and allowed the Spirit to feed it.


 

Flag Hatman July 22, 2010 8:59 PM EDT

Steve-


Sorry that you have cancer; my mom passed from metasticised pancreatic back about 6 years ago, and i've been accumulating alternative treatment info ever since, which i'd be glad to send ya. 


As to the OP's question, it is indeed a good one, and one that has been pondered for the ages, to boot.


My answer is that all that happens happens for a reason, and there's a lesson in every encounter we have with others, with disease, with accident, with injury, with sickness, with maiming, with births, with successful endeavors, with wealth, with triumph, everything.


One thing i have learned (and am still learning) is to attempt to receive EVERYthing that happens as a blessing, and repeatedly ask what lesson there is in each circumstance.  By receiving a fall off a roof and broken coccyx with the same equanimity as an inheritance, by seeking to be a blessing in the lives of others no matter WHAT happens, blessings flow as a normal consequence.


(obviously, if you receive EVERYthing as a blessing, blessings cannot but HELP to increase, right?)


But essentially, you seem to be asking why bad things happen to good people, and why good things happen to bad people, and why rich people are rich and poor people are poor---and there are so many answers to those questions it may take volumes to explain them.


The short story, IMO and IME, is that lessons need to be learned by everyone in this earth-time, perhaps none more important than we are dependent on that-which-is-greater-than-ourselves for our very existence, and the feelings that result from that knowledge---either resentment or gratitude or "so what" or whatever.


Consider the fact that all that lives, breathes.


Perhaps reflect upon "The wind blows where it will, and you hear the sound of it, but you know not whence it comes nor whither it goes; such are all who are born of the Spirit" perhaps assisted by the knowledge that the Greek word "pneuma" was used here, a word which not only means wind, but Spirit AND breath...and what that additional information may reveal when plugged in and contemplated, especially in regard to the Big Picture of all living beings on this planet.


i was just in communication with a fella whose family is having terrible troubles; one member had just been terribly burned in an explosion, another has cancer, another has MS, another has a hip injury that causes him nearly constant pain, another was just fired for negligence after a prisoner committed suicide on his watch...


And the beat goes on...


Though i do not know, of course, i can speculate that each of the above-mentioned circumstances came to teach a specific lesson, an individually-tailored and unique lesson(since all of us are individuals and unique in certain ways), both about the material world and the spiritual one which is it's source and ultimate reality.  Some will learn, usually the humble; some will not, usually the arrogant/haughty.


Warmest regards-


Hatman

Flag Kodiacman July 22, 2010 9:12 PM EDT

Jul 22, 2010 -- 6:03PM, embeddedtech wrote:


Doesn't make any sense does it?


Someone has to explain to me why some people are so blessed while others are seemingly abandoned. I have never understood this. And don't say "God works in mysterious ways" either. 


I honestly believe that if there was a good answer to this question there would be a lot more Christians around. 



Ebt,


I cannot offer you a perfect clear concise  answer that will make all the clouds of doubt just roll away never to be seen again. To get that kind of an answer that is to sit in the "God Seat" and know what He knows. I ain't Him so I don't have the goods...


I like Esdra have looked much for an answer to this niggling question too. The best I can come up with is that God wants me to reconcile my life's events within the context of my life and my life alone. It is when I begin to comparemy life to others' lives that discontentment and other things begin to become issues. I demonstrate this in the example of a small child. A child who knows that they are loved sufficiently by thier parents is, for the most part, a content child. When they are content they are not worried if thier life is good or bad, as far as they are concerned they have a great life because they are loved. Loved children are typically happy children.


God wants to show me like a little child how much He loves me. He wants to do that for me and me alone. It is not that God wants to 'dis the other kids in the 'hood. He wants to love them just the same as He loves me. The problem occurs when I am not aware of God's love towards me. I begin to compare and life gets hard rather quickly. Discontentment is often a sign of a lack of "felt Love" by God. God loves us all. The issue is do we all know that?


Lastly I would aslo echo Edsra's words here too. It is an attitude issue. It becomes a self-fulfilling attitude. Content people are more content, and the discontented people are also discontented. It is strange how it works, but it is true and you can see it all around you.


I am not sure I have answered you questions, so feel free to push me a bit, I can be notoriously dense and miss obvious points so don't feel bad if you feel I missed something. BTW Welcome to Christianity debate here on bnet too. Wink 


blessings


 



Flag REteach July 22, 2010 9:13 PM EDT

Embedded,


I also agree that it is a good question.  I am pretty much one of the lucky ones.  I've had a few bad things, like a near-divorce 28 years ago, a lay-off, but nothing like some people have.


While on the one hand, I think my hardships have made me wiser and stronger, I understand that they are nothing like the hardships suffered by some people.


