Is God really there?

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naomi24 | 23:23 Sat 12th May 2007 | Religion & Spirituality
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This follows on from a conversation with Lonnie. So many people the world over are praying for the safe return of the little girl abducted in Portugal. If God really exists and if he does personally take care of us, couldn't he at least have put a handy brick in the culprit's path ensuring that he'd trip and break a leg to prevent him from carrying out his plan to take her? I don't say hit him with a bolt of lightening - just a relatively minor accident would have been enough to keep her safe. Men may have free will, but little children are completely helpless against adults, so where was God when this happened - and why wasn't he looking out for this poor little mite?


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God is an abstract concept. If he is real, he's a complete git.
That poor little girl, it makes me sad but only as sad as it does other children who are being abused at this very moment. Hopefully this will be the straw that breaks the do gooders backs and proper sentences can be handed out in the future to try and stop it.
If supposedly Man was created in God's image, as in spirit and being part of creation then somewhere a terrible flaw entered our original concept : Was free will the mistake?
And if God of the Bible is the so perfect being, why did he (or it) allow not just the little girl to be taken but all other atrocities to occur or even worse, the people or events to initiate these circumstances?
For one so full of love, God has a sick way of spreading it.
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War, starvation, tyrannical dictators - all these can be attributed to man's free will, but children don't have free will when someone decides to abduct them or abuse them. Prayers haven't helped that child. The only purpose prayers have served is to give comfort to those offering the prayers - and if anyone can truly find comfort in these circumstances, then I believe they're deluding themselves. If man was indeed created in the biblical god's image, perhaps we should consider that it isn't only his physical attributes that we've inherited. Perhaps we've inherited his many hateful and sadistic qualities too. When things like this happen, can anyone HONESTLY believe that this loving, caring and compassionate god exists - and if so, how do they rationalize that belief with his complete and utter failure to protect that child and others like her?
naomi24 its so nice to hear someone talking sense on this subject, instead of all the claptrap we often get about this so called God!!

Mind you, it does seem suspicious that whenever you hear of kids being abducted and arents appealing for their return, etc, it's usually Catholics. So maybe God exists after all - but he just hates Catholics.
The bizarre thing is that some of the 'believing folks' will manage to take this unbearable situation and explain that in the midst of it all there will be evidence of Gods love and grace for her poor frantic parents...........

..........all a bit 'after the fact' really, isn't it. I'm sure they could have done with his attention prior to it happening and making sure it didn't..........
It sounds like God is getting the blame, and if you don't believe in Him, you wish He was real so you could blame Him anyway.
Prayer is not a magic spell. You can pray for strength to find solutions, but in the end we have to do things for ourselves here on this earth. It is not a perfect world. It is not Heaven. Evil exists because we are given a choice.
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Oakleaf: non-believers in the biblical god can't and don't blame him, but for some strange reason believers continue to extol his virtues and I can't imagine why because he simply isn't delivering is he?

Romeo: We know man was given free will - that's been mentioned - but unfortunately a child does not have free will when an adult decides to exercise his. As you say, we do have to do things for ourselves - non-believers will agree with that. The fact is despite his promises, God wasn't there to keep this child safe and he doesn't appear to be listening to all the prayers being offered for her safe return. Ask and you shall be given? That one doesn't work either does it?!
Your all full of crap, he don't exist, it's not difficult to understand.
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Hi all, like Mani said the suffering question is always a really difficult one for Christians and I think he's right about us not seeing the big picture.

God could very easily remove all strife and human suffering, all He needs to do is to remove our free will and implant total obedience to His commands inside us.

The reality is that God has commanded all to repent and turn to Him (Acts 17:30) and the obvious reality to this is that many do not believe in God or obey Him, instead they�re driven by the carnal mind to act contrary to God�s commands.

This includes the tragic taking of Maddie, however if God had intervened, then He would be bound to intervene in other such crimes and then we�d lose our free will.

At the moment, as Jesus said the wheat grows with the weeds and when Jesus returns, then He will deal with both, but until then, we live in a world where free will exists and where some people seek to gratify their own lusts.

There is no easy answer to this question but having the gift of free will to make choices also means that some will make choices that lead to pain and hurt for others.
If freewill is the cause of all this suffering, does this mean there will be no free will in heaven?

If not, if God will abolish suffering in heaven but somehow still let the saved have free will - why couldn't he have made an Earth like that in the first place?
Good question Naomi - in fact one of the best. However, it still comes down to what you believe in. I personally believe in Roman 6:4-7, that "he who has died is free from sin". Because whilst living on this planet we have two natures at odds with each other, there is an inner struggle that exists in every Christian. When we die, the old chap will pass away leaving only a new, divine nature. Therefore when our bodies die, our old nature perishes completely as well, leaving our divine nature alone.

Thus i believe, in heaven we still have freewill, but lose the capacity to sin - yippee!
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And the other part of the question?

The bit about why God didn't create an Earth with free will but without suffering? like in heaven

If he can do it as you say that means he didn't want to - that is God wants man to suffer needlessly.

Causing needless suffering is evil surely?

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Jake, i suspect the answer to your question very much lies with the nature of God. God IS love. The only real description of God we have in the bible is that he is the source of love, he IS love and commands us to love one another. I cannot see God allowing a mere creation to demonstrate this better than for Him to do it himself. Jesus was God in flesh who loved the Father perfrectly and He loved us completely by laying down His life so us. This is the greatest and most perfect act of love according to Jesus. if this was true, then it may be that God had to create the universe so that the fall would be included in His plan to demonstrate his perfect character - Love!. This could not be done if there was no one to die for and no reason to die for them. If there was no fall, there would be no sin and no evil. Maybe God created the world with "free will" people in it who would fall into sin. Without this fall, no death would be necessary to atone them. This is just a pure guess, no biblical basis for it, but I can't help wondering that for God to truly express his perfect loving nature, He Himself have to be one who laid His life down for others.
You know bit in Numbers 31, when God says that the Hebrews can rape all the women and children as long as they're still virgins?

I'm having trouble understanding where the love is in that passage, so perhaps the believers can point it out? It's probably just that I'm a dumb atheist, but to me that seems to be just about the most digusting immorral behaviour I can possibly conceive, but obviously I am missing the point.

There are a few other verses where I'm not quite understanding the whole God=love thing, but perhaps we can do them one at a time?
The point is that there is a fundamental contradiction:

We are told that the cause of sin is Man's free will - yet it must be possible for God to have created a world without sin and still have allowed man free will.

If it were not all the saved would wander around heaven "like robots" as Mani puts it.

Therefore God wanted suffering and sin in the world.

And while we're on the subject of Jesus's sacrifice - how exactly does this work?

My understanding is a bit shakey perhaps but I gather that because Adam and Eve disobeyed God he cursed them and all their decendants (original sin).

Not very just that is it? punishing the offspring for the sins of the parents? I mean we wouldn't imprison the children of a serial killer.

Anyway In order for God to forgive us he has to punish Jesus who is in some way God himself? Is that how it works?

A bit like if my children were to disobey me and I was to cut myself in front of them to bring them back into line?

I know what social services would say if I did that!

Maybe I don't understand the subtleties of the logic but it all sounds pretty bizaare to me!

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