Friday, August 19, 2011

And more questions!

Here are the final set of questions submitted to me in preparation for our "Questions for God" series:

• What happens to good people who commit suicide?
○ Do they go to heaven?

• Even as a Christian and a person of faith, I still wonder why there is so much hurt in the world... so much pain.   Why men hurt their wives, children.   Why children die, are kidnapped, abused.    I know Satan is alive and well and the cause, but sometimes it seems too much.    I wonder by God allows it.   During tornadoes, earthquakes, etc., why some families make it and others don't.

• I would really love to know what I’m supposed to do when I find myself “wandering in the desert” on my way to what/where God has promised me.  Is He testing my patience?  My faith?  Or teaching me a lesson in perseverance

• "Breivik's [the Norweigan mass murderer] apparent manifesto, by contrast, cites biblical verses to justify violence for political ends".
○ Maybe another question might be: Did God really kill all those people as described in the Bible?

• Is the Bible a book of facts and laws that should be taken literally to help us avoid Hell or a book of philosophies to provide guidelines to help us make earth a "good" place? 

• It doesn’t seem like God is listening or caring about what is happening to me? Why should I care about Him if he doesn’t care about me? Why doesn’t he do something about all this stuff that is happening to me?

• What has always bothered me is prayers asking God for something... to be healed, even for patience or wisdom, for whatever. God is all knowing, and all powerful, and he knows all the plans for everyone's lives and determines them... why would me asking for something change anything? I get the part about connecting, listening and giving praise in prayer... but I have never understood about asking God to do something for me. Seems so illogical.

• Did Jesus come to earth as a sacrifice to "die for our sins"  or did he come to earth to teach us how we should live and to show us that there is life after death? 

• God, as you know, Christians say that Jesus "died for our sins". Do You see it that way? Could You please explain to me how that works? I'm an engineer, and my Myers Briggs Type Indicator is ISTJ, so it would be helpful if You explained it without abstract mumbo jumbo used by some of your spokespersons.

• God, do You play an active role in determining who among us suffers, and who does not? When an innocent child dies from an attack by a thoughtless thug; when a young missionary is killed by a stray bullet; when a drunk driver kills a young family on their way to church camp or a kills devout Amish farmers returning from a barn raising; when chronic disease causes suffering -- is Your hand at work in such apparent tragedies? If so, why? If not, why not, and are our prayers to You for continued life and health of any effect?

• God, why did you pick that particular time in history, 2000 years ago, for Jesus to live? It would have been helpful to many of us who try to understand His message so long after his death if he had lived at a time when His every word, the sound of His voice, and the expression on his face, could have been recorded and broadcast to everyone on the planet, instead of just thousands in a small region.

• God, what were you thinking when you arranged for Jesus to live among us 2000 years ago? Was it your plan all along that Jesus' teachings would make people so angry that they would murder Him after preaching for only a few years? Or did you "hope" for Jesus to live longer, and that his teachings would be respected and well-received?

• How do we teach our kids to give and forgive. When by example is not enough.

• Why does it seems that God takes it out on children, etc. tornado victims

• How does God separate his children at the end or does that happen?

• Why do bad things happen to good people?

• My question: Commandment "Thou Shall Not Kill" Justify the killings by nations during war. I know that God directed leaders to destroy nations to include not only woman and children but also livestock. Of course, this was before Jesus gave his life for our sins. This is confusing to me for I know that in order for us to fully worship God our soldiers have to defend our country.

• If we are made in the "likeness" of God . . . Why does everyone (almost everyone) think I am so wrong? Does God love me the way I am?

• God, who are you? A God that killed 1.4 million people in the Old Testament? A God that punishes all sinners for an eternity in hell? A God that is going to return (Dec. 21, 2012) and destroy 1/3 of all people in the world? Or a God that is loving , merciful, and filled with grace?

• How can a state/federal tax exempt church in good conscience and faith support challenges to state law against illegal immigration? Why are UMC clergy and bishop allowed to use church time and funds to support demonstrations against state law to prevent illegal immigration?

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