I'm not even sure it is right to lump certain categories of things as bad.  Cancer, for instance, can be highly treatable or not.  Some people have a lot of support and even if they don't have a cure, they have a sense of healing and joy.  Others have very painful conditions or no support or no way to pay for something that might be curable.  


I suspect that part of what makes things really bad lay within ourselves.  Our personalities, our early childhood, our life experiences, all these things affect our perceptions of the world.  


 


I remember a mom who had taken 2 weeks off from work so her child could have heart surgery.  When they got to the hospital, they discovered their surgery had to be rescheduled because another child needed emergency surgery.  She was just glad her child was stable enough to be rescheduled.  A couple weeks later, I met a woman who was totally out of control over her child's tonsillectomy.  


 



I have often wondered who would be considered to be the 10 most miserable people on the planet.  If you put them in a room together, would they think they would rather have their own misery--or the misery of one of the other nine?


 


Short answer: I don't know why some people are apparently blessed and others are not. I do know that I get really irate at the blessed people who complain about how much those who are not so lucky raise their taxes or are just lazy or yadayadayada.  The blessed should shut the heck up and be grateful instead of greedy. 

Flag johnacancienne July 22, 2010 10:26 PM EDT

Any day a person wakes up and don't smell flowers or hear church music softly played behind some screen is a good day. IOW, you are alive, and have the opportunity to make what you want of the day. It's all in the frame of mind. I've known people who lived in squalor and were happier than a millionaire. I have never had a big paying job... civilian or military, we did the best with what we had, and were always warm in the winter, cool in the summer, well fed and dry. I loved my work.... My wife loved her's. We got all of our children educated, and now they are off doing what they love, are content with their lives, and are happy in their relationships. What more is there?


Certainly there are some days that we cry.... I lost my dad when I was 37... Just as my kids were getting to know him.... the youngest missed out on him altogether, being born 2 years after he died. But I had him for 37 years.... some people don't have that opportunity; and I have all of his wisdom to fall back on to give to my children. Mom died this past February. I actually lost her to Alzheimer's ten years ago... but her last days were filled with people who loved her, and even if she could no longer recognize those people, she gave love back in return. So..... in that vein, I have led a charmed life. I could have wallowed in self pity for all of the grief I have had through the years, but that would have diminished any good that came with it; and there was far more good than the bad. I don't dwell on the bad days. They come and go. The good days are committed to memory, and help me over the rough spots. Sometimes if one really focuses on the good, the bad goes back to the darkness it comes from and it makes it easier to stick it out to the finish.

Flag embeddedtech July 22, 2010 10:38 PM EDT

From the replys above I get a concensus that the bad things happen to teach us lessons. I can see that in many cases. Bad things can make us stronger or make us seek out additional support that we may not have thought necessary before. This strengthening and growth of the soul I can see as being a kind of schooling before the afterlife.


But... what about the souls of kids who haven't had a chance to experience life. A 1 day old baby who dies in a car accident for example. If the baby's soul doesn't require life experience in order to pass on to the afterlife, then why does the rape victim need to be raped before they can pass on. Are we saying that the 1 day old baby already has a perfect soul and the rape victim has a somehow inferior soul that God has decided needs to be raped so it can learn to be as good as the baby's soul. That is a bit difficult to believe and really needs to be clarified directly.


I appreciate your responses. I will take a look at that article later.

Flag johnacancienne July 23, 2010 12:06 AM EDT

Jul 22, 2010 -- 10:38PM, embeddedtech wrote:


From the replys above I get a concensus that the bad things happen to teach us lessons. I can see that in many cases. Bad things can make us stronger or make us seek out additional support that we may not have thought necessary before. This strengthening and growth of the soul I can see as being a kind of schooling before the afterlife.



According to my beliefs, we are here either to learn or to teach a lesson.


Jul 22, 2010 -- 10:38PM, embeddedtech wrote:

But... what about the souls of kids who haven't had a chance to experience life. A 1 day old baby who dies in a car accident for example. If the baby's soul doesn't require life experience in order to pass on to the afterlife, then why does the rape victim need to be raped before they can pass on. Are we saying that the 1 day old baby already has a perfect soul and the rape victim has a somehow inferior soul that God has decided needs to be raped so it can learn to be as good as the baby's soul. That is a bit difficult to believe and really needs to be clarified directly.


I appreciate your responses. I will take a look at that article later.




What about the 1 day old who dies early? Again... according to my belief, the soul embedded in this one day old was an old soul who had learned all it needed, and chose to come here to teach a significant lesson to someone who needed it. May it be the joy of unconditional love that only a new born can offer, or to look to the needs of others, rather than self. And to me, the idea of a rape victim who comes through such a tragic experience and remains strong is another lesson for someone. Perhaps to guide someone else through the worst moments of their lives and show that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't just another on coming train.


