comments … and questions about Jesus

June 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm 55 comments

.comments2

First I want to thank everyone for their comments on my last blog, about chronic depression.  I read every comment and think a great deal about what people write.  Sometimes I respond, sometimes I can’t, but know that I truly do read them… sometimes I even discuss them with Dr. Val. I am doing some of the things suggested and working towards others. As you know, with depression, things seem to move slowly.

So, lately there have been quite a few comments about religion on my blog.  Since I took down most of the blog from previous years, many people can’t see old posts about my beliefs, life, etc.  I have been thinking of putting some back up, but I am still thinking about that. As you know, I find the study of religion fascinating, but struggle with so many questions that most people take on faith or choose not to think about.

So I have some questions thabout religion that I wish someone could explain to me.  Sometimes the ‘bible people” come to my apartment and want to talk to me about God or Jesus, but they can’t answer my questions.  One time I was walking my dogs, and ran into the “bible people” and they wanted to know if I knew Jesus.  I asked them if they knew Jesus and they said “Yes.”  I once read something that said that Jesus was going to come back as a homeless person, so would those “bible people” really know Jesus then?

I respect that people choose to follow a religion and I don’t mean to disrespect anyone’s beliefs, but can anyone take a stab at these… 288_godlovesyouheart?

1) If Jesus or God loves me, why did they sit by and watch what happened?  Even though I have not experienced a lot of “love” in my life, it doesn’t seem like someone loves you if they watch/allow you get raped by numerous people, beaten to a pulp, not having a stable place to live, starving, etc, etc. Why is it I still struggle today?

Or if you remove me from it, how about little kids that are sick and battling for their lives at a hospital like St. Jude? Or are starving to death in Africa?  Or kids still abused and hurt today? How do these things show that Jesus or God loves?  Little kids suffering?

Why so much suffering for some people and none for others?

 

2) How is it that people tsteep stairs_4c11500bc698a_hireshat do terrible things, but come to “know Jesus” later, are going to Heaven because they are forgiven, but their “victims” might not get to Heaven because they can’t feel that Jesus loves them and never gets to know Jesus through religion? (For example, some victims have been so hurt that they feel unworthy of religion or feel that they have been abandoned by a higher being when they were hurt)

Or what if both the perpetrator and the victim wind up in the same Heaven?  How does that seem right?

 

dalailama

3) Why do other people who follow no religion or another religion, but are good, kind, caring, and helpful people, not get into Heaven? Think about someone like the Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, an incredibly spiritual leader, but of a different faith.  Shouldn’t he be up in Heaven?

 

And finally….

4) Why april_francisdoes Christianity believe that animals do not go to Heaven?  Because they supposedly don’t have a soul?  My dog Moonlight and my cat Harbor gave me more love and caring that any other creature on this planet, for the longest time.  There is even a saint who loved animals and the environment – Saint Francis. Some churches hold blessings of the animals in honor of him….

Shouldn’t animals with all the love and joy they bring to billions of people be in Heaven too?

I recently watched this movie that is fairly new (Heaven is for Real) about a child that goes to Heaven after being on the operating table. When he “came back,” he said animals were up there… so is his recollection wrong?  He knew things that he was never told when he “came back” and at the end, they showed another child who had “come back” and repeated some of the same things in her paintings.  Worth seeing folks…..

Please feel free to take a stab at one or all of these. My readers are incredibly insightful, so let’s hear it….

thoughts-bubble

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

chronically depressed religion 101

55 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Linka  |  June 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Hello LT! Ah, the religion questions…you will find that there are as many different answers to your questions as there are religions. I was raised Roman Catholic, and have had experiences with Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopalian churches, but I am not a member of any of them today. I had many questions growing up that were answered with “I don’t know why the X church says XXX (ex: pets don’t have souls-which I don’t believe, BTW), we “just take it on faith”. I learned to not ask questions, and keep my mouth shut when I disagreed. Now, as an adult, my spiritual beliefs are a far cry from the organized religions’ dogmas that were pushed down my throat.

    I believe in a Higher Power-we humans have to believe that something or someone started all of this….I believe we are all one…I believe we reincarnate after death (IF we want to), I believe every living thing-people, animals, even plants and this planet, has some kind of “soul”…I believe in miracles, prayer, and angels. Other than that, the rest of what religions believe is just all human construct if you ask me…

    I also believe in free will. This is one of the few beliefs I have carried with me from my Catholic upbringing. The Creator gave us free will, then stepped back with a non-interference code of behavior, kind of like the one in Star Trek. He/She/It allows humans to do as they want, then we have to work the karma that goes with the choices we make. It is not that God wants and allows bad things to happen, but that He/She/It allows us to learn from our choices, and sometimes a person is a victim of another person’s choices, sometime a person is not…

    I do not believe that only Christians “go to heaven”. I don’t even believe in the “traditional” version of heaven…at the risk of offending some of the blog crew, I would like to say that I think MOST of organized religion is hogwash, and that “man” has created a lot of it to control others. If you would like some really thought provoking views on religion and spirituality, may I suggest you read the Conversations with God series of books by Neale Donald Walsch. I truly think he has hit it pretty much right on the spot. Lots of people will bash him, and what “God” has to say in his books, but, ya know, the words in those books really clicked with me. There will be answers to all of your questions in those books.

    In the meantime, all I can tell you is believe what your gut tells you to be true. Blessings!!!!

    Reply
  • 2. Liz Schillinger  |  June 30, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I have been a follower of your blog for about a year or so, and I must say…what you have experienced is truly heartbreaking. I am so sorry. I am one of those people who believe in Jesus. Your questions are very insightful and necessary. What I have to offer is not an answer to your questions, but my own experience. I was sexually abused as a child. What happened to me could be described as “mild” compared to what you have experienced, the effects have been devastating none the less. All I know is that Jesus has healed my pain and the scars. It is a healing that is greater than any amount of therapy or medication can do. Just so you know, I am an advocate for both therapy and medication when needed. I was a broken, wounded, helpless, insignificant, lost girl and Jesus healed me. If you ask Jesus to show Himself to be real, He will. No requirements needed.

    Reply
  • 3. Colleen Cox  |  June 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Hi LT…so happy to see all of these very thoughtful posts…l love reading them, and knowing you through them…so, I was raised Catholic, and for me left me feeling cold and fearful…not embracing the loving God everyone spoke of…I felt judged, and left in the cold during my own struggles as a child and young adult. It wasn’t until I broke away from religion, and understood the relationship with God, and with Jesus, that I found a place of peace and understanding. I did this through non-denominational places of worship, and an encouragement to foster a daily relationship with God, which I have done over the years…while I am no expert, I pray daily, have daily conversations with God, and, on occasion, screaming matches when I just don’t understand…and most of what I scream at Him about are the same questions you ask…as a social worker in child welfare (please don’t stop reading, I know you may not have had very good ones, I promise you I am one of the good ones) I question why all of the time…and I realize He will not answer a “why” but will listen when I yell…I also realize that these things happen because we have good and evil…and the things that happened to you are from an evil place…I don’t have a good answer as to why these things are allowed to happen, except to say that He gave us free will to make our own choices, and for some, those choices are pure evil. I am of the belief that anyone who has been abused or harmed will never see their perpetrator in Heaven…I can’t explain why I think that, but the Bible does say that the things that make us weep, also make Him weep, so I cannot fathom He would put us with our abusers and call it Heaven…as for animals, I am a huge believer in the Rainbow Bridge, a place where our fur babies stay until they see us and cross over into Heaven with us…I loved the movie “Heaven is for Real” and I firmly believe the child was not wrong, our fur babies will be reunited with us in Heaven. I was a youth leader with teenagers for seven years, and what I suggested as they looked to build a relationship with God was to just start by having a conversation with Him out loud…somewhere you are comfortable…you don’t have to be on your knees, just open and honest…always starting with gratitude, and including a blessing for others in your conversation…every day…my friend calls it TAWG (Time Alone With God) and I have grown to really cherish this in my day…anyway, I hope this validates some of what you were questioning, and while I cannot give you any absolutes, I hope it helps…I will continue to keep you in my thoughts, anxiously awaiting the next time I get the joy of reading whatever you want to share. Blessings 🙂

    Reply
  • 4. LeftyChrist  |  June 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Hi LT,
    I also have struggled with these questions, and can share with you the answers I found gave me peace. Maybe they will bring you some peace too? It will take me some time to write these answers – so I will put them on my blog and then post the link in my answer to you. Sorry to not give it to you right now – working on it.

    BTW: I wanted to thank you for your blog. It helped me to have some insight and prepare. When I first started reading it, I was not a parent. Now, I am a foster parent to sib groups. Many include high-needs teens. We pretty much hate the foster care system, and hope to adopt a sib group in time (and get out of this bureaucratic mess), but so far, we have been able to help several children. I take it as a huge compliment that all but one of them wants to keep contact with us, which I am glad to do 🙂 Not to rub it in, cause I know you would have loved to have a family stick it out with you in their lives… but I wanted to say that your story helped persuade my husband and I to “keep with it” even when the kids get all nuts.

    In particular, one of our kids peed on the floor of his bedroom. He is ten. Instead of freaking out, I remember your description of strange and destructive behavior – and what was happening in your heart. So we talked with him, listened, helped him with what he needed and cared for his feelings. Then pulled out the steam cleaner… Thank you LT. I think you prepared us, and in doing so, you helped our little boy in that moment to have a good experience instead of a bad one.

    Reply
    • 5. cojlisa16  |  June 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      I feel the same way about the insight from LT and this blog. As an unintentional foster/adoptive parent (the kids crossed my path and I couldn’t sit by and do nothing), I pretty much hate the foster care system too. LT’s insights make me a much better mom to my kids as I take the time to think about what may be behind the behavior.

      Reply
  • 6. linda  |  June 30, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    what if there really is a “god” and I am not saying there is
    but say there is we all have our purpose on this planet
    and lets say we get to choose what we do when we are here and god comes to enlightened spirits and says would you like to change the world who wouldn’t want to do that then he says it won’t be easy it will involve suffering and pain but you will make a massive difference what would you choose ? so lets look at you
    you make a difference every time you write a blog then the butterfly effect takes over and someone tells someone else about you and your observations and another foster child get treated differently because of you and then some of us are in meetings and we tell each other about you and your website and then someone else is effected and god looks down on you and he smiles he shows his love by sending you helpers and love in the form of your pets and maybe they choose to come to this plain to support you you have known love and will know it again when another enlighten spirit will enter your life I can’t say what form it will be in the the love of an animal is pure in my opinion when it is their time to go home to spirit its ok to be sad but honour the difference they made and be glad they are home maybe to come back in another form maybe that is why you are where you are god choose well or you choose your path well but see the helpers when they appear we all make a difference every day
    suffering brings out feelings and actions in others and then there’s the ones who perpetrate atrocities on each other they too are on a journey and if they don’t learn they will have to do it over to become an enlighten one so Looneytunes look for your next helper embrace it and love it and don’t be afraid because you have changed the world so what can frighten you
    if there is a god I am sure he blesses you keep safe

    Reply
    • 7. Foster Mom in Training  |  July 1, 2015 at 12:27 am

      I like what Linda and LeftyChrist have to say. LT definitely makes a difference in this world. Foster kids are reaping the rewards of her knowledge. Thank you, LT, for encouraging and enlightening us.

      Reply
  • 8. Elizabeth  |  June 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I’ll give it a stab !!
    1. There is evil in this world. If not it would be heaven, if we had heaven with no work then we wouldn’t grow to who we need to be. I heard a sermon once explain it like this
    A. There is evil, sometimes people chose evil
    B. Growth – some bad happens so we can grow. Sometimes we can see the blessings that come from bad thing.
    C. Time and chance – sometimes it’s nothing more then being dealt a bad hand.
    2. God gave His son so all can repent and have life forever. We are all sinners.
    3. God made all things including people and Heaven .. He tells there is only one way to Heaven and it is through His Son. If I gave my Son’s life I would demand nobody else be worshiped too !!
    4. God put man over animals .. We wouldn’t want cows and fish to have souls then eat them for dinner would we ??
    Give serving God a chance.. I PROMISE you it will give you a new sense of purpose and the family you have not had !! I promise !! I wish uku were near our Church of Christ.. We are such a close family spending Holidays and all kinds of things together. Look on findthechurch.com Hugs !!

    Reply
  • 9. bethanylest  |  June 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I have nothing to add. But I am waiting to read the answers too, LT. So far, you have some good ones. ((hugs))

    Reply
  • 10. cojlisa16  |  June 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    LT, I am not a fan of religion, however I am a woman of faith. Religion often looks like hate, hypocrisy, and judgment. Jesus is about love, compassion, and healing. I had a really tough childhood and, while I don’t understand why it had to be so, I do believe that it has helped me to help others. But really, I don’t know the answers to your questions as I ask them myself.

    I can only speak for myself when I say that my faith in God has changed my life tremendously and I realize I don’t have to know all the answers. Faith is such a hard thing to explain, but once you have the peace that comes along with it, you want everyone to have that same peace. It doesn’t mean life is perfect or I don’t have unresolved or ongoing problems, it means that I have hope and that gets me through them.

