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#1 of 26 Old 07-24-2002, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my beliefs are somewhat cloudy but I do believe in a god and the ideas put forth in the bible. However, i am stumped now. since the murder of the Smart girl in utah I have been wondering WHY??? i always thought there were answers and its just that we dont understand what they might be (to the unfairness and such in the world) Now, what do I do now??? this horrible act is just too awful to imagine that theres a reason. Is it once again a question of mans doing and not gods?? please, help ease my mind.
Laura
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#2 of 26 Old 07-24-2002, 10:00 PM
 
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I sure don't have an answer, but I can tell you some of my thoughts...

I think God gave humankind free will and some humans abuse the heck out of it... I think it breaks God's heart to see these kinds of things happen to His children by His children.

Part of a relationship with someone else or with God is the freedom to choose to be in the relationship or to not be in the relationship. Unfortunately in order to be able to freely choose God we have the option of not choosing Him. The choice to obey His will for us or the choice to ignore it. I believe that is what the person who took this little girl did.

Why God didn't stop it, I don't know. Some things we just don't have the answers to. We don't have the perspective that God does when He allows some things to happen.

It also helps me to look at all the people who have chosen "God" in the aftermath of this. All the support the family has been given, etc. I try to really focus on that.
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#3 of 26 Old 07-25-2002, 12:25 PM
 
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A story: I once heard a speaker who was the children of Holocaust survivors. He had become an atheist in his teen years, adamantly against the idea of a supreme power. He bandied about the phrase "where was G-d?" and assumed he had all the answers. Then one day he met an elderly woman in a wheelchair, a survivor of Auschwitz, a number tattood on her arm. They spoke about many things, and then they spoke about the camps, and he said with disgust, "Where was G-d?" The woman fell silent ... and then said with great emotion: "Right next to me, every moment."

I prefer her view to his.

- Amy
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#4 of 26 Old 07-25-2002, 02:14 PM
 
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Y = DSMIV... negativistic disorder, axisII:sinister
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#5 of 26 Old 07-25-2002, 03:36 PM
 
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Well, being new to these boards I haven't figured out if your reply, Yammer, was directed at me or something/someone else. I have been known to attribute something to a post of mine that wasn't, so I try to check it out. Just curious. I couldn't quite get what you meant by your post...
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#6 of 26 Old 07-25-2002, 03:44 PM
 
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Or maybe it was in reference to the lady who was in the prison camp? I am not being a smart aleck, I just don't know you at all so I don't quite know where you are coming from.
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#7 of 26 Old 07-25-2002, 08:34 PM
 
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Thanks for the clarification. After I posted the first time I thought that was probably what you meant.
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#8 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 02:07 AM
 
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festivus i hope you will grow to love yam like the rest of us (well most of us ). he is a real gem!
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#9 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 03:00 AM
 
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I agree with what Festivus said....we all have free agency...it would be against God's plan of free agency to take away our free agency. It is very, very sad and horrible that so many people like the man who kidnapped the Smart girl exist...if I think about it too much I get really depressed about the world...and I don't want to do that because the world really is a wonderful place for the most part. Filled with wonderful people for the most part.....

I know you like to make light of things and have fun, Yammer, and you may be a gem at times, but I don't think it was very cool of you to make fun of that woman's belief and faith in God, especially after what she endured.

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

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#10 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 03:48 AM
 
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we are given these character building situations so that we will learn from them.
What is the lesson? I don't know. It is different for everyone.
It is so that God has the pleasure/pain of experiencing every part of life.
Reading Converstions w/ God by Walsh, has help me put things into different perspective.

With all due honor and respect.
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#11 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 04:12 AM
 
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I have to agree with festivus. One of the greatest gifts God gave to humanity was that of choice (it comes along with having a soul, I think,) and if God micromanaged our lives -- even only on "certain" occasions -- then that gift would be moot. Yes, people do choose to do very bad things, but I think they more often choose to do very good things. Can you imagine a world in which there was no choice, and therefore no good or evil? People would be mere machines, no better than glorified bacteria: eating, drinking, reproducing, dying, with no larger significance or meaning.

On a side note, this is exactly why it irks me when I see some plane crash or tornado survivor on TV saying, "God wanted me to live. God saved my life." What about the people who died? Did God want them to die? Does God hate them? Did God not value their lives? Did they have nothing more to contribute to the world? In my humble opinion, God is not in the business of making decisions of that sort. I believe God has a larger, more general plan, and that everything that happens fits into that plan somehow, but I don't think that God micromanages our lives. This is not to say that we should not thank God when good things happen to us, or when bad things fail to happen to us. I just think it's insensitive of people to go on TV and proclaim that they survived some horrible disaster because God likes them, thereby insinuating that those who died were less deserving of God's favor. (Sorry about that...just had to rant.)
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#12 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 05:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yammer
Really? I find the notion that some 6 million other people, at least half of them her co-religionists, starved or were shot or were gassed because God PREFERRED her over them to be orders of magnitude more callous and offensive.
Yammer, I don't know where you made the leap from what Amy wrote about this story to believing that the woman was saying God preferred her over others or saved her but not them. All the woman said was that God was with her during the ordeal, not that he did anything one way or the other, he was just...there. Helping her endure or whatever. Some of those who were starved, shot, or gassed may also have believed that God was with them through it all. I think you're reading something into the story that isn't there.

