Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#16

Post by Ivellious » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:15 am

and for the record DRDS, I hardly think you can call my voice in a crowd of Christians "persecution." It really doesn't make you or anyone else look very good when you play the "persecuted" card at a lone non-believer when you are surrounded by a hoard of allies yourself.

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#17

Post by Tina » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:09 am

Ivellious wrote:OK, I don't have loads of time but to BW:

I really don't intend to attack Christians, especially not as a whole. I seek to respect others, and perhaps share my opinions, but I ask not for your support or your sympathy on the matter. I realize some people take it personally when I debate the scripture or other aspects of Christianity.

I seem to be a rather polarizing figure on the forum, and I guess I can't be too shocked. I have had personal messages and thread posts praising my patience and understanding and respectfulness, and I've also had an admin. ban me and I get a few other members infuriated over the same types of posts that others praise. I'm not trying to be offensive at all, but the reason I'm here is that most of the time I am allowed on this site to express an opinion without being obliterated by negative messages. I understand that sometimes I seem like I stereotype and label and by disagreeing with the Bible I might seem like I'm personally attacking you. I'm sorry if you feel that way, but you can take my word that I hold no animosity toward Christians as a whole, nor am I out to be an "anti-Christian troll."

And, for the record, while most people on the site are respectful, and I don't ask you to take responsibility for this, but I too have felt strongly under attack at times here so you'll have to forgive me if I get worked up occasionally. When certain members here stereotype, label, and openly condemn me for my beliefs, you had better believe I feel disrespected.

Forgive my rant, I'm tired and I just needed to get that out there. Night all.
Ivellious, I understand you're struggling. I understand you may have disrespected others, and they may have disrespected you. I know you are searching for answers, but most of the time it seems like you already have your mind set on what you think, so it doesn't help any when we try to answer your questions. I know a hell for eternity seems terrible, but a pure GOD can't live with evil. And, you're not so different actuallly. There are some people who believe in a universal reunification.
"Love others as I have loved you." -Jesus Christ

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#18

Post by RickD » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:26 am

Ivellious, What if you looked at hell, from the perspective of God giving those who choose not to accept His way to spend eternity with Him, what they really desire. Those who will spend eternity in hell, will be there, in the ultimate, eternal lonliness, apart from the love of God, because they freely chose not to accept the provision from God, which is found in Christ Jesus. So, what if God is not doing the punishment, but those in hell, will be punished by their own selves, and the demons for whom hell was made? Matthew 25:41 41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

God is not going to make anyone spend eternity with Him. He created us as free-will creatures, that He wants to have an eternal relationship with, in mutual love. If God makes us spend eternity with Him, that love would be forced love, not genuine, mutual love.

Ivellious, here is an article that may help you understand hell, from a biblical perspective. I can be critical of their website, when they deserve it, but I think they got this one correct:here
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#19

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:13 pm

Ivellious wrote:I'll try to answer those questions, but if you will, I won't put myself too much in the shoes of God, so to speak. I don't claim to know the perfect solutions.

The way I look at the afterlife is this. I believe that everyone is the "child" so to speak of a higher power. I think that the higher power that had a hand in shaping the universe certainly identifies us all as its children. I think all people have the opportunity when they die to go to heaven, or an afterlife, or whatever you want to call it. People can be with their loved ones, live free from pain and suffering, can watch over loved ones still living, and so on. I don't know if heaven conforms to one all-encompassing place that all people go to, or if it is somewhat "specialized" for each person. I do believe that all people will be there someday. Let me clarify:

I do not see eternal punishment for anyone, not Hitler, not serial killers, not rapists, psychopaths, or so on. There are several reasons for me coming to this conclusion. First, I do not believe the higher power that I believe in is quite the taskmaster or pompous egomaniac that some religions make it out to be. I believe it goes by many names, takes many shapes, and does not play favorites with any of us. I think that it recognizes that people are all individuals, and whether God has a place in their lives is irrelevant because being happy and respecting ALL the world around us is the key. I don't think God takes an active role in shaping our lives. For this reason, I do not believe God chooses to let certain religions (or lack thereof) into heaven.

Second, I maintain the ludicrousness of eternal punishment for finite crimes. That's fairly straightforward, especially when certain individual's "crime" is simply not accepting Jesus as their savior.