    Also, Christians are sometimes pretty harsh about the rules to get into Heaven. Our God is a loving father and I can’t imagine a situation that He would not allow someone into Heaven because they were too hurt to consider He is real or that Jesus died so we could live eternally. I can see how that would seem so farfetched to someone who doesn’t know Him. The Bible says we have to believe Jesus died for our sins in order to have the gift of eternal life. I believe that God gives everyone the chance in a way that we can not understand.

    I also don’t believe there are no animals in Heaven, especially our beloved pets.

    Be gentle with yourself LT. You are going to get plenty of responses and different views on this post. We are just people and we are all fallible. We don’t know what is best for you, but I believe that God does. I pray that you can someday experience the peace that surpasses all understanding and the hope that comes when you truly know you are a beloved child of God.

    Reply
  • 11. jnkmailacc  |  June 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    My dogs are definitely in heaven. I don’t know who said they weren’t. I don’t know why god let’s bad things happen to kids or animals, maybe it’s to allow people to turn to him or else why would they? ….but I know he’s helped me when I’ve asked. And there have been messages, or coincidences that could only be Divine.

    Reply
  • 12. sageplant  |  June 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    who really knows. Its all about loving or not loving. Some of the kindest people I know have no religion and some of the meanest have religion. I “think” all beings are connected and will stay that way.
    Stick with the loving people and good energy…

    Reply
  • 13. onemorewithus  |  June 30, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Hey friend! I am a Jesus girl too, not because anyone told me to be. I chose to go after him during a very tough time in my life.
    I hate religion, so I wanted the real deal. I am difficult, I ask questions, I fail too much. Could this God handle me? I don’t dance to anyone’s tune, so if I were to give my life to him it’d have to be pretty personal.
    When I was “religious” I found that many people who were supposed to be good were actually shady up close. I felt that God had to be above that stuff if he was the God the bible talks about, right?
    So I began to understand that Jesus has to be above. Above the fake, above the hurt, above the fear.
    The more I got to discover his person the more I understood that he is not contained by people’s errors. And I figured that the best way to get to know him is by reading the bible, where he reveals himself ( ironically, lots of religious people misrepresent Jesus, so you are better off reading for yourself first and ask him to help you get this whole Jesus deal. He’s not afraid of your questions because I believe he’s got so much to say)
    So, here’s my stab at it:
    1) The bible says that God sees everything, both good and evil, and that he is close to the broken-hearted. – I believe that he was with you, yes, through every rape and beating, weeping hard! I believe he gave your predators many chances to turn around for your sake, but they ignored it every time. Your victimization is recorded and counted. Sometimes God takes these children, sometimes he lets them stay so that they can, like you, help others.
    Man chooses to ignore God’s warnings, but he will continue to be God, and it will be a nasty day for those who have hurt you and have not turned around. He will avenge you!
    Not all will walk your path, and not all rewards in heaven will be equal. The harder the battle, the greater the reward. You have a great reward written with your name on it.
    2) the bible says that we each will give an account to God on that day, the day we face him. Forgiveness, yes, but our wrongs have consequences. The Lord isn’t a push over or is ignorant of evil. He knows how to deal with people, don’t worry.
    3)religions, religions… Just because someone is doing “good” does not mean he/she is a good person. I have met religious people who were doing “good works” who were not so nice. Following Jesus isn’t about just doing good works, for instance, what if you suffer from a chronic illness and can’t get out of bed? You can’t feed the homeless or help kids in Africa. But your heart is tender and loving. Then the person who is “out there” helping kids is actually raping them behind closed doors. See? Just good deeds don’t convince me of goodness. I believe only God knows if your heart is sincere.
    But Jesus does say he is the only way to Heaven. It’s a matter of your heart being right with God.
    4) uh… I have read the bible through and through more than once. I don’t find evidence that animals are not going to heaven, honestly. In fact, the bible says that he loves all he’s created. And animals are used by him to bless people.
    I believe that some vicious ones, like some people, won’t be there, but others, others that didn’t kill a person ( some dogs have killed children out of sheer viciousness) will be there, yes m’am!
    Heaven is better than we can imagine, where there won’t be suffering anymore.
    LT, friend, I’m no expert, and I’m just jotting this without being too intellectual. Did I help?

    Reply
  • 14. sheila  |  June 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I was brought up strict southern baptist, left the house to be pretty much athiest and little by little came around to now attend a united methodist for three years. I do not agree or believe in everything my church does. #1 is a constant battle for me. I have struggled with infertility for 12 years. I have been able to have three miracles through lots of science. but why? why do excuses for human beings get to pump out a bunch only to abuse and neglect them? my only major downfall is probably spoiling mine some. I am right with you on the struggling with that question. #2 – I just flat out disagree. maybe that is a sin. I just cant. some things to me are unforgivable. those people in charleston that forgave that kid. I just cant fathom it. #3 – again a flat out diasagree. I sit there in church and much of it now speaks to me and makes me want to change and be a better person. but this is a flat out disagree. i believe if you follow your own path to the best of your ability you are good. #4- another flat out disagree. my father has always said when he goes to heaven he wants to be able to go straight from snow-mobiling in snow to water skiiing in the sun during his days. and he believes he will. If you have a beloved pet and that is what makes you happiest, then just like his snowmobile and water skiis – they will be there.

    so i sit in church every sunday and sing in the choir too and have the same questions and struggles as you – some flat out refusals. why? because the more i go the more I get to know the other people there, the more some of them genuinely care about me, the more i genuinely start to care about them and hopefully the more clear some of all this will become. I spent some time in the hospital and many of them sent cards, called, drove subway subs to me, started silly online games to help keep me busy, etc etc. i was really surprised. Until that point I really didnt pay any of it much attention. But that changed things. You dont have to have answers, you can struggle, you can flat out disagree but if you have found the right church (or any oath for that matter) it can change things, not everything, but things for you. it is possible.

    Reply
  • 15. Danielle  |  June 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Hi LT. I’m an atheist so I can’t really answer your questions. But I do appreciate your interest in religion. Believing in heaven got me through some very tough times as a child. It took me a long time to be comfortable being atheist but I am now happier than ever with that choice. It makes me want to make the most of the one life I believe I get. I’d suggest looking up two things that might help though. Firstly, watch children’s movie called All Dogs Go To Heaven. Because your beliefs are what you want them to be. And secondly, go to YouTube and look up “Futurama God”. Because if there IS a god, its a great representation of why he might not be all that concerned with the woes of earth 🙂

    Reply
  • 16. Lana  |  June 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    LT,
    I appreciate your blog, I am in the process of becoming a foster parent and your honesty and transparency has helped me think about what foster children go through.
    I haven’t read your previous posts on religion to know what exactly your thoughts and experiences have been. I think the fact that you can consider Jesus logically and rationally, without hate, after what you have been through is amazing.
    You have seen evil firsthand and have the right to question “where was God?” Honestly, I don’t understand suffering in this world either. I do know that there is evil in this world, and at the same time God is good. I think some of what looks like blind faith to people without a relationship with Jesus, is that we have walked with Him a while and He has grown our faith by giving us experiences, His strength, and glimpses here and there that He is real.
    I don’t like the thought of perpetrators being in Heaven either, but, on the other hand, I am glad (for my own sake) that there is no sin “ too big” to be forgiven. I do know that we are all born sinners and are all in need of forgiveness. This is one thing that Jesus offers that is hard to comprehend…we want it to be about what we have done or not done, and it’s only His death on the cross that matters.
    Even the best, kindest, most caring person in the world still has the problem of internal sin to deal with. We can never be “good enough” to escape our own sinful nature. We can outwardly be doing good and still think evil thoughts about someone else or have selfish motivations. This is not to make us feel bad about ourselves but reality is… we are not good enough to get to heaven on our own. That is the beauty of Salvation through Jesus, He is not judging us by our outward works, He has already done the work.
    I picture God at creation and how he gave cats and dogs the desire to bond with humans and what a loving thing to do for us. He knew all the joys that our pets bring to us, and how silly, loving, loyal, and compassionate they can be, and how they can uplift us and give us purpose. I do believe that we will be reunited with our pets and I have never read anything in the Bible that says otherwise.
    I thank you for making me look at my own faith more closely. You have hard questions and good questions, and I wish I were more adequately able to explain what a relationship with Jesus is like. I am sure that you have heard the nuts and bolts of the Christian faith before, but there is a peace that comes with it that I can’t describe. He doesn’t always take all of our problems away or cure us of every disease (even though I wish it were like that!) But there is a comfort, and sense of purpose that I haven’t found anywhere else. I have had times in my life where I’ve been in despair , and also times where I have every outward appearance of success, meeting my goals, and having everything turn out the way that I want it to, and both feel meaningless without Jesus in my life. I am praying for you that He will show Himself to you and that you will find His peace.

    Reply
  • 17. F  |  June 30, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I will take an impossible stab at number one. His son died on a cross. But He died in the human world, in the God world He was Resurrected. That divide between what happens in the human world and what happens in the God world, is why suffering is not considered all bad to the same degree as in the human world, where it feels like that is the worst thing that can happen. In the God world, the worst thing that can happen is to be without God. Because God is everything and can fill every hole you have, and resurrect every pain in such fullness, because He loves you. Take something like Harbor’s death. Harbor loved you. Someone who loved you, you lost. But God loves you and doesn’t want you to feel a loss, and so He fills that by being All love, and loving you so much more than anything else could ever love you, and you love him too for being that for you. When there is a pain, but there is God, then when you turn to Him He sustains you through that loss or that pain, filling it in with something so much more than what you lost. And He doesn’t want you to be in pain, He wants you to know that He is holding you most then and you have Him to fill your pain. And when you are in pain, that is when God is closest, holding you. He doesn’t at all, want you to be in pain, but He wants you to have Him and He will hold you, and not let you be in pain because He can give you every thing you need even when you are in earthly pain, just like He gave his son everything his Son needed even though He suffered an earthly death. There is a poem a saint wrote, where she says, “Lord, show me what is in your hand. Show Me, what is in your hand. And He opened His hand and His palm was pierced.” “Show me what is in your hand” was her asking for the secret. And the secret has something to do with Jesus dying on the cross. And when He died He did it, because it is what the Father asked Him to do for humanity. And it would hurt and cost His human body, and His human life, but He refused to stop loving God and Jesus knew human death, losing his human self, is nothing God can’t fill so much more and He CAN give up His human self to God and be OK, because He will be filled from all that loss by God. And human death is not the end and nothing God can’t fill. And human pain is not the last word on reality and nothing God can’t fill for you, while you are in it, to stop you and save you from it happening by giving you Himself to be peace for you. God doesn’t want you to feel pain, because God wants you to know you have His hand holding you and you don’t have to feel it, you can feel only him, and He will hold you when you have nothing. And you will be in His arms. God is in so much sadness for you to be in pain, He feels it with you, and wants you to have Him, so you don’t have to feel it anymore. He wants you, to have Him. He doesn’t want you to be in pain, He wants to console you, He wants to protect you from the feeling, He wants to save you, and He is holding you, and the saving is there to fill you and your pain, and He is with you. Never not with you, never is He not holding you in His hand. You are with him. And He feels what you are feeling and wants to be your peace, wants to be your safety, and He is holding you. And when you have nothing but pain, you have Him holding you. And like his Son, He is resurrecting you from your pain, and when you turn to Him, you realize He is already holding, and you are with Him.

    Sometimes suffering is almost like a gift, that takes one more thing away from us that we thought we needed, but when it is removed we realize we didn’t need that, the only thing we needed was God, and it brings you closer to God as He fills one more of your holes, and you let Him be that for you. Then you know you are with Him. And suffering helps to make you kinder, more humble, more caring, more honest, more loving person as you recover and help others from it. And it is considered a gift because it made you aware of Him and turn to God, and He wanted you to turn to Him so you could know He was saving you. So you could know you are safe and He loves you and would not let you leave His arms.

    A book you might really like is called He Leadeth Me and it is written by Walter Ciszek about God leading his life, during 23 years in Siberian concentration camps and work camps, and years of being interrogated, but he had God with him consoling and guiding Him through the whole thing. As a life of being with Him.

    Reply
    • 18. F  |  June 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      It may be too early for you to read He Leadeth Me. Wait a few years, but read it, someday, after you start believing in and understanding God’s role in your life. Then the book will be a guide into deeper faith and understanding of God. But I think, maybe wait now. 🙂

      Reply
  • 19. Jai  |  June 30, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Hi! I thought I’d send along my thoughts as I’ve struggled with these questions, too. This is what I believe as a Christian. God allows things to happen because the world can not have good without evil and vice versa. Free will allows us to make the decision to be a decent human being or to cause harm, including harming children. As victims, it allows us to decide whether or not to be a better person than those who harm, or to pick ourselves up (with or without the Lord) and decide that we will be stronger and help others in harmful situations, too. Sometimes things that are done, like molesting a child, is done because the perpetrator have their own depression and issues. I’m not saying that it’s right! But it does happen. That person may be truly remorseful for what they’ve done. I’m not talking about just “saying their sorry” but actually ARE sorry. It is in the heart where God looks and knows if they are truly remorseful and have atoned for their sins. It’s not about whether that person goes to church every Sunday or commits a sin, “repents” only to commit it repeatedly. God knows what’s in our hearts even though we don’t even know how we feel about it. I believe God holds a special place in Heaven for animals-even though we don’t need them in Heaven like we do on Earth. And though I’ve never seen the movie, I believe things happen like that to help us keep our faith. Yes, Jesus will return but I believe it is up to us before he gets here to act like decent human beings. You don’t have to give money to help people. Simple acts such as giving a homeless person food, or a warm coat-without being told to or doing it to get tax write-off or whatnot, is what God is looking for to send to Heaven. If a person only gives to charity to get it back at tax refund time, God knows. If a person gives help or food, etc. out of the goodness of their heart, God knows that and that person will go to Heaven. If a person is struggling with the thoughts of religion and whether God exists or not, God understands. He knows what is in your heart long before you do!

