Posted by Dave H (184.108.40.206) on April 27, 2000 at 18:31:51:
As you all may or may not know, I am currently in college.
I am studying religion, with the ultimate goal of going to
seminary and entering the ordained ministry in the Lutheran
Church. Ironically, in one of my classes I have been spending
a lot of time studying the question of evil. This can be
best stated as "If there exists a all-powerful, benevolent
God, why is there unjustified suffering?" A couple of long
hard nights finally brought me to a great deal of clarity on this
For anyone who endures that intese pain that we experience, there is
no doubt that there is unexplainable, unjustified suffering. However,
in my life and I hope in some of yours (I certainly will not presume to
speak for all of you) there is also undeniably reasons for believing in the
Judeo-Christian God. There must then be some way to ease the paradox of
the presence of both a benevolent God and unjustified evil.
The answer I arrived at is one that makes many moderns a little nervous,
but fits into the Biblical worldview and the traditions of Christianity
throughout the centuries. Indeed, the idea is most likely in my head because
of my recent readings Christian theologians of centuries past. My solution is
quite simple: there as an undeniable, physical evil presence in the world;
which Christian tradition has variously called Satan, the Devil, or the anti-Christ.
Who among us, on a bad night has not went through the "Why me?" phase, or even gotten
into a shouting match with God? That is precisely the purpose of the pain:
to lead us into anger at God and ultimately away from God all together.
What does this mean practically for us? It means that the God who was tempted in the
desert is with us as we are tempted, the God who suffered unjustified pain on the cross
is with us as the devil puts icepicks through out heads. There is real evil in the world,
and for some reason we have been chosen as victims.
I pray that this thought will comfort some of you as it did me. I know not all of you will
find this to be something you can accept, and I don't expect everyone to agree with me.
This is the only answer I have found that has taken into account the reality of the pain I have
experienced and the reality of my relationship with God.
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