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Mostly, no. I find the idea of a personal God troubling. I find the idea of a personal God troubling because of suffering: why do people suffer so much?

The idea of a personal God is troubling

Mostly, no. I find the idea of a personal God troubling. I find the idea of a personal God troubling because of suffering: why do people suffer so much? And, if God is more or less responsible for the world and all in it, why would god allow suffering to be so prevalent?

There’s this great concept, Theodicy, which attempts to reconcile “traditional divine characteristics of omnibenevolenceomnipotence, and omniscience, in either their absolute or relative form, with the occurrence of evil or suffering in the world” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodicy). Leibnitz attempted to reconcile the goodness of god with the existence of evil: for me, any answer is unsatisfactory.

The concepts of God as “all-good/kind,” “all-powerful,” and “all-knowing” don’t hold much water for me, either. BEcause if someone could be able to end suffering, it would be god – so either god could not, or does not (either option is troubling to me).

I do sometimes find myself wishing that I believed in a personal God, or wishing that I found the idea of a personal God comforting. I do sometimes wish that God could be as near and as comforting as an old flannel shirt. It’s an idea that comes up empty for me.

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3 comments

  1. Because they do not accept the one true God and savior, Jesus Christ, and because they listen to the voice of Satan, the accuser, who asks questions like “If there is a God, why is there so much suffering?” There is so much suffering because planet earth is a war zone. Adam, the first man, handed over his dominion to Satan in the Garden of Eden in exchange for the knowledge of good and evil. He really got his learning’s worth! Evil is everywhere now. The bible teaches that the entire world is “under the sway of the wicked one” (Satan.)

  2. Avatar photo
    Anna Marie Martin

    Mark,

    Suffering does not exempt the people who have declared for Jesus: on the contrary, many of the saints have gone on at length to share how much they suffered. (Starting with Jesus, who asked that the cup be taken from him.) Augustine wrote chapters and chapters.

    Please keep your comments in the spirit of Spokane Faith and Values, by which I mean tolerant of opinions different from your own.

  3. One of the thoughts that always comes to mind regarding this argument is that the standard that is always used is the “me” standard. If there is a God and He is capable of creating the universe then, as the scriptures declare, then His thoughts are infinitely more intelligent and wise than ours, and it’s a little arrogant to assume that we would be more wise and compassionate than this amazing Being. I chalk it up to a lack of my understanding. His sacrifice of Himself has made the way for us to be brought into eternal life in a place where suffering is never allowed again. Whoever comes to Him receives it freely and without cost! This life is like the blink of an eye compared to that. Please let go of anything that would hold you back from that.

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