    Reply
  • 20. WM  |  June 30, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    LT, I’ve been a long time follower but have never commented until now. I am a Christian and am heartbroken by everything you have experienced. I really want to wrap you up in a big hug and help you in any way I possibly can. Right now the best thing I can do is to help you answer these questions.

    I do have to preface this by asking your followers to not blast me. Please think about how I’ve answered the questions, do some research for yourself. I’m not in any way trying to judge anyone just simply stating the truth set forth in God’s word. It is not my place to judge. We are all sinful people and the only perfect person to step foot on this planet was Jesus Christ who was killed on the cross. He was killed on the cross to be the living sacrifice to atone for our sins. Without Jesus’ sacrifice we would not be able to have a relationship with Christ today.

    Normally I would sit down with a Bible and walk you through these answers but in this setting it’s very complicated to do that. For brevity sake I’ll send you to a series of websites and articles that will help to answer your questions.

    I would also ask that you read the Bible and ask questions. You can email me or go to a local church and ask to speak to a pastor. You will need to use some caution though with who to trust. Matthew 7:15 tells us to “beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” There are groups and people out there who claim to be Christian but when you look at their theology, what they believe goes directly against what the Bible teaches. Anything that deviates from what the Bible teaches is false and will lead you into trouble. We live in a world where people want to do whatever feels right to them and disregard the rules, but the Bible teaches otherwise and it’s not every popular these days to follow the rules.

    In addition to the Bible there are several other books I would recommend to help with your questions. I would be more than happy to mail them (free of charge) to an address of your choosing, just email me and we’ll make arrangements.

    So that said….here are the answers as best as I can give them in this context.

    1. God loves you more than you can even imagine! He loves you so much that before you were born He knew he wanted a relationship with you and that your relationship would only be possible if His Son died on the cross for your future sins (which we all have).

    For the best answer regarding the Bible and child abuse please see http://www.gotquestions.org/child-abuse.html. This website does a great job of explaining in detail what the Bible says about abuse. Basically there is a place for discipline but not physical abuse, and sexual abuse of any kind is against God. Those who do sexually abuse children will have to suffer God’s wrath for their sin on judgement day.

    As for cancer and starving kids, we live in a fallen world. This is not the world that God created for us. This article was written by Lee Strobel who wrote “The Case for Christ” regarding the movie theater shooting in Colorado a few years ago. It does a great job explaining why there is pain and suffering. https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/07/why-does-god-allow-tragedy-and-suffering/

    2. The Bible is very clear on who goes, how they go and why they go to heaven. This article will explain http://www.gotquestions.org/who-will-go-to-heaven.html. This is one of those questions where not having God’s perspective makes it difficult for us to understand. But God’s rules are clear and available to all. It is a decision that only we can make for ourselves, a decision that does have consequences if we chose wrong.

    3. The Bible is again very clear on who goes to heaven. See the answer to #2 and my preface about false prophets. “All religions lead to God, but only one religion will result in God’s acceptance, because only through His salvation through faith in Jesus Christ can anyone approach Him with confidence.” You can read more at http://www.gotquestions.org/so-many-religions.html#ixzz3ea3jqiuo.

    As I mentioned earlier be careful of false prophets. There are several religions that claim to be Christian (Mormons and some Catholics) that are not Christian. http://www.gotquestions.org/Mormons-Christians.html http://www.gotquestions.org/difference-Catholic-Protestant.html

    4. Pets in Heaven: http://www.gotquestions.org/pets-heaven.html and http://www.blogos.org/gotquestions/do-pets-go-to-heaven-2.php

    In summary I pray I have helped shed some light on your questions. I’m not all knowing, only God is. I do believe the Bible give us all the answers we need to live this life and that without Jesus I wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with God the Father. With Jesus, your past will not magically disappear or be erased from memory but you can be transformed. Your past can glorify God and He can use it for good. For example, I am only one of many whom who have helped. I found your blog when researching how to be a good foster parent. Your blog actually has great information on how to make help kids who have been through a traumatic experience within the foster care system. I plan on using this information to make me a better mom someday. If I can use that information to help one child and help that child to know God, then I know I have done good for God’s glory and will hear “well done good and faithful servant” when I meet my maker.

    Reply
    • 21. Laura  |  July 3, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      LT – I’ve been trying to get you to email me to tell you almost EXACTLY what this person who I am replying to wrote to you. Her/his response to your questions are Biblically correct and beautifully said. If you go to http://www.gty.org, go under their search engine and type in “Why does God allow suffering?” many different sermons/articles will appear. The pastor’s name is John MacArthur and he’s very well-known in Christian circles. I think he will be able to explain things in a very easy-to-listen-to way. His/her links above are also very good and will answer your questions. I have adopted five children (two of them being foster children) and each child came with heartbreak. One in particular was raped/beaten as a child and has had a long journey in knowing Jesus as her Savior. She is almost 18 and has actually starting being THANKFUL for her painful past. Yes, you read that right. As hard as that sounds I am not telling you a lie. She wants to use her painful experiences to help other children someday. I cannot reach those children like Yory can. Only SHE can truly know how they feel and how best to tell them about the love of Christ for her. He is already using YOU to help other foster children by guiding US foster parents LT! If you start having a relationship with Jesus I can only IMAGINE the amazing things you will do for Him! When I was 32 years old I was reading a book with the clear Gospel message in it – the FIRST time I actually understood the simplicity of it. God removed my blinders to my own sin, I fell to my knees, started bawling and asking Him to forgive me. I cried for probably a half hour. I asked Him to save me from MYSELF – not from hell but from my SINS. I have NEVER been scared of dying since that day and live for Him now. Yes, I still sin but it’s going to be a lifetime of sanctification (maturing in my godliness) and I talk to Him and ask Him to forgive me when I DO sin. Not to “be saved again” because once you get saved He never lets you out of His hand (John 10:28-30 Jesus says: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”) , but because I AM sorry and need to tell Him (1 John 1:9 ” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.) I do want to add about pets that it really doesn’t say in Scripture if they will go to Heaven, but my kids ask that question and I’ve always told them that I really do think that the Lord knows our hearts, He LOVES animals and that because He loves us there is a very good chance that He will give us our pets when we get there! There is even a Proverb (12:10) “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” He really does care about animals! Christianity is the only religion where God came down to US and offered His life for us while every single other religion is all about us trying to work our way to God. It cannot be done because of our sin. We need to tell the world this – tell the nations! Thanks for listening LT and thank you for your wonderful posts! I will be praying that truly search for Him and find Him. Your life will change. You will no longer feel constant despair but true peace/contentment for the first time in your life. Yes, sometimes despair may sneak in once in awhile but if you keep reading Scripture and nurturing your relationship with Him every day He will help you through those hard times. You will find purpose and fulfillment because you will want to serve Him out of complete love for what He did for you on the cross! God bless you.

      Reply
  • 22. Sarah  |  June 30, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    1) I believe that God works through others. If He directly intervened all the time, nobody would know what they were truly capable of (good and bad). Because of this, though, there are failures. It is possible that the people that were meant to help you were not strong enough or knowledgeable enough at the time to follow through.

    And sometimes, the person that isn’t strong enough is us. I am not saying this to “victim blame.” In my own life, however, I know there have been times when I could have gotten out of a bad situation if I had just done something differently. Sometimes I was aware of this at the time, sometimes hindsight is wonderful.

    2 &3) A lot of churches disagree with me on this, but I believe that actions (and what is in your heart) are what get you into heaven, not professions of faith. I believe that Jesus’s sacrifice paved the way for this. Nowhere did he say that people must believe in him. Instead, he said that people must follow his teachings. Many non-Christians do this — especially Jews and Muslims. Neither group believed Jesus was the savior, but they do believe he was a prophet sent by God.

    4) This belief stems from St. Augustine, who was a misogynist bastard. He is the one who created the Great Chain of Being and he was also the one who decreed that no books that were written by women would be included in the New Testament. He was a jerk, but he was a powerful jerk. Ignore it and follow what your heart tells you when you read the Bible for yourself.

    5) To truly know what you believe, read the Bible. Only then will you truly know if you agree with it or not, because only then will you not be seeing its teachings through somebody else’s eyes.

    Reply
  • 23. PurpleLindsay  |  June 30, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Spiritual health is a lot like recovery work… if anyone claims to have “all the answers” they probably aren’t very healthy, and if anyone pushes you to stop asking questions and accept blindly what they say as truth, they aren’t really invested in your growth and your good. I say this as a bible believing christian: asking questions about the hard stuff and questioning where God is in our heartache is blessed and honored by God. If you read the Psalms much of it is about this stuff: questioning God & even praying for horrible things to happen to people who have hurt us. That’s the example God gave us for how we are to interact with him!

    1. Evil is a powerful force in this world. When hearts choose to align themselves with evil, to bargain with, commit to, engage with Evil, there are consequences on creation. The basis of Christian faith is not that God fails to intervene, but that God has intervened. God created a beautiful world in which part of the beauty is the freewill that allows each of us choice to bless or curse the beauty in each other, but the choice to curse comes with the consequence of death. The gospel is that into that world God became one of us, experienced abuse, took on that curse, and overcame death, and through the defeat of death on our behalf gave the hope of healing to shattered hearts, weary bodies, and fractured minds.

    2. Would it not be a weakness on the part of God if he “just couldn’t save ____ because they were TOO bad”? What good is a God who is impotent and powerless against sin of a certain degree? How would I know my sin didn’t cross that threshold?

    Forgiveness for the worst sinners is not a weakness on God’s part, but is a case for how merciful God is towards those who truly repent. “Repenting” has nothing to do with words or a certain prayer to God, the word actually means to change direction at a heart level- to find truly deplorable & horrific the actions in your past and so desperately want to change that your heart changes and begins to choose, at a deep level, blessing and beauty over previous harmful actions & attitudes.

    If my abuser REALLY repented, really saw the shame & horror in his actions and truly, at a heart level, sought forgiveness from God and from me, hungered to make reparation towards his victims, and really sought God’s heart for the sake of beauty, oh, forgiveness would come much easier for me and I think our reunion in heaven, there each of us being made whole in heart, would be amazing.

    3. I don’t claim to know with certainty, but I think it’s a great question to ask. In some places in the bible, it seems like people were held accountable for being faithful with what they had access to know. In the New Testament, Jesus claimed he was the only way to really know God forever.

    4. Christians who really read the bible (instead of letting other people tell them what it means 😉 ) generally believe that heaven isn’t clouds and harps, but is creation re-birthed, as in eden, without sin, without separation from the presence of God. So dogs? Definitely. And tigers (that don’t want to eat you) and mountains and oceans and campfires and peaches and everything that bears beauty in creation now but isn’t quite “right” because of the effects of sin. I believe my dogs will be there, not because they have a soul but because they are a good and beautiful part of creation, and good and beautiful things will be with us in heaven. (And they won’t ever have accidents in the house, or bark at 3am, or pass horrible farts, or ever have to say goodbye.)

    I’m so sorry this post has been terribly long, but so honored to get to write to your heart which is asking such good questions with what sounds like so much integrity to your seeking. I was raised agnostic and opening my spirit to questioning God and faith in God has been such a huge piece in my healing, I hope it will be for you as well.

    I want to leave you with a few resources, if that’s ok.

    1. This lecture touches on heaven and the brokenness of life now. It’s a little high-brow in the beginning, but I’d encourage you to listen to the last 3 minutes, starting about 19:50 in which the guy reads a poem he wrote to a deeply wounded stranger:
    http://www.rabbitroom.com/podcast/episode-44-tales-of-new-creation-part-3/

    2. If you have any interest in engaging with a christian community that a. is trauma-informed and open to hard stories & b. welcomes tough questions without responding with platitudes or simple truths, you may want to check out a christian group that does free small groups (usually the only cost is for the workbook) for abuse survivors all over the country: http://bit.ly/1Ht5utT (If that map doesn’t show your state highlighted you could still contact them for a referral- there are actually lots of groups in unhighlighted states)

    Reply
  • 24. Anne  |  June 30, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Those are some really good questions. You are not alone in wanting to know answers to these questions. Some of them I have wrestled with. Especially the ones on suffering. My body has been in chronic pain since I was 21. (there were a few gaps in years that I wasn’t in pain) I was unable to have children. Our second adopted child is severely handicapped. So the questions of why suffering? are right before my eyes. I really like Joni Earkenson Tada-author, speaker, disability advocate for the every disability. She is also a paraplegic for over 40 years. Her book “When God Weeps” really hit home on dealing with suffering.

