I’m starting a new thread here in response to your comments about my post to Seven. I did not want to complicate Path’s thread. Although this is directed to you, AhHah, naturally I welcome comments by all who participate here.
In reference to a portion of what I posted to Seven:
I’m not saying that God punished you, no, never. But he allows terrible things to happen to us when he could prevent it. Why? Like I said before, I don’t really know but perhaps it’s because he has to, not as a lesson to angels as is suggested by the WTS, but as things needed for our personal development.
You responded with:
…I believe that it is a well-intentioned but very misguided attempt to explain how a loving God could possibly allow such atrocities to happen. Humans do these things, not God. Let's not add insult to injury. I had to speak up about that statement. My conscience would not allow me to remain silent.
Since I said that I really don’t know and that this is a “ problem I wrestle with continuously” I would appreciate your input on the matter. You said that “Humans do these things, not God.” I quite agree but then I never said that God was the perpetrator. In this regard I don’t see the relevance of your statement. The fact remains that God is omnipotent and as such does indeed have the power and ability to prevent these (ALL) terrible things from happening. By virtue of His not interferring He allows these things to occur. Seven was not saying that God was the perpetrator but she was (and still is to some extent I would imagine) at a loss as to why this loving God did not step in and stop this terrible thing. He certainly is capable of doing so.
I will give you an illustration. A man is standing on the side of the road and he sees a youngster playing in the road. The man sees a vehicle approaching very fast and he realizes that the driver will not see the child in time to stop. He stands there with his hands on his hips and watches the vehicle strike the child. What would you think of such a man…especially if it was your child? This is the feeling that people have to deal with.
To even suggest that God might possibly allow something this horrible to happen because it is somehow needed for our personal development, I find a revolting and repulsive thought.
Since God does (not possibly) allow ‘something this horrible to happen’ what would you consider ‘just cause’ in this case? What is your reason for God allowing these terrible things to happen? You failed to tell us this. Obviously you have given this some thought inasmuch as you tell us that you were compelled by reason of conscience to write a rebuttal and condemnation of one possible explanation.
My account of the mother disciplining the child with my subsequent statement: “ ..perhaps it’s because he has to..,” was an attempt to demonstrate the principle that even we, as humans, not only permit but often inflict pain upon those whom we love for the resulting greater good. The discipline of a loving parent will never approach what has happened to these ladies but then we don’t know God’s objective nor are we aware of the issues involved in our development either.
I have another illustration of which I am not the author. There was a man once who was a bridgemaster over a railroad bridge. It was his job to open the bridge when a boat came by and to make sure that the bridge was closed and locked into position when the train was scheduled to cross it. He did this from a control structure on the bank. Because of the train and boat traffic schedule, he (and his family) had to live on the premises.
One day there was a snafu in communications with a certain dispatcher and the scheduled train was early. The bridgemaster quickly closed the bridge upon hearing of the oncoming passenger train but the bridge failed to lock in place. The speeding train was very close and could not be reached by radio. He immediately ran to the center of the bridge where a manual lock would hold the bridge in place until the train passed. The only thing he had to do was hold the lever and everything would be fine. He was feeling pretty good about his having made it in time as he pulled hard on the lever and waited for the speeding train. Just then he saw something that made his blood run cold. His little child was running toward him on the bridge and calling out to him. The child had followed his father out that afternoon and wanted to go to him, unaware of the terrible danger fast approaching. The father began screaming to his child to get back but the child was too young to understand and kept running toward his father. Just then the father saw the train approaching the bridge. He had enough time to go and get his son and bring him safely back to the bank but he would not have time to run back to the center of the bridge and lock it in place. He could save his son but in so doing would allow the death of dozens of innocent people, people who depended on his doing his job to keep them safe. So the man stood there and watched the train crush his son to death while he held fast onto the lever that saved the lives of the passengers.
The point here is that the man was forced into a situation not of his own doing in which he had to make a terrible decision, a decision he did not want to make but which was forced upon him. The choices he had were both bad and he could be blamed for either depending on the perspective.
The man could not rightly be accused of killing his son but he did allow his son to die. He could have saved him but chose not to do so. He felt justified in allowing his son to die and in this respect he was responsible for his son’s death. Was he right in doing so? It depends on your perspective. What would be your reaction if you were the boy’s mother? Suppose the bridgemaster had his wife and two other children on the train? Suppose your wife and children were on the train?
Adults, especially parents, have to make difficult decisions every day. Those decisions are usually on a personal or family level. Government leaders have to make decisions that affect the lives of millions and even billions of people. God, on the other hand, has to make decisions that affect an untold number of lives. His decisions affects those living, those dead, and those yet to come not only for the present but for all eternity. Who is it that knows all the considerations which must be weighed by God so that he can say “No, it’s not like that, it’s like this!” God has not allowed this world to continue the way it is for his own personal amusement or edification so I (my opinion) have to assume that it is for us, personally, for our development that he allows this.
You certainly have a right to your opinion as I think I have to mine. I make every effort to present my opinions as such and never in a dogmatic fashion. It’s regrettable that you found my opinion “a revolting and repulsive thought”. I also regret that you found my attempt to understand both Seven’s and Waiting’s ordeals insulting and injurious (“Let's not add insult to injury.”). As a matter of fact I found your entire response to that portion of my post somewhat hostile.
Perhaps we could pursue this on this thread which I have started for that purpose.
-Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it-
Edited by - Frenchy on 7 October 2000 8:55:25