ITA with SueZVudu on the "God wanted me to live" attitude. Or God wanted XYZ team to win the Super Bowl. : I don't get praying to God for specific things -- OK, I did it when I was a kid and it never worked for me :LOL so maybe I'm just bitter, but it seems like such a childish view of God. Sounds more like a genie in a bottle.
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#13 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 10:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SueZVudu
[On a side note, this is exactly why it irks me when I see some plane crash or tornado survivor on TV saying, "God wanted me to live. God saved my life." What about the people who died? Did God want them to die? Does God hate them? Did God not value their lives? Did they have nothing more to contribute to the world?[/B]
Yes, my priest once spoke of not liking the phrase, "But for the grace of God there go I" for those same reasons. He asked us if we had ever thought about what that implies about the other person and their relationship with God.

That is one of the sticky parts of spirituality for me. Why pray for God's help? Does He act to save people "in plane crashes" ir in natural disasters, for instance? I know prayer changes us, but does it ever cause God to act to "save" or to change circumstances and, if so, why does He only in some circumstances and not in others????? Or for some people and not for others? Do some people just hear his voice better? BLEH!!!! I feel certain about God in a lot of other respects, but that stuff is tough for me.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by jaylind festivus i hope you will grow to love yam like the rest of us (well most of us ). he is a real gem! [QUOTE]

Yes, after I have been here longer I will get a better feel for where people are coming from. I participated in another forum for about a year and it's hard when you start off somewhere new b/c you don't know the personalities yet, etc. When in doubt, I ask. I look forward to getting to know all of you!
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#14 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 10:15 AM
 
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Well, my second quote sure as heck didn't work. That's what I get for cheating to get it in. Should have relied on the system tools, I guess.
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#15 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 11:58 AM
 
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we are given these character building situations so that we will learn from them. What is the lesson? I don't know. It is different for everyone. It is so that God has the pleasure/pain of experiencing every part of life.
Sorry, did I miss something?

What about the millions of people who are suffering with AIDS or starving or caught in war? God needs to experience this? Those are character building expereinces, right? This is not a happy benevolent God you're talking about. This is a vengeful, spiteful entity. What lessons do they learn from this? Is life fair? No but to call all life's expereinces including those that are truly horrendous "character building" in the name of God is simplistic.

I am not in favor of monotheistic religions for this very principle, particularly christianity. There is a sense of holier then thou BS that I can't stand.
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#16 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 12:06 PM
 
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Oh, Yammer, you are absolutely not looking at the story. Even with your cynicism, I thought you were much deeper than that.

This is not someone with delusions of grandeur. Please, spare me the sarcastic comments. She did not think G-d singled her out for some great and holy reason. The storyteller insisted she was also one of the humblest people he knew.

She was saying that we all are made in G-d's image, we all walk with G-d, and why G-d does what G-d does we never can know. G-d is with us in the darkest situations, whether we live or die. And we all die eventually.

We cannot ever know why G-d does what G-d does. But we should always know that we are never alone.

That was the point.

People lived through the camps and came out with absolutely no belief, or antagonistic to belief. Others lived the same experience and came out with their faith deepened. Why?

Because each took the same set of circumstances and chose to respond to it differently.

Perhaps you could open your heart a little and see that, instead just the witty riposte.

- Amy
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#17 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 02:37 PM
 
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Yammer, if you weren't so busy reading with an eye toward your triumphantly cynical reply, you'd have read it perhaps without judgmental critiques of her personality, disordered or otherwise.

And deliverance, forgive me, is your Christian meshugass. As is a "hard-working buddy god." And grace. AND "alleged chosenness." AND the "humanity" of G-d.

And no, her answer is in no way a nonsequitur. She was Jewish, and Jews don't believe that G-d just comes our way to deliver or not. We believe that G-d is immediate, here and now, at all times and in all places, no intermediaries, no barriers ... and her point was, as I said, G-d's presence was there for her.

I repeat: You can choose to respond to a given set of circumstances ... miraculously wonderful or horrifically tragic ... in all different ways. She chose her way, which was with G-d.

Others may choose differently. It's a choice. And it's apparent which one you've made. More power to you.

