Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Why does God allow Suffering?

Within a 4 week series on the "big questions" I spoke on this subject for the first time.

These are wma files that run in windows media player.

If you have a spare 40 minutes I would be pleased to have some feedback.

Initial feedback has been favourable, as it has been to all the talks in this series, which can be found here, on the Barnabas Community Church website.

1 comment:

Pauline said...

I found this talk really good, and helpful. I also sensed it was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. I would like to pick out a few points that were particularly helpful, or which "spoke"to me powerfully.

. I liked the way you introduced the subject of suffering by stressing that it is a universal experience.

. I like the honesty; the fact that you said there is no neat answer.

. I like the way you didn't play down emotional suffering, psychological suffering and suffering caused by relationship issues and loss. Sometimes, people are made to feel guilty if they admit to suffering in this way, and feel it's trivial compared to facing a prolonged or life-threatening illness.

. I liked the way you point out that our response to suffering is a heart cry- yes, it is! And it leads us to seek God; yes, it often does.

. I liked the way you explored the
fact that humans have an innate sense of right and wrong; that the very fact that they are so enraged by the injustice and suffering experienced by so many, and their tendency to empathise with suffering people is what sets humans apart. So true. It may only be untrue when a few people have their consciences "seared" as the Bible says- but it's not a natural state.

. I particularly liked the way you challenged people who had doubts about God based on the fact that suffering exists. You pointed out that the very fact that they care is significant- so true.

. I liked the way you covered the Athiest stance; the theory of "The selfish Gene" and explained how such reductionist ideas are too simplistic. I had not thought about that- but it is so true.

. I have heard a lot of the other points before; the fact that God suffers with us, that good can come out of suffering (but you introduced that point in a sensitive way- which was right.) Also I know from other sermons, and books I've read, as well as Biblical evidence, that suffering is the result of a fallen (though beautiful) world and that we have hope that it will be put right.

. Lastly I would like the say how that challenge near the end affected me. It was very challenging to hear you say that God spoke and said,(I'm not sure of the exact words but something like, "Dave, what are YOU doing about it?" Immediately I substituted MY name- "Pauline, what are YOU doing about it?"

This week I read about a child, a boy, who raised a lot of money for Haiti by his own efforts. No-one told him to do it; he felt he must do something about the people who are suffering. "And a little child shall lead them......."

This was an inspiring and often challenging talk and I feel that my understanding has grown as a result of listening to it. Pauline