• Please remember: Pray for Ukraine in the Prayer forum; Share news in the Christian News section; Discuss religious implications in FFA: Religious Topics; Discuss political implications in Politics (and if you don't have access, PM me) Thank you! + Fr. George, Forum Administrator

If God is good...

sprtslvr1973

High Elder
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
751
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Age
49
Location
Atlanta
How do you usually answer the highly over-used, but still legitimate, question, that "if God is good, why do bad things happen?"
I could respond by referencing Genesis 3 (the Fall), and Man's rejection of God's love bringing mortality and suffering to the world; another passage may be John 9 as misfortune used as a medium for God's revelation.
I can't help think that these responses may be lacking, and therefore, I am open to suggestions.
 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
8
Points
38
Location
NJ
Faith
Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Coptic
Well, if someone is going through a "bad situation", you respond by bearing with them their problems and comforting them.

But if someone is looking for an intellectual discussion, there really isn't any.  God is "good" by definition.  There is no point in believing in His existence if He is "not" good.  He is "good" by nature as we believe.  Therefore, if He is good, He allows us to partake of His goodness.  In so doing, He partook of our mortal nature, suffering and dying in it, that through these sufferings we may ascend spiritually into His goodness.  And if you are to concentrate all that is "good" according to man's definition of it, such as "good" career, "good" spouse, "good" house, "good" money and possessions, we learn that these are false "goods", not the true Good One Himself.  And that is why He became poor and suffered, that we may learn the real good is not in the world, but in God.  "Good people" do in fact suffer, and they come out refined like gold.
 

Alxandra

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
1,078
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
27
Faith
Orthodox
God is good and gives us free will. Bad things happen from our failings, but He wants us to overcome sin that causes our souls to suffer and live an eternal life with Him. The responses you listed are very true and not lacking, it is us who are lacking. If we view this temporal life as everything then sufferings will seem horrible to us, but if we truly believe in eternal life we will be happy to suffer for Him. I read that a saint visited an elder in a vision and told the elder if only she knew how amazing life with Christ is, she would of willingly suffered more.
 

Cyrillic

Toumarches
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
13,710
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
27
Location
Netherlands
Jurisdiction
But my heart belongs to Finland
Did anyone else expect a JamesR thread?
 

Luke

Merarches
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Messages
8,074
Reaction score
499
Points
83
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Metropolis of San Francisco
^That was my first thought.  It turned out differently.  :police:
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,486
Reaction score
23
Points
38
Age
40
Location
PA, USA
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Patriarchate of Johnstown
Cyrillic said:
Did anyone else expect a JamesR thread?
Don't worry, his essay response is forthcoming.
 

quietmorning

Archon
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
59
Location
Middle Tennessee, USA
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
After well over three years of intense trial, I can honestly say that God is BETTER than good.  In all things. 

I can honestly also say that our definition of 'bad' is not His definition of 'bad'. .. or evil.  He told us to look at the fruit to decide whether a tree is good or bad.  If it has good fruit, then it's good, if it has bad fruit (destroys the soul) then it's bad. 

So if my eyes 'behold' a bad tree with fruit that TASTES good, but it destroys my soul with lethargy - (I have everything I need, there is no lack - I don't have to worry about anything.) then I have a bad tree.

If my eyes 'see' a tree with good fruit that TASTES BAD, but it nourishes my soul and moves me closer to Him (I don't have everything I need, I am dealing with crisis - I have to rely on Him every single minute just to survive with my sanity intact and wow, this event sure does make me a little more compassionate and empathetic to my fellow man, and less judgmental and more patient, kind, loving, humble. . . etc.) I have a good tree.

We mix the truth in good and bad up.  As the scripture says, we call what is evil good and what is good evil.  (Isaiah 5:20)

What person from any part of this world would ever think to see things this way?  Honestly?  This is for those who look for true life.  Before this is ever understood Christ has to be placed first in humility.

 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
8
Points
38
Location
NJ
Faith
Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Coptic
To add, being that we become branches of Christ, the more I bear good fruit in Christ, the more the Father will prune me.  Who am I to question His pruning?  I am one who knows nothing.  Therefore, I can not presume to understand Him who knows everything, but to put my trust in Him who "prevails when He is judged".
 
Top