    A book I read “Too Small to Ignore” really addresses the issues on children victimized by war, pornography, and prostitution and lack of feeding, education, and protection. The author has lived through these kinds of circumstances. I think this book might answer questions in a way I can not.

    The Bible is all about reconciliation. Therefore God gives each person a chance to invite Him into his or her life until their last breath on Earth.

    I would encourage you (if you haven’t) to read the entire Bible. Before you read ask God your questions. As you are reading underline anything that jumps off the page. See how God responds to you.

    You have touched my heart. I am praying for you.

    Reply
  • 25. Gina  |  June 30, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    So I have written 2 different responses… and before I could post both times, my ipad has died. plug it in. when it comes back on, I click safari. And the page reloads. all my words gone. NOOOOO.
    so now I’m on my 2008 dell computer. Old Faithful 🙂

    So I will say that all of your questions are valid. I have some of the same questions….But does taking a step toward finding Jesus hinge on finding a satisfactory answer to your questions?
    I’ll share with you 2 things that had the strongest impact on my own spiritual journey

    #1- http://www.churchofthehighlands.com. This is my church. And I LOVE MY CHURCH. Which is funny because I have always had a strong dislike of church (and therefore Christianity). But I found this church to be different. It’s full of people with questions. Real people. With issues. Turns out, there are A LOT of people with issues. When I started out, I went with the notion that I’d give it a year and see if it would help me. And to my surprise, it worked. Yes, I found Jesus. And with that, I found freedon.There was a series Pastor Chris did on baggage. And it helped me figure out what to do with mine. I had mountains of it. Enough to surrround myself in walls of it. I was a mess. And now I’m not. (and this realization that I can confidently type that I’m no longer a mess is HUGE!!)
    What would you feel like if you didn’t have to carry all of your baggage?? Like really think about it… what would you feel??

    Someone asked me that question one time. And i said I imagine I would feel SO FREE. And that’s exactly what I feel like. FREE. And knowing that freedom is the one thing- the ONLY THING- that NO ONE can take from me makes me feel powerful. I still see a therapist. Same as I have since I was probably 7. But my missing peice to all those years of therapy was Jesus.
    So anyway, I still have a lot of questions.There’s LOTS of stuff I don’t understand. I’ll go digging in my Bible to try and find it and stumble on something else, but all that is just gravy. The meat of it all is knowing Jesus- really KNOWING Him. Read the New Testament- the books of Philippians, 1John, and James are my favorites. Paul wrote Philiippians from his prison cell. He speaks of suffering. and I know a lot about suffering. It’s easy to relate.

    I so want you to know this free feeling. It’s like I see you wandering the desert, hot and thirsty. And there’s water right next to you. i want to tell you to drink it so you won’t be thirsty anymore. Or at least try it. seeing as how you’re thirsty and all, what have you got to lose?
    But if you go looking for Jesus. Be prepared to find Him. All the answers you need are in the Bible.

    #2- Next to the Bible, Blue Like Jass (non-religious thoughts on Christian spirituality) by Donald Miller is my favorite book. He has this very real way of writing that makes you feel like you know him… much like your own style of writing. I know you’d enjoy the read. And perhaps get some insight on some of your questions. I’d gift it to you if I had a way of getting it to you! You’ll be glad you read it.

    I’ve prayed for you often over the last 6 months or so since I came to know you through your blog. I hope you decide to pick up the water and drink it LT

    Reply
  • 26. Gina  |  June 30, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Also- this is a message from Christine Caine. She founded the A21 campaign that combats human trafficking. Her story is amazing. Plus she’s Austrailian so she’s fun to listen to. it’s worth the time to listen

    https://www.churchofthehighlands.com/media/message/possessing-the-promised-land

    Reply
    • 27. Laura  |  July 4, 2015 at 12:57 am

      Wow. I watched the entire message and was undeniably touched by her story and by the message. LT – this lady in giving the message understands you and this message is so worth listening to. Please listen to the entire thing!

      Reply
  • 28. ritalee8383  |  June 30, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Those are great questions!!! I’m struggling with those myself. I had always been a deeply religious person. When my world turned upside down when I was 7 and my mom died. A lot of bad things were happening around me and I turned to God out of desperation. I was raised a Roman Catholic and around the age of 22 became an Evangelical Christian. I read my bible everyday for 43 years. My faith was strong and I never wavered. Now I do.

    I live in a state of exhaustion from a rare condition that I have. I have been in intractable pain for over 17 years. Every second of every day my eyes are open I am in pain. On top of that I have a vindictive ex who has had me in the Court system going on 15 years. He is an attorney and is a partner in a large law firm. He uses the court system to harass me. I call it legal abuse. He also screws around with my relationships with our children to the degree that he had alienated some of them from me. We use to be music ministers at our church. Go figure.

    So I’m tired. Really tired.

    That being said the last year or so I am questioning everything that I used to believe. Perhaps it is just from weariness but I find myself asking the same questions that you posted.Along with a few others:

    1. Why would God put his children in a place where Satan was? Would we as parents put our children in our backyard knowing there was a venomous snake back there? Of course not, so why would God do that? He could have put us anywhere He wanted to, why would he put us in the very place that he had vanquished Satan too? It seems like a set up to me.

    Revelations: 12: 7-12
    “7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

    Genesis: 1:26
    “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

    2. Some people will say that God gave us free will so Adam and Eve chose to disobey Him and therefore brought a curse upon humanity. First of all:
    a. How was what Adam & Eve did an educated and knowing decision? They had no concept of the consequences of their actions because they never knew anything else. On top of that we as humans have a curious nature and would be prone to explore things.

    b. Why was all of humanity cursed because of the actions of two people? Wouldn’t it make more sense that each individual got a chance to make the same choice? That way we could see what happens to people that obey and those that don’t. Why is everyone cursed because of choices two other people made?

    3. If God is perfect and doesn’t make mistakes why did he repent for putting man on the earth?
    Genesis 6:6 “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”

    4. If we are created in God’s image and He is perfect why did we screw up?

    5. If God created everything, did He not create evil too?

    6. I think this scripture is f’d up. God help you if you were one of the vessels created for destruction. You don’t have a chance:

    Romans 9:14-23
    What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

    “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f]

    16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

    19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

    22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory”

    7. Romans 9:18 “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” So if God purposely hardens someone how come that person is punished for it?

    Sorry. Those are just off the top of my head. Five years ago I would have been blowing rainbows up your butt and painting a grand picture for you. I’m just not in that place at the moment.

    As far as animals being in the after life scripture does say that the lion will lay down with the lamb. That tells me there would be animals in heaven.
    Isaiah 11:6
    The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
    the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.

    On the other hand I look around me and see evidence of a greater power. That makes me think something is out there. Things are just put together too perfectly. Things I marvel at:
    a. A raindrop upon a leaf
    https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/216/502949882_ebd8f0b4ae_z.jpg?zz=1

    b. Did you know that individual heart cells beat on their own? That’s beautifully bizarre. So cool:
    http://www.cellsalive.com/myocyte.htm

    c. a baby being born

    d. What about the breast crawl? Every newborn, when placed on the mother’s abdomen, soon after birth, has the ability to find its mother’s breast all on its own and to decide when to take the first breastfeed. What’s that all about? That seems divine in nature.

    e. love

    f. animals

    g. I think of white blood cells as our own marching army that goes after attacks that are happening to us. It’s very awesome. Link:

    h. Space. It’s too grand to just have happened. The “eye of God” ie Helix Nebula

    So that’s where I’m at right now.

    I don’t know what to think.

    Reply
  • 29. Stephanie  |  June 30, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Hi LT, I wanted to take a shot at the questions in your blog. But first, I just want you to know that if I said something that hurt or upset you, I am sorry. I am not really sure if I did, but I noticed my responses don’t post like other peoples comments so maybe you hide them now or delete them or something. Anyway, this was too important to pass up so I wanted to take a shot at your questions. I hope you can at least see my response:
    1. Why does God allow suffering? Short answer: Free will. Long answer: The ‘why’ is in God allowing free will to all people. But let me be very clear: the things that happened to you were NOT what God had planned for you. It was NOT ok with God that LT was put through so much. It broke his heart. It made him mad. There will be justice someday for those that hurt you. Gods vengeance is not the same as our vengeance. I truly believe that he was there with you in every moment, even though I’m sure it didn’t/doesn’t feel like it. Free will just means that God gives people the choice to follow him. Its been explained to me that God does this because without the choice, a person can’t really love. Can you be forced to ‘love’ someone? If its forced, is it real? That isn’t what Jesus wants from us. He wants us to be real, be genuine with him. We don’t have to be on our best behavior. Nothing fake. Its also worth noting that God can bring about good from any situation. It’s one of his specialties. In Genesis 50:20, a man named Joseph suffered much at the hands of his brothers but later in life God turned his life around in a series of events that lifted Joseph beyond what he ever thought possible and because of Josephs position that God gave him, he had saved many people from death. In this scripture, Joseph (speaking to his brothers) says: ‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people would be saved.” Reminds me of a certain blogger.

    2. How is it fair that people that do bad things get to go to Heaven? Short answer: Grace and mercy. We have to remember God sent Jesus for all people’s sins. No it doesn’t seem fair. But we have to trust the God is a fair and just God and his love is so much that he sent his son, Jesus to die for the sins of everyone for all time. There are certainly people that I think ‘I sure hope I don’t run into them in Heaven’…but then I figure it must be a pretty big place ☺. In Luke, this guy (called a pharisee means he was a religious leader at the time) invites Jesus to his house and to ‘trap’ Jesus he also invites this ‘sinful’ women from town. She hears Jesus will be there and brings with her a jar of perfume. At some time during the dinner, she was so overcame with tears and wanting to know him that she washed his feet with her tears. The Pharisee sees this and says if Jesus really were who he says he was, he’d know what kind of person she really was. Jesus doesn’t shun her! He tells the Pharisee that the people who are forgiven much, love him much. I paraphrased that but its in Luke 7:36. Sometimes people see what they’ve done and they truly turn from their evil ways and seek God. Remember the realness from question #1? Jesus meets people exactly where there are and patiently and lovingly shows them a new way.

    3. Why do people of other faiths not go to Heaven? Short answer: You can’t earn your way to Heaven. Scripture says that he who believes in Jesus, shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). Jesus paid the price for everyone once and for all. It’s not about how ‘good’ you can be. It’s about who covered your debt of sins? Jesus. Who’s got your back? Jesus. Jesus paid it all so we can be free. I think about it like this: without Jesus paying it all, I would constantly be wondering ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Do I make the cut to go to Heaven?’ ‘How many good points do I get for that?’ ‘How many points were taken away for that one?’ ‘Oh boy, I blew it, maybe I should throw in the towel, I’ll never dig myself out of this hole of bad things that I’ve done.” That isn’t what God wants for us. He wants us to love Him and love others. Thats it. He paid the price so we don’t have to. He stands in the gaps between our sins and God. You went to the ends of the earth for moonlight. Why? Because you loved him. Jesus has already done the same for you.

    4. Why aren’t animals in Heaven? Some people think animals are in Heaven, and some think there aren’t because there’s no soul. I figure God created the animals the Garden of Eden. There are beasts of every kind in Revelation, which is a book of what is yet to come for us. And in Isaiah 11:6-9, it says ‘the wolf will lie down with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them….They will neither harm nor destroy on my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ So, I could be wrong and there are a lot of people who will disagree with me, but I do think there are animals in Heaven. If not, I *do* know this: Heaven will be peaceful and joyus. There will be no pain. But right now, remember that Gods arms are wide open for you and you can go to him with anything. He will see you through if you left him guide your heart.

    Much love,
    Steph

    Reply
  • 30. Elise  |  July 1, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Here’s my uncensored thoughts. I grew up in a very conservative Christian environment. And despite everyone being “Christian” there was a lot of abuse. It never added up for me, and I was miserable. I thought about those exact same questions you asked, plus more. I kept depressing myself more and more, trying to make work for me what everyone around me said was right. But it didn’t work, and one day I just said to myself that if it didn’t work, why should I keep trying? I also thought about how the Bible people don’t bring any proof, its just what they believe. And other people, like the Dali Laama and others, even atheists, seemed like good people. And the religion people said they were, Christian or not, didn’t seem to have an impact on whether the person was nice or not. So I kind of came to my conclusion that there isn’t a right religion or God answer. That for some people, the Bible and Jesus and stuff works and they get their meaning and happiness out of it. Or some of them are brainwashed into believing it but aren’t really happy with it. And other people get their meaning and kicks out of other types of religions. And some people get meaning out of somewhere totally different. And then there are people like me who don’t have a clue where to get meaning. I know the Jesus bible stuff doesn’t work for me, but I’m still searching for what does. I kind of like the idea of the whole universe as being divine and everyone who can do good things can contribute to its divineness, and I like reincarnation too because I like to think my dead pets are coming back to hang out with me in other forms. But overall I’m still searching. Please L.T. don’t let other people tell you or guilt you into deciding what to believe. You are much stronger and much deeper than that. If the Jesus stuff works for you, go for it. If it doesn’t, don’t feel like there’s something wrong because of it, but try something else. If one thing doesn’t work for you, its OK. There are many things to pick from. The thing that helped me the most of all was deciding to think for myself instead of letting the Jesus people think for me. My depression got lots better then. I still struggle and am depressed a lot, but its better.