 

Flag Hatman July 23, 2010 12:47 AM EDT

And to pick up on John's point, it could also be that beside the point of the baby teaching someone an important lesson, the baby itself may have had to return to "balance the equation" for some imperfection in a previous life.


(i depart from mainstream "christianity" on this issue, i'm told, for i believe that the Bible teaches more about reincarnation than it's opposite.)


Something similar for the rape victim could also be true, in that an uncaught and unrepentent rapist was sent back to live a life as a woman, BE raped, and so fulfill Christ's words, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap" "Give, and it will be given unto you" "As ye would not that men do unto you, do not unto them" and "With the measure that ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again...and more besides."


You see, i believe a) that Christ's words are eternally true, and b) that many murderers, rapists, thieves, con-men, child molesters, and so on, go to the grave uncaught and unrepentant---but during their life review, they are compelled to witness and be unable to deny the truth of their lives---then, after an appropriate period of time in suffering, this particular soul likely begs for another chance at life, ANY life, which request is conditionally granted, in cases like this.


Others are perfected souls sent back for specific missions, like John the Baptist/Elijah, who will come yet once more, too, if Christ is trusted and believed.


Don't know if this attempt comes close to answering your question(s), but it's the best i got, right now.  Most of the foregoing is simple speculation, albeit based on Christ's words; i also saw a summer replacement show that was on NBC for only 3 months many years ago called 'The Other Side.' 


Long story short, NDE'ers, one who impressed me most had been a bully all his life, died when struck by lightning during a thunderstorm, found himself floating in a place of utter and complete blackness for a long, long time, completely alone; eventually(as he described it) "things with teeth" came and began to rip the flesh from his body, right down to the bones, until he finally screamed out, "Jesus!  Help me!"(at this point, i flashed on "Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping, and wailing, and(what?) gnashing of teeth.")


Once he'd uttered those words, he found himself completely healed and in what he described as an "interview room."  Someone came in, and he thought "I can fool this guy," but it was just as if he'd spoken aloud.(This confirmed a vision i had a few years prior to this point, in which, among many other things, i found out that in Heaven, NO thought can be concealed.)  Anyway, it was at this point that he had his life-review, and his soul was placed into the bodies of EVERY victim he'd ever hit, punched, kicked, tormented, spat upon, humiliated, etc. and he was required to re-live the experience, this time as his own victim.  At this point, i remember thinking, "Wow!  That's perfect justice!"  And it IS, too---and perfectly consonant with Christ's words as given earlier in this post.


Long story short, after this review, he got a tour of the lake of fire, saw friends he KNEW were dead, and awakened in the ambulance...a thoroughly changed man, who now pastors some small church in California, iirc.


Don't know if any of THAT will help, either...but it shore made an impression on ME.  Been treatin people a WHOLE lot better ever since.


Warmest regards-


Hatman


 

Flag Jenandew7 July 23, 2010 1:29 AM EDT

Jul 23, 2010 -- 12:47AM, Hatman wrote:


And to pick up on John's point, it could also be that beside the point of the baby teaching someone an important lesson, the baby itself may have had to return to "balance the equation" for some imperfection in a previous life.


(i depart from mainstream "christianity" on this issue, i'm told, for i believe that the Bible teaches more about reincarnation than it's opposite.)


Something similar for the rape victim could also be true, in that an uncaught and unrepentent rapist was sent back to live a life as a woman, BE raped, and so fulfill Christ's words, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap" "Give, and it will be given unto you" "As ye would not that men do unto you, do not unto them" and "With the measure that ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again...and more besides."


You see, i believe a) that Christ's words are eternally true, and b) that many murderers, rapists, thieves, con-men, child molesters, and so on, go to the grave uncaught and unrepentant---but during their life review, they are compelled to witness and be unable to deny the truth of their lives---then, after an appropriate period of time in suffering, this particular soul likely begs for another chance at life, ANY life, which request is conditionally granted, in cases like this.


Others are perfected souls sent back for specific missions, like John the Baptist/Elijah, who will come yet once more, too, if Christ is trusted and believed.


Don't know if this attempt comes close to answering your question(s), but it's the best i got, right now.  Most of the foregoing is simple speculation, albeit based on Christ's words; i also saw a summer replacement show that was on NBC for only 3 months many years ago called 'The Other Side.' 


Long story short, NDE'ers, one who impressed me most had been a bully all his life, died when struck by lightning during a thunderstorm, found himself floating in a place of utter and complete blackness for a long, long time, completely alone; eventually(as he described it) "things with teeth" came and began to rip the flesh from his body, right down to the bones, until he finally screamed out, "Jesus!  Help me!"(at this point, i flashed on "Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping, and wailing, and(what?) gnashing of teeth.")