Third, I think God recognizes that some humans are broken. Hitler was a broken man. Many people who commit awful crimes are simply put, broken individuals. No human being that is put together properly in the head could be that girl who killed her neighbor's children and laughed about it. Frankly, I would believe that when she dies, she will be reprimanded and punished, but those truly broken individuals will be seated closest to God, because God recognizes that it is not always their fault, in a matter of speaking.

To clarify, I do believe in punishment. Evil and depraved people will be punished, but I firmly believe that God will absolve everyone when their conscience shines through. For those who cannot realize the error of their ways (the "broken" ones), I believe God has the ability to hold them closely and fix them in a sense, so that their souls can be whole again. I believe that our souls, free from dark feelings and mortal concerns, can even come to forgive those who have committed crimes against us. Honestly, some people may take a long time to be punished, and it may seem like eternity. I wouldn't be shocked if God punished us all to some degree, that is, for the errors in our ways, we would have to atone and accept responsibility for them. The severity would be judged by God, and once completed, you could be accepted into your afterlife.

Error is hard to quantify. Like I said, I know that there are broken people out there, physically and mentally. Is that a fault of God? Hardly. Again, I don't believe in a God who takes those kinds of actions regularly. It also depends on what you consider error. Is murder an error? Yes, of course, and I can't fault God for human actions. Is being Hindu an error? We would disagree on that. At the same time, I again believe that God could very well find punishments to suit all "errors," as long as that might take for some. I don't believe God accepts people with errors into heaven, at least not until they have properly atoned.

Again, religious belief is not a concern. Now, say an atheist runs from the concept of God because they simply want to avoid morality and commit crimes and depraved acts. That would obviously be a situation where God may punish an individual. If someone is an atheist because they genuinely don't believe and yet they still live a more fruitful, happy, and moral life, then their punishment may be less severe than others who do believe in Christ.

Of course some people might despise God, whether they wrongfully blame God for certain events in their lives or they simply have some inborn hostilities. But, here's my take: Say you die and the higher power greets you. You say that you hate God for what he did to you. I'm sure God, being patient and loving, would strip away the mortal antagonistic attitude and show you that God was not responsible. If that disposition led to improper actions by you, God would punish you. But the God I choose to believe in would not push away someone for selfish or mortal beliefs. It may take a long while, but certainly God could ease the hate in that heart and let him/her into the afterlife eventually.

Obviously there's much more, but I've already got a good novel going so I'll stop and let you tear into my idealistic worldview. I don't really ask for much other than please don't simply respond by attacking it or throwing Bible verses at me. Not that you can't compare this to Christianity, but comparing this to scripture would be an obvious conflict and really get nowhere fast.
Thanks Ivellious.

Here is an embedded assumption I believe many who disagree with Christian theology on an afterlife with a heaven and hell seem to have.

It is believed that if someone knew God, that such a person would want to be with God in His kingdom. Scripture is clear on two issues that often get conflated together by Christian and non-Christian alike: 1) God will judge and appropriately punish people for their sin, and 2) Those who reject God do so because they hate Him.

Now finite sin, might deserve finite punishment. However, finite sin shapes eternal beings. Therefore, finite sin has eternal consequences for the persons we ultimately become at death. I do not see how it is possible for God to change someone, unless God forcibly changes who they are. And to do this God needs to divinely "rape" them by forcing Himself onto them. And I mean "rape" in every sense of the word, because no person wants another they can't stand to force themselves onto them. They just want to run and get away or fight back.

Now if this seems plausible, then it is possible. And what is possible is what I actually believe to be the case. Therefore, the finite sins of say Hitler have eternal consequences for the person he turned into and was upon his deathbed. Now, Hitler gets spiritually awoken and sees God whom he sinned against. God will judge and punish Hitler for his sins, but then what? Measuring in a way that we might perceive as a just penalty, let's assume his sins amount to a billion years expulsion for all the death multiplied by the pain and suffering he inflicted. Ok, great. Now he has paid for his crime. But what of his heart and who he was and now is? I see no reason to say that would have changed, and every reason to believe if anything Hitler would be more hardened against God whom he is so powerless against. In Hitler's eyes, Hitler is justified and God is wrong. Is God expected to accept this? How can God accept Hitler's terms unless He becomes divided against Himself?

