You know what I find odd? The number of people that say they’re Christian is shrinking, at least according to the latest study.
Yet the argument coming from non Christians is that we brainwash people into conforming to our ways.
So which one is it? Both of those statements can’t be true, either our numbers are shrinking, or we brainwash the masses into staying.
I’m sure that most of you knew someone growing up known as the compulsive liar, this is the guy who would disagree with anything you said, even if that meant he would contradict what he said a few minutes ago.
No matter what the topic of conversation was, he knew all about it and you were wrong, his story would change to suit the point he was trying to prove.
You knew he was full of it, so you just let him talk, because disagreeing with him meant you’d be in a debate with a buffoon.
I had such a friend like that growing up when I was living near London, for the most part the rest of us laughed him off because we thought he was funny.
Such is the tact of the non-believer.
If we say abortion is murder, they say it’s not because a fetus is not human.
If we say being gay is wrong, they say they’ve been that way since the womb.
If we say we want freedom of speech, they say they want freedom of speech, for everyone except the Christian.
Here’s a big one, they say “how can a good God allow suffering?” It’s the argument used more than any other against God’s existence.
It’s what comes flowing off the tongues of every atheist after every disaster, natural or otherwise.
In order to answer that question, first we must look at what the question is saying and assuming. At first glance it appears to be a good question, however, it’s purpose is to disprove God, and yet it implies that God is real.
The first assumption in this question is that God is good, the second is that we humans know how God defines good. For the record God IS good.
The question asks “good God?” So if we are asking a question with the implication that God exists, we must therefore assume that God has a definition for the word “good” because the question being asked is not if He exists, the question is if He is good.
To get to that we must first ask the question, what is “good”?
Thanks to our culture of relativism, good is whatever you think it is, gay people say it’s good for them to be together, movie stars look at a scene in their movie and determine whether or not it’s a good scene, atheists have to figure out if their argument against God is a good one.
How do we define the word “good”?
If God is good, then to even know what’s good we would have to know what’s bad, we would likely all agree that pain is bad, then by default comfort is good. Murder is bad, not killing people would be good.
What if not all pain was bad? What if not all instances of murder were bad? Again, most of us would probably agree that had we had the opportunity to put a bullet in the head of Hitler, this murder would have been good for those that he opposed, the ones that would surely die if Hitler remained alive. In that case this murder would be good, but by no means would all murders be good.
What if not all pain was bad? Athletes go through a lot of pain to become better athletes, or shall we say a “good” athlete. This pain, though uncomfortable is still good, because of the result.
In the natural order of things childbirth is painful, not a person on the planet would say they like it, but I don’t think it presumptuous to say it’s worth it.
One more before I move on, a child learning to ride his bike for the first time will inevitably fall off his bike and scrape his knees or elbows, this is painful for him, but undoubtedly necessary in order to get “good” at riding his bike.
What’s my point? We don’t know the exact definition of good, all of the time, what is good for one person may not necessarily be good for another. From a human perspective good can be relative.
Whereas from God’s perspective good is good no matter what, He sees the big picture and often times good things happen during times of pain and suffering.
In His sovereignty everything is good if for no other reason than that He allows us our free will.
Our voluntary decisions to do either good, or bad, are all good, because He made it so. Think about it like this, if you’re faced with a decision to either go to church on Sunday morning or, you could stay home and watch porn. The fact that you are allowed to make that decision is the beauty of your free will, free will is good, what you do with it may not be. Should God take away that option, or would we just be robots if He did.
Back to the question, how can a good God allow suffering. Atheists should reword this question, since the term “good” is not an absolute. (At least from where we humans stand)
Like someone saying “that horror movie was really good” I hardly think they’re mother would agree.
In my opinion, mankind must define the word before using it to describe God.
God gave us the definition, God is good. That is absolute, and if we used God’s definition of good we would have an entirely different argument, but we’re not, God is good, everyone else is bad since not one of us will ever equate to good the way God does.
I think the question should then be, how can God allow suffering? To answer that would be much easier, why? Mankind is bad, just look at us, since the beginning we’ve been murdering each other, committing one atrocity after another, worshipping everything and everyone else other than Him. We deserve it.
Well then, surely the next thing to come fumbling out of the mouths of all atheists would be, “God did bad things too.” I would say “how do you know?” Because I know that in saying that they are referring to the Old Testament where God allowed the death and destruction of entire towns or cities.
They only know because it’s in the Bible, but if reject the Bible, then don’t refer to it.
Like a child’s defense “w-w-well he d-d-did it too” really? The argument would be based on God doing bad things? The existence of suffering does nothing to prove whether or not God is good, nor can it prove whether or not He exists, the existence of suffering is a tired and weak old argument used by atheists to convince someone that God wouldn’t do that. It may work on some, but not many.
Like I said in Apologetics 101, don’t confuse your evidence for proof. Suffering could be used either way, its either evidence for God or against Him.
But it doesn’t prove either.
For the record, I do believe that good is an absolute, because God is good, and He is The Absolute.
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