Somewhere between those who simplistically assert that suffering is mere
illusion and those who morbidly suppose that sufferings will continue
forever - God was patiently calling out with a mocking, thankful sadness
- 'Come let us reason together..'
I found this summary of man's confusion on a philosophy webpage...
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
Here is a metaphysical problem which has puzzled thinkers through the centuries. It is stated this way:
If God is all powerful and all good then there would be no evil in the world.
But there is evil in the world.
Therefore God is not all powerful or all good.
How then do we explain the existence of sin and suffering?
I say God IS good and only allows evil
because He can create out of it a greater, happier kind of good
which He gives equally to all. So it's all gonna be made infinitely
much more than worthwhile for each of us...
What is more - in His fairness - God compassionately shares in the
experience of suffering - by suffering the same amount of suffering
as each of us suffers - through the enduring of each creature's sinfulness
which He hates, and through sharing in the ordeal of our sufferings,
and through suffering His Own personal self-sacrificial sufferings
by His endurance of the creature's sinful attacks on His Person as
made manifest at the crucifixion of Christ.
This gets round the sociologically confused
relationship that many have with their Creator - the Creator of their sin
and the Judge of their sin...
So then, the overall primary ideal for eternity is that we creatures of God
temporarily become sinful and suffer for our sins...
But the secondary ideal that contrasts and competes with this priority
overall ideal during the time of our sinfulness is that we cease
from our sinning and only suffer by doing good...
The overall primary ideal makes us sin and brings us judgement
until it gradually comes to agree with the secondary competing
ideal of mercy to make us righteousness again - so that our sins are
progressively removed and our suffering comes to and end...
So the primary ideal of sin and judgement is temporary
in order to allow and cause the achievement of the ultimate ideal
of full happiness in righteousness through God's mercy...
A major blight on Christian
thought has been the unbiblical doctrine of endless punishment
for the stubborn in the lake of fire. Instead, the following
key biblical facts should be embraced by all the saints:
God reconciles all to Himself through Jesus Christ,
Who makes peace through His shed blood and crucifixion (Col 1:20).
Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away all the sins of all
the world (Jn 1:29). The creation itself, also, shall be freed
from the slavery of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children
of God (Rom 8:21).
Hell's punishment is not forever but until the end of the eons
- eonian punishment. People don't sin enough during their mortal lives
for God to choose endless punishment besides it would spoil the future
of eternity to have a section continually reserved for endless torture...
People are made by God to rebel against His ideal will for them
and then offered a choice - forgiveness of their rebellion, or,
punishment for their sins until they have paid the last 'penny'
(Mt 18:23-35, Lk 12:54-59)... After punishment, those who went
through torture in hell come to realise they need faith on God
to succeed in life and they are joined into God's kingdom so
that they cease from sinning and are rewarded for their compliance...
There are two bible translations which consistently uphold the doctrine
of Universal Reconciliation with God, and the future union of all beings
to experience God as the all in each of us. For a free download
of these bibles you can try this website:
Here's a link to the page that comprehensively details the bible references
which support Christian Universalism:
Christian Universalism - Bible references
Various other important facts
that are often disregarded...
God initially makes some become more loving than others and so initially
loves us unequally - giving more happiness to those who are loving more.
The godly or the saints of God's kingdom includes people who have faith
in God without necessarily having information specifically
about Christ or the Holy Spirit as member persons of God.
The many godly humans among us sin often and not only in a trivial
way - especially by sins of omission, and so the saints are obliged
to regulary correct each other - as well as to offer encouragement.
Much of the best correction is effective without words, but there
comes a time when to remain silent is unloving.
Our sins get forgiven by being transfered away from us by
putting them on Christ at the cross - so that these sins are not judged.
Christ didn't suffer the full penalty for all our forgiven sins
instead of us - this is not taught in the bible.
God's mercy means that He does let forgiven sins go completely
unpunished - thats what forgiveness means - lack of judgement.
So, mercy was shown to Christ in His sufferings - and also God doesn't
make His saints suffer beyond measure for their righteousness.
So whilst Christ took all forgiveable sins onto Himself at the cross
- He didn't suffer all the judgement for all those forgiven sins
in our stead, because God really forgave those sins
- choosing not to judge us for them nor to make Christ experience
the full penalty for all those sins.
