The sad truth is most Christians can't even defend their faith because they themselves are ignorant of God's word.

Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. -- Colossians 2:8
"My people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge..." Hosea 4:6


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why There Are Sufferings?

   The Bible stated that God created everything...and therefore, He is also responsible for the imperfections?
   Is the above statement true?
   Sadly, although the above argument may sound logical and sensible the Holy Scripture does not support such claims. If an all-power and all-knowing God had all the authority to do what He pleases then why He seems not minding if the world is in chaos right now. Would it be nice if God intervene and change your next-door neighbor who had been making all the trouble in your town...and in a snap, God intervene...then one day this troublesome neighbor instantly became a gentle and kind man. What a perfect neighborhood doesn't it?
   There is another quality that God that I want to put in perspective here. He does not change. He is the Alpha and Omega. When we say He does not change it means He does not violate his own law...and if God intervene that way, he had robbed your neighbor's capacity to decide and act for himself. Sadly, God's justice does not work by cheating.
 “I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed." -- Malachi 3:6
   Why doesn't God simply ban evil? To understand the answer, we must consider the consequences such an action would bring.
   Understanding why God allows evil and its resultant suffering requires a fundamental understanding of one of God's greatest gifts; as well as how man has continually abused that gift.
   The gift is free will or, as it is more popularly called, freedom of choice. God granted this freedom to our first human parents, Adam and Eve, at creation. But over the millennia we have proven ourselves to be woefully inept stewards of this precious gift and its far-reaching responsibility.
   As God explained to ancient Israel, the freedom to make choices is essential to developing righteous character (Deuteronomy 30:15-19). Without freedom to choose, we would be little more than robots, with our behavior either pre-programmed and unchangeable or dictated in all its details by an outside force such as God Himself.
   But that is not God's intent. He has different expectations of us because of His much higher purpose for us. He wants us to choose to obey Him from the heart. He wants us to enthusiastically love and cherish His values and standards, which are based on two overriding principles " loving Him with all our hearts and loving others as much as we love ourselves" (Matthew 22:35-40).
   As we will see, choosing to obey God and learning to love others when we have the freedom to do otherwise is vital for the future God has planned for us.
   NOW, would it be proper to blame someone who gave you fire just because we had not taken the responsibility; and therefore our houses turn to ashes because of our own neglect?
   Similarly, do we blame God for giving us Free Will and blame Him for our own choices?
   Would it be dull if all our actions are mandated into the tiniest detail and not leaving us room to decide for ourselves? 
   That is the case I am pointing here, why some had trouble understanding imperfections. Everything God created was perfect from the very beginning...
   So if God has nothing to do with all the imperfections currently swirling around our planets when did it all happen?
   Most people begin the history of the Bible by looking at Genesis; it seems a good starting point since it talks about creation. But earlier than the recorded event in Genesis there's already a much earlier drama that Ezekiel describes through the inspiration of God in Ezekiel chapter 28
12 “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
   “‘You were the seal of perfection,
   full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden,
   the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you:    carnelian, chrysolite and emerald,    topaz, onyx and jasper,    lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;    on the day you were created they were prepared. 14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub,    for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God;    you walked among the fiery stones15 You were blameless in your ways    from the day you were created    till wickedness was found in you. 16 Through your widespread trade    you were filled with violence,    and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,    and I expelled you, guardian cherub   from among the fiery stones. 17 Your heart became proud    on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom    because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth;    I made a spectacle of you before kings. 18 By your many sins and dishonest trade    you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you,    and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground    in the sight of all who were watching. 19 All the nations who knew you    are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end    and will be no more.’”

   At first reading this prophesy seems to be speaking about a certain King of Tyre. But as we take a closer examination specially verse 14 and 16, this person is not just mere human.  Anointed means someone who is ordained for a special position or mission, and as we look at in verse 14 we can see that he was made commander in chief of cherubs. Other versions render this verse as 
    14Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (KJV)
   The descriptions here is talking about not just a simple human being but an Angel. Cherubs is another term for angels.There was no human either to be given the following qualities as having the "seal of perfections"; "full of wisdom" and "perfect in beauty"(v.12)
   Let us go further by what another prophet has to say about this guardian cherub. What happen to Satan?
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!-- Isaiah 14:12
   Ground mentioned here can also be translated as "Earth". Where was Lucifer sent after his fall? Here on Earth...he is the one who weaken the nations. How wide is his influence?
 Ephesian 2:2 "in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient."
   Air means here are the predominant thinking, value, worldview or philosophy of earth. That is to say, he had all the influences on Earth such as on areas of politics, government, kingdom, mass-media and even on churches. 
   What was on God's mind why did He decided to make Earth as Satan's temporary habitation? Why did He place mankind together with the angelic-rebels (Satan was not alone, he was with the other fallen angels). Let us look at this striking revelation given by St. Paul...
Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?  --1 Corinthian 6:3
   The above verse states here that we shall judge angels. Isn't it great? How important us human-being in the eyes of God? He created man to show to all angels how He take care of His creations. We were made as an example. 
   Now as we pointed out it is Clear that  imperfection came only after the Angelic Revolt. And God has no intention of making a mess out of His own masterpiece. His intended gift of "Freedom of choice" was not used properly by both the fallen angels and man. 
   How about man? Man was created in the likeness of God. Molded from His own image. Let us not mistaken this image as an anatomical similarity...we are created from the righteousness of God not His replica. The real nature or the intent when God created our first parents Adam and Eve was illustrated here...
 Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy.-- Ephesians 4:24
   So where did imperfection came? Some people would like to make some leeway so they can put the blame on others. That's how perfect we are made. We can reason for ourselves...even make alibi and point to another being our own mistakes. Just look at the blaming mankind had been doing since the beginning of human history in Genesis 3...
   11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
   The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
   Modern man trying to find ways for the deteriorating planet as ozone layer depletes because of pollution, landslide due to illegal logging, Nation rise up against nations because of differences in faith, and blaming God for creating him or her imperfect...that is why we are sufferings! 
   Oh look God I can't worship you properly because you had not revealed yourself to me! 
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. -- Romans 1:18-23

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