    Reply
  • 31. Foster Mom in Training  |  July 1, 2015 at 12:16 am

    You know, LT, I don’t have the answers either. I ask the same questions. I think a lot of people do. At some point, I decided to quit giving my power away to people. I respect the differing opinions of religions and religious folks. Instead of allowing people to berate me for disagreeing or questioning others, I choose to go with my gut. I trust my gut.

    I close my eyes and feel for the answers from my gut not my brain. I’m not saying I have all of the answers, because I don’t. I do know my gut is worth trusting. I have felt the energy and euphoria in a room after my grandpa passed following a long illness. My elderly great aunt and I were the only two in the room. In my gut, I could feel such joy and energy in the room. It was almost indescribable. My great aunt could feel it, too. I have also felt energy when other family members have passed away. I even woke up at the exact time when my grandma passed away two states away. I have NO IDEA how I am able to know these things or feel them. What I do know is the feelings are real. They come from that voice in my gut.

    I wish I could give you the answers to your questions. I really think we come to terms with the answers individually, and in our own time. The truth is what is right for you, it’s what your gut tells you.

    Perhaps you could spend some time meditating. Clear your mind and just feel your gut. See what comes to you. It helped me when I was depressed. It helped me calm the chaos in my head. Good luck and (((hugs))).

    Reply
  • 32. Blessed Mom  |  July 1, 2015 at 1:40 am

    First of all, I want to say that I love how thoughtful and deep your last few blogs have been. It’s so beautifully positive. As said a number of times already by others, they are hard questions. Their answers are difficult and personal.

    There are a lot of reasons why bad things happen in this world. Mostly they all come back to free will. God gives us free will so that we choose, rather than being required to or programmed to do what he chooses. We don’t believe in him or worship him, follow a religion or do anything else we do because he forces us to; we have a choice. We aren’t puppets, but with free will came sin because when people are given the chance to make their own choices, they often don’t pick the right ones. Some bad things are caused by other’s choices and some bad things are consequences of our own choices.
    No matter who or why they happened, God can bring a lot of good from the bad things that happen to us. As other people mentioned above, you are able to provide so much to me and other parents that follow your blog, and to our children, many of whom also have deep hurts. I think I speak for all of your readers when I say any one of us would take away what happened to you in a second if we could (even knowing it would take away your ability to help us the way you do). We can’t, but we can appreciate what you have to offer as a result.

    Often the things we learn during hardship are invaluable, and when life pushes us nearly to our breaking point, that’s when we are most likely to “allow things” we otherwise wouldn’t, like letting others into our lives or crying out to God. The bible talks about how God’s strength is most evident in our weakness. Sometime we have to hit rock bottom before we start climbing back up. When we can do it on our own, we don’t tend to let others help us.

    As a parent, it’s often hard to watch our children go through things, sometimes simple things like the frustration of learning to tie their own shoes and getting shots or harder things like relationship troubles and the poor grades that result from poor choices in school. If every time my child gets a little frustrated tying his shoe, I tie it, or if every time he whimpered about getting his shots, I didn’t take him to the doctor, or if I did her homework for her rather then watching her set up late the night before it’s due, or getting bad grades, it would seem nicer in the moment, but in the end it would hurt him. He’d never learn to manage frustration, to tie his shoe, to pace her work when she had long term assignments…you get the point. I don’t feel like it’s a great answer for your hurts because your hurts are so much bigger than a vaccine or a difficult life lesson, but connects somewhat in that you learned so much and are so driven to create change for others in the system. God watched his own son go through torture and die an awful death He didn’t do anything wrong, not one single time. It was all because of our choices that he suffered. God knew it was coming and He could have stopped it, but it was the plan because the outcome (our chance to spend eternity in heaven with him) was worth it to Him.

    Sometimes bad things happen to us as Satan’s way of sidetracking us from getting to a relationship with God, or to improving the relationship we have. When you’re not interested in doing any of the things that please God like improving your relationship with him, there’s no reason for Satan to trip you up. When Christians are making great change for God or great growth in their relationship, we know to expect hurdles. Those hurdles are generally “bad things.”

    No one is good enough to go to heaven. No one. There is no religious leader or amazing do-gooder that is good enough to go to heaven. Perfect is more than any of us can reach. To God, all sins are sin and they separate us from eternity in heaven. What allows us to go to heaven anyway is accepting that Jesus’ death paid the price for our sins. Anyone who has faith that He can save us, and accepts that gift, receives the most long lasting gift ever given. When a person truly accepts, God changes them slowly from the inside out. When a person truly accepts they begin to bear the fruit of a Christian…Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self Control. You don’t have to be those things for God to love you, but when you let Him, you makes you those things. Being good is a choice we have and/or a product of choosing to follow God. God’s peace is amazing. His forgiveness is awesome. Most perpetrators were victims first. I think many of them are too hurt to accept God’s love but I’m sure there will be victims and perpetrators in heaven…but no one will still perpetrate in heaven, and no one will still be a victim.

    Some people are so hurt that it makes it hard for them to accept God’s love. Some people don’t have a good earthly father to help them understand what a good heavenly father is like. That’s why so many of us pray for you so often. We know it’s hard. We know it’s important. We know it’s possible. We know it’s life changing!

    The bible doesn’t say either way if animals go to heaven or not so there’s no scriptural basis to say they don’t. God made the heavens and the earth and all the animals. He did an amazing job! I’m pretty sure He made Heaven awesome, so I don’t spend much time questioning if I want to be there or what it’ll be like. Like you, I can’t imagine heaven without animals; without birds chirping or butterflies floating in the breeze, or a loving dog to curl up with in the sun. The real truth is that we don’t know.

    It’s great that you’re questioning! I’ll continue to pray for you.
    1 Thessalonians 5:21 – Test everything. Hold on to the good.

    Reply
  • 33. Tara dSL  |  July 1, 2015 at 2:18 am

    LT, I think these are very important questions. I’m not a Christian, but I don’t consider myself an atheist either. I don’t believe in a creator, but I like to think there is some natural order that balances out good and evil. You have suffered greatly as a result of evil doing, but the goodness that you generate creates some cosmic balance. I believe that we are here on this earth to love and be loved, and that each of us has a responsibility to be kind to ourselves and to others. I believe that regardless of one’s belief system, we innately as intelligent beings know the difference between right and wrong. We must be grateful for the things that bring us joy while we have them, just as you were grateful for Moonlight’s companionship while he was alive. You now have the opportunity to be grateful for the memories of the love you shared.

    I think that religion allows people to make sense of the world and to cope with the fear of the unknown and what happens after death. By operating under the belief that there is a heaven, and that there is a set of rules that must be followed in order to access heaven, this gives them peace and enables them to deal with suffering and loss. It follows logically that if a particular rule must be followed in order to attain heaven (enlightenment, etc), then those who fail to follow that rule (didn’t believe in Jesus, etc) will be denied access to heaven. And that’s when you run into the hard questions you posed above, to which people rarely have a good answer and tend to fall back on “it’s God’s will” or “we don’t question God,” etc.

    The truth is that no one really knows what happens after we die. People have faith, but that’s not the same thing as knowing. Like someone else said above, you get to decide what you believe in. Frankly, I’m 100% in support of believing whatever brings you peace and compassion for other human beings. May I suggest that if you are looking for spiritual guidance, try visiting a number of different places of worship and talking to people of different faiths, and see what rings true for you. As always, I admire your strength so much and wish there was some way I could take away some of your pain.

    Reply
  • 34. bluejuliej  |  July 1, 2015 at 3:12 am

    I loathe depression, I especially loathe chronic depression and I extra-super-duper loathe *my* chronic depression… especially as there is no identifiable reason for it. Lovely parents, terrific education, well-paid job and on-paper terrific, non- traumatic childhood. I am the girl who had an existential crisis in a 5* hotel (the most gorgeous one ever! On the Amalfi Coast at 24 on Xmas Eve), whose stupid teenage breakup landed her in-patient for a week at barely 19 and, well, perspective is an ongoing process.

    I’ve no idea on the religion thing – none at all.

    Reply
    • 35. Stephanie  |  July 1, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      😦 *Hugs for you too*

