Posts Tagged ‘God’

    When several bad things happen in the world, it is natural to seek an explanation. Why did these things happen? Murphy-Gill, in his article “Did God cause the earthquake in Haiti? In the U.S Catholic magazine, says, “Answering this question can be confusing and difficult when we consider our faith in an all-loving and all powerful God” (46). Several people mention a false dilemma: if God is good and omnipotent, why did He not prevent the catastrophe? Epicurus argues, “If He could not avoid it, He is not omnipotent; if He did not want to avoid it, He is not benevolent”. The conclusion is that God does not exist, or at least He is not omnipotent or fully benevolent. An Earthquake or another tragedy proves that “there can be no God or no loving God”.                                                                                                                                            

   The earth is the abode of men. Disasters of all kinds occur at any time in various parts of the world. Again, if God is good and omnipotent, why did he not make the earth a safer place for men to living? So that these continual surprises that often impact innocent victims all over the world, resulting often in thousands of dead children, Would not happen.  According to other people, there is no need to put God in the midst of these disasters. He created the world as it is, and these types of disasters occur in nature. That is why these catastrophes are called “natural disasters”. Also, some people can say, “God can use natural phenomenon to punish bad people as he did with Egyptians with the ten plagues”.

     In schools, we are trained in the idea that science and faith are separate fields. Nothing is in common with each other. This view holds that God was taken away from the world after having created it. He does not intervene in the course of things on this earth.   Joel Schorn admits, “The world, its natural process and its creatures, including human creatures, are free to do as they want” (USC Magazine 41).  To imagine that God created the universe and left it to run itself apart from the Creator is a seriously flawed point of view. For Christian people He created the world to give it, and then to develop it properly according to the rules preset by the infinite wisdom of God.  

     By His power and His goodness, God created for man the best conditions for life on this earth. “He created man in His image and likeness.” The man is free to do whatever he wants. He took advantage of the great privilege of freedom. As a punishment, man lost the immunity from death and the preservation from suffering. This gives a solution to the dilemma that God does not exist or He is weak.  However, Majored Maguire in her article “was the tsunami an act of God? writes “how do we worship a God who has no power to stop earthquakes and tsunamis?”

    The surprise of the Indian Ocean tsunami was very that among the victims of the earthquake, “there was not found a single terrestrial animal body” (The Daily News). The animals sensed the approach of the giant waves, and they took refuge in high places. There was a case where the people of some islands saw the flight of the animals. They realized that a disaster was approaching, and they took refuge in high places. As in this case God gives us signals when something bad is coming. We do not, however, pay attention because we are distracted by concern for a better life.

     When we see the destruction and death which a natural disaster causes, we ask why? Why do we experience something so horrible? Why was there so much suffering? We hear many people answer that a natural disaster as a earthquake is a punishment from God as was Noah’s. The rainbow reminds us that God promised not to send a flood to destroy any more (Genesis 9:11-17). In the flood, God saved the righteous man Noah and his family, but we know that many just people die during an earthquake. Seeing the case of Noah, we learn that the earthquake was not an act of God. Some people say that the earthquake is a punishment for bad people, others person say it was a punishment for such corruption. However, today many bad and corrupt people still alive. On the other hand, active and honest people are dead or have lost everything.

       If God were punishing all bad people would be dead and all good people would be alive. To say that God is the cause of the destruction not only shows a lack of logic, but it also shows a misconception and a misunderstanding of God’s divine punishment. If we think that God is an angrily looks down from heaven with eyes of accusation, and He’s eager to use the stick that He has in his hand, then it makes sense that this earthquake came from the hand of God. God is not like that. In Jesus, we see someone full of mercy, patience, and forgiveness.  Rev. Benke holds that “Jesus is God incarnate and the best revelation we have about what God is” (The Report, 43).

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This is one of the more unanswered questions that humanity has done since we can remember. What happens after death? Clearly, the answer depends on many things. Those with religious faith, depending on the type of religion, found its way in their beliefs.

          The existence of life after death is a question made universally for people. The Bible tells us that not only is there life after death, but there is an eternal life so glorious that “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, which God hath prepared for them who love Him “(1 Corinthians 2:9).
The resurrection of Christ was an event well documented. The Apostle Paul challenged people to question the eyewitnesses of the validity of the resurrection, and no one was able to challenge that truth. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate proof of life after death. Christ was only the first in a great harvest of people who will be resurrected back to life. Although eventually all will rise, not all go to heaven. In this life, each person must make a decision, and this will determine your eternal destiny.
Hell, like heaven, is not only a state of existence, but also a literal and very real. It is a place where the wicked will experience the eternal wrath of God without end. They bear torments emotional, mental and physical, conscious suffering of shame, regret and scorn. Hell is described as an endless abyss (Luke 8:31, Revelation 9:1), and a lake of fire, burning sulfur, where the inhabitants will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20: 10). In hell, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, kicking off intense grief and anger (Matthew 13:42). This is a place “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48).