You say:
  • "Of course some people might despise God, whether they wrongfully blame God for certain events in their lives or they simply have some inborn hostilities. But, here's my take: Say you die and the higher power greets you. You say that you hate God for what he did to you. I'm sure God, being patient and loving, would strip away the mortal antagonistic attitude and show you that God was not responsible. If that disposition led to improper actions by you, God would punish you. But the God I choose to believe in would not push away someone for selfish or mortal beliefs. It may take a long while, but certainly God could ease the hate in that heart and let him/her into the afterlife eventually."
In essense, it seems to me you believe God should force Himself onto everyone, qualified by God "easing" Himself into the heart of others. The Bible I read already tells me God is trying to draw people towards Himself because He desires none to perish. However, many bury the truth of God because they hate Him. That indeed, all of us run away from God and our carnel minds reject God. It is only by God's luring us to Himself that He can seep in enough to cause some to change in our hearts. While there might be subtle differences, I think nearly all Christians would agree with this regardless of denomination.

Given Scripture is true on these things, then who we are when we die is the person we've decided to be. We are "set in stone" so-to-speak, only the stone we have been set in is this temporary life we have lived on Earth. Is it any wonder that the angels were treated differently in their rebellion against God? They didn't have time like we do to work through their thoughts, feelings and beliefs, but rather judgement was given once they challenged God. We can challenge God all we want, and then on our deathbed desire God to come into our lives and it can be the case. Yet, if we die hardened against God, then when we wake up, we are still the same person. We may now fear God, but that is because He is Almighty. Just because our feelings are now overrun by fear, does not mean what we previously ill-harvested against God is no longer there.

So it really comes down to one big assumption why non-Christians might disagree with and criticise the theology of a heaven and hell. That is, the assumption that God can change someone of their own free volition. The thing is, when most reject the Christian theology of an afterlife with heaven and hell, they base their criticism on a huge assumption that everyone would freely change. I do not see that assumption in Scripture, but rather the opposite being endorsed and every emphasis being placed on this life to become who we are.

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#20

Post by DRDS » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:51 pm

You know on a side note, what ever happened to our friendly atheists like "touchingcloth" I really kinda miss him. I miss that old icon he had next to his name which said "well excuse me!", it looked like it was of George Jefferson dancing, it was so happy and funny. :lol: Sigh, why can't we have the nice atheists like what we used to get? :(

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#21

Post by Tina » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:07 pm

DRDS wrote:You know on a side note, what ever happened to our friendly atheists like "touchingcloth" I really kinda miss him. I miss that old icon he had next to his name which said "well excuse me!", it looked like it was of George Jefferson dancing, it was so happy and funny. :lol: Sigh, why can't we have the nice atheists like what we used to get? :(
Are you saying Ivellious is a mean atheist? It's really not nice to judge :shakehead:
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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#22

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:41 pm

Tina wrote:
DRDS wrote:You know on a side note, what ever happened to our friendly atheists like "touchingcloth" I really kinda miss him. I miss that old icon he had next to his name which said "well excuse me!", it looked like it was of George Jefferson dancing, it was so happy and funny. :lol: Sigh, why can't we have the nice atheists like what we used to get? :(
Are you saying Ivellious is a mean atheist? It's really not nice to judge :shakehead:
I agree. Ivellious might be mean, but he's already stated that he believes in God even if he isn't sure about the details. :P

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#23

Post by DRDS » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:03 pm

Well the main issue I have with him is he always likes to intrude on almost every thread including all the ones I start and tries to steer away the conversation so everyone focuses on him only.

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#24

Post by Echoside » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:13 pm

DRDS wrote: so everyone focuses on him only.
in a way that's inevitable. Should you focus more on souls safely in the boat or the ones drowning all around us?

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#25

Post by Tina » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:15 pm

DRDS wrote:Well the main issue I have with him is he always likes to intrude on almost every thread including all the ones I start and tries to steer away the conversation so everyone focuses on him only.

I say talk to him about it. But judging others is not the right way to go. Maybe it's a misunderstanding
"Love others as I have loved you." -Jesus Christ

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#26

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:23 pm

DRDS wrote:Well the main issue I have with him is he always likes to intrude on almost every thread including all the ones I start and tries to steer away the conversation so everyone focuses on him only.
I get you DRDS. In fact, probably more a failing on the part of us moderators not to keep things on topic. So back to DRDS' original post:
DRDS wrote:Hey everyone, this may sound like a very similar question like the problem of evil, but I want to specifically target the way things are dealt to believers only.

