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How can a merciful, loving God allow pain and suffering or death of the innocent?
This is the number one objection made by Atheists when trying to prove their case against God.
If your dog or cat has a chicken bone lodged in his or her throat and you try to help by attempting to remove the bone you may have to cause even more pain to the animal by cutting or pulling the bone out. The pet is innocent and you are causing him pain for a good reason. Unless this animal has known you for a long time he will have no idea that you're trying to help. Only when the animal is sure of your love will it realize that you're acting out of compassion. The animal must have faith in you in order to know that you're causing more pain out of love.
Would you agree that the distinction between a Captain or a General and his troops is less than the distinction between mankind and God? Isn't the difference between man and God greater than the difference between man and animal? So who are we to question the wisdom of God? We don't understand creation and we don't understand our own mind so how can we expect to understand the reason behind any case of pain or suffering or death. We must have faith.
Usually, pain and suffering is not inflicted by God. Usually pain and suffering is the result of some choice or mistake made by man. If we slaughtered the Buffalo to starve and kill the Indians, did we cause pain and suffering and the death of innocent people? And how do we rationalize or justify such a case? If we kidnapped the native Africans from their homeland to make them slaves, did this not cause pain and suffering and the deaths of innocent people? And who is the savage in these situations? If we had not taken slaves from Africa by the tens of thousands what would be the fate of that continent today? Would it be better or worse?
How can we be sure that the death of a child is not the price paid by the parent for some sin he or she may have committed? For example, Joe Kennedy, a well-known sinner (father of JFK), as we all know, paid over and over for his sins.
How can we be sure that the death of an innocent newborn child was not for the purpose of bringing a family closer together? Jackie Kennedy felt this way about the death of her son Patrick Kennedy. She hoped the birth of this new child would bring her husband, Jack, closer to her. She did not realize until later that the death of this child was what truly brought her husband closer to her (Patrick died within a few days after his birth).
God does not make us choose good over evil. He made us free to make our own choices. And we live and die by the consequences of our choices. Joe Kennedy, even after attaining his lifetime dream of putting his son into the Presidency of the United States did not get to fully enjoy it because of a stroke he sustained.
However, we are not the judge and we don't know the plan. But, there is compelling evidence that we reap what we sow. We get what we give. What goes around comes around. Perhaps this is one of the hardest lessons of all for people to learn and keep. It took me over half of my lifetime to learn that we get what we give and I had to learn it the hard way, by unpleasant experience. I had to pay a price for my wrong doings and I will probably pay some more.
Isn't it true, that we learn from pain and suffering? Don't we usually need to learn the hard way? When our parents tell us what is good or what is right or what is best do we listen? Or do we do it our own way? When we put our hand against a hot pan do we learn not to do it again? We don't always learn from what we are told. We usually must learn from pain or suffering or some other experience. Isn't that when we learn best? We learn the hard way, and then it stays with us. So good does come from pain and suffering sometimes.
Pain and suffering or even death do not hurt our soul. John the Baptist
endured pain and suffering, by choice, and for good reason. Jesus Christ
endured much pain and suffering and He was innocent. It was for the
greater good. In fact, in His case, 'twas for the greatest good of all
time. If we all did what He asked us to do, Love One Another , pain
and suffering and even death would be reduced by quite a bit, wouldn't
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