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Italian earthquake - thoughts on suffering

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Edski675, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Edski675


    Thread Starter

    Administrator Staff Member

    This was a terrible natural disaster. There is to be a mass funeral for all those who died.

    The attached link is to a BBC news report - the pope and senior clergy expressing hope and urging victims to be strong and imploring God's mercy.


    A few on here might know that I'm a member of the Church of England. It's things like this that test faith to the utmost. Rather than all the usual mutterings you'd expect from His Holiness - particularly at Easter - perhaps the more pertinent question is why does God allow this sort of thing to happen in the first place. The world is so imperfect in so many ways and I simply don't have an answer.

    When I had my off 5 years ago the vicar called to see me. I asked him why, if God is all powerful, does he allow tragedy to happen. He also struggled for an answer, but suggested:

    1. Can you imagine a word where God intervenes at every pending mishap - the vicar suggested that if you were about to spill your mug of coffee, and your hand was suddenly righted, how would you feel?
    2. God has given us all freedom of choice in a non-interventionist world;
    3. The resurrection of Jesus shows us that God is more powerful than ever we could think, as will not leave us in times of suffering;
    4. God's healing power is a glimpse of the glory of the Kingdom.

    I wasn't convinced. I really struggle with this. Tragedy on the scale of the Italian earthquake - or any other disaster - flies in the face of the established Christian (and Muslim) orthodoxy that God is all powerful and all loving, and tests faith to the utmost.

  2. hi ed, although im a devout agnostic i can see yor problem as i have given this a bit of thought at times...personally i think blind faith in anything is a bad idea as this gives rise to religious fanatics and the like so the fact that you are questioning your faith is a good thing, as it shows that you are a thinker and not just a follower..i hope you are able to resolve this issue, but i fear that it will be something that eludes you till the end, and thats probably the way its meant to be....
  3. Craig

    Craig Administrator Staff Member

    Location: Maidstone
    From my own past experiences and current thoughts - I find it near impossible to relate to religion these days. My own background I have been brought up in the C of E way of things, but now I don't and wont relate anything to religion. I respect everyone's view's towards religion and always keep an open mind, and can also see why people choose to believe. In the way of life and natural disasters I feel it's more of a way of life and it's a case of not forgetting but also a case of moving on with things. Questions like you mentioned I feel will be one of those life's wonders e.g. why are we alive on earth and what happens after death. It's merely something we're not meant to know and will never know. Just my two cents :p
  4. Edski675


    Thread Starter

    Administrator Staff Member

    Why? This is in 'Other' - we shouldn't be afraid to discuss things that are controversial. We shouldn't be afraid of cracking some eggs on here, if people get upset well they get upset, as long as it's not personal or downright abusive. I don't give a monkey's if people are atheists, that's for them, but I am interested to hear other peoples' views.
  5. Rowly


    When you see disasters and suffering on this scale brought home to our green and pleasant
    land by our TV screens I often think that we should not complain as much as we all do in this
    country, we are extremely lucky compared to a lot of other nations.

    We all have different ways in dealing with these tragedies, for those at the forefront it is
    imaginable how they feel the loss of whole families and the ones that are left behind.
    The faith in which we hold may comfort those through this terrible time and for those
    who were trapped for so long and rescued their prayers have been answered.

    We live in an unpredictable and uncertain world, May your God go with you.
  6. as a complete non-believer i say "shit happens", it's how people react to it and the compassion they show that is a measure of a person, not what faith they are etc...
  7. I'm a Christian and have a faily strong faith most of the time (yes it gets knocked from time to time but that is just part of the course).

    My view is similar to your vicar and stems from the begining, when Man fell (not sure if that was just one man (Adam) or if he represented mankinds turning away from God). We live in an imperfect world where we have been given the choice to believe in him or not but obviously that choice comes at a cost. I'm grateful for the freewill I have to choose and that I am not just a robot or like my dog who follows me just because it is in her instict to do so.

    I try to stay as openminded as possible on the whole subject as I'm pretty sure none of us have got it completely right.

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