One of the main reasons why I'm wanting to pose this question has to do with the recent tornado disasters in my home state of Kentucky along with the tornadoes that occurred within the surrounding states as well.

Many of the victims are dedicated Christians. So thus when this or any other bad thing occurs in a believer's life is it A, because of the sin in their life, B, because of what Satan is doing to cause them hardship or to stumble, or is it C, something God allows into their life to either accomplish something or to demonstrate His ability to see them through or to bring them out of it?

Because if the Christian God does indeed exist, than surely nothing happens for no reason correct? So apart from those three options or a all of the above option, why then would God allow such bad things to happen to His children? Thank you all for your time.
Continuation of all other discussion regarding God, Heaven and Hell, please do so in the new thread I've created here.

Sorry DRDS.

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#27

Post by zoegirl » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:03 pm

God doesn't promise a trouble free life, in fact He guarantees that we will face trials and persecution.


Some trials are simply because of natural evil, tornadoes, sickness. I have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis for 14 years now and god has not healed me yet. He has graciously provided medicines to help and in that regard you could say the disease is stopped, but I still have it.

Others have cancers that are not healed, or have terrible tragedies in their families and friends, like your example.

I don't pretend to know, I have struggled to know why and it still stings to hear someone blithely tell me that all I have to do is have faith and God will heal me (oh really? never thought about that!!) or that I must not have enough faith (I know God can do it)....

Sounds an awful lot like Job's friends. But we also know from Paul that God's grace is sufficient for the thorns that we have, whether they are spiritual or physical or both.

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#28

Post by bippy123 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:04 am

To me the surprise isn't that Christians suffer, I would be surprised if Christians didn't suffer.
Look at what Jesus went through, look at what the apostles and the early church fathers went through, and why do people assume that suffering is bad? It is exactly during times like this that God works his greatest miracles on our hearts, this is where true faith grows. Anyone can be a fairweather believer, but can faith flourish as much as when you are going through the dark times?

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#29

Post by bippy123 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:06 am

Zoegirl, can I put you on my prayer list? :)

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Re: Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe

#30

Post by CallMeDave » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:10 am

DRDS wrote:Hey everyone, this may sound like a very similar question like the problem of evil, but I want to specifically target the way things are dealt to believers only.

One of the main reasons why I'm wanting to pose this question has to do with the recent tornado disasters in my home state of Kentucky along with the tornadoes that occurred within the surrounding states as well.

Many of the victims are dedicated Christians. So thus when this or any other bad thing occurs in a believer's life is it A, because of the sin in their life, B, because of what Satan is doing to cause them hardship or to stumble, or is it C, something God allows into their life to either accomplish something or to demonstrate His ability to see them through or to bring them out of it?

Because if the Christian God does indeed exist, than surely nothing happens for no reason correct? So apart from those three options or a all of the above option, why then would God allow such bad things to happen to His children? Thank you all for your time.

The Bible says that the rain falls on the just and unjust and Christians are not exempt from such things that are natural disasters. The reason we have destructive tornados, floods, and the like...is due to sin entering a once perfect world which thru the perfect creation into chaos . It was actually our first Parents doing and the rest of humanity has suffered from it ever since. There is coming a day however, as God promises...where the world will be restored to how it was prior to sin entering the world and we all long for that day. The important thing in this short life, is, to make sure that you will be counted among those who make it to heaven and are with God in perfect eternal saftey and joy..that comes thru simply trusting in what Christ did for you on the cross as total payment of your many sins then turning from your sins and allowing God to reconstruct your life for service to him and others. Then, if you are taken by a vicious tornado, it will be graduation day for you and you immediately come to be in the presence of God your Creator . Fear of death need not be a consuming concern when you are completely right with God thru Christ , his gift to mankind. If you havent recieved Christ, you can do so right now by asking him to come into your life and be your King , Saviour, and best friend., and trusting his calvary death was sufficient to make you right with God. Regards.
"I never asserted such an absurd proposition, that something could arise without a Cause" -- staunch atheist Philosopher David Hume.

"What this world now needs is Christian love or compassion" -- staunch atheist Bertrand Russell.

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