Instead, Christ's suffering was in order to convert sinners to justice
and the fairness that makes good people suffer their fair allowance of suffering.
The cross openly demonstrates for us that God is prepared to suffer with us.
God sympathises with us when we sin and are punished for it.
So God is prepared to suffer unjustly in order to
prove His compassion for all the suffering He has temporarily brought
on the all His creatures because He causes us to fall into sin.
It is God's fairness that made Him suffer for us, to witness to us
that He suffers with all our sufferings - with the good purpose
to make a better future for us all than He could have made
if He had chosen to keep suffering from us.
All anger in those unqualified for it is wrong
- Those is harmony with Veda God may have rights to be angry and judge.
Freedom cannot be attained without rulership. God operates ALL things -
good and bad - according to the counsel of His will. (Eph 1:11)
Our sense of 'freewill' comes from our experience of God's freewill
operating us - infact no creature initiates their own choices
- all choices are chosen by the operation of God's free choice...
Humans are instructed to fill the earth and subdue it, but not to overfill
the earth and abuse it. Saints should have lifestyles that are
friendly to the environment as well as other humans
yet human saints created with rights to judge animals and punish nature.
Every state or act of a creature should be approved by God as good
or else it is either bad - or it is neutral - neither commendable nor disapproved.
Adam was shown that he would die when he sinned.
When he did sin he became an originator of a rule of sin
that went out into all humanity and made them subject to
the power of death. Not written in Genesis is the fact that previously
to Adam other men had sinned and their sin had been contagiously passed on
to others around the world so that all generations of men on this earth
have been made subject to sin and corruption
along with all creatures in the universe.
Beware: Some of the biggest lies I come across are in religious songs.
Words like; 'All I want is You (God)' - What about the infinitely many
creatures that God is saving - to oftentimes Love them more than Himself?
The rule of God's kingdom is socialist
- 'having everything in common: from ability to need', a meritocracy
- 'capitalising on all good abilities',
and a democratic and/or autocratic experience...
BUT things need to go wrong...
Here's a summary of a book enquiring into how study of something effects
Neurology and Modernity
A Cultural History of Nervous Systems, 1800-1950
Edited by Laura Salisbury and Andrew Shail
Citizens of the modern era found themselves singularly prone to nervous disorders, while at the same historical moment the nervous system became a privileged model for describing the organization of political and social spheres.
Neurology and Modernity describes and explores this intriguing coincidence, uncovering the centrality of neurological ideas of health, disease, and experience within the medical treatises, popular advice manuals, science fiction, literary fiction, spiritualist tracts, philosophy, government reports and military tribunals of the period 1800-1950. This volume traces and illuminates the cultural ideas and anxieties that informed representations of the nervous body, whilst showing how many of the most distinctive features of the period known as modernity seem to vibrate in sympathy with neurology's central concerns.
The thirteen new studies in this volume untangle the significant mutual dependencies between scientific neurology and the cultural attitudes of the period, exploring how and why modernity remained such a fundamentally nervous state.
Reading the Love of God into the old Israeli religion:
The law of Moses was given to disciple a whole nation - to lead all the
stiff-necked as well as the more conscientious to grow in appreciation of
God's higher law of love. Yet because of the callous conscience
of the majority and the small number of very righteous men as earthly
witnesses - morally primitive laws were necessary to appeal to the
inner man through the visual parables of rituals in the outer tangible world
using symbolism and priests who conducted outer ceremonies designed to be
conducive to worship, meditation and prayer. So that inner principles
and spiritual functionality of the inner man were represented in formal
worship styles dictated by ordinances, precepts, statues, testimonies,
and instructions. So there are higher moral laws which were meant to be
applied either eternally or for longer periods lasting into the present
New Covenant times and lower ritualistic laws which were designed to last
until the greater numbers of more righteous saints were to arrive in
forthcoming generations so that the social activity of the saints
as salt of the earth and light of the world would be sufficient outer
witness to the stubborn and unmerciful of the invisible and the internal realities.
