1. Consider how any single religious tradition copes with the problem of suffering and evil in the world. Nearly every human being on earth has asked this common question. “Why all the suffering and evil in this world?’. The presence of evil and suffering has forced adherents of all religious traditions to question their beliefs, their religious identity and their understanding of the ultimate reality. Christians in particular, are faced with these questions and life situations of suffering and evil, confronted to them, on a daily basis. When confronted with life situations they have questioned why an all powerful and an all loving God would allow this to happen. There has been a variety of responses to these questions. Christians have explained suffering and evil as, ultimate judgement of sin, consequences in living in a fallen world, and perhaps the idea of the world not being created in a perfects sense. These are just one of the many responses Christians have thought. However, even though Christians may never know the definite explanation, Christians cope with the idea of evil and suffering by finding ways to respond to it. With the idea of love and compassion taught by Jesus Christ, their goal is to find multiple ways to end suffering and evil through various organizations, actions, deeds and prayers. This illustrates that Christians respond to suffering so the creation of an ideal society in which all suffering and evil can be eliminated. Furthermore, Christians can come to experience the new kingdom of Christ, where love, peace and tranquillity are the centre of all. Suffering which is remotely linked to evil, forces adherents to understand the different kinds of suffering, and how it affects their outlook on life and death. The website “Suffering and the problem of Evil” states that “Human suffering, takes on many forms: emotional, natural, and moral. Loneliness, anxiety, and grief are examples of emotional suffering. Fires, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, and physical illness are examples of natural suffering. Moral suffering is brought on by the deliver act acts of a fellow human beings to cause suffering, something Christians call a moral evil” (Suffering and the problem of Evil. 2013) This demonstrates the result of moral evil leading to emotional, physical and even at times natural disasters. Suffering therefore brings Christians back to reality, to come into realisation with their mortality, which is very easily ignored. It demonstrates the flaws and hints of Christian’s coming death “It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortess of a rebel” (Lewis, Problem of Pain, pg 83) It creates an atmosphere, ultimately, in which Christian’s thoughts are directed towards God. “God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts us in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world” (Lewis, Problem of Pain, pg 84). The painful statement of Lewis states, demonstrate the truth about death. That death is horrific no matter what form it may take. So suffering in a Christian perspective, allows them to gently prod on their consciousnesses and forces them to understand that suffering may indeed lead to their future deaths, if they were to leave suffering without response. However if Christians can cast their doubt and turn to God, it can therefore bring a foundation of a new thinking, attitude, hope and living, not only to themselves, but to their faith. In the book of Corinthians, the apostle Paul states “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies”, which demonstrate this tension. Furthermore, the term “suffering and evil” provides many benefits to the Christian Faith. Suffering provides Christians to give proof of the genuineness of their faith, and to...
Bibliography: 1) Suffering and the Problem of Evil. [ ONLINE] Available at http://www.patheos.com/Library/Christianity/Beliefs/Suffering-and-the-Problem-of-Evil.html [ Accessed 10 May 2013)
2) C.S Lewis (1940). Problem of Pain. London: HarperCollins. 83-84.
3) Carson, D.A, 2006, How Long O Lord? 2nd ed. Cambridge; Bake Book House, pg 122
4) Bible Study-Where is God in Suffering? World Vision. Available at http://www.worldvision.com.au/Libraries/RedButton_Resources/Red_Button_Bible_study_on_suffering.sflb.ashx [ Accessed 10 May 2013]
5) Full transcript: Tim Costello enters The Zone: [ONLINE] Available at http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/full-transcript-tim-costello-enters-the-zone-20100927-15sp7.html [Accessed 10 May 2013]
6) What Are the Different Types of Christian NGOS? (with picture) [ONLINE] Available at http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-christian-ngos-htm [Accessed 10 May 2013]
7) The vision, mission and values of the Salvation Army [ONLINE] Available at http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/Who-We-Are/vision-and-mission [Accessed 10 May 2013]
8) Meaning of Compassion. [ONLINE] Available at http://www.compassion.com/child-development/meaning-of-compassion/ [Accessed 10 May 2013]
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