      Reply
  • 36. Marie  |  July 1, 2015 at 10:24 am

    LT, If you really are searching for religion it would be good for you to do some research and study up on what happenend,in the Bible, I can try and explain it to you and answer some of your questions, First their is God, God the Father, He always was, He never was born, and will never die, He just always was, Then He decided to create the Earth, and everything in it, You must know the story of creation, God created the world and then the people in it because He loved,mankind, He doesnt need us but He created us because He loves us so much and wants us in Heaven with him, ( wny the bad things happen in life is NOT Gods will for you or anyone else,,) This comes from fallen human nature, which is Sin from our first parents Adam and Eve) who sinned and did not want to listen to what God asked of them to follow and obey him, Just dont eat from the tree of life, One tree, It was a simple request but they got tempted by Lucifer or ( Satan) who was a fallen angel, He was at first a Great Angel in Heaven with God but one day He decided He would not serve, He decided He did not want to serve God and He thought He was greater than God, He had the sin of pride which is the first of all the sins that leads to every other sin, Lucifer didnt want to listen to God so He got a bunch of other bad angels to takeh his side and There was a great battle in Heaven and then the Great St <Michael Angel took all the Good angels and led the Battle and kicked Lucifer and all the bad angels into Hell, Forever , the people in Hell now are with all the bad angels and people who put themselves their because they chose not to love God or honor or him or serve him, So Satan also known I am sure you know as Lucifer, is in Hell and is mad that He got kicked out of Heaven and once someone is in Hell they cant cross over to the other side, They are their for all eternity, But as I said, They put themselves there because all of us our Gods children that not one Parent would ever want their child to come to harm, Same as God, He doesnt want anyone in Hell, but their is that place that people choose not to love God and do what He asks of us, ( Follow his ten commandments) that end up going there, The ten commandments is what God gave to his first people that he established a relationship or covenant with , The Israelites, ( or the Jewish people) God revealed himself to these people ( after He flooded the earth) after he created all the people in the world and it was a wicked place, So God flooded the earth, and everyone died Except Noah, and his family, ( The archaeologists have found Noahs ark) and its many dimensions the Bible describes when God told Noah how to build the Ark) From their you have Bible history where God said He would never do that again to the earth and he set a sign in the sky, a rainbow that he made a promise never to do this to the earth and his people again, Even though they were wicked, and doing bad things, Time went on and people were doing all kinds of things, God banished Adam and Eve out of the beautiful garden they were in and the Gates of Heaven were shut with a Angel guarding it, so no one could get in, Time went on and people had free will as today and did some good things and bad things, There were battles fort and all kinds of storys you can read in old testament Bible,History, The jewish people followed Moses and God revealed himself to the people and established this relationship with them and taught them many different things thru prophets that came to teach, Elijah just one example of, one of them, There are many , Time went on for thousands of century's, The world got very corrupt, but God would still not destroy it , He did destroy a city called Sodom and Gomorahh, because their was alot of homosexuality going on there and lots of other wicked evil things people were doing there, , God even wouldnt save this one Mans wife named Lot from that city because she looked back at the city and she turned into a pillar of salt,, Then comes on to the Scene God himself , He decided to come down from Heaven in the form of Man, Which is Jesus Christ,Our Lord, to teach the people good, God is three persons, but one God, < God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Like a three leaf clover, Saint Patrick used to teach the pagans in his day, with the clover, Three persons but one God, Like a clover, So God came to the earth , In the form of Jesus,( The Man) and God Son, God allowed it that Our Lord be crucified and died and put to a horrible death because of our Sins and to open the gates of heaven that were closed, because our first parents disobeyed him, , ( watch the movie the Passion by Mel Gibson and you will understand the horrible death and the way the Romans back then killed people by Crucifixion, There was a Man who loved Jesus so much He said He was not worthy to be killed in the same manner as Jesus so He asked to be Crucified upside down, His name was St, Peter,The early Christians saved his bones and anyone who goes to Rome today can see his bones, They found them behind a plaster wall hidden because if the pagan Romans found them they would desecrate them, So they hid them, but they are in Rome today and anyone can go and see them preserved in a special Church, Jesus came and taught about love and following God, Some people refuse to follow what He taught and would not believe He was God,( even after rising from the dead and all the miracles He did) and that He came back to life, rose from the dead, and He is the one true living God, among all others, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Jesus started his one true Church, The Holy Roman Catholic Church, There were many Christians that were killed because they refused to give up their faith, and follow the pagan Gods, Much what we will be seeing in the coming months, years etc, if we dont follow what the state tells us to do, Christians will be persecuted, The Roman Pagans wanted the Christians to follow their Stone made Gods they worshiped of the Sun or light or Moon or whatever,, a golden calf they made, and they killed them if they didnt, Much like what Christians are experiencing now all over the world, They have to fight to hold on to any kind of Christian belief, It is in confusing times we are in, Not allowed to pray in schools, not allowed to put a nativity scene up with baby Jesus at Christmas time, Little by little they want to make the world no religion, Like Russia, or the Communist countrys, But thats a different conversation, Jesus came to start his Church the Catholic Church but then after many years people broke away, from it, They didnt want to follow it and didnt want to listen to some of the laws that Jesus left to his apostles to start the Church,, Saint Peter being the first Man that Jesus asked him to lead his Church, after He would be gone, so after Jesus died their was only his Church that was called Christians, It wasnt called the Catholic Church back then, But thru time all these other people didnt want to follow the laws of the Catholic Church, One being a KIng in England who wanted a divorce and the Church wouldnt allow it, so He made up his own Church, and all these people made up their own rules, and called themselves still Christians but they seperated from the One true Church Christ started,thru Saint Peter, where Jesus said, to Peter upon this rock ,( the word peter means rock) I build my Church and the gates of hell will never prevail against it, So they made their own Churchs , You have so many different Churchs, and these are all called protesin Churchs, Meaning to protest, They protested Christs one True Church and broke away from Peter and all the apostles who started Our Lords Church, Methodist , Episcopalian, the Amish, the jeohavah witness or followng buddah or Gandi or every kind of other religion in the world, Muslim it goes on and on, or the ( Jesus People you refer to) born again Christians, or Evangelicals, they just call themselves Christians, ( all these religions all broke away from the one true religion, from the beginning of the world, that Almighty God started, and wanted, , A group of people that broke away from Christs one true Church, BUT if you do your research and follow the one true Church that God established you will find , Jesus is the One true God , The God of Abraham and Isaac and He came to start the Catholic Church and died for our Sins to be forgiven so we could go to heaven , He died for us, plus He gave himself to us so that we can have him in Holy Communion every day, Only a Catholic Priest can make Holy Communion, You can have Jesus come into your Soul thru Holy Communion,, There is always going to be bad in the world unfortunately , and bad people and people make bad choices, God did not want any of the things that happened to you happen, He didnt want His Son to have to die a cruel death,but He allowed it because people need free will, or we would all be like robots if we didnt have free will, There are places where people who do bad things go, in the next life, If they refuse God and hate him they go to Hell, There is also purgatory where many people go until they can understand their Sin, and make up for their Sins and what they did, They can spend years in purgatory, or only a short time, Nothing unclean enters Heaven, So purgatory in like a cleansing place people go until they can stay with God in Heaven, Purgatory is in the Bible, It says it is a good thing to pray for the dead, and we should offer prayers for them, ( meaning we dont go straight to Heaven) , If everyone went straight to heaven the bible wouldnt tell us to pray for the dead, We pray for the dead to help get their souls out of purgatory, because once you are in purgatory you cant pray for yourself, You have to have others pray for you, The Church offers prayers every day for the souls in Purgatory, , Everyone has Sin and has to make up for their SIns, but if you are in Purgatory you are happy because you know you are not in Hell, and someday you will be with God forever,, There is also something very special you should know about that I would say you ask Gods Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary for help and guidance, She never refuses anyone and she is everyone real Mother, No matter what kind of Mother you had, She loves us all like no Mother can and will help you with so many things you would never dream possible, God gave the Blessed Virgin Mary many many graces, ( because she carried the true living God) in her womb and She was blessed by God to be chosen as his Mother) If you pray to Mary she will lead you to her Son and take care of every single problem you have, Her Son never refuses anything she asks of him, Just like if we were to visit a King, We wouldnt go straight to the King, We would have to go thru some other people to get to see the King, Thats how Mary is, If we go to her first and ask her to ask her Son Jesus to show us the way or help us with whatever, Jesus( God) will never ever refuse His Mother, because He is a excellent Son and He obeys His Mother always, Try and develop a relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary and she will help you with all things, The angel came to Mary and said to her Hail Mary full of Grace, The Angel called her Blessed, He said Blessed are you among woman, That comes directly from God, She will help anyone who goes to her, , You seem to be searching, just start by trying to find any Catholic or a religious store where you can find a Miraculous Medal, It is a special Medal with Mary on it, If you wear that medal special graces will be given to you and if you pray to Blessed Mother to show you the way she will, I can guarantee it, Its not magic , Its just the way God made the world and His Church if you do your research and learn about Church and bible History and where the Bible came from and all your questions which seem to be alot which is a good thing because you are searching, Every single person was born with a soul in them and they will always be searching for God their whole life, because he created them that way and He loves them and wants everyone to be happy with him in Heaven< You were created because God thought you up thousands of years ago , He thought of you and knew what color hair you would have, what you would look like, He knew everything about you, but sadly He couldnt control the bad choices people made,to do the horrible things that you endured, But no matter what suffering people go thru, and there is not a person on this earth that does not suffer, We all suffer in different ways, No one knows what the other person is suffering, Or what suffering He may have to endure in the future, But God was with you in the suffering, He did not abandon you, He was always with you, Whats important is how you accept the suffering, If you can move past it and ask God to heal the parts that need healing the most, , Bring all your sufferings to God and unite them with Jesus suffering on the cross, and all the suffering He went thru,, If God allowed his only Son to suffer and die so cruelly we will suffer too, But Jesus suffered to open the gates of heaven, If He didnt die on the cross, Heaven would still be closed to us, He died so our SIns could be forgiven, In the Movie the passion the devil trys to tempt Jesus saying THe worlds sins are too big and too heavy for one man to carry and pay for, and tried to get Jesus to change his mind and not go thru with dying on the cross,( In the beginning scene where Jesus is praying in the garden, Then at the end of the movie you see the devil howling and screaming in Hell When He learns that it really was Jesus( God who died) on the cross, and that meant all of Heaven was open once again, and people could go there, ) Thats why the Devil was screaming because he knows He can never get to heaven but we can because Our Lord died for us, SO the devil will tempt us to do bad so we cant get to Heaven, but back to what I was saying, , we all were created to know God , to love God and serve God, so we can be happy with him in the next life to come in Heaven, by the way I saw the movie heaven is for real and read the book, Great movie and book and I believe that little boy a hundred percent, There are many many storys like that where people died on the operating table or car crash and crossed over to the other side for a little bit and they all experienced the same thing, I did a paper in college on it, Life after death experiences, When people die for a few minutes but are saved thru medical equipment etc and come back to life, and they all experienced the same thing, With your pet question, , As I understand it, God didnt leave anything out when He thought of the world and making us Humans and one thing to make us happy, He created pets for us to make us happy, Pets dont have a soul, and only souls can go to heaven but If God made it, I am sure He doesnt just destroy it and get rid of something, The truth is no one really knows that answer, If God wanted to make a pet Heaven he could, We are taught that just being in the sight of God in Heaven makes us so incredibly genuinely happy that we will have need of nothing else, but to be with God for all eternity, ( we wont need our pets to make us happy) but if we ask God who loves us more than we can imagine when we are in Heaven, Can we see our pets or this person or that person I am sure He will grant us our desires because He loves us so much and God is almighty and powerful and can do anything, , I have so many questions to ask God if I ever meet him and get to Heaven! You needent worry about seeing bad people in Heaven because as I said, Nothing unclean enters Heaven so those people will be in Hell or Purgatory, until God releases them into Heaven, There is a good book I am sure you can get on Amazon written by a Rabbi,called When bad things happen to good people, He tries to explain this aspect of life which people can not understand, Its a mystery, Some things you need to have faith, and trust in God and try and believe how much he loves you, but never ever blame him or be angry with him and stay away from him because of the things that happened in your life, So many people do that to Our Poor Lord, Things dont go right so they just stop believing and turn their back on God, That is never the answer, God will always be with you as your Guardian Angel will, , pray to your Guardian Angel, Everyone has a Guardian Angel, Ask your own Guardian Angel to show you the way, Stop into a Catholic Church and go before the Blessed Sacrament, ( you will find a little box with a light lit next to it) If the light is on then Jesus is home, He is inside the little box) If the light is not on they moved him somewhere and His presence is not there, They may have put him in a different chapel or side alter, but Thats where Jesus is,) In Holy Communion,, ( He is there waiting for us all,) Spend time with him just talking to him and being in his presence) and tell him all your worrys, Just,talk to him like you are talking to a best friend,and ask him all your questions, You will hear answers in your heart if you listen quietly, Because He is,there, He is your best friend and will always be with you, He will always be there for you if you choose him, He is a gentleman and He will not force His way on to people, He waits till we knock and go to him and ask him to come into our hearts and souls, There is a famous painting of Our Lord standing outside a door, but if you look closely you will see the door has no door knob handle on the outside of the door, and its suppose to symbolize that we have to ask Jesus to come into our hearts, He wont push himself in, Its just a painting but a good analogy, You are young and searching but you have your whole life ahead of you, You never know what God has planned for you, He will let you make the choices,but if you stay close to his Mother and ask her to help you, I know you will go far in life, , I know depression can stop people dead in their tracks and take a while to overcome,but many people have testified that they feel better when they help others, Volunteer work, or praying for others if someone cant get out of their home, Just a thought, You are such a excellent writer and express yourself so thoughtfully and honestly, I signed up to read your posts to help better understand how to help a troubled child we know, It was recommended, Do you know how popular you are< maybe you should think about writing a book and getting published? I will remember you today at the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, When the Priest holds up the Host, Its just like when Our Lord died all over again for us for our Sins, It is a very powerful time to pray to God and ask for his graces for people or for ourselves, I will pray for you and hope you find what you are searching for, God Bless you, go get yourself a miraculous medal and wear it and pray to Our Lady, Blessed Mother Mary, She will help everyone, To answer you question about why do some people suffer more than others, You should ask a good Priest, but to start,with We can ask God if we can do our suffering on earth and not in purgatory, We all have to suffer because Our Lord suffered, and we are not better than our Lord, Then we would be like Lucifer who said I will not serve and He thought He was better than God, , If we dont suffer in this life We will suffer and make up for our Sins in purgatory, A place between Heaven and Hell, Also alot of times we just dont know some answers and have to trust in God, like why do some others suffer and some others dont, We truly dont know how much others suffer, but we all do suffer, , and God knows what He is doing if He allows something to happen, He does not will it but He allows it to happen, Why are some people born blind or have severely handicapped children they are raising, God didnt purposely send something bad to someone, He would never do that, I believe people who suffer so much on earth will have a high place in heaven and get to Heaven easier because they suffered so much on this earth, They got all their suffering in, We do not know the mind of God, No one does and we are told that we can never imagine it, His ways are not our ways, We need to love him and trust in him that He has a plan for every single person and God even loves the bad people that hate him, He wishes they werent bad because He created them and they are his children but the people choose to be bad, and he cant stop them, But He will take care of everything in the next life because He is not only a merciful God but also a just God and justice will be served, Not by us but by God, In the meantime God wants us to be happy on earth, He wants us to have an abundant life, even here on earth with everything He has given us to make us happy, , The good with the bad, Nothing happens without God knowing it,and allowing it to happen, and God will always take something bad and turn it into Good,, It may not be rite away but eventually it will, Try and feel how much God loves you and cares about you, He created you in this time in this century and has given you life, If you didnt have life you couldnt get to Heaven, That in itself is a great gift for all of us to thank God every day for that our parents thru God gave us life so one day we can be with him, Happy in Heaven< , , , , , , , ,

    Reply
  • 37. Kim Applegoz  |  July 1, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Sometimes I feel there is a God….like when I pray things go good for one of my foster kids, and it actually happens. Sometimes I feel there isn’t (when I know of the unfairness and the suffering)
    Often I feel that if there IS a God, that he should be fired….because he’s doing a lousy job. There is too much suffering in this world.
    I get really mad when people say “God never gives us more than we can handle”. Bull…people crack and break under their burdens everyday, while others float along in a carefree life with no real problems.

    Reply
  • 38. Mary DeLong  |  July 1, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    You certainly received a variety of comments; some believe in the Christian faiths, some are spiritual, others not at all. I agree that IF we are in the hands of a loving God, he would protect us from all the suffering displayed on the news every night and not allow or cause it to make us stronger so I say there is no overseer doing that.

    The death of one man, son of God or not, is not going to result in resolving the sins of the world by belief in the aforementioned. Human and animal sacrifice was a common element in early religions.

    Do animals have souls? do we? Yes or at least a spiritual element that when released from our bodies are allowed to enter another realm or hang around here on earth or even travel back and forth. When I look into the loving eyes of my dog, I can see his soul.

    Can the course of your life be altered by prayer? No, that is up to us to set and persue a course that results in success and happiness. God will not interfere in a football game to ensure victory for your favorite team, cure a child from cancer or whatever else the prayer is asking for.

    Is there true evil in the world that is trying to trick us into doing bad things and suck us into hell. It seems like it, doesn’t it? Anyway it doesn’t hurt to watch out for it just in case.

