Friday, May 30, 2008

Ruling out Punishment from 6/15/06

I guess we all struggle to understand how a God that is kind and loving and just can allow such suffering. Some say suffering is the result of, or punishment for, sin. But how often have we seen even the saintly suffer? There must be a purpose for it. Why else would He allow it?

Are we just assuming that God is kind and loving and just? At some point everyone wonders if maybe He's really an asshole. Then we are scared that He’s going to send us straight to hell for even thinking that.

I don’t think God minds you calling Him an asshole.

But I do think it pisses Him off when you stop talking to Him, when you stop believing. Or maybe it just hurts His feelings. That was the impression I was given by my great grandmother.

At some point we all feel as though God has abandoned us. In The Inner Loneliness, Sebastian Moore speaks of the homesick feeling that we all harbor deep within, no matter how satisfied we are with our lives, we always long for a little something more, something just a little farther out of reach.

A nagging, longing sense of knowing “I do not belong here, I am not of this world.” For I am of God and that is where I belong, and until I dwell in the house of the Lord, I will forever long for home.

Adam and Eve were banished. As we feel so often in our lives. We are told that it is during these times, when we do not feel the presence of God, when we are lost in despair and suffering, that He is carrying us.

But what is the purpose of having us suffer?

Wait.

Is it wise for us to be assuming that God is kind and loving and just? Do the New or Old Testaments tell us that? Does the suffering that we see everyday in the world tell us that? Why is it we believe Him to be kind and loving and just? Is it because that is how He expects us to be? The New Testament tells us of that expectation.

And why does He expect us to be kind and loving and just? Is it because He expects as to be Godly, because we were made in His image? Or is it because like a father, He expects us to be a little something more?

We are told not to be vengeful and yet is the God of the Old Testament not vengeful? We are told not to be jealous but is ours not a God who refuses to allow us to worship another as well? We are told not to inflict pain and suffering upon one another and yet He allows us to be afflicted.

The innocent are no more protected from earthly suffering than the sinful.

So the purpose of suffering must not be to punish.

And so we begin the process of elimination.

Comments from original post:

At 7/23/2006 10:06:00 PM, Blogger b. said...

Hello....I don't know you......you don't know me. I stumbled across your blog when I clicked on "next blog" at the top of my page. I wanted to thank you for your words, though not written for me, they are an answer to prayer.

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