olde_fashioned: (17th C. -- Lady Whyte-Dunn)
[personal profile] olde_fashioned
I get emails every day, including one of BibleGateway's "Verse of the Day" subscriptions. Today's was some interesting food for thought that I couldn't put out of my mind, so I'm posting it here.

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

- Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NIV)

We are all guilty of wondering, and even questioning why God allows certain things to happen. Why do bad things happen? In a word, because of sin. But God is supposed to protect us from these things, right? Why would He let people die, evil seemingly prevail, babies be murdered by their own mothers simply because they exist? Why does a professedly loving God allow war, famine, sickness, misery, abuse, torture, death? We, in all our profound wisdom, pass judgement on what we cannot see or even hope to understand, because it flies in the face of our earthly "wisdom".

I certainly don't have all the answers, but I do believe that all these things are not God's fault. He is faultless, blameless, perfect, or else He is not God, there is no salvation, no heaven, no Jesus dying for our sins, and we are in serious trouble. We are fallen, finite, and sinful beings. Evil exists on this earth because we let it. Every day we do something we know we should not do, myself included. And if we are not capable of preventing ourselves from committing something as simple as a "white lie", then who are we to judge the God on His standards?

If you're reading this and any of what I said touched a nerve, or intrigued you, then I would strongly advise you read Ken Ham's book How Could A Loving God...?, which answers the above questions and more significantly better than I could ever hope to.

Also, please remember my journal is not the place for your personal railings against my God. Respectful conversation is always welcome; vitriol is not.

Date: 2011-05-16 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] princessjune.livejournal.com
Thank you for posting this! ♥

I've been asking myself that question lately... Why did God...?

It's just that, plenty of issues from my past are resurfacing now. A lot of it has to do with abuse in my childhood and bad people that I met when I was a child. Everything was fine and going well for me and then all of the sudden I encountered one of them where I used to work not too long ago and those people that I got away from back in 2006 started to harass me and stalk me again. Luckily my Mother scared them off, but it still makes me sick that they tried to hurt me again after so long.

I've been asking myself that question over and over again, it's not only the issues that I mentioned above but many other issues as well.

I'll search for the book whenever I got to Barnes and Noble again.

Thank you so much! <3

Date: 2011-05-17 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olde-fashioned.livejournal.com
You know, this is probably going to sound lame, but for some inexplicable reason that verse just stuck in my head. I couldn't shake the feeling that I ought to post the thoughts it put into my head; now I'm even more glad...

PM'ing you.

Date: 2011-05-16 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isabelladangelo.livejournal.com
I think we complicate things, if anything. I simply believe that God wanted us to truly learn to appreciate Creation. If we didn't have endings, sadness, famine, murder, hurt, pain, and millions of other ills, how could we possibly appreciate the start of something new, happiness, plenty, life, love, and all the rest? You can't understand the joy of Spring if you've never survived a Winter. It's because of evil that we can truly love the good.

Date: 2011-05-16 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greeneyedmissy.livejournal.com
You can't understand the joy of Spring if you've never survived a Winter.

That's so amazingly said. And so true.

Date: 2011-05-16 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] motionofmercy.livejournal.com
It's because of evil that we can truly love the good.

So painfully true.

Date: 2011-05-17 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olde-fashioned.livejournal.com
You can't understand the joy of Spring if you've never survived a Winter.

That's very profound. It reminds me of a quote I took away from a (very bad) adaptation of Jane Eyre when discussing contrast; the darkness is just as important as the light (because without the former, we wouldn't be able to see the latter).

Date: 2011-05-16 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greeneyedmissy.livejournal.com
Sometimes when you need answers, it's things like this that give you answers. It makes you think. :)

Date: 2011-05-17 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olde-fashioned.livejournal.com
Yeah. I'd definitely recommend that book, even if it wasn't a season of questioning in one's life. Definitely strengthening. AiG and Ken Ham are just fantastic.

Date: 2011-05-16 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] motionofmercy.livejournal.com
Anne Graham may have answered it best after she was asked how could God let anything 9/11 to happen:

I believe that God is saddened by this just as we are. But for years we've been telling God to get out schools, our lives, our government. And being the gentleman that he is, I believe that God has calmly backed out.

People took what he provided us and made harmful things out of them, be it weapons of mass destruction, porn, and other things that we use to hurt each other and/or distance ourselves from God with.

Even natural disasters can be attributed to humans. We were warned and warned about global warming. I won't even get started on Congress other than to say I know spoiled two year olds that play nicer and are far more diplomatic than the majority of them.

God gave us the best self help book ever. Follow the guide accordingly and the less the devil will have to work with. If you don't follow it naturally bad stuff will increase. I have a feeling the way he could fix it is by taking away free will, but we would just end up whining about not having free will. XD Got to feel bad for God, it's a no win situation for him.

