Summary: can we blaim God for all the suffering in the world, or is something else responsible.Notes on suffering
The oldest question is the question of today’s world
The Church is in decline
It’s shrinking faster than the share value of Air New Zealand
I think one reason it that it’s considered to be largely irrelevant
Doesn’t have anything to say
People don’t have a problem with Jesus- just the guys who follow him.
But one big thing is that we have failed to ask the question every body want to know
We try to prove God’s existence but that is not what they want to hear
They want o know why there is suffering.
The oldest question in history is not how did it all begin but why do people suffer with the tragedies of the last week we are reminded of this,
Too often we just want to sweep it under the carpet and ignore it
Decline of the church today
Decline of Christianity failure to grapple with issues of the day
Much of what we do is meaningless
Our worship if it is just songs is meaningless
But If the Christian faith is not up to it then it is dead
and if the Christian God has done nothing about it then is he worth worshiping.
Who is responsible ? we are
Acknowledge the evil inside
We all have a dark side we may not get seduced by it like Anakin Skywalker
Something went terribly wrong. Something turned him from a normal kids to a monster,
he fed the dark side of his soul
But it is there, we try and hide describing those who do really evil acts as in human monsters but the reality remains
We have as much potential for good as we do for evil.
Too often we generate evil in our actions, We encounter hate and fear with more hate and fear.
Talk back radio. - respond in a way that generates more evil.
We would like to think evil is something outside of ourselves or only in other people. But when I look inside my heart, I discover evil is in me. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure."
But does God get of Scott free ?
He may not be responsible but if he is the all powerful God and has done nothing about it is he worth following??
But that’s not enough because if we are responsible then surely for God to be worthy of the name must be able to intervene.
It’s real very real so why isn’t God doing something about it??
If suffering is real, then either the all powerfulness of God or the love of God must be brought into question.
Those who would blame God for human suffering usually argue that it is inconsistent for a loving God to do nothing and they are right if God sat back and did nothing he would not be worth worshipping never mind following.
The fact is he did do something, at the height of his peoples suffering he sent
Jesus – god himself came down and got involved
Not only did God do something, but he created a race of people to join in with him and do something to – the church
But to often we think it’s just about me and God.
When God said he loved the world it cost him his son.
When we say we love the world it largely cost us nothing,
We love it at a distance, While all the time God loves up close.
God got involved but far too often we sit on our hands
1 We don’t have any passion for the lost
2 No desire to see peoples pain come to an ending
3 The only way to answer evil is not with more evil but with good, evil disempowers where as good empowers people.
Suffering shows up as being vulnerable
And when we are vulnerable we defend ourselves
There is an unnatural desire in us to get even
We respond to hate with hate
Evil with evil
In doing that we become like those who we suffered under
But Jesus did not take on and return their hate, and he did not let it change him from his course of revealing the Father’s love, his love even for God’s enemies.
Love is stronger than hate because hate enslaves, and the decision to love brings freedom.
In Romans 12:21, Paul says, "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good."
We to easily value people over things
These event should give us a better perspective on life.
The Events of September 11th, throw a lot of things into question,
They make you consider what is of value
suddenly you realize many of the things we normally consider valuable and chase after—money, possessions, cars, houses, success, and power—do not matter.