Once he'd uttered those words, he found himself completely healed and in what he described as an "interview room."  Someone came in, and he thought "I can fool this guy," but it was just as if he'd spoken aloud.(This confirmed a vision i had a few years prior to this point, in which, among many other things, i found out that in Heaven, NO thought can be concealed.)  Anyway, it was at this point that he had his life-review, and his soul was placed into the bodies of EVERY victim he'd ever hit, punched, kicked, tormented, spat upon, humiliated, etc. and he was required to re-live the experience, this time as his own victim.  At this point, i remember thinking, "Wow!  That's perfect justice!"  And it IS, too---and perfectly consonant with Christ's words as given earlier in this post.


Long story short, after this review, he got a tour of the lake of fire, saw friends he KNEW were dead, and awakened in the ambulance...a thoroughly changed man, who now pastors some small church in California, iirc.


Don't know if any of THAT will help, either...but it shore made an impression on ME.  Been treatin people a WHOLE lot better ever since.


Warmest regards-


Hatman


 




Yipes!  Well, I'd heard some bad ones, but none that bad.  Many do relate what I see as a "self-judgement" scenario like that, too. 


A.

Flag embeddedtech July 23, 2010 7:07 AM EDT

I'm not sure about reincarnation. Like you said its certainly is not mainstream. But I guess it is necessary to explain some of the difficult questions in a semi logical way.


Can anyone give a non-incarnation explanation?

Flag johnacancienne July 23, 2010 12:02 PM EDT

Jul 23, 2010 -- 7:07AM, embeddedtech wrote:


I'm not sure about reincarnation. Like you said its certainly is not mainstream. But I guess it is necessary to explain some of the difficult questions in a semi logical way.


Can anyone give a non-incarnation explanation?





About all that's left then is that "Satan" is the ruler of the world, and the Christian god allows bad stuff to happen to good people to make them appreciate the Christian god more, because we all know that no one is really worthy of being saved anyway. Sorta like in Job. Do you prefer that explanation? THAT is mainstream ( or whatever your view of  mainstream is supposed to mean.)

Flag koolpoi July 23, 2010 12:40 PM EDT

Jul 23, 2010 -- 12:02PM, johnacancienne wrote:


Jul 23, 2010 -- 7:07AM, embeddedtech wrote:


I'm not sure about reincarnation. Like you said its certainly is not mainstream. But I guess it is necessary to explain some of the difficult questions in a semi logical way.


Can anyone give a non-incarnation explanation?





About all that's left then is that "Satan" is the ruler of the world, and the Christian god allows bad stuff to happen to good people to make them appreciate the Christian god more, because we all know that no one is really worthy of being saved anyway. Sorta like in Job. Do you prefer that explanation? THAT is mainstream ( or whatever your view of  mainstream is supposed to mean.)




Reincarnation allows just punishment while preserving free will and providing ultimate salvation for all.Sounds like the universe a truly beneficent Creator would set up.There is no problem of the suffering of the innocent.

Flag johnacancienne July 23, 2010 12:53 PM EDT

Jul 23, 2010 -- 12:40PM, koolpoi wrote:


Jul 23, 2010 -- 12:02PM, johnacancienne wrote:


Jul 23, 2010 -- 7:07AM, embeddedtech wrote:


I'm not sure about reincarnation. Like you said its certainly is not mainstream. But I guess it is necessary to explain some of the difficult questions in a semi logical way.


Can anyone give a non-incarnation explanation?





About all that's left then is that "Satan" is the ruler of the world, and the Christian god allows bad stuff to happen to good people to make them appreciate the Christian god more, because we all know that no one is really worthy of being saved anyway. Sorta like in Job. Do you prefer that explanation? THAT is mainstream ( or whatever your view of  mainstream is supposed to mean.)




Reincarnation allows just punishment while preserving free will and providing ultimate salvation for all.Sounds like the universe a truly beneficent Creator would set up.There is no problem of the suffering of the innocent.





I agree. And it isn't as anti mainstream as some would propose. Early Christians believed in reincarnation, and as Hatman pointed out, there are some biblical references to the belief. The fact that it fell out of favor with some Christian leaders is beside the point.


In a situation where punishment ought to fit the crime, reincarnation is just about perfect. If I fail to learn some spiritual principle in this existence, I am doomed to repeat the grade until I get it right. Only until complete spiritual enlightenment is achieved, can I expect to go to that higher plain of existence. Some would call this heaven, some Valhalla, and others like myself call it Summerland. My religion teaches that once a soul has reached a spiritual level of completeness, it can then opt to return to teach the lessons other souls must learn to reach the same goal.

Flag Marcion July 23, 2010 2:24 PM EDT

This reminds me of a statement made by one of Jesuit professors  "God has favorites."


By what measure?


