The true destiny of suffering
But the true purpose of suffering we find in Christianity. "Suffering is associated not only with the helpless animal state of a person," NA Berdyaev noted, "ie. with his inferior nature, but also with his spirituality, with his freedom, with his personality, ie with his personality; with its higher nature. Refusal of spirituality, from freedom, from personality could alleviate suffering, reduce pain, but this would mean abandoning the dignity of a person. And the plunging of a person into a lower animal state can not save anything, because life in this world is not protected or protected ... "
For many people who are outside of Christianity, the existence in the world of so many sufferings seems incompatible with the belief in the almighty, omniscient and all-merciful image of the personal Creator.
One of the proposed solutions to this problem is a return to the ancient Stoic theory, i.e. the supposition that the superintelligent existing in the universe is impersonal. But this view is hardly satisfactory for the simple reason that we human beings are themselves personalities and instinctively realize that a person has immeasurable superiority over blind forces and abstract intelligence (if the word "intellect" is generally used in this context).
Electricity is much more powerful than us and can produce exciting effects that we can not handle, but we are unshakably confident in our superiority over electricity. In addition, we willingly use, manage inanimate forces and even rule over them, no matter how complex they are, such as modern computers. But we would consider it morally unworthy to try to rule in the same way on other personalities, unless we ourselves are inveterate fascists unworthy to be called people.
A giant obstacle (if not a complete contradiction) for the faith would be the assumption that some faceless substance, without realizing it, has an intellectual superiority over the beings possessing the person, or, on the contrary, realizing it, decided to remain impersonal, and we in that case we have superiority over the mind that conceived and created ourselves.
Another very common way with which to solve this problem is to reject or reject the very belief in a reasonable Creator - personified or depersonalized - and accept the hypothesis that the universe originated as a result of the spontaneous impact of senseless and blind forces on the same disorderly matter, impact without any ultimate goal.
According to this hypothesis, suffering does not need an explanation - what else can you expect from such a chaotic process as not an endless and multiplying suffering? (In this case, however, it remains a mystery: how did so much attain admirable beauty?)
Well, this simple, if not simplest, solution definitely saves the "problem of suffering" from the philosophical, intellectual background. But it does not relieve suffering as such! In fact, it only exacerbates suffering a thousandfold. But it is worthwhile for us, the Christians affirm, to believe in the all-merciful Creator, how we will find the basis for faith and hope that our adversities, even those that we currently tolerate relatively easily, are not an absolute evil, and someday they will also serve as a good and a meaningful purpose. And if our share falls to experience real suffering, then this faith and hope will give us the strength to overcome it.
However, unbelief completely eliminates this faith, and this hope, and this meaningfulness, not only with pain and suffering experienced, but ultimately in life itself. What can an atheist say to a young mother who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of thirty-three? He can not offer her any hope. He will only have to tell this woman that she has been comprehended by a senseless and blind evil rock. But she is already sick of physical pain, but the theories of an atheist imprison her in addition to a spiritual spiritual prison, where she alone will remain with the thought that blind, faceless forces mock her mind, destroy her feelings, the meaningfulness of her life ; and when they eventually bring her and her mind to nothing meaningless, they do not even realize that they did it.
However, Christians are not subject to the gloomy pessimism of these proven atheistic theories. They believe that they have strong and convincing evidence to suggest that the existence of suffering in the universe and in our own lives is not incompatible with the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and all-merciful Creator.
According to Christians, not all suffering is an absolute evil: some of them are to a certain extent beneficial. The Creator exists not only in the Bible. He repeatedly and in the most detailed manner appealed to us about this very issue of suffering. Of course, God will not answer any question that we would like to ask on this topic, but He assures those who have decided to believe Him that He has a purpose for them, the achievement of which will atone for any pain that we may be destined to experience, how would be great it was.
"Our short, light, our suffering," He says, "produces in immeasurable excess the eternal glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17); and Paul says: "At the same time, we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His manifestation."
But these are just words, - another will say. - How would you get an opportunity to believe in them? When the pain pinches our nerves, when suffering destroys our feelings, we need more than words, than cold mental arguments at all, so that we can make sure that all this matters and the final meaning. And, however that may be, what right does this omnipotent Creator have to invent any plan that brings so much suffering to us? Where is the supposed mercy of God here?
But the answer of God is not just words, but action. This is the cross of His Son. This response shocked the world when it was first heard about him, since many people still, and still many now, mistakenly believe and believe that the almighty God will never suffer, and that God, being the perfection itself, never can suffer. And nevertheless, this answer is true. The existence of suffering is not incompatible with the existence of an almighty, omniscient and all-merciful God. He suffered himself! Out of love for us for our salvation, for our eternal bliss and glory, God himself in the image of Jesus Christ entered our fallen and suffering world and took on more suffering than any of His creatures and all of them together. Thus, in the opinion of Christians, he gave us irrefutable proof of his love and faithfulness. On the crucifixion, he speaks the language, going from heart to heart, in order to convince us not only intellectually, but - more importantly - to gain our love and trust.
"A man walks the earth, - A. Men writes, - crosses deserts, rivers, seas and mountain ranges. Hunger and power, greed and curiosity draw him further. He carries with him expensive gifts and scrolls of books; he brings enslavement and wisdom, discovery and destruction. But now new travelers are added to these innumerable caravans. They are motivated by love and faith, the will of Christ and the Spirit of God: they bring the message of the Son of Man to the people. "
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