God gave my friend's DH a heart attack

(94 Posts)
TotallyBS Sat 02-Feb-13 21:01:46

My friend's DP works in the. City. Up to 2 years ago he would regularly work to midnight. Come the weekend. he would be so tired that he often slept the weekend away.

Then he had a. heart attack .(he is early 40s). It was a wake-up call for him.He cut back on the hours. His children now get to see him in the evenings. Instead of saving his (generous) bonus and salary he now spends it. They recently moved to a new house and bought a new car.

I was invited over to see the new house last week. Over coffee she was telling me how great life was now. She and the kids get to see him more. He is less preoccupied with work and money. She attributes all this to God giving DH a heart attack so that he would stop and revaluate his life.

Not being a believer I obviously thought WTF at the idea of. a caring God intervening in such a violent manner. Are there any Christians out there who supports my friend's perspective or do you share my WTF?

Frankly I find it hard to understand how my friend can believe that God let millions die because He gave us free will but will intervene in her marriage.

Definitely a WTF, and I'm a Christian!

I'd say long hours + stress leads to heart-attack as a basic normal consequence of his free-will in action, rather than requiring specific intervention by God.

But some people do think that everything that happens to them has deliberately been sent by God. Even while citing freewill/consequences etc to explain the bad stuff. I think it has to do with feeling special maybe? That your life is so important that God had to jump in and change it for you.

TotallyBS Sat 02-Feb-13 21:44:54

AMum: My friend is a born again Christian, if that makes a difference.

Her father divorced her mother when she was young and started a family with another woman. When she grew up she reached out to him but he wasn't interested. For whatever reason, the mum.blamed her for the dad leaving.

Anyway, one day something happened (she won't say what) and she became a born again.

Generalisation Alert! Based on my extensive sample (two people smile ) some people become born again because they attribute some life changing event to God. It is these Christians that tend to believe that God will periodically intervene in their lives. Whereas <insert correct term for non born again> tend to believe that God gave us free will and pretty much leave us alone to make mistakes and to learn from them.

IndigoBarbie Sat 02-Feb-13 23:25:57

Hi, I genuinely don't think that she literally meant that God gave the heart attack, it's more like - 'now I have had this shake up, I will make more of my life' kindof vibe

GingerCurl Sun 03-Feb-13 10:21:18

Actually, I don't think that is a particular mindset of born again Christians. How many times haven't you heard the words, "everything happens for a reason?" People say it all the time. I hate that phrase personally. I find it stupid and very insulting.

I'm a Christian. I come from a "born again" tradition although I am more of the traditional ilk these days. However, I've found that people who tend to come out with things like "God gave DH a heart attack" tend to be the newer/younger in faith who see things a bit in black and white. And you can find them in all traditions. With time and maturity even born again Christians and people of other faith traditions alike usually come realise that, just like with everything else in life, faith also has its shades of grey. This is when faith starts to deepen and, rather than being a high, becomes something more sustaining, but a bit more low key. It's a bit like the difference between a new heady romance and a long happy marriage.

Just like everyone else, my family and I have had some crap things happen through the years. I don't think thad God made them happen. They are part of life in an inperfect, fallen world. What I do believe however is that God can use the crap that happens and turn in into a blessing either for myself or someone else, usually both, if I allow Him-Her to.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 10:24:03

Did God give us the atomic bomb, too?

For the love of Pete!

'Frankly I find it hard to understand how my friend can believe that God let millions die because He gave us free will but will intervene in her marriage.'

This. Exactly.

Crap things happen because they just do.

TotallyBS Sun 03-Feb-13 10:58:22

Indigo - that was exactly what my friend said so it's not me embellishing it.

A number of my school gate friends are 'traditional' Christians in that their parents have always been Christians and they were brought up as Christians. They tend to live their lives as 'quiet' Christians ie they don't talk about it and they don't try to convert you.

I know that two people is hardly a representative sample but both my born again friends had unhappy lives until they 'discovered' God. Both believe that God intervenes in their daily lives and I'm talking about mundane things like passing exams.

And both are always trying to convert us. One time one of them invited us (friends from evening class) to a 'party' at her house. It turned out to be a Bible class from her Church. It happened one more time. Thereafter we were all 'busy' whenever she issued an invite.

Are all born agains like this or is my sample of two unrepresentative?

IndigoBarbie Sun 03-Feb-13 11:44:45

My apologies, I didn't mean that you were in any way not stating the truth of the situation. I just meant that, I think that they are trying to make positive out of something which has rocked them.