What an assinine statement to be made by someone who should know better.


It was imbeciles like this that jaded me from pursuing the priesthood.

Flag johnacancienne July 23, 2010 2:47 PM EDT

Jul 23, 2010 -- 2:24PM, Marcion wrote:


This reminds me of a statement made by one of Jesuit professors  "God has favorites."


By what measure?


What an assinine statement to be made by someone who should know better.


It was imbeciles like this that jaded me from pursuing the priesthood.





 


It didn't take that much for me.... I just woke up one day and realized girls were more than just soft boys.Wink

Flag koolpoi July 27, 2010 3:41 PM EDT

Jul 23, 2010 -- 2:24PM, Marcion wrote:


This reminds me of a statement made by one of Jesuit professors  "God has favorites."


By what measure?


What an assinine statement to be made by someone who should know better.


It was imbeciles like this that jaded me from pursuing the priesthood.




If one accepts that (a)Christians are more likely to gain eternal life than others and (b)children born in majority Christian country are much more likely to be Christian than those born in other countries,God does indeed play favorites.

Flag Esdraelon July 27, 2010 4:32 PM EDT

Jul 27, 2010 -- 3:41PM, koolpoi wrote:


Jul 23, 2010 -- 2:24PM, Marcion wrote:


This reminds me of a statement made by one of Jesuit professors  "God has favorites."


By what measure?


What an assinine statement to be made by someone who should know better.


It was imbeciles like this that jaded me from pursuing the priesthood.




If one accepts that (a)Christians are more likely to gain eternal life than others and (b)children born in majority Christian country are much more likely to be Christian than those born in other countries,God does indeed play favorites.





That's why there are Christian missionaries, to carry the word of God to those countries and to whom will accept it.


But maybe God Does play favorites? Maybe He has His reasons? Who knows. I don't worry about that, why should I?

Flag johnacancienne July 27, 2010 4:44 PM EDT

Jul 27, 2010 -- 3:41PM, koolpoi wrote:


Jul 23, 2010 -- 2:24PM, Marcion wrote:


This reminds me of a statement made by one of Jesuit professors  "God has favorites."


By what measure?


What an assinine statement to be made by someone who should know better.


It was imbeciles like this that jaded me from pursuing the priesthood.




If one accepts that (a)Christians are more likely to gain eternal life than others and (b)children born in majority Christian country are much more likely to be Christian than those born in other countries,God does indeed play favorites.





But I don't accept that simply one religion has a better chance at eternal reward than people of other religions. This is something taught by Christian churches. That don't make it a fact, it's only an unfounded opinion.


As far as children born in Christian countries have a better chance of growing up Christian goes; well of course that's true. Just as people born in Hindu, Islamic, or Buddhist countries have a better chance of growing up in one of those religions. That is a no brainer, actually. What is in dispute, and I suppose it's only a matter of what you're most familiar with is if in fact is one religion better than the other. Again, that's speculative at best.


If your god chooses to play favorites, why worship him? My gods don't play favorites...... Sorry about your's.

Flag Hatman July 27, 2010 8:34 PM EDT

John-


According to Christ, God shows no favoritism, "making it to rain on the just and unjust alike."  Now, these could be nurturing, healthful rains OR flooding, damaging rains, but either way, no favoritism.


He certainly doesn't show deference due to age or station or profession or any other superficial criteria, but weighs the heart.


If more Bible-thumpers actually KNEW their scriptures, they would also know of Peter's words in Acts, wherein he writes:


"But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear  for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is  acceptable to Him and  sure of being received and welcomed [by Him]."(10:35, AMP)


Warmest regards-


Hatman

Flag Kodiacman July 27, 2010 9:13 PM EDT

IF God were to play favorites how would we know it? Our ability to see the big picture is limited as we are human creatures of finite resources and abilities. The only reason we would ever think of God playing favorites is if the God we see does not love equally. The God of the Bible is purported to have the character quality of loving all equally. Parents who are mature do not treat each child equally, although each child is loved equally. Equal love does not always translate to equal treatment. Given that this is true, we cannot know for sure of God does play favorites even if we suspect it to be true due to our limited resources.


The whole issue is really a referendum on what kind of character I assign God. If God is love, then favoritism is out despite the uneven treatment I may witness taking place. If God is not love, well.......then He may and then again He may not play favorites.


blessings


 

Flag koolpoi July 28, 2010 12:40 AM EDT

Jul 27, 2010 -- 4:32PM, Esdraelon wrote:


Jul 27, 2010 -- 3:41PM, koolpoi wrote:


Jul 23, 2010 -- 2:24PM, Marcion wrote:


This reminds me of a statement made by one of Jesuit professors  "God has favorites."


By what measure?


What an assinine statement to be made by someone who should know better.