Sacrificing one's animals and valuable possessions to support the judicial
teaching and healing functions of God's priesthood was a way of demonstrating
that you valued the forgiveness of God about whichever sins they were
being given for. This was a discipline to the mind of the person bringing
the sacrifice to maximise righteous hate for sin - as well as a demonstration
to his associates that he was submissive to God and not proud before God
or man. The primitive development in righteousness of the general population
meant that if no outward sacrifice was made, people would doubt each other
that each one had really exercised sufficient love, mercy or forgiveness
in their lives to merit God's forgiveness. Then people might feel inclined
to take out vigilante vengence without the ordering of God
through the political and judicial ruling of the priesthood
and executive cooperation of the people...
God uses the earthly power of the greater species to exercise judgement
on the lesser creatures during these times of suffering.
The sacrificial demonstrations of personal thankfulness for forgiveness
and thankfulness for God's priestly government system
would indeed cause pain to the animals but not for very long.
And among the infinitely many creatures in existence God could easily
choose the exactly best-fit essential spirit and soul to be incarnated
into the animal bodies that a follower of Iyehuweh would come to own
- so that in bringing the animal's earthly life to an end the owner would
be able to exercise good judgement suitable to the creature
- just as we are made able to do today in the slaughter houses of the world.
If God wants to make a creature of His to live an earthly life as a sheep
or goat - that dies instead by wolf, or starvation, or old age or whatever
- He is well able to incarnate that being into another animal body
somewhere else in the infinite universe where that exact
means of judgement can come upon it in due course.
If in any way a creature is made to suffer excess suffering at the hands
of a cruel earthly judge, then in due course the judge will be called to
account and the creature will have this increase of
suffering taken into account and, eventually, like all suffering, it will be
more than compensated for by being transubstantiated into maximised
endless thankful happinesses and pleasures... In any case God so works
it that no creature suffers overall in time to any greater extent than any other.
All are made to sin in various degrees and at various times yet overall
each being sins the same amount during the times of sin and suffering -
as summed across their many and various distinguished lives in alternative
forms and incarnations. God also works it that overall our compensating
reward of happiness and pleasure sums up to the same amount for each of us.
This form of argument can be applied to all the strictness and judgements
of the Old Testament law to show that, although God is not as yet fully merciful,
He is a fervent idealist with a great prioritising of mercy and consolation
in His love. God in His infinite wisdom can so preorder the setting up
of the infinite universe that each creature will sin in the same overall
amount during the times of sin and suffer the same overall amount as a result
- and experience the same overall replacing of the sin and suffering with
thankful happiness and pleasure in due course. So God's fair and just
generosity prevails over all our activities in these times of sin and
suffering to bring the full and equal reward of thankful happiness to
As the law of God became known among the ancients it was made more and more
obviously clear to more and more of them that God prefers us to be obedient
- in the first place, than to sin and then make sacrifice for it. Also that
God prefers us to be appreciative, compassionate, sympathetic, merciful
and pitiful towards each other than to seek forgiveness through sacrifices.
Jesus summarised a great principle for receiving forgiveness
by saying that the more merciful we were the more mercy we would receive.
So the outer sacrifices were still necessary to appease the collective
conscience of the people - since a large majority of the people were stubborn
sinners who saw the necessary response to sins was to make some form of
amends and tended to despise the work of forgiveness and mercy towards sins.
And running parallel to the system of sacrifice was the
transcending law that mercy is better than sacrifice - and this was
mostly only accepted by those yielding to God and becoming righteous.
Then Christ came and mightily demonstrated the fairness of God in His life
and through His crucifixion - showing that God does hate and suffer
our sins that He makes us to do, and is prepared to suffer with us
to release us from these sins - so that He has a right to be angry with sin
and is the most merciful Judge of sin. Then the collective conscience
of mankind became sharpened to learn to accept and perceive
that genuine forgiveness could exist in their fellow man
and aquit them of God's judgements without their following
the system of sacrifices - but instead learning to be obedient through love
or self-sacrifice in everyday life. It became more evident
in the evolving consciousness of the sinners on earth to perceive
and learn that those who are merciful will receive mercy.
And so the lesser rules of sacrifices were dropped and the greater free rule
of loving sacrifice exampled by Christ's loving self-sacrifice over-ruled.