God does not want the death of the wicked, but that is their reward from his evil way to live (Ezekiel 33:11). However, He will not force us into submission. If we choose to reject it, he accepts our decision to live apart from Him forever. Life on earth is a test, a preparation for what is to come. For believers, it is eternal life in the immediate presence of God. For unbelievers, life after death is an eternity in the fire.

          On the other hand, many atheists relate this issue with the theory that energy is neither created nor destroyed. The human body is a source of energy. So what happens to that energy when we die? There are many cases of non-believers who have gone through a traumatic experience very close to what can be termed as death. The testimonies of these people when they have survived a situation, describe their feelings in different ways. Some tell what the famous light at the end of the tunnel. Others see their life flash in images at high speed. Others feel how levitate and separate from the body. All are responses suggestion by the knowledge of other evidence heard. Seems clear that when someone is unconscious, a part of the brain ceases to act, just off to the trauma, should survive, more bearable. In other words, it activates a mechanism that is retained in memory especially painful moments or likely to seriously damage both physical and mental health. Therefore, science does not give credence to these testimonies. The answer to this question for most of the atheists is that when you die, everything becomes black, you cease to exist, and your body and mind will not work anymore.

                    What is the true answer?

A tragedy has happened in El Salvador. A strong earthquake has killed many people. There are many injured people and their houses have been destroyed. They need to begin to live outdoors during the cold nights. Children are suffering more than adults are. The earthquake leaves an anguish of an uncertain future. The earth continues shaking and people are scared. Many cities are desolate their people have fled to safe places that the government has designated. The images are horrible: pain, sorrow, and sadness. Whole families have disappeared; an old woman lost her five children when their house fell down on them.  While the days are passing the news coming from the whole country and the conviction that the catastrophe is bigger than we thought.

To live in this country is always hard work. In this country, half of the people are poor. Another half live with difficulties that get worse when this catastrophes happen. The tragedy has been terrible for poor people. Now everybody talks about poverty in this country, but after a few days, the poverty will be forgotten for other interests. Some people who did not lose anything are asking, if the economy will fall down or, when people should be worried for the future of the victims.

It is easier to write about tragedy and evil than life and goodness. Briefly, we can say that in the middle of the tragedy life continues. People walking or in very damaged cars, carrying things on their heads and their children in their arms. The poor people know that it is a catastrophe and they need to be assisted. They wait for help from others and when they receive it; they cooperate.

With this sorrow, many questions come from people. All of them linked to God. Is God punishing us for our sins? The suffering is not a divine judgment for the sins of human beings. We cannot point to a suffering person as a bad person. The suffering comes from nature.

We can add that human beings’ misfortunes, at this time caused by earthquakes, are caused by physic forces not under human control and they effect bad and good people. The dead people were no more sinners than the people that survive. Therefore, the earthquakes and others natural disasters are not God’s punishments. We are more sinners when there are suffering people and we do not do anything to help them.

Some people can say, “God can use natural phenomenon to punish wrong situations as he did with Egyptians and the ten plagues”. It is right God can use it, but He is more identified with victims than the natural event.  God is holy, righteous, and just. God allows us to experience the consequences of our choices, but he never inflicts pain or humiliation just because of that choice.  However, some people argue that all these disaster are mentioned in the Bible; it means we are close to the end of the world.  Then, everything has a time to happen, God knows the time. Can we do something to avoid something planned by God? We can say that the earth has a process. Disasters have happened frequently in the past, but something is different now. The rivers, oceans, and the air are more contaminated than before. Moreover, our planet’s forests had been destroyed.  People look to live comfortably without paying attention to the bad actions that they do. For example, people cut down many trees to build malls or beautiful apartments. If our planet is changing and the results are bad, the big responsibility is ours.

God is good and love his creation, especially man. Nonetheless, after any catastrophe some people can ask this question: Was God responsible of this event?  Some fanatics could say that God is punishing the human beings for their sins. However, the majority of people give thanks to God with some expressions like this “Thanks to God because we are living”. Perhaps, they do not have anything because the earthquake or another catastrophe damages their things, but they say that God will help them to get their things again. They are sure that God is with them. Also, where is God? It is another common question in these cases. If God is the creator of everything and our father why are we suffering?  We can say that everything has a goal and maybe it will be bad for us. An example could be when Jesus (God’s son) is on the cross he thought that God his father was not with him. However, God was with him, but the Jesus’ suffering was necessary to get the God’s goal. We do not understand how an earthquake could be necessary for the God’s goal. In other words, are destruction, hungry, pain, and death necessary to God’s goal?

 It is impossible to try to understand the God’s mind.