    Reply
  • 39. George  |  July 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I don’t have a huge amount of time this morning to take a shot at these difficult questions but will try. I am a foster dad in FL who is a Christian and who struggles so much with answers that well-meaning Christians who never actually read the Bible without someone else leading them would give. However, there are real answers to these questions.
    First everything has to be viewed in absolutes and eternal time for anything here to make sense. Yahweh God operates outside of time and is absolute in power, righteousness, and love. So for question 1) Why does He allow bad things to happen? All humans were created for a relationship with their creator. If I make people but then control them like puppets, their faith, obedience, and worship is meaningless. So when humans were created, they were given a perfect world with no pain and suffering and with no sin. They were also given free will. When humans chose to place a desire before their loyalty to Yahweh the opposite of perfection at that very moment was released on the world and in all of humankind from that point forward. At this point, Yahweh being absolute and perfect, had a choice. He could destroy all humankind and the earth that they had contaminated with imperfection or he could exercise love, compassion, and mercy.
    Let me break here and say this. There are things that God cannot do. People don’t always understand this but there are things that a perfect being cannot do. God cannot lie, God cannot go back on His word or go against the laws He has established. To do so would make God less than perfect. This is hard for people to understand because we are imperfect. It is especially hard in a world that teaches that there are no absolutes and that everyone can do whatever or whoever because everyone is right. If someone says, “there are no absolutes,” that argument is easily defeated with one question: Is that absolutely true?
    In conclusion to the answer to question 1, Yahweh being perfect in love and eternal displayed compassion and mercy. Choosing not destroying the future of everyone, a plan was already devised to reconcile humankind prior to creating them. Just as imperfection entered all people through the first created beings, through one perfect being all would have the choice to be reconciled. Unfortunately, that meant until a set time somewhere in the future, imperfection and sin reign here until the return of the rightful ruler of the Earth who will destroy all that has been made imperfect here.
    So why do bad things happen and why does God allow them. Yahweh does not intend for it to be this way but to return and stop it for one, would in all fairness, mean stopping it all. In stopping it for all, people who have not yet reconciled would lose that chance forever. “I think” that the reason Yahweh has not stopped everything yet is the fact that there are still some people being reconciled and the ability for that reconciliation still exist. As time progresses and moral decay increases, it will be harder and harder for people to come to reconciliation for the same reasons that you find it so hard now. “I believe” we will get to the point that it is impossible for anyone to come to the truth and slightly before that happens, Yahweh will send our King to put an end to all of this.
    So why do bad things happen? Because we were born into an imperfect world that is currently outside of God’s control.
    Does this mean He can’t intercede and take control? No, but to do that, a great deal of people will lose the opportunity to reconcile.
    If he is God all powerful, can’t he change the rules to intercede for a few and still allow everyone else that chance to reconcile; can’t He also make it so everyone does reconcile? No and no, believe it or not there are things by design that God cannot change and changing the rules or design once established by its very nature makes God imperfect which is impossible.
    Lastly, what does God feel about the pain you personally experienced in your life? By design He personally went through it with you. As hard as it is to understand, it hurt Him terribly because of His perfect love for you. The hardest part to relating to Yahweh is understanding His love. The wrath of God and the morality of God is how humans want to define Him because those are things used by man to wield religion as a means to control others. The perfect love of God is the best way to relate to Yahweh but perfect love is so foreign and rarely how man chooses to portray Him. Being eternal 10, 20, 80 years of pain is nothing compared to the eternity of perfection and healing Yahweh has in store for everyone that except reconciliation. He wants the best for you and wants to personally comfort you but is powerless to do anything without your acceptance. Keep asking these questions. It is good that you are. There is a reason that they nag at you. There is also an opposing force that challenges the sovereignty of Yahweh and that is a whole other part of this answer that I won’t address at this time because this one answer has went so long.
    As for answers to questions 2, 3, and 4 I can kind of wrap those up together a little. The problem with those questions is that they are based on answers or statements that people who claim to be Christians made, but all three questions have been and still are debated in different denominations of the faith to this day. For example the questions as to why don’t animals go to heaven. This really isn’t addressed in the Bible. We believe that animals do not have the ability to comprehend morality and therefore assume they haven’t got a soul, but that is not an assumption based on any scripture that I am aware of. Belief that Yahweh God literally breathed life into every individual and has His hand in all creation, even if animal don’t have a soul, that doesn’t mean that He could recreate or resurrect an animal that someone cared deeply for in eternity. Even humans resurrected in eternity are said to have new glorified bodies not like their old bodies, but it is believed that people in eternity will still be able to identify each other. It is a mystery and one area that we must operate in faith. How arrogant to think that we as Christians (of any denomination) know the eternal answers of an infinite God on issues not directly addressed in scripture. Heck, 90% of us don’t even know all of the answers that do exist in the scriptures.
    There is supporting evidence in the Bible that there are different degrees of both Heaven and Hell. Then there is also large debate on how the meaning of Hell translates from Hebrew and Greek and from literal verse and parables. Many people believe that Hell of most people’s understanding is a place reserved for Lucifer and the ones that assisted in the rebellion or who worked directly for him. While the hell for everyone else would be separation from God or eternal death where you are not remembered and no one remembers you. In a nut shell, if you trust in an eternal, all powerful God who is perfect in love some degree of faith in Him is required. Trust that in the resurrected or eternal death state He fixes all of the flaws, removes the unbearable, and is just in His dealings. I personally have a hard time believing that someone who was kind overall yet never excepted Christ will burn in eternal fire forever with no end the same as someone who did all of the things that were done to you. The Bible says that we were all created in His image. That does not mean we physically look like God. It means that within everyone there’s the ability to understand right and wrong, justice and injustice. In human society we know (or at least did know) there are different degrees of right and wrong and punishments that fit different crimes. One 100% factual statement made in the Bible is that all sin leads to death. Not a lake of fire and eternal torture, but death. There are scriptures that also address a physical place reserved for Lucifer and his followers, but a lot of assumptions are made by different people. Some are well meaning, some are being deceitful, and some are making those statements because they have been deceived.
    Truth is this, only Yahweh alone knows with certainty how answers to those questions are addressed. Faith in Yahweh God and His Son Jesus or faith that all advanced life came from random chance in a big cosmic science project. It’s difficult to decide especially with the life you have had. You didn’t chose this or deserve it. You have however, experienced the absolute opposite of perfection. You know that exist without a doubt. You also are moved to ask these questions about God. If there is absolute evil isn’t it possible that there is absolute love?
    I don’t know how to talk to you without my personal info going out to the whole internet, but I wish we could talk. So many Christians state things that come across wrong or that are completely wrong. I don’t have all of the answers, but I have struggled with a lot of things in my faith and have looked for a lot of answers that many others haven’t bothered to find for their selves. My soul hurts for you every time I try to relate to what you have experienced or how you must struggle. I see that a lot of my sisters in faith reply to you often. I have only posted once prior, but don’t a lot because I cannot even imagine how guarded or cautious you must be towards men. I do care about you and hurt for you. I hope this helps some and if I created more questions, I would be more than happy to try to discuss them with you in whatever way you are comfortable talking. I am sorry that I have not prayed for you more directly and I will make an attempt to mention you daily in my prayers. I hope you get the answers and comfort that you need. I am sorry that I have been so long winded.

    Reply
  • 40. Loreley  |  July 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    I think that all your questions are completely justified, and indeed, there is no answer to them.

    Perhaps some people who suffered can relate to the concept of “martyr”, i.e. that a specially beautiful place awaits them in heaven to compensate for the suffering they had on earth (I suppose this might be one of the reasons why Marx called religion “opium for the people”, this religion gave people who were suffering a fictional lollypop to suck on, so that they would not rebel against their oppressors in reality).

    The other aspect that draws some people to religion is community. i.e. they do not care so much about the beliefs per se, but they like to be part of a community.

    Now this is also a bit ambivalent. On the one hand, there are religious communities who are welcoming and who do more for other people than your average neighbour, but on the other hand, they also want a “spiritual committment” and can be very cruel towards people who break their rules…

    So I think you should rather look for a kind of hippie community or something like this, because this seems nearer to your worldview… But a tight-knit community could help you – as long as you do not trip over their intolerance (which exists in most tight-knit communities, one way or the other)…

    Reply
  • 41. themooglet  |  July 1, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Hey LT,
    I think you’re gonna get a lot of replies to this one. I’m not Christian/Catholic and I don’t have any answers for you. If the Christian God exists: not letting animals or good people into heaven just because they followed another path, well then he sounds like someone I don’t want to follow. In fact he sounds a little too like one of those smug bouncers/door men at a swanky nightclub. A house ain’t a home without a pet and it wouldn’t be heaven without them either.
    Anyhow I want you to know you aren’t the only person struggling with these questions. I once had a foster daughter ask me- if God loves me why didn’t he just make X stop drinking instead of letting me get put in care. I don’t have an answer, but I expect the God squad will come up with something. Stay strong LT, enjoy the sun, the rain and the flowers- there is beauty and peace in nature as well as organised faith. Xxxx

    Reply
  • 42. jpirog2013  |  July 1, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Hi LT, it’s hard to leave a short reply to your post 🙂 . I will state up front that I am a Christian. Here are some thoughts to go along with the many responses I see:

    1) Believing in God and Jesus means believing in the Bible since it is the written word of God and outside of that, how would we even know of him?

    2) This means that personal feelings have to be second to biblical facts. What people believe doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match what the Bible says. For example, a common belief is a person has to do good things to get to heaven yet the Bible never says that.

    3) This is also true for logic. For example, someone may believe that a God of love would not allow bad things to happen to people. Since bad things happen to good (and bad) people, then therefore there is no God. This is not supported biblically.

    4) The Bible has to be viewed as a whole – not picking and choosing verses here and there, but looking at what the whole bible says about a subject. For example, the old testament says things like pigs are unclean and should not be eaten. In the new testament, it shows that those rules are not in effect anymore.

    5) You really need a good church to visit. The problem here is that there are so many variations of churches, often simply because someone had a disagreement on a specific topic and started a new church/denomination over the years. A number of churches are actually cults or believe non-biblical truths. For example, the bible shows that only those who repent and confess that Jesus is God are saved. But some don’t believe that and some churches teach that everyone is saved no matter what they believe. This doesn’t match the bible.

    6) All I will suggest is that you look up a church in the Willow Creek Association at http://www.willowcreek.com/membership/profilesearch.asp – they have associated churches all over the country. The main Willow Creek church is near where I live and I do attend there, just letting you know. It’s not a guarantee that every church associated with them is going to be great but it’s a great church based on the bible without deviation so the odds are good that its associate churches will be solid.

    I’d also suggest trying to find a larger church from their list because it’s easy to go and be anonymous until you don’t want to be. The one I go to has 7,000 people so it’s very easy to slip in at the last minute and then leave. Going to a small church could make you more self-conscious.

    Anyway, I hope this works out for you.

    Reply
  • 43. mv49496  |  July 2, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    These are definitely difficult topics and I’m sure you will get many different responses to them.
    My stab at these questions:

    This lifetime on earth is not all there is. It is flawed, imperfect, hurtful, etc. In the afterlife, there will be restitution (Revelations 21:4 says “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”)

    Our purpose in this lifetime is to take what we were given (including our resources, gifts, pain, wisdom gained) and share it with others who are going through this life. It is not a coincidence when we run into people who’ve had a similar experience to our past and we are in a position to share in their hurt with them, help them, etc. (2 Corinthians 1:4 says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”)

    None of us meet the perfect standards of God. (the word “sin” originally meant arrows that didn’t meet the target) All humans fall short of perfection and we need Jesus (and his atonement death on the cross) to bridge the gap between us and God. I repeat this quote to myself often: “Don’t judge others because they sin differently than you do”. So yes, there are atrocities that need to be brought to the light, and justice administered (another favorite verse of mine — Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?”)

    but I don’t wish a single person to go to hell. (the torment of which will be beyond anything on this earth — hell is the absence of God’s presence. Even if we are not in relationship with Him, on this earth, while we are living, He provides His common grace — so we can call on Him and draw close to Him and have moments of peace and comfort. In heaven, we will be constantly full of peace and comfort. In hell, there will be no peace and comfort, and no more chances to ask for peace and comfort)

    We cannot see inside the hearts of people who have died before us, so we do not know if they spoke to their Creator and asked for forgiveness and mercy before death. Therefore, we cannot judge whether people have gone to hell, whether they expressed faith in Jesus or not.

    The Bible tells us there will be animals in heaven & all will co-exist peacefully (Isaiah 11:6 says “In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.”)

    the searchable Bible at http://www.biblegateway.com is a great resource. I like to read the chapters from the verse of the day. Many translations are available. The New Living Translation is an easy to read one.

    MV

    Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:47:53 +0000
    To: mv_49496@hotmail.com

    Reply
  • 44. Gisela  |  July 3, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Hi LT,
    I was glad to see your questions, as well as your recent posts. I thought of them as answers to my prayers. Many times I have prayed, “Lord please heal LT, help her, keep her safe and bring her closer to you.” I think God is healing you and gently and slowly guiding you towards him.

    I have been thinking and searching for a way to answer your questions, which are so, so valid, and which most of us ask numerous times.

    I like many of the Christian answers you have received. They have many things in common and others that are very personal. God answers us as a community and also in a very special personal way. He will answer your questions in a very specific way and you will know.

    Every conversion story is different and every relationship with Christ is unique, as God uniquely created each one of us. One day you will look back and see how God worked in your life.

    I want to share a little bit of my story and invite you to live your own story with God. I am Catholic. I love the Catholic Church and its teachings. I was baptized in the Catholic Church in 2008. I grew up in a non-practicing Catholic environment. I was not baptized as a child. I negated God for many years of my life, and committed many sins, although I did not considered them sins at that time. I thought I was a good person and did not need God.