It was imbeciles like this that jaded me from pursuing the priesthood.




If one accepts that (a)Christians are more likely to gain eternal life than others and (b)children born in majority Christian country are much more likely to be Christian than those born in other countries,God does indeed play favorites.





That's why there are Christian missionaries, to carry the word of God to those countries and to whom will accept it.


But maybe God Does play favorites? Maybe He has His reasons? Who knows. I don't worry about that, why should I?




Missionaries have only a very limited influence,especially in Muslim countries.I didn't ask you to worry.I simply pointed out a logical conclusion if one accepts that some sect of Christianity is the only true faith.

Flag Kodiacman July 28, 2010 7:57 AM EDT

Jul 28, 2010 -- 12:40AM, koolpoi wrote:


Jul 27, 2010 -- 4:32PM, Esdraelon wrote:


Jul 27, 2010 -- 3:41PM, koolpoi wrote:


Jul 23, 2010 -- 2:24PM, Marcion wrote:


This reminds me of a statement made by one of Jesuit professors  "God has favorites."


By what measure?


What an assinine statement to be made by someone who should know better.


It was imbeciles like this that jaded me from pursuing the priesthood.




If one accepts that (a)Christians are more likely to gain eternal life than others and (b)children born in majority Christian country are much more likely to be Christian than those born in other countries,God does indeed play favorites.





That's why there are Christian missionaries, to carry the word of God to those countries and to whom will accept it.


But maybe God Does play favorites? Maybe He has His reasons? Who knows. I don't worry about that, why should I?




Missionaries have only a very limited influence,especially in Muslim countries.I didn't ask you to worry.I simply pointed out a logical conclusion if one accepts that some sect of Christianity is the only true faith.





k,


Your reasoning is sound, your conclusion is a non sequitor. Perhaps you were unaware of this fact, allow me to demonstrate. You stated that if A (Christianity is only way to God) is true then B (God would play favorites) would also be true. If we susbtitute the data sets we see the non sequitor. If A (2+3=5) is true the B (the math teacher plays favorites with those who have the answer 5) would also be true. It is fallacious logic to assume the teacher is playing "favorites" by preferring only those who would have 5 as thier answer. The correct answer being preferred by the teacher has nothing to do with the teacher playing "favorites" unless honoring the right answers is playing "favorites" in your mind.


My initial response was to your declarative statement that you thought God played favorites. This response in this post here is to counter your claim that your declarative statement of "God playing favorites" was arrived at from a 'logical conclusion.' Again I am not sure of this was an intentional mistake or an honest mistake....who knows. All I can do is point it out what I deem to be an error and go from there. who knows, I may be wrong too?!!? Surprised 


If you wanted to say that the Christian God plays favorites there are better ways of doing it. This manner of making the claim, due to the conclusion being arrived at from a non sequitor, fails to make the claim stick IMO.


blessings


 


 

Flag koolpoi July 28, 2010 9:35 AM EDT

Jul 28, 2010 -- 7:57AM, Kodiacman wrote:


Jul 28, 2010 -- 12:40AM, koolpoi wrote:


Jul 27, 2010 -- 4:32PM, Esdraelon wrote:


Jul 27, 2010 -- 3:41PM, koolpoi wrote:


Jul 23, 2010 -- 2:24PM, Marcion wrote:


This reminds me of a statement made by one of Jesuit professors  "God has favorites."


By what measure?


What an assinine statement to be made by someone who should know better.


It was imbeciles like this that jaded me from pursuing the priesthood.




If one accepts that (a)Christians are more likely to gain eternal life than others and (b)children born in majority Christian country are much more likely to be Christian than those born in other countries,God does indeed play favorites.





That's why there are Christian missionaries, to carry the word of God to those countries and to whom will accept it.


But maybe God Does play favorites? Maybe He has His reasons? Who knows. I don't worry about that, why should I?




Missionaries have only a very limited influence,especially in Muslim countries.I didn't ask you to worry.I simply pointed out a logical conclusion if one accepts that some sect of Christianity is the only true faith.





k,


Your reasoning is sound, your conclusion is a non sequitor. Perhaps you were unaware of this fact, allow me to demonstrate. You stated that if A (Christianity is only way to God) is true then B (God would play favorites) would also be true. If we susbtitute the data sets we see the non sequitor. If A (2+3=5) is true the B (the math teacher plays favorites with those who have the answer 5) would also be true. It is fallacious logic to assume the teacher is playing "favorites" by preferring only those who would have 5 as thier answer. The correct answer being preferred by the teacher has nothing to do with the teacher playing "favorites" unless honoring the right answers is playing "favorites" in your mind.