If they seem to have found god and are born again, good for them. Pushing your (their) beliefs down others throats is in fact a form of judgement by deeming that you know better, and therefore the other people just don't know anything. But, on the other hand, it appears that they have found something wonderful and wish to share it. What they might not realise is, that generally we can only see something when experienced it for ourselves.

I have a different point of view which is that we are the power in our own lives, and nothing or no-one else controls that. We are given the opportunity to make of our lives what we will. Some people use that to create and invent bad things, some use it to do good. It doesn't sit well with some, but it's my own take. Therefore I don't believe that 'God' controls us in any way, and yes, bad things still happen and so do good things.

Sorry I didn't really answer the born again part, as I really have no idea. good luck xxx

TotallyBS Sun 03-Feb-13 12:07:07

No apologies required since no ofense was taken smile

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 13:22:49

AMuminscotland - WTF and christian just don't go together. Not judging or patronizing honest.

And yes God does intervene in such harsh ways
Jonah and the Whale,
The flood that wiped out almost all the world including innocent children
Job and the sores and losing everything he had,
Jesus and the cross,
Israel being God's Own chosen nation and look at the destruction and suffering in that land
Mosses not stepping foot in promised Land despite bringing the Isralites all the way .....
All of Humanity suffering because EVE ate the Fruit,
I could go on ,
He is a gentle God full of Mercy and infinite Grace but also a God capable of Wrath and Anger as seen throught history.
Please Don't look at Christianity with rose tinted spectacles: It doesn't promise a smooth ride
Back to your question In my opinion it boils down to DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE (ALL OF IT) AS WORDS FROM GOD because if you do, then you'll find that We can't understand His ways(God's).

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 13:29:31

Umm I don't think there is such a thing as a born again christian and not a born again christian anyone see my line of thought

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 13:38:55

Expatinscotland - He's a God that knows the exact number of the hairs in your head and to him the world world is open like a book in front of him so its safe to say that nothing happens without him knowing meaning he allows it to happen. And yes he allowed the atomic bomb to happen othersiwse he'd have stopped it just like he says that lightenning doesn't strike without him saying so or rain even though it seems like such a normal occuring thing that doesn't need his hand on the on and off switch

TotallyBS Sun 03-Feb-13 14:25:43

Sorry abbey but I don't follow your line of thought. I suspect that neither do the millions of self defined born again Christians.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 14:32:23

Hi Totally, was starting to suspect I had lulled you all to sleep.
Alright, haven't really thought this through and am open to critique anyway. In my opinion you can either be a christian or a non christian. How can you be a christian and not be born again?

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 14:34:21

In your opinion, abbey. And that's fine. I happen to believe that there isn't a god.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 14:37:37

Sorry Expat Hope I didn't offend you I thought you were religious , otherwise I wouldn't have burdened you with all that mumble jumble smile. Accept my apologies

housesalehelp Sun 03-Feb-13 14:46:22

I think there are a fair number of people who would not use the term born again about themselve but are Christians - some of my relatatives for example - they are older been christians their whole live and wouldn't dream of trying to convert someone - which is lucky as I am not a christian!

With regards to the OP I think that its a natural tendancy to make the best of what has happened. How you inteperate that is going to relate to your beliefs - not ones I would personally share

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 14:55:55

House, interesting take. Are the born again ones the ones keen on converting?
Someone define who a christian is

TotallyBS Sun 03-Feb-13 16:01:42

confused ermm someone who believe in Jesus Christ and God?

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 16:25:08

Thanks Totally, am struggling to see how that does not equate to being born again. Because being born again in my opinion means you believe that Jesus died for your sins and its through that belief that you forsake your old ways and embrace the new life of living according to teachings of the bible. Is there a christian and a born again christian? whats your view?

Sorry OP we've I've hijacked your thread completely

"Born again" is used as a shorthand for certain types of Christian, though in fact, all Christians are by definition "born again" when they are baptised.

But as a term it is usually used to distinguish Christians from a particular tradition - evangelical, taking a very literal view of the Bible.

I am sure that I was born again in Christ when I was baptised, but since I was only a few months old at the time I don't define myself by that, and I think of my whole life as something which has been lived in the context of a relationship with Christ, not something which hit an earth-shattering change on one specific date.

That is my definition of a Christian - someone who chooses to be in a relationship with Christ.

I do not believe that every word in the Bible is supposed to be taken as literal truth, it is a collection of stories telling us about God's relationship with humanity and how they responded and tried to understand what they saw to be God's actions in the world. They were human and flawed, and their understandings and explanations were no more "WORDS FROM GOD" than what any of us might conclude after careful and prayerful consideration of our lives. The difference is that people listened and read and considered their stories over a long period of time, and concluded that they were consistent with other theolological teachings and were useful examples to be kept and studied.

I do believe that God intervenes in individual lives at times, but more by encouraging/discouraging people, or by helping them feel supported and not alone at difficult times in their lives. Most things that happen are a simple case of cause and effect, and people should only start to shout about divine intervention when the event was very unlikely to have happened for other reasons. A heart attack in someone who almost anyone could have said was living a stressful and unsustainable way is not unlikely and I don't think God jumped in to cause it in an otherwise healthy heart.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 03-Feb-13 20:14:41

I think people who have found religion later in life will look around for things that confirm that are taking the right path in life, and if you look hard enough for meaning in something, you will find it.

They have chosen to see the silver lining in a cloud, that's a positive thing. If they have been able to see the positive side of what has happened and they have been able to make a bad situation become a force for good in their lives because of their faith, then I can understand why it would feel to them like God gave them this situation.

technodad Sun 03-Feb-13 20:47:01

I am amazed that god can find the time to give someone a heart attack, when he is so busy murdering all those babies in developing countries, causing car crashes and making people kill each other. Perhaps he was having a little breather, you know, like a hobby or something.

I find the idea that people might pray that they get a job and suchlike really sick. Why people think that a god might intervene with such a relatively small "blessing" whilst being busy killing others is really beyond me.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 21:14:00

Now, now, techno, those people were killed by the free will of man wink. The children who die of disease, well, I'm sure God has a reason for their suffering and demise of people who are too young to have a free will or do much above FA.

technodad Sun 03-Feb-13 21:40:16

Amen to that!

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 21:43:16

technodad, why are we quick to cry God when things go wrong yet when things are right no one mentions God?
Take OP as an example why was it not God that enabled the man to succeed have a good job in the city ,lovely family , big house and happiness? Why is it that his name come under attack when stroke comes to play? God is busy killing babies in developing countries really??? Why would you say something like that?

In response to your OP Totally,

When I was religious, my response would have been WTF?
Now that I'm not religious, my answer is still WTF?

But some people find comfort in cause & effect that others consider irrational and, as long as it's not harming others, leave them to it.

technodad Sun 03-Feb-13 22:28:32

Why would I say that? Erm, because if he is all powerful, so much so that he can give someone a heart attack, then he must be able to save babies from the horrible diseases he has given them.

If he doesn't choose to save them, since he supposedly created the world and the diseases that are killing them, then he, by definition, is killing them.

You can not have your cake and eat it. If he does the good things, the he also does the bad things (or refuses to intervene in these cases, which is bad). Hence, if god does exist, he is a murderer.

The reality is, god doesn't exist anywhere other than in the minds of people. Random things happen to people continually. Some people are fortunate, others less so.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 22:56:24

If you do not believe in the existence of a God, why are you pinning problems on him - him killing babies? If he doesn't exist then surely its not his fault? And why is he suppose to come to the rescue, why is it his responsibility to put those things right? why? whats his involvement.

headinhands Sun 03-Feb-13 23:03:56

Could you watch someone dying in front of you if you knew you could do something? If you let them die doesn't it throw doubt on your friends claims that you're a super great guy who loves everyone? If he can't act then he isn't powerful and the claims of the bible are false. If he can act but chooses not to he needs intensive psychotherapy and should be locked up.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 23:04:14

His involvement is nill, abbey, because he doesn't exist. What we perceive as good and bad are random occurrences in the universe. They just happen. There's nothing divine involved in anything because it is a construct of human imagination.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 23:08:24

'Could you watch someone dying in front of you if you knew you could do something? If you let them die doesn't it throw doubt on your friends claims that you're a super great guy who loves everyone? If he can't act then he isn't powerful and the claims of the bible are false. If he can act but chooses not to he needs intensive psychotherapy and should be locked up.'

Exactly! Supposedly loves you better than a mother and we're all his children? Well, that is inherent bullshit because there is not a mother around who would ever visit the pain that is visited on so many. Not if they could stop it.

And as for 'the free will of man' there seem to be plenty of times in the Bible when God quashes that, too.

It's a myth made up to comfort people and explain things that can't be explained yet.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 23:46:55

Headinhands - who's this person doing the watching , and why do we want him to act now?? is it because action and consequence at this point becomes abit unsatisfactory? otherwise why are we putting much thought into it, you know, I touched fire , I got burnt . Why have we stopped to ask why it happened?

Here's a wild thought, What if this person (the one we're watching dying) wants to die? you know, the choices he made. Should he force himself on humanity?

Expat, No we are not all his children, sorry to dissapoint. We are all his creation but become under his law when we choose voluntarily to be under it. That's why you can freely say he doesn't exist, he's a myth with ease. He gave everyone their sovereignity to do as they please and believe in whatever they choose. He doesn't infringe on our freedom thats' why you can't expect him to pop in and rescue when in a spot of bother.
Are you a parent Expat? Do you pick say outfits for them after a certain age? Do you make their decisions for them?

About his existence, I very much respect your opinion, its quite hard to convince anyone of something that is invisible and untangible. I personally believe in his exitence just like the way I can tell what wind is. I guess it was easy on my part because I actually read the Bible not just skim on it, and when you find that its one of the books that speak for itself then it becomes easy.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 23:51:44

And as for 'the free will of man' there seem to be plenty of times in the Bible when God quashes that, too.

I'd be keen to know where

Abbey, you post is really confusing. I'm going to attempt to re-read it in the morning.

'God doesn't exist' is so much simpler.

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 00:04:58

smile goodnight Jammy - That's me in real life- always clarifying

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 00:08:28

oh dear just gone through it myself - I sound like am on something.
Will take the cue and also go to bed. Will try and answer any q's tomorrow

expatinscotland Mon 04-Feb-13 00:53:18

Am I a parent, abbey, yes, I am a parent to three children. One of those child is dead. She died from treatment for her leukaemia when she was just 18 days past the sham of her 9th birthday. I sat and watched her die. Thousands prayed for her life, I did, too, that was when I believed. Now I see. Her death was random. But she is no less dead.

expatinscotland Mon 04-Feb-13 00:54:59

And thank you but I've read the Bible extensively.

technodad Mon 04-Feb-13 07:23:18

Abbey

I find the idea that you think a young child "wants to die" and that god is being good by letting it happen, deeply upsetting. It is a really grotesque concept. Why do you let yourself be brainwashed by this utter nonsense?

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 09:39:52

Hi Abbey. When you said I personally believe in his exitence just like the way I can tell what wind is do you mean you liken god to the wind in that it's invisible but you know it's there? Problem with that logic is that the wind is easily measured and tested. We know what causes it and can predict it. We understand it. It's not a supernatural phenomenon by any means and can in no way be likened to a belief that has no way of being tested and everyone has different ideas. I do appreciate its a common metaphor amongst believers having previously used it myself but it's just a very ill thought out one.

Expat, that's so sad, so sorry that happened.

I think sometimes shit things happen and sometimes really awful things happen. If there's a silver lining, like with the man with the heart attack in the OP, then people make the most of it, but otherwise we just have to somehow deal with the grief.

If someone thinks that God made something happen, for good or bad, then they're sadly deluded.

And Abbey, I've re-read your post, it's still very confused and I can't say I agree with anything at all you have to say, especially your ideas about someone wanting to die!

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 10:08:55

You'd be keen to know where god overrides free will? The flood, the plagues, the elimination of the Cannanites, Amalekites etc, Soddom and Gommorah etc. What's your definition of overriding free will Abbey?

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 10:12:39

Headinhands - who's this person doing the watching , and why do we want him to act now?? is it because action and consequence at this point becomes abit unsatisfactory? otherwise why are we putting much thought into it, you know, I touched fire , I got burnt . Why have we stopped to ask why it happened?

Even if you could justify god not stepping in to stop someone killing themselves, or doing something that would lead to it, how could even begin to justify god not stepping in when children are concerned?

This thread reminded me of this quote last night...

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent.
Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 10:17:13

We are all his creation but become under his law when we choose voluntarily to be under it.

So what about Christians that get killed, die of disease etc? from what I can tell bad things are happening to Christians too. Do you not think the scientific community would be very interested if it was known that the children of Christians never die?

That's why you can freely say he doesn't exist, he's a myth with ease.

Do you find it difficult to say Allah, Krishna, Zeus etc are a myth? How are you able to so easily sweep those gods aside? There's your answer.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 10:34:55

I think it's quite sad that people feel the need to question other people's faiths.

If this family want to believe that God made them suffer a heart attack so that they would be able to live better lives, where's the harm? What has it got to do with anyone else?

Nothing is the answer.

It can't be proved whether God did or didn't cause the heart attack, and as sure as night follows day, some people will always have faith in God, and some people won't.

I don't understand the need to try to convince other people of your take on religion, wherever your beliefs lie. Just be happy for people that are comfortable with their own choices, and allow those who aren't the space to come to their own conclusions.

technodad Mon 04-Feb-13 10:42:11

And great things (as well as bad things) happen to atheists too.

How can you explain the fact that good and bad things happen to religious and non religious people in equal measure.

Why does this magic god creature think I (clearly non religious) am worth giving a good life, but a religious child should die in agony after a car crash?

The only explanation is that all forms of religion are nonsense. They can give comfort to individuals (which is fine), but they are still just based upon made up stories, in order to control the masses.

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 10:45:28

I think it's quite sad that people feel the need to question other people's faiths.

This is a public message board. No one is obliged to take part. No one has forcibly entered someone's house and started listing the problems with their beliefs while they were sat quietly watching then TV. But if people engage in discussions then they invite questioning. FWIW I'm chuffed when people ask me questions about my lack of belief.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 10:52:16

How can you explain the fact that good and bad things happen to religious and non religious people in equal measure?

Personally, I don't believe it's about whether a person is religious or non religious or anywhere in between, I think it about a journey that a soul has to go on throughout many different lives.

I don't think God thinks you are worthy of living a good life but that a religious child that dies isn't worthy of that. I think our souls are more than just the person we are in this life, and they have things to learn that just aren't possible in one lifetime.

Clearly, you will think I'm talking absolute bollocks, and that's fine by me smile I don't believe in any organised religion, I just believe what I feel, which makes sod all difference to anyone else.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 10:54:11

Headinhands, I'm not accusing anyone of doing anything wrong, I just think it's nicer when people let other get on with believing what they want to without judging them on it.

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 10:58:30

and they have things to learn that just aren't possible in one lifetime..

What about babies that die, either in utero or just after birth? What could they have possibly learnt that was of any benefit?
How come I have no memory of my past lives?
Couldn't god have come up with a more efficient plan?
So did we all start off at the same time?
Do some have a shorter journey than others?
What's at the end?
How do you know this beyond what you feel?

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 11:03:20

Headinhands, I'm not accusing anyone of doing anything wrong, I just think it's nicer when people let other get on with believing what they want to without judging them on it.

I don't think there is anything nice about the idea that beliefs should be beyond reproach. I think that's a very scary ideology. Again if people want to protect their beliefs they probably shouldn't be discussing it. And there's many that don't. But for those adults that do air their beliefs on a message board I will question them and make absolutely no apology for that.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 11:15:36

It's fine for you to question, no ones asking you to apologise for it. Questioning is different to criticising (not suggesting you are criticising, just talking generally) and questioning is not the same as trying to convince people they are misguided.

I don't feel the need to protect my beliefs by hiding them, they are not that fragile that a few questions on a screen are going to change them.

Why isn't it a nice idea that beliefs are not beyond reproach? I think that's a lovely idea actually? Why do you feel the need to express disapproval in what someone else believes when it doesn't affect anyone else? Obviously there are times when beliefs do have a big affect on other people, wars are usually based on religion, which is why I don't subscribe to them. But sometimes it makes no difference at all.

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 11:23:19

Why do you feel the need to express disapproval in what someone else believes when it doesn't affect anyone else?

If they're posting on a discussion about beliefs clearly they acknowledge there will be discussion about beliefs. If you look at the threads on this board you will see there are many threads that are not discussion threads like this and where people don't question the beliefs. But threads such as these are all about open and forthright questioning.

In RL I don't query people about their beliefs unless its very obviously a discussion like this, but that's a rarity.

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 11:24:48

I'm definitely winning the use the word discussion the most times in a post competion no?

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 11:25:20

Competition!

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 11:28:40

grin

technodad Mon 04-Feb-13 12:37:21

Clouds.

In your message posted at 10:52 you discuss how your beliefs are your own and not part of an established religion. This means that you have done some guess work and come up with your own unprovable theory on how the universe works.

There are thousands of scientists across the world who work tirelessly to identify evidence to prove theories, much of which contradict your personal belief. Do you genuinely expect others to value or respect your personal belief when it is basically uneducated guess work without justification or evidence.

Why do we have to respect this sort of belief. Why is it not acceptable to ridicule this practice?

If someone came and told me that the sky was purple then they would clearly be very stupid, why is your made up twaddle not equally stupid? Why does calling I a religion give you immunity from reality?

Harsh, but fair!

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 13:02:12

The Old Testament is full of stories of God punishing His children. I'm thinking of pestilence, swarms of locust and the mother all floods.

I accept that some Christians don't take the OT literally so my quesntion is directed at those who do believe that it is an accurate account of events.

If God gave us free will then why does he punish us when we use our free will to do something he does not condone? It's like saying that you aren't going to interfere in the lives of the grown up children and then striking them down when they do something contrary to your beliefs.

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 13:05:22

.... also if we are all His children then why in the OT does God favour the Israelites. I mean, dropping all that water on Pharaoh's soldiers is not the act of a God that doesn't have favorites.

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 14:12:12

Totally, Sorry to hear about your loss. I am a budding christian, and I answer what I know and convinced of, but I'm also quite forthcoming in expressing that there's quite alot that I do not know about my God e.g why the Isralites prayed for over 400 years before he could intervene . I am burrying my head deeper into the Bible for insight regarding things like these.

With little children and the infirm, I don't think God will judge them when time comes for obvious reasons but they definately are not exempt from suffering just like everyone else.

Now I know for a fact that we are not all his children. Please accept that. You are only God's child when you believe in Jesus as his son and a redeemer. You are just his creation - I apologize if that statement distresses you it is'nt meant to

Regarding Israel, It is God's chosen nation and at one point , he was the equivalent of a president to Israel and the Isralites- his people.
Logically speaking, why do you have a problem with God rescuing the Isralites(his people) from pharaoh who's enslaved them for over 400 years? Are you really favouring the pharaoh over the slaves? aren't your sympathies abit misplaced?

God doesn't show favouritsm - that's why we get rain, light, believers and non believers alike. Also suffering

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 14:18:18

Sorry to hear about my lost??? What lost? You are confusing me with some other poster.

I'm not god's creation, pretty sure my Mum & Dad made me.

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 14:27:44

Egyptians v Israelites, Christian crusaders v Muslims, Man U v Chelsea. I'm not favouring either. I am simply posing a question.

If we are all God's children then there is clearly favoritism involved.

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 14:28:24

If God gave us free will then why does he punish us when we use our free will to do something he does not condone?

That would be because he gave us the ability to discern what is right from what is wrong. Rewards for making right decisions and punishment for choosing wrong ones, just like snakes and ladders - action, consequence.

And just to clarify, I do not believe Islam, paganism, satanism and other eastern religions are a myth. far from it. I know that there are lots of other gods but I only believe in the God of Abraham of the Bible.

taketheribbon Mon 04-Feb-13 14:30:56

OP, I can't go along with what your friend believes I'm afraid. A God that can give her husband a heart attack to make their marriage better would surely then intervene to stop little April Jones from being abducted, and he would never have allowed what happened to Jamie Bulger. Surely. It just doesn't make sense.

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 14:31:08

WE ARE ALL NOT GOD'S CHILDREN - sorry to shout I've said this afew times already. You only become his child when you believe in him. Why would an atheist call themselve God's child? are you not undermining your belief?

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 14:35:36

Well, if God was a parent then he ain't gonna win no Parent of the Year award.

Ok son, you can marry whoever you want. You are a grown man. You are free to make your own mistakes and to learn from them. What? You married that bitch? Boom! grin

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 14:39:28

I 'created' my son (with God's help if that is what you want to hear). Even if he grows up to hate me, didn't listen to what I say, became a thief, murderer or drug addict he would still be my child.

I find it hard to believe I am a more forgiving parent than God.

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 14:50:16

Totally ,I get in that particular mindset sometimes, but I have always been left speechless when I read the story of Job. Have you heard of it? I am not trying to convert you honest
see if it'll shed light am doing a rubbish job I know

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 15:49:18

The OT says that the world is a few thousand years old. Are you really suggesting that i dive into that book for my answer?

abbey Could you clarify? You seem to be saying that you believe that other gods are genuine and real? How do you reconcile that with the idea that God created the earth and everything in it?

Or do you just mean that other people believe in gods which do not in fact exist?

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 16:34:13

Anyway, I'm interested in your thoughts and your interpretation of the Bible.

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 16:35:59

.. telling me to read the OT and to figure it out for myself isn't much of answer.

DadOnIce Mon 04-Feb-13 16:42:21

And why would "god" have done this, particularly, rather than Zeus or Thor smiting him, or the Great Green Arkleseizure deciding to have a bit of fun? I mean, what a lot of nonsense.

I am happy for your friend's DH that his heart attack was not fatal and that he has seen it as a wake-up call to a less stressful and more healthy lifestyle. This happens to a lot of people and I wish him well.

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 16:48:09

So if only Christians are gods children why do the suffer the same trials as non-Christians? So there's no genuine protection on them, they just get to feel loved by him?

mummytime Mon 04-Feb-13 17:04:02

The basic answer is that we are all going to die. Some of us die as children, and some at 80, but if heaven exists, then maybe those who die young actually suffer less pain. However, it can be much harder on those left behind when a child dies.

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 17:04:55

Totally, That book is a book about a man who was very angry with God and decided to challenge him, let me give you background info, Job was a good man who was going about his business then one day satan went to God and told him I bet he'll disown you if you take away his possesion.And God said , Ok, go ahead and strip him of it, but don't kill him. So Job looses all his material possesion, wives , kids and grandchildren. He was a very wealthy man. And so the book is born. Job is angry and he voices his anger. His friends also mock him telling him how incapable his God is to let these things happen. They also challenge God too. So God answers him/them quite strongly almost furiousely and I believe his answers might be of use to you. Thats why I recommended the book. Its a safe book that can be read by non believers without the salvation bit.

Regarding the Earth, yes that book does talk about creation. i.e God himself talking about how he laid out the foundation of the earth, in person...
Now about it being a few thousand years old, Its a personal belief that if we do geneology from now till Jesus's time, then from Him till Adam, I don't think we'll get to a million years. Will we? The same book I told you about strangely enough talks about an old earth that met some kind of demise which then reinforces my belief that the earth is old ( millions even billions years old) but God put a new canvas on top of it for Adam and us. This is my personal belief clouded in personal ignorance so feel free to put daggers right through it. I'm still educating myself

MUMINSCOTLAND yes I believe in the existence of pseudogods the Bible is full of it. Just like Satan is real. I'm sure if you've heard accounts from famous satanists you'll be aware of his existence assuming wars, disease, child sacrifice, abortion don't make you suspect it.

headinhands Mon 04-Feb-13 17:17:27

I'm sure if you've heard accounts from famous satanists you'll be aware of his existence assuming wars, disease, child sacrifice, abortion don't make you suspect it.

Sounds just like the stuff god got up to in the OT doesn't it. So God put job through all that as some kind of game with Satan. Nice. I'm guessing if someone turned up and said 'I bet I can get your dd to hate you' I can't imagine I would enter into some sort of pact. I'd pretty much telling the weirdo to bog off.

I'll tell you what though, if I was making up a religion and I wanted to stop people doubting that the god I'd created was real when really bad stuff happened, I would probably included a spiel along the lines of Job. I'd also put some sort of threat in there about being tortured if they didn't believe.

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 17:28:09

Hehehe .. thanks for your input. The goodness with most religions is that you can always test drive it and if it doesn't sit well with you, then abandon ship. Are you atheist Headinhands?

expatinscotland Mon 04-Feb-13 17:32:26

'he would never have allowed what happened to Jamie Bulger. Surely. It just doesn't make sense.'

Especially because his killers were children, not adults with this so-called free will.

'Some of us die as children, and some at 80, but if heaven exists, then maybe those who die young actually suffer less pain. However, it can be much harder on those left behind when a child dies. '

That has to be one of the most insulting and ignorant things I've read on here.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Feb-13 17:48:01

Do you genuinely expect others to value or respect your personal belief when it is basically uneducated guess work without justification or evidence.

No, I don't. I didn't ask to be valued and I didn't ask for respect. I don't mind what people think of my beliefs.

Why do we have to respect this sort of belief.

You don't have to respect it, I never said you did.

Why is it not acceptable to ridicule this practice?

Well, ridiculing anyone isn't very polite, but as we are just words on a screen to each other, then feel free to go for your life. If you were to ridicule me to my face in real life, then that would be rude and I'd probably think as little of you as you would of me, and with good reason.

If someone came and told me that the sky was purple then they would clearly be very stupid, why is your made up twaddle not equally stupid?

Because we can prove the sky isn't purple just be looking at it. You can't prove that we don't have a soul with something as easy as looking up. But if you believe that my thoughts or any religion I'd twaddle, then that's as much your prerogative as it is mine to believe that there are unicorns living in my loft.

Why does calling I a religion give you immunity from reality?

It doesn't. Reality is reality whatever thoughts someone chooses to keep in their head.

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 18:18:06

Thanks Dad

The God thing aside, he is a different man. He has been earning a £100k plus for years but he never spent much of it. He now realizes that he can't take it with him. That plus being less work focused means they take more holidays, eat out more and such stuff.

nightlurker Mon 04-Feb-13 19:02:20

In response to OP, that does seem like an odd way of putting it, I'd expect something more like "blessing in disguise". I believe in an interventionist God, but also a God that leaves most things up to free will. Maybe it was a consequence of his choices that God allowed, maybe it was an intervention, I really can't say. Either way, I'm also very glad to hear it was non-fatal and that his life is better for it. Hope he stays well.

abbey thanks for the clarification. I think that confirms that you and I take very different views of what Christianity is about.

abbeynationall Mon 04-Feb-13 20:41:30

Hi there Muminscotland, how do our views differ?

LynetteScavo Mon 04-Feb-13 20:56:19

Some people will always look on the bright side of life.

And some of those people are Christians.

And some of those Christians are Born Again Christians who like to share their positive outlook with others.

I'm more of an Eeyore myself.

But if you're friend is happy, then good for her.

townbuiltonahill Tue 05-Feb-13 01:40:18

I have struggled with the sort of question the OP poses for years, especially the 'premature' loss of a child, close friend or relative. Many people report that their life and outlook have been permanently changed by a 'close call' of some kind.

I have found Isaiah 57: 1 to be some comfort:

"The righteous perish,
and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil."

If you start with the premise that 'There IS a better place / state' (be it Heaven, Nirvana, Paradise or whatever), then perhaps it is easier to accept that death comes earlier to some people than to others.

Easy to say in the abstract; much harder to apply when it actually happens. I 'speak' from experiences.

I think that in the end, when things have come 'down to the wire', I have been more stirred by the ordinary human warmth, compassion, and (dare I say it) love of others than I have been by ideas, theories and theology. Though for a thinking being, these do have their place too.

However, if 'this life is all we have' then I can see entirely that early death, suffering etc will be totally abhorrent.

Many Christians, notably St Paul, would love to 'depart (right now) to be with Christ, which is far better', but accept that they have to stay here 'on earth' because [they believe] God still has a job for them to do here.

One can accept, reject, puzzle over or ridicule the idea, but it does seem to be a point of view held by a lot of 'believers'.

abbey In summary I think pretty much all our views on it differ. But, specifically, I do not believe in Satan or "pseudogods".

I believe there is God, there is humanity, and there is a lot of misunderstanding.

I believe that all human spiritual experience comes from an attempt to understand and connect with one single God, and that "evil" is simply a combination of natural forces (earthquakes etc), misfortune, and human greed and selfishness.

I also do not believe that the Bible or any other religious book was dictated accurately by God. They are all limited and partial accounts of humanity's attempts to connect with God. Therefore any argument about the age of the world which starts from the genealogy given in the gospels - which link Jesus to Adam via Joseph, despite the fact that Joseph isn't Jesus' father - is complete and utter nonsense.

When science can show that these figures are nonsense, we have to choose whether to accept that this universe runs on logical cause and effect, and that therefore scientific method functions and we can study things with our brains. Or whether to throw away everything that reason tells us in favour of something written down 2000 years ago to make a theological point, added to stories told around the campfire to explain why the world was as they found it. I don't pick campfire stories over scientific method, and I find it difficult to understand why anyone thinks God wants them to.

town you sound like you're trying to make sense of death, as many people with faith do, but I just thought I'd respond to However, if 'this life is all we have' then I can see entirely that early death, suffering etc will be totally abhorrent.

I gave up all belief in god about six years ago and with it any notion of an afterlife. I think this life is all there is, when we're gone, we're gone. But that in itself makes it all the more important to live life to it's fullest, to be happy and help those around you to be happy [plus to live responsibly, within the limits of this planet, make it a better place to live for future generations, help others who are suffering etc].

If someone close dies, their memory lives on. It's sad, sometimes utterly heartbreaking, but that's just part of life. Possibly not abhorrent but I get what you mean.

nightlurker Tue 05-Feb-13 15:28:48

I believe Satan exists, as do angels who chose to follow him before the earth was completed.

I believe in both a pre-life and an after-life. We don't remember the pre-life because it is specifically hidden from us.

townbuiltonahill Thu 14-Feb-13 15:25:22

Hi Jammy yes I did read your comment - thanks. [Thinks ... shall I risk a response ...... ??]

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die as a philosophy of life has been around for a while. Even better but maybe less common your current approach - do good, for it's the right thing to do. Which I wholeheartedly applaud.

What I was trying to address by using the word abhorrent was an attitude common on these threads which seems to be of the form:

God doesn't exist. I am absolutely certain he doesn't exist. But how dare he give anyone a heart attack, or allow a young child to die, or allow famines to kill millions! confused sad

coxspippin Thu 28-Feb-13 19:15:00

totallyBS i wouldn't say God gave him a heart attack, but He may have brought good things out of a dire family situation.

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