    Through all those years I knew certain things in my life and in the world were not right. I suffered. I had serious emotional crises. I asked “why” many times. God tried to reach out to me through people and I rejected his message. Then, I reached a point where I could not take it anymore. I wanted to change, be healed, be happy, I needed to identify the problems and find solutions and my quest started. I was open to receive the healing that “the universe” would give me. I did not know then that I was opening myself to God, but he took charge and so gently and patiently guided me to him.

    Psychotherapy, yoga, an ethical culture society in my neighborhood, a Christian friend who patiently guided me, who gave me my first bible and recommended some Psalms of praise and thanksgiving, a Christian conference and books, an article about forgiveness written by a Catholic priest and psychologist integrating my therapy type (REBT) with the bible, an intense experience with nature, a Buddhist silence retreat… and then I had this strong desire to go to a Catholic Church, to a church like the ones I had visited as a child, to go to God, to the God I remembered from childhood. And that was it! A new life was starting! The questions to my answers started coming from God, through scripture readings at mass, through the teachings of the church at my RCIA classes and an indescribable joy filled my heart. It was this realization that “I knew I was not crazy, what I had been longing all my life, what I expected in my relationships, what I thought was right, was all in scripture! God gave us a manual, the bible tell us how to live, how to love, how to suffer! And he gave us his church so we don’t have to travel alone.”

    The quest has continued but now I am following one way, one path, and God is leading me along the journey and He never stops surprising and strengthening me.

    Now, in my search to comment to your questions, I found and read a wonderful document written in 1984 by John Paul II, Pope and Saint, on the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering. It did me a lot of good and I think it could help you to find the answers you need about suffering. I highly recommend it.
    You can find the entire document at any of these sites:

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1984/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_11021984_salvifici-doloris.html

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2salvi.htm

    I would like to ask you, even if you don’t believe in God, to ask him to show you if he exists, to provide answers to your questions. He will do it, in a gentle way, in the special way that you need it.

    I also invite you to visit a Catholic Church. It is a wonderful place for an introvert :-). You don’t need to talk to anybody unless you want to. If you want to go during mass, just listen. Don’t worry about what the other people are doing (standing, kneeling, responding) It was intimidating for me when I started going to mass and a friend told me don’t worry about it, just follow what others are doing. But you don’t even have to do that, just listen.

    If you want to go when nobody is there, that is great time to visit a Catholic Church. The Church is quiet. Just go, walk around it, sit, kneel, whatever you want to do. You will be in a silent and peaceful place in the presence of God.

    I hope you don’t mind that I pray for you.

    God bless you.

    Gisela

    Reply
  • 45. Scoopy  |  July 3, 2015 at 11:13 am

    My faith does believe animals have souls and definitely go to heaven. I do not know why God let the horrible things happen to you that did, BUT there is a verse in the Bible that sometimes, when everything in this world seems way too unfair and dark, it says “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” I believe in a God that is going to somehow restore to you and anyone that has ever suffered the greatest of joy and happiness. That those who took, and stole and hurt will answer for their deeds. I have to believe in a merciful God who will be able to make things right.

    Reply
  • 46. Bronwyn  |  July 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I can’t answer any of these. I struggle with them myself. I do believe there is a “better place” and I happen to call it heaven. I also believe there is a bridge between ‘people heaven” and “animal heaven.” There is a lot of travel back and forth on that bridge!

    Reply
  • 47. Laura  |  July 4, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Hi LT, I left a reply to one of your comments way above. Please read my reply to their post – I’m just worried you won’t see mine since it’s not really an individual comment. Thanks!

    Reply
  • 48. raisingagodlyboy  |  July 4, 2015 at 4:35 am

    LT its a fallen world, when sin entered the world our relationship with God was separated. Bad things happen to good people. God loves us and his heart breaks when we hurt. Sometimes God allows things to happen but he can use bad things and turn them into good. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Isaiah 55:8 says ” For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord.” LT don’t look to people for answers get them from the infallible word of God the Bible. As far as people who are good and do good Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” So no matter how good we are, we aren’t good enough to get into heaven on our own merit. Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 6:23 says “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus didn’t deserve to be humiliated or die an excruciating death, but he chose to so we could be forgiven for our sins and have a relationship with our Father in heaven. Jesus hated religion the religious leaders were the ones who persecuted him. LT if you were the only sinner Jesus would have died just for you he loves you that much. He’s waiting for you, all you have to do is accept his free gift. Romans 10:9 says “That is you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved, for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Revelations 21:4 says “he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelations 1:7 says “look he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.” As far as animals in heaven, Isaiah 65:25 it says “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpents food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain.” Sounds like there will be animals to me. 1 Cor.2:9 says “What no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

    LT isn’t that worth wanting and waiting for?

    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

    Reply
  • 49. AnnMarie Johnson  |  July 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I’m an atheist, but was a Catholic for 2.5 decades, in a very religious family. I want to let you know that not all Christian religions believe that you have to believe to go to Heaven, including Catholicism. Not that most Catholics realize that, but hey, most Catholics think that the Church still taught that evolution was wrong, and actually, it’s been quite a while since they stopped saying that. (Longer than my childhood, but I was taught in the 70-80’s in a Catholic school, and we learned about evolution.)

    I also want to let you know that you do not have to believe to be a good person. Belief is just that–belief in something that may or may not be true, and usually, if you only believe something, it’s not true (Santa, fairies, hidden messages in backwards Beatles songs). See, if you can only believe and not prove, it’s unlikely. If you can prove, you no longer just believe, you know.). I think God/gods are a great myth and the belief in them leads many people to have a happier life. However, it also leads to an awful lot of strife, both personal (feeling like you have failed God or sinned, etc.) and interpersonal (wars, abuse, hatred, etc.). Atheists don’t go to war because someone has a different belief. Atheists don’t try to force you to believe in what they believe or else say you are consigned to some terrible place (Hell).

    Reply
  • 50. AnnMarie Johnson  |  July 6, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    By the way, you might look into Unitarian Universalism. The cool thing about this religion is that they accept everyone of any belief or no beliefs at all. Their ministers may or may not believe in God, and are really good at talking about faith, the lack of, or what faith you have and helping you sort it out. They aren’t going to try to convince you to believe any particular thing or quote the Bible or any other religious text, unless you specifically want them to. (There is a statement of principles we adhere to, http://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles. Check out the site for more info if interested: http://www.uua.org/beliefs)

    Reply
  • 51. AnnMarie Johnson  |  July 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    And, this is based on the next post, but I already had the comment area open here–most ministers would meet you anywhere you wanted, your house, their house, place of worship, a coffee shop, etc.

    Reply
  • 52. blevy2013  |  July 7, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Hi LT. I ‘ve followed you for years now and love your honesty. I would not even try to say that I know the exact answer to your questions, but I believe from what I see in God’s word , that there is spiritual protocol that cannot be compromised or else God’s authority is compromised. I do believe that the pain that we have endured here will in no way compare to the joy and peace that we who faithfully call upon the name of Jesus will experience in Heaven. That’s the only justification I can see for the horrible things that you’ve had to experience here. I hope that you will come to know this “peace” that comes from having a relationship with Jesus. Remember , he also suffered , so that we would know a wonderful life with no pain or tears with him for eternity. I too was in foster care and don’t know where I would be without Him.

    Reply
  • 53. Another Time  |  July 9, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Okay, so I finally have a comment formed for this. I’m trying to be serious but I have one funny side to it. I’ll get rid of that part first.

    FaceBook has taken over the world, (rather sad). I use it for posting pictures of my pets because I don’t like my pic taken/posted, and I use it to interact with funny and some serious pages. There is one called God. (GoodLordAbove I think is the full name.) He is always posting funny stuff, particuarly when people send him private messages ridiculing him for having a page called God and posing as God. He has Ask God sections where people submit some questions, often getting funny responses back. Even has God Loves Gays billboards. Whenever a story is publicly revealed about abuse, like those Duggers or whatever his name is, God posts saying that God in no way condones abuse or forgives it, humans need to drop religion and just be good etc. I like that God that is presented on Facebook. That God is kind to all, even supportive for people who tell that God they are having a rough night and are thinking of ending their life. God on Facebook will talk with them and direct them to appropriate help lines and the like.

    And now for the serious side of my comment. Someone may have said what I am about to say. (Sorry guys, didn’t read comments this round.)

    The Bible was written by humans. People interpret things different. What one person may call purple another will call lavender, another plum, etc. So it’s fairly open for debate in some areas. I believe that God is who we think God is, and that God is not confined to a church. God is revealed in unique ways we might not even see or will take a long time to realize we saw. Sometimes we never realize it. No animals in heaven? They have to be animal haters. Animals are a slice of heaven we get to experience. We all have free will: we can be assholes that are cruel, or we can be kind and helpful and loving. We have to learn the good choice. The only time someone should be an asshole is when it is to protect someone who needs protecting, but even in that we can’t be cruel.

    The heaven question. People are the ones claiming to know who gets into heaven and who doesn’t. People are again the ones choosing how to interpret stuff. I wonder why there is a hell if people can ask for forgiveness and supposedly be forgiven and go right to heaven instead of hell. I think abusers of people and animals go to hell. Heaven is supposed to be the reward for doing right. Abusing someone is clearly not right.

    It can’t be guaranteed only if forgiveness is ASKED for. After all, we can sometimes forgive someone without them asking our forgiveness, right? Like a dog. A dog who bites might not even display shame, or doggy request of forgiveness. We forgive them though, yes? We know the reason for that lash and it wasn’t just to be cruel. There was a reason they felt biting was the response. And we forgave them without them asking.

    Bit of a ramble, and I hope it wasn’t too jumbled up.

    Reply
    • 54. Another Time  |  July 9, 2015 at 12:59 am

      I don’t think a clear cut answer can be found but I wish it could! Things might be simpler then.

      Reply
  • 55. Jennifer  |  December 1, 2015 at 12:50 am

    First you have to ask yourself who wrote the bible. God or people? And then you have to ask yourself if you believe what’s written in the bible.

    In response to your questions: If God does exist – are you assuming God’s love can be compared to yours or anyone who is capable of love? Do you think there’s a person on this planet who believes s/he can relate to God’s love? That’s be pretty impressive…and pompous.

    Has it ever occurred to you that you chose your life before you were born? That you had a say in this life time — that you wanted to be actively involved in your own evolution and you chose this life because you thought it best suited the evolution of your soul – if the soul exists?

    Has it ever occurred to you that you chose your parents? Ooo, but why would you chose to be born on this planet with so much mayhem and violence? Why would you chose your bio parents when you could have chosen rich, beautiful, nice, popular, educated, funny, giving, nurturing parents? And if you did choose, then that throws the idea that God thrust you into this mess – yes? That means you’d have to take responsibility. And recognize that even though life sucked before – something kept you going, and as an adult you have choices that alter the course of your life.

    “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu – The Tao Te Ching

    “Why so much suffering for some people and none for others?”

    That question is an assumption – you’re assuming that some people don’t suffer. Why would you do that? Do you believe your fantasies about other people? You surely can’t know someone else’s every experience and feeling.

    Have you read the book The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, or the books The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle? From what I’ve read of your blog I think you’d get a lot out of both authors. You’re a contemplative person – someone who considers and looks for answers. These authors are both wise and logical. Their books are fun reads.

    “How is it that people who do terrible things, but come to “know Jesus” later, are going to Heaven because they are forgiven, but their “victims” might not get to Heaven because they can’t feel that Jesus loves them and never gets to know Jesus through religion?”

    Again, you have to ask yourself “Really?” Maybe that’s just a really fucked up idea…If Jesus did exist – he was still just a dude, just like Siddhartha (another great book). Lots of questions on Christianity…there are plenty of other religions to explore – for the rest of your life…

    “Why do other people who follow no religion or another religion, but are good, kind, caring, and helpful people, not get into Heaven?”

    Ridiculous – right?

    Maybe heaven and hell are right here – with us every day in all our experiences. Maybe there are alternate universes where we’re living alternate lives, and in one your parents never even had you and in another you grew up adored by everyone and now you’re a famous botanist – or something.

    If you’re going to ask questions – ask them all!

    Christianity, and other world religions, is a political structure that has a sole purpose to corral, control, manipulate and instill fear in the throngs. The bible is a great story, and all great stories have elements of the truth mixed with fiction. And why wouldn’t they – people write them and we’re creative, imaginative beings. We like to embellish. For some reason we seem to believe that the simple truth isn’t a good enough story on its own. Go figure.

    The right answer to everything you’ve asked is within you, and your answers doesn’t have to nor will they match everyone else’s. You’re unique – literally – just like everyone else. No one sees the world through your eyes, and your feelings and thoughts are unique to you.

    You cannot possess the question without also possessing the answer.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


COPYRIGHT NOTICE

This blog is copyrighted.
I know that means you can't take my writing without my permission. If you do, something can happen.
Plus, that is just a real shitty thing to do -- take someone's thoughts -- so don't do it!

I am happy if you want to use my writing to help those involved in the foster care system, but please, leave a comment asking if it is ok and letting me know.

Peace.

Copyrighted 2009-2015

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

WAKE UP FOLKS

They help foster kids!!

Click to find out more! -- Support them if you can!


%d bloggers like this: