While growing up in an environment that was more conducive to pain and suffering than to enjoying life it was easier to challenge believers to show me God then to actually see Him around me. I’d say, “close your Bible and prove to me God exists. ”
I always received one of three responses. Usually, I would get a bewildered stare. The second response was for me to just look around because God was all about me. Finally, the believer might tell me that God moves in mysterious ways. I truly hated this final response.
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If I had been born two-thousand years ago, I would have persecuted and thrown stones at Christians. As suggested I would look around, and I could not have faith or believe in a God that allowed so much pain and suffering to exist in the world.
I would hear people say after surviving some great tragedy, or natural disaster, or loss of life that God was watching after them. My question was, “where was God when the hurricane was blowing your house away? ” It didn’t make sense that God would be with one person but not their neighbor who drowned in the storm.
Epicuras’ question concerning God and evil seemed legitimate: “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent? He is both able and willing? Whence then is evil. ” (163) Of course this delves into the freewill/theodicy argument. Within the Christian tradition people are free to make their own choices. And there are negative or positive consequences associated with freewill. Just as there are negative and positive consequences associated with rejecting or accepting Christ.
During a particularly despondent time in my life, a friend offered me a Bible, some rather persuasive advice, and a pastor’s phone number. She said Christ would help me, but I needed to ask him into my life and for him to help me. So I began reading the Bible, and I called the pastor. If I asked a question, he answered it knowledgably.
And I began praying. Gradually my mood and outlook on life did change. God is everywhere, but he first has to live in the heart. Works Cited Pojman, Louis. “THE PROBLEM OF EVIL. ” Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1994. 163.
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