Grace & Peace!
[quote=Ahimsa]What the Buddha denied was the existence of an entity that is both (1) all-loving and (2) all-powerful. The reason was that if such a being existed, then it wasn’t really all-loving, since it allowed suffering and pain to exist. So, in Buddhism, there are supernatural beings of immense power and so forth, and supernatural beings of immense compassion and so forth, but no being is both all-powerful and all-compassionate.
But – I’m told – the idea that God is not exactly all-powerful, is not foreign to either Judaism or Christianity. So maybe there are some Christians out there who also deny the type of God that the Buddha denied.
Ahimsa, these are interesting points, but I don’t think they quite match up. God in the Judeo-Christian tradition is all-powerful and all-loving. And the secret here is–God’s Power is not separate from God’s Love. Regarding suffering and its presence in the world, the ability to love, which God gives to all people, requires the ability to reject love. The rejection of love is suffering (though in the act–sin–it can be pleasurable). In Buddhist/Hindu terms, this rejection, this false pleasure, is Maya, Illusion, the giving up of the Self (which is only found in Christ), for the ego (which is the soul under the sway of the self-serving flesh–not to be confused with the body which is good). God in God’s compassion will not force anyone to love–and God will allow those who chose not to love to see the consequences of their choice. But God does not remove God’s own love from that person, nor does God keep from anyone the ability to turn to him. Grace is constantly showered on all people–we may accept it, or reject it. That is our choice.
It may be said that God limits Godself on our behalf in order to allow us to love. But Love is the nature of Deity and God gives Godself in all of God’s Potency in every act of Love. Creation itself is the result of God’s superabundance of love. This does not reduce God’s omnipotence, nor does it reduce God’s compassion. If there is suffering in the world, it is because we ourselves have designed and re-inforced obstacles to the never-ending stream of grace flowing from the Being of God.
God does not allow suffering in the world–We do–and God loves us enough to allow us to reap what we sow.
Under the Mercy,