How Would You Explain


#1

How do you explain God’s love and mercy to a ‘mild’ atheist who has suffered a great deal in life? Let’s say the person was beaten as a child, neglected, verbally abused etc. and thinks that God doesn’t exist because He let this happen. How would you best explain this, in particular to teenagers?

if this isn’t the place for this, mods please transefer:)


#2

Rejection of God, and of God as a loving parent…That’s not an unusual response as the abusing adult especially relative or religious figure is the nearest thing the child has to assessing God as a loving Father.
The child’s trust and sense of justice is violated as is the child’s view of itself as loved child. That continues into adulthood and healing can be very slow.

What should have been love is betrayed to the child. How is the child going to believe in the goodness and love of others and in their own goodness and value.

Many such people can’t separate God out from this betrayal.
But it was, after all, people, not God who betrayed them.

I will pray for the Spirit to guide you; and for the Spirit to enter and heal this much sinned against man. I send him my love, Trishie


#3

Someone who knows what it’s like can probably get through to him. My brother got through to me because he knows what I’ve been through and I know where he’s been – he told me things he wasn’t aware I even listened to, and I heard.
Everyone needs something we can’t do for ourselves. We don’t have the power we need, to comfort and heal ourselves. But Someone made us and He watches and cares. It doesn’t always seem possible but He is healing us all along, as much as we allow Him to. It’s in our hands how much to let God do and how much to place ourselves in His hands. He loves us all. But there’s an expectation with His love, not to meet a standard that’s out of reach, but to pass that love and care on. It’s inseparable, giving and getting that mercy and healing and caring. If you won’t give it, you can’t get it either. It goes together. So some people are without love and mercy, but God didn’t make them that way and He won’t leave you in their hands forever no matter what it looks like. This world is the waiting room to a life much longer and just as real, and God will keep you if you give yourself to Him, and He will leave you alone if you avoid Him. He’s the one to keep an eye on. What other people do is out of your hands and only temporary anyway. If someone abuses you they’re hurting their own soul, not yours, and God is protecting you as much as you ask Him to, spiritually and sometimes even physically and psychologically. The abusers are the ones destroying their own souls, which they’ll be stuck with for eternity. But they can ask God’s mercy too. It’s up to them. And if they will learn to love He will have mercy.
That’s how I would probably start.


#4

I think that’s a really hard and sad situation!!!

Is this person familiar with the gospels? If not could you get him a Bible as a gift and encourage him to at least read it? Letting him know that Our GOD who had everything, needed nothing but that He loved us so much He became a man. He lived with lonliness, poverty, sorrows, humiliations,and suffered a horrendous death for the love of us and because He wanted to be an example for us to live by.

He never promised that living in this world would be without suffering or persecutions but He promised that those who endure it will have eternal peace.

Could you tell him that even though you don’t have the answers as to why he had to suffer so much as a child he wasn’t abandoned and God grieved and hurt right along with him. The psalms could be helpful to him also!
(I love Psalm 139)

God understands his sufferings because He, himself, suffered at the very hands of those He created.

I don’t know if something on the lines of what I just said would be helpful or not but at least he would know that even God wasn’t without suffering.
I hope everything works out and I’ve said a prayer for the atheist. May he find God’s peace.


#5

** Suffering & What to do with it (27:50)**
(approx. 12 megs each - These downloads will only be available for one month.)
Fr. Benedict Groeschel and Alice von Hildebrand conduct a twenty-one-part discussion on the topic of suffering. Each half hour-long installment yields insight into different aspects of this weighty topic, which manifests in many different ways. Topics of discussion include the Jewish view of suffering, the Christian response to evil, injustice, and widowhood. Recorded in 2003.

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#6

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