It became clear that people could demonstrate love with compassion, sympathy,
mercy and pity through suffering in their own essence, spirit and soul
for the sake of others. And so prove to the doubting that they truely
hated sin and yet were genuine forgivers of the sins against them and were
receivers of the grace of thankfulness for all things happy and sad,
and enjoyers of God's Own happiness and sadness, pleasures and pains...
Reading the evolution into the Genesis account:
Here's an evolutionary-style summary breakdown of the Genesis seven days.
This ordering seems to agree with the scientific ordering...
Dust to dust:
- The heavens (local to us) and our planet Earth are created,
and light begins to penetrate the atmosphere and shines on the ocean.
- The atmosphere divides between the waters - ie. Earth's cloud cover
develops above the ocean.
- Land emerges from the ocean, and plants emerge from the land
(small animal life forms may have developed before/with the plant life
- in the ocean / in the shoreline mud - and 'crawled' inland).
- Earth's originally quite dense 'cloud layer' thins
so that the heavenly bodies show.
- The waters teem with (new, larger forms of) life
- fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs
- and birds and small mammals come too - but are not mentioned.
- Mammals ('beasts of the field') and man arrive.
- God's creative rest - a slower rate of change in our local universe.
God is then said to have created a man called Adam (not the first homosapien)
and all the animals from out of the land/soil
- this is a quick summary answer to the creative-evolutionary origin
of all life forms - since the first replicators came from the chemicals
washed out of the 'land' into the oceans - and all life went on from there.
In the garden:
The wife for Adam is however quite clearly created by an operation
on Adams 'rib' and presumably some very fast 'metaphysical' evolution...
The sin and curse:
Because Adam fails with his particular relationship with God
he is cursed - similarly to how previously incarnated creatures have been
cursed when they fail in keeping some law of God in their consciences...
The curse of Adam is brought on all humanity everywhere since Adam
is spiritually an influential human over all other humans alive at that time
and afterwards - so that his sinfulness - propagates spiritually
rather than by bodily offspring into all humans on earth
- each of whom by sinning with 'Adam's sin' also inherit his curse
- and likewise for Eve (which means a 'mother of all living on earth'
- spiritually a mother - not a mother by bodily reproduction)
the sin and curse spreads into all women also...
The creative spark:
God's creative evolution can progress by a mixture of the
'probable' natural laws and the 'improbable' supernatural/metaphysics
of the miraculous. As we know evolution has often been speeded up
considerably. Our current science cannot prove that the miraculous
is not involved to some measure form time to time...
A creature's choices and life activity may spiritually/metaphysically
influence the mutation of genes and sexual selection of genes
for propagation - either according to their will or in a way
that actually opposes their will... So the parent is holistically
included as part of the environment that imparts selective pressure
on the genes... Getting more esoteric for some - the genes themselves
may have individual primitive consciousness and choice by which influence
they cause the selection of other genes or themselves for propagation...
Our current science cannot prove that the parent and the gene itself
is not part of the environmental pressure/influence that selects the genes
Using drugs or medicines... Enhancing life
and helping to repair and preserve quality of life:
The benign effects of drugs should be shared with others - so that using the
drug is socially beneficial, and not selfishly used or addictively relied on.
If used in appropriate quantity and at the right time
then they should not be a temptation or have poisonous effects
even to those with weaker faith. Usually the drugs should not be taken
in ways that damage the body - such as by smoking or injection.
The drugs you use should mostly be cheap, like alcohol so that you are
not spending on yourself but are being generous to the poor.
Effects should either enhance or be in harmony with the type of work, play
or rest that you currently need to engage in - or at least minimise major
disabling effects of illness.
They should be chosen so that particular effects do not overly obstruct the
most necessary modes of thinking needed for your work
- e.g. driving ability etc.
True happiness comes with thankful open-mindedness for the variety of options
that God supplies us with... There's a time to eat and a time to fast.
There's a time to take a drug and a time to abstein.
There's a time to avoid caffeine and get an early
night and a time to take opium and stay up all night.
Being religious involves developing an accurately measured approach
to life just as laboratory experimenters must carefully assess the limits
within which they should work and give due care to the exact measurements
in the experiment so that the experiment can be safely under control
and provide them with useful data.
We should employ good measure
and good timing and good method.