Standard Objections to the Christian Faith – Suffering


The greatest single objection to belief in a loving God who cares about His children, is the problem of unnecessary suffering.

No, I don’t mean the suffering we cause by our sinful selfishness. For example the hurts we give by our polluting of the earth and starving half the world, and knocking down old ladies with either clubs or cars, or breaking up homes and leaving insecure children adrift and lost. These are clearly our fault we cause that pain.

But what about the other kind, earthquakes which kill thousands of people, heart attacks which take a young father or husband of a family, or cancer in a baby? That’s not our sin, surely that’s not punishment, because it never fits any known crime.

I’ve got to come clean and say I can’t answer this and neither can anyone else. I can only offer a suggestion that neither in the Bible nor anywhere else does it say that the good or the bad will escape suffering, in fact suffering is part of the normal human rent for being here on the earth anyway, and we may all be called upon to pay it in some way.

If you say, all right then, there can’t be a good God at all, then I’ve got the opposite problem. Well, how can we explain love and goodness and joy in the world?

Jesus is the one I look to in all these things and He died at 33, in excruciating pain, after terrible torture and total rejection. His suffering, instead of turning me against God brings me to God.
So suffering need not deny a loving God but rather be an expression of His love.

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The Old Testament scriptures are intelligible only when understood as predicting and prefiguring Christ. (C. Hodge)

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