Thursday, May 31, 2007

In the Darkest Depths of Mordor, I Met a Girl So Fair.

Except for times when I get a little overwhelmed, such as when I read the list I referred to in my last blog, I don't have too much of a problem reconciling a loving God with the all the pain in this world. If I ever do lose my faith I doubt that it will be due to encountering a lot of suffering.
The question. "How can a loving God allow so much pain?" has more than one valid response. For one thing it is a little bit arbitrary to say that God allows too much suffering. We're then setting the standard. Who's to say that God doesn't already prevent worse suffering?
A more convincing argument, I feel, is that we're mistaken when we say God is doing nothing. We want supernatural intervention but God seems to prefer using people to accomplish his will. The Christian theology is that God sent his son to die in order to right all the wrongs on Earth. So we can say that God doesn't prevent suffering the way that we would like, but we can't say that he doesn't do anything about it. He already has started the road to redemption in a most unexpected and amazing manner.
One other thing about pain and suffering is that it can also be seen as an opportunity. If for the sake of this argument you'll let me assume that Christianity is true, then it makes a lot of sense that God will allow some pain to occur. Jesus said that Christians should be recognized by their love for each other, as in helping those in need. Charitable acts are considered one of the best ways to "encounter" God and it also helps those in need so really it's a win win situation. Without any pain there's no way that people could understand their need for God. Helping a suffering person is truly a rewarding experience for all parties involve. I think this is a principle reason that God allows suffering, it enables humans to experience his love and also to demonstrate it. Suffering is a window to grace and love.

This started as an email response to Lowenfels' comment on my previous blog but I thought that I would post it instead because it's a subject that I've thought about blogging about for quite some time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cellphones "Forged in the Fires of Mordor"

Last week I read through the that World Vision sends me and I actually felt somewhat optimistic about the future. There was an article about a boy who through child sponsorship managed to go to school and eventually obtain a university degree. Prior to being sponsored he wasn't even able to attend school. Today however I received a link to Although I haven't checked the authenticity it seems to be a relatively credible source. The point is moot though, the reason I write is due to the pessimism that I'm currently feeling about our future. I became pessimistic after reading project censor's top stories of 2007 but certainly I don't need these stories to feel pessimistic about the condition of our world.
Our global problems are so big. Environmental problems, economic problems, ethical problems, it seems that everything about North American society has a negative impact on the environment and to peoples of the third world. The only comfort that I can find is in putting my trust in a God who seems all to silent.
The way God works really bugs me sometimes. I've got some sincere questions that I'd like answered yet God, if He answers them, does it so quietly or subtly that I don't even understand the answer. He knows this, He's omniscient, so why wouldn't He answer audibly or at least let me know what I need to do to hear Him? When I get into moods like this I start to question my faith and then I start wondering if I'm undergoing a test of faith. I'm stuck in a catch-22 where I can't believe because of God's silence yet I can't give up my faith because I wonder if this silence is a test of my faith.
When it comes to these big problems I know that God desires justice and equality but I can't solve these problems. I can work to a solution but I'm stuck in the position of knowing that I always need to be doing more. S where do I stop? How can I enjoy life while knowing that there is injustice occurring every second of every day? When can I stop and enjoy the gifts God's given me. I read a quote that stated "God gives but He doesn't share" meaning that every good thing comes from God but it's our responsibility to distribute the gifts fairly. If I give everything I have to those with nothing it will be a drop in the ocean of righting injustice.

Personal problem that I'm experiencing: Am I selfish to pray for my sore wrist when today tens of thousands will perish from want? Or more generally speaking, can I prayer for more when my life is so much richer than the majority of the population of Earth?
SERIOUSLY GOD, WE'RE IN NEED OF SOME GUIDANCE HERE. I could write this whole blog in capitals because I am actually really frustrated about this. I'm a little bit tired of the way God communicates PERIOD

For those who are wondering, the title of the blog comes from one of the article that I read today. Apparently a necessary component of cell phones is almost exclusively mined in the Congo and is worth a fortune. For this reason thousands are fighting and dying for access to the mines in DRC and of course needless suffering is happening.