Why the Suffering?

suffering

This is one of the major complaints I have seen written by atheists or those who have left the faithful.

In his books about the scriptures, Bart Erdman mentions this one thing as the primary reason he fell away from religion.

If God truly loved “His people, His children”, why then would He permit such suffering to continue in the world?

Some writers have answered that this is the realm of Satan and God pretty much lets the Devil have free reign down here.

Others say that this is a testing place and those not strong enough are broken. It is for “testing faith” and so forth.

But what if the Almighty doesn’t see it the same way? What we consider bad, He might be using for some specific purpose?

We know trial and error are the best methods to learn anything… “no pain, no gain”… you hear it all the time.

And how in the world could we ever understand compassion if there was no suffering for us to witness?

I’m not saying any of these may be the reason for the suffering as I am certain there are many factors involved. Far too many for someone with my limited view of the universe to begin to understand.

But I am willing to wait for the understanding to come.

I suppose some people are not that patient.

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2 Responses to “Why the Suffering?”

  1. Otrazhenie Says:

    What is compassion then? Is it compassionate to leave people to suffer in pain without pain killers and medical help as Mother Teresa did in her missions due to her belief that suffering is beautiful and poor people should be accepting their lot, suffering like Christ?

    When it comes to Mother Teresa, it is not the question of patience, I’m afraid. To me it is more about misinterpretation of religious writings with some religious leaders and ambassadors unnecessarily prolonging the suffering even when it is possible to change that. Bible is very clear on that: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world…” (Romans 12:2) which clearly calls all of us to put effort into making this world a better place for everyone. Compassion is not about passively ‘witnessing’ suffering – it is about relieving it and helping people.

    Detailed description on Mother Teresa’s attitude to suffering and appalling conditions in her missions is available at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nakedpastor/2013/07/mother-teresa-and-the-fatal-love-of-suffering/ and http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/uom-mta022813.php

    • jallocar Says:

      Yes, compassion is not about passively witnessing suffering if you are called to do more. Still, without suffering there would be no need of compassion, passive or otherwise. All I am suggesting is that some good can come of it even if I cannot understand all the reasons behind it.

      Mother Theresa’s mode of operation has drawn a lot of fire lately but without her efforts, there might not be a conversation about it at all.

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