My initial response was to your declarative statement that you thought God played favorites. This response in this post here is to counter your claim that your declarative statement of "God playing favorites" was arrived at from a 'logical conclusion.' Again I am not sure of this was an intentional mistake or an honest mistake....who knows. All I can do is point it out what I deem to be an error and go from there. who knows, I may be wrong too?!!?  


If you wanted to say that the Christian God plays favorites there are better ways of doing it. This manner of making the claim, due to the conclusion being arrived at from a non sequitor, fails to make the claim stick IMO.


blessings


 


 




The math teacher is simply acknowledging a preexisting reality (which he did not create) by favoring those with the right answer.A better analogy would be a teacher who tests some students' linguistic abilities by requiring them to learn a Chinese poem in the original language.It might seem fair but the teacher knows the Japanese and Korean students in the group already have considerable experience with written Chinese while students from the US and Europe do not.God created an equally unfair setup if he arranged things so that the one true faith would be an integral part of the culture in some places but an alien import in others.This is one of those cases where God's claimed omnipotence creates moral problems.

Flag Kodiacman July 28, 2010 10:08 AM EDT

Jul 28, 2010 -- 9:35AM, koolpoi wrote:


God created an equally unfair setup if he arranged things so that the one true faith would be an integral part of the culture in some places but an alien import in others.This is one of those cases where God's claimed omnipotence creates moral problems.




K,


It very much does look like it is unfair from my perspective too. There is no 'good' reason for it that I can come up with for why God "chose" to have things arranged the way He did....I cannot arrive at a sastifactory answer that I could confidently state is "fair."


This is where my faith in God must step in and argue for God's character. My rationale does not agree with the Bible, and my rationale does not agree with my faith. I do find that when I go 'there' to the "good God locale" by faith, I will see that God is undeniably good and just and fair. This is only seen from my perspective of faith. I can try to give what I think are rational and logical ideas for why God does what He does, but these are only "proven" from a faith perspective not from a human rational logical perspective.


Given that this thread is about trying to grasp God's goodness and His fairness I think this is very apropos to this discussion. Passages like Psalms 75:6-7 only make sense if one has a trust in the Goodness of God. The issue of God's fairness to man is directly tied to what I think about the character of God. The battle is not so much about the externals. They are what they are, and many of them are hard to understand. The battle is what do I think about God? If I can get "there" to the "good God locale" the world will make much more sense.


Ths "reality" that is the 'good God locale' is only attained through my faith or my belief that God is really a good God. In a sense it becomes an ontogical truth. A self-fulfilling reality or even a tautology. In a manner of speaking, and I know I am getting abstract here, but this is Biblically sound, my Faith "creates" my "reality" of "God." It is by faith that my thinking is transformed or re-created, into now seeing God as He really is. Does God really exist? Yes, emphatically yes! Can I create reality? hmmm not in an empirical material sense, but I can alter my reality and in a sense "create" my own reality based upon my own perceptions. Can I create God? no, but God is revealed to me by my faith; so in a sense there is a "creating' of "god" I do through my faith.  Hopefully this is not too complicated to grasp. This is how, I beleive, God wants us to live by faith in Him day-by-day. It is how we see that God is a good God all the time and that we are blessed beyond all that we really would deserve if we were to get what we deserved.


blessings




Flag nolan111 April 22, 2013 11:55 PM EDT

The recarnation theory doesn't work. It seems to me all people on earth will be rapped because you need someone to rape the rappist to carry out the punishment and that someone will be rapped also. It will never end.

Flag koolpoi April 23, 2013 7:29 AM EDT

Jul 28, 2010 -- 10:08AM, Kodiacman wrote:


Jul 28, 2010 -- 9:35AM, koolpoi wrote:


God created an equally unfair setup if he arranged things so that the one true faith would be an integral part of the culture in some places but an alien import in others.This is one of those cases where God's claimed omnipotence creates moral problems.




K,


It very much does look like it is unfair from my perspective too. There is no 'good' reason for it that I can come up with for why God "chose" to have things arranged the way He did....I cannot arrive at a sastifactory answer that I could confidently state is "fair."


This is where my faith in God must step in and argue for God's character. My rationale does not agree with the Bible, and my rationale does not agree with my faith. I do find that when I go 'there' to the "good God locale" by faith, I will see that God is undeniably good and just and fair. This is only seen from my perspective of faith. I can try to give what I think are rational and logical ideas for why God does what He does, but these are only "proven" from a faith perspective not from a human rational logical perspective.


Given that this thread is about trying to grasp God's goodness and His fairness I think this is very apropos to this discussion. Passages like Psalms 75:6-7 only make sense if one has a trust in the Goodness of God. The issue of God's fairness to man is directly tied to what I think about the character of God. The battle is not so much about the externals. They are what they are, and many of them are hard to understand. The battle is what do I think about God? If I can get "there" to the "good God locale" the world will make much more sense.


Ths "reality" that is the 'good God locale' is only attained through my faith or my belief that God is really a good God. In a sense it becomes an ontogical truth. A self-fulfilling reality or even a tautology. In a manner of speaking, and I know I am getting abstract here, but this is Biblically sound, my Faith "creates" my "reality" of "God." It is by faith that my thinking is transformed or re-created, into now seeing God as He really is. Does God really exist? Yes, emphatically yes! Can I create reality? hmmm not in an empirical material sense, but I can alter my reality and in a sense "create" my own reality based upon my own perceptions. Can I create God? no, but God is revealed to me by my faith; so in a sense there is a "creating' of "god" I do through my faith.  Hopefully this is not too complicated to grasp. This is how, I beleive, God wants us to live by faith in Him day-by-day. It is how we see that God is a good God all the time and that we are blessed beyond all that we really would deserve if we were to get what we deserved.


blessings







This makes me think of a man arrested for a crime.The police say the evidence points to his guilt but his mother is convinced that her son could never have done such a thing.The police (like me) have no idea what the man (like God) is really like so they can only follow the evidence.I can understand the mother's unreasoning faith in her son but not your comparably unreasoning faith in God.The mother can at least refer to an intimate knowledge of her offspring as a basis for her beliefs but what is the basis for your faith in God's goodness?Have you had some mystical relationship with God that convinces you of His goodness?If one starts with belief,any faith makes perfect sense.If you had been born to a Muslim family in Saudi Arabia wouldn't you have the same faith in a Muslim idea of God?Reading your post I still have no idea of WHY you have this faith that makes you assume the best motivations where God is concerned.Can you explain that.I am truly curious.

Flag dio April 23, 2013 10:17 AM EDT

Why are some people more blessed than others? good ancestors.

Flag Hmmm April 24, 2013 10:00 PM EDT

Jul 22, 2010 -- 6:03PM, embeddedtech wrote:


I get that maybe life is a test so when bad things happen we are supposed to learn from them and grow. But that doesn't hold up when some peoples "tests" are so horrific and others are relatively non-existent.


There are a lot of people that are born to affluent parents, are intelligent and good looking, live their whole lives in relatively good health, have families and are reasonably happy. Now of course I'm sure everyone has a few less than ideal things happen in their lives. Maybe they lose a job, or they have a difficult kid, or their investments go south a bit, but other than relatively small hiccups, many of us don't ever really have any serious tests.


On the flip side, there are people dying every day around the world that have done nothing to deserve it. Small children are left starving to death. Women are raped and are then punished for it.


Doesn't make any sense does it?


Someone has to explain to me why some people are so blessed while others are seemingly abandoned. I have never understood this. And don't say "God works in mysterious ways" either. 


I honestly believe that if there was a good answer to this question there would be a lot more Christians around.



I have never read this thread from three years ago(just the OP), but I can relate to what embeddedtech is saying. Also, I understand the concept of being a Christian and being tested, however, I have seen situations where some Christians continually go throught trials and ordeals to the point where it's not really logical to think that for some reason, God needs to continually 'test' these people for whatever reason.


But because of this...and because of what EBT said about the flipside where there are those who seem to always experience good fortune(although EBT didn't necessarily say that they were Christians), I have come to the conclusion that life is actually random and that the good and the bad things that happens to a person in life is random and has nothing to do with God's intervention.


However, I do now believe that inspite of the unfortunate circumstances and situations that a person can experienced in life, that there are 'spirtiual' tools and different spiritual approaches that can help people improve their lives.


And I know that for some Christians, the Bible and Christianity works fine in their lives...and I'm sure that they believe that along with their own efforts, God is working behind the scenes to benefit and to bless their lives.


However, for other Christians, they don't quite have the same experiences as the ones above...and continue to experince trials and ordeals and unhappiness. And for Christians such as these, I would say that there needs to come a time when they realize that they need to stop beating their heads up against the wall and look elsewhere for happiness and spirituality. 

Flag Ben Masada April 25, 2013 4:27 PM EDT

Some people are more blessed than others because they are more diligent and work harder. That's all. No more no less than that.  

Flag koolpoi April 26, 2013 6:23 AM EDT

Apr 25, 2013 -- 4:27PM, Ben Masada wrote:


Some people are more blessed than others because they are more diligent and work harder. That's all. No more no less than that.  




In that case they are not "blessed".They earned what they have.

Flag Hmmm April 27, 2013 1:55 AM EDT

Apr 26, 2013 -- 6:23AM, koolpoi wrote:


Apr 25, 2013 -- 4:27PM, Ben Masada wrote:


Some people are more blessed than others because they are more diligent and work harder. That's all. No more no less than that. 



In that case they are not "blessed".They earned what they have.



Also, it looks like Ben missed the 'big picture' of the OP.

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