Date: 2011-05-17 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olde-fashioned.livejournal.com
I remember agreeing with that statement when I heard about it, and it never ceases to amuse me how people want nothing to do with God until things start going bad. They want to be in control of their lives, but when the going gets tough, it's suddenly His fault? It just doesn't work that way, peeps.

(And this is really off-topic, but that isn't Karen from The Office in your icon, is it??)

Date: 2011-05-17 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] motionofmercy.livejournal.com
Same actress, wrong show. It's from her new show Parks & Recreation. The more I looked at it, the more I realize her shirt was see through. Very sorry about that. Re-watching the episode confirmed it. I remember when her character dressed and acted more appropriate, I miss those days.

I can remember the days when I would beg him to stop punishing me when really all the bad stuff was from horrible life choices I made. I have more peace now when obstacles happen. I just pray for guidance and support and I tell God I understand if he doesn't show his love in a more obvious way, it just means this is a test of faith, a lesson I need to learn.

It's also releasing control that we never really had in the first place. It's placing faith in God, who is the best above all to handle the situations the devil throws at us. Like today I was very worried about something I had to endure and I prayed to God right before I left that if it could go smoothly that it would great but if it didn't I understood, that it's out of my hands. I'm with him whether there is divine intervention or not.

It actually went really well until the end when my inner control freak started coming out, but God made sure that the people around me supported me even though I was letting that sinful fear get to me, even though I was basically not holding my end of the deal to put complete faith in him. All morning I was going ' There is a God and he was there for me this morning, this little speck of dust in this huge universe, this sinner.'

Sorry about the rambling, I tend to do that when it comes to things that mean a lot to me.

Date: 2011-05-19 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olde-fashioned.livejournal.com
Right, I knew it wasn't from TO; sorry if I was unclear. I was just too lazy to look her up and see what her name was, haha!

You've very eloquently put it better than I did. Usually I try to remind myself that "what will be, will be" and if it's meant to happen, then it will. Sometimes that helps...

Date: 2011-05-16 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lizbeth-mairead.livejournal.com
The bad things in life aren't God's fault, but they are according to his perfect will. It's a lesson I'm continuously learning. Nothing is done without a purpose. I've been recently going through something that I thought would kill me, and I asked God several times, "Why this? Why me?" Because it didn't seem fair. It seemed egregious that he would allow something like this to happen.

But it's for a purpose. Even though I can't see what that purpose is, that's not important, because God can. And I trust in Him enough to know that it will all be okay.

What seems the blackest of times in our life can be revealed as a growth of our faith and a testament of how much God truly loves us. That's all he wants, anyway, is to love us. For all of our ugliness, evil, sin, and filth, he loves us anyway.

Date: 2011-05-17 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olde-fashioned.livejournal.com
God uses evil for good (the story of Joseph's slavery in Egypt is a textbook example). Also, too, I've heard many tales of people who would have been in the various places on 9/11 but weren't, due to some small catastrophe.

Another thing that hold true, is remembering that God is the master Refiner. Gold is refined in fire, and fire burns. :/ Sometimes the things that make us strongest hurt.

Date: 2011-05-17 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nathan cunningham (from livejournal.com)
Too true; I'm glad you're talking about this, because it's the sort of thing the world needs to be reminded of time and time again.

One of my favorite passages discusses this very subject, and it's a contributor to my "glass half full" perspective on even the bad things that happen. It's from the Book of Mormon (please please please let me know if my quoting it offends or makes you uncomfortable; I promise there is no personal agenda on my part, I just think the quote applies well to what is being discussed here and would make a worthy supplement to what has already been said):

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.

And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.

And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

(2 Nephi 2:11-16, 22-25, 27)

Date: 2011-05-19 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olde-fashioned.livejournal.com
Sorry for the delay in replying!!

I'm sorry if you ever have felt like you had to "tiptoe" around me in regards to expressing your religion. Of all my friends, you certainly wouldn't be one I would suspect of having a "personal agenda" or making efforts to convert me--you are as welcome as anyone to speak your mind!!

Date: 2011-05-18 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anodiel.livejournal.com
You said it right. Sin. May add? God gave us the privilege of choice. When you make a choice its going to have is rewards and/or consequences. If the choice leads to a consequence, we could be lucky and have opportunity after opportunity to turn back. God gives us second, third...chances. If we don't take those chances, He says, "ok. You had you're chance. Here's your wake up call." Sometimes, He gives you want/ask for, whether you really want it or not.

Date: 2011-05-19 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olde-fashioned.livejournal.com
You're right; we all have a choice.


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