- Amy
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#18 of 26 Old 07-26-2002, 03:44 PM
 
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3Boysforus wrote:

"No but to call all life's expereinces including those that are truly horrendous "character building" in the name of God is simplistic...I am not in favor of monotheistic religions for this very principle, particularly christianity."

3Boys4us, I just wanted to point out that the quote you were referring to by herblaunt (God puts us through suffering for character-building purposes and so he can experience pain) actually is waaaay off base from the Christian God, as is the book she referenced, "Conversations with God." So please don't interpret this notion as Christianity.


Not that some suffering doesn't build character--we all know it does--but just because God can *use* evil to bring about good does not mean he *approves of* or *delights in* killing, disease, war, etc.

amyprk, I am really enjoying reading your posts. They impart a true peace.

Yammer, I like how you hammer out the hard questions.

This is a fun thread.
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#19 of 26 Old 07-29-2002, 10:02 AM
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Amy,

Your story is beautiful.

It seems to me that G-d has given us free will. Including the ability to be truely evil.

That woman *chose* the presence of G-d near her. That is so profoundly beautiful.

No power on this earth could take that away from her.

So beautiful, empowering, and inspiring.

Thank you for telling the story.

Debra Baker
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#20 of 26 Old 07-29-2002, 11:24 PM
 
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God gave us free will. Because of that Adam and eve partook of the fruit, the one thing God told them not to eat and sin and death entered the world. God didn't want it that way, people did. Even Jesus, Gods own son had to sacrifice himself so that we could have hope of escaping it. He has a plan for a day when we will be free from the burden af a sinful nature but untill that day we must live with sin and the consequences of sin. We can have hope though because if we have accepted Jesus this world is not our home and we will be set free from sin one day and be able to live in perfect peace.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#21 of 26 Old 07-31-2002, 04:41 AM
 
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God never promised to keep us out of all harmful situations, He just gave us a way to make it through them and to be able to testify to the fact that He helped us through so we can see that He cares and give Him glory.

Betty *(.)(.)* mama to: DS1 (12) DS2 (11) DS3 (8)
(12/26/06) (5/11/09) (10/7/09)x2

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#22 of 26 Old 08-02-2002, 02:46 AM
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To me it's about freewill. God gave us freewill to make choicees, and I am sure He hopes we make the right ones. It wouldn't be freewill if he intervened every time someone made apoor choice, and I guess that includes the sickos
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#23 of 26 Old 08-02-2002, 03:51 AM
 
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God does not order pain and suffering upon us, we create it with our many independent, self centered and wicked hearts. He just *allows* us to suffer the consequences sometimes.

We decided to foul things up on the garden by not trusting god, so he has allowed us to suffer the consequences... with one exception, there is freedom from consequence (eternal seperation from God), by turning to him in our joy *and* our suffering. God really has the last word, so to speak, when it comes to evil because one truly saved cannot be lost, no matter the amount of suffering.

I believe the purpose in suffering lies in the way we respond to suffering. God wants us, he wants us to rely on him and only him for our lives. Suffering allows us to see that we do not control all of our circumstances, we are not in control of the world - it is a collective effort. Suffering has a way of bringing us down to a level of need, and God designed us to need him. He wants us to need others and to give to others in need, to reflect how he gives us what we need in life and for us to share the goodness of God and see his goodness in others. Suffering makes one compassionate to others, as God is compassionate to us.

We are designed to be dependent beings not independent of one another and not independent of God, and suffering, although I'm sure it makes God sad and in pain for us, opens a door to him and the miraculous healing he gives so freely if we accept it, trust him completely and look toward his love for guidance and peace.
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#24 of 26 Old 08-02-2002, 04:24 AM
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boobybooby~ huh? :
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#25 of 26 Old 08-03-2002, 11:48 AM
 
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Sorry booby but your answer makes me laugh.

It's either by the book (so to speak) or hell ( I guess).

I just don't buy it. This is a vindicative and hostile being you're describing. I don't find anything loving about your description. You describe god as wanting us to be dependent on him with suffering as the way to god. What's so great about that?

In simplistic terms your suffering is your own fault and god is the only way out. So what if you don't have great suffering or pain in your life? What does god do then? Give you suffering?

The original question was a good one - why do bad things happen? They happen because they do. Why not ask why do good things happen? They also happen on a daily basis (and I beleive far more frequesntly) and are as infinitesimal (sp) as a baby's first breathe.
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#26 of 26 Old 08-03-2002, 06:14 PM
 
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3boys4ys--just wanted to underscore Super Pickles response on that alarming quote. As a christian, that writer does not speak to my faith or how I understand God to be at all so please do not lump all christianity into that one author's viewpoint. Eeeew.

peace, moondancer who knows God carries her in the palm of His hand so call me whatever names ya want yammer:
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