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Questions that Teachers Ask

  1.  How can God allow innocent children to suffer?
2.  About Israel and God
3.  About the poor, Cambodia
4.  When others mock Christians and eating animals

Why do children suffer?

I finally have a student who isn't just parroting the answers from the Bible lesson. She wants to know how God can allow innocent children to suffer. Is there a fairly simple answer I can give her?

Input appreciated.

A tough one!

This will give you an opportunity to tell your student more about God.

Here is the long answer: God and Satan are opposed to each other - Good Vs Evil. Our God is very Good. He made us so that we can choose him; we are not robots. We are allowed to choose good or evil. God made us like himself. We are able to think and to choose him. God loves us!

When Adam & Eve sinned, it was their choice. They learned that God does not like sin. He hates sin, but he loves the sinner, his creation. We, like Adam and Eve, need help. So, God made a plan to bring us back to himself through the cross (explain).

Sin will be punished. All men sin. All of us will physically die as a punishment -- there is always a consequence for every choice that we make. It was Adam & Eve's choice and we inherit death as a punishment.  We do not inherit their guilt; but we will all die physically and spiritually. We all get sick, even innocent children. It is the result of Adam's sin.

But, God has a place for us in heaven. Children die. They have no sin; so, they go back to their Creator who loves them. In the end, we all will go back to our Creator. We must choose to follow Jesus (God's way) if we are to be accepted by God. He hates sin. He loves us all. He wants us to choose him.

Short answer: Suffering and sickness is not always the result of our sin. But, we all get sick, and we all will die. Like all people, children get sick and their bodies can die too. When children die, they go back to their Creator and they will be with him for eternity. God loves them. When we die and go back to God, we will live with him for eternity if we choose to follow God's way now. It was sin in the Garden where Adam and Eve chose to follow Satan's lies that was punished by physical death. Women having pain and men having to pull weeds is part of the punishment for sin. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve and we will all die physically, even innocent children. The final answer that God gives us depends upon whom we chose now as adults because we are all sinners. Children are not sinners, but they get sick because of Adam's sin. They suffer now. They will be safe in heaven.

Ezek 18:19-20

19 "Yet you ask, 'Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?' Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.

Bob Patterson, weibp@aol.com



Questions: by Virginia
, WEI teacher: please help me with the answers to these questions.

Answers provided by Earle West, Silver Spg., MD elder, writer, retired professor, and WEI teacher.

Student Questions:

1- "Other people ask me if God was borned in Israel, why Israel is still has war? why Palestine is still fighting with Israel?"
God was not born. Psalm 90:2 and 93:2 clearly says that God is everlasting. God has given human beings free will and does not interfere with the exercise of that free will even if it leads to bad results. James 4:1-3 shows that fighting, etc. is the result of the wrong choices such as greed, jealousy, etc.

2- "Why Christians are so poor, like in Cambodia?"
Christians are both rich and poor in different places. In the first century, as now, often the poor respond more quickly and willingly to the gospel than the rich in their pride. (I Corinthians 1:26) In Matthew 11:5, one proof that Jesus was the Messiah was that "the poor have the gospel preached to them." God does not reward those who obey Him with riches in this life, otherwise they would only be 'rice Christians." Satan accused Job of serving God only because it was profitable (Job 2:5). God proved otherwise.

3- "Can God help poor to be rich?"
The scriptures warn against riches (I Timothy 6:9) and show that it is difficult for the rich to be saved (Matthew 19:23). God's teaching can indeed help anyone to be the kind of person who can improve his financial status. It teaches against laziness, waste, unwise spending - - practices which may lead to poverty.

4- "What is a Holistic ministry?"
A holistic ministry is one which seeks to minister to all aspects of human needs, the spiritual, social, political, physical, and mental health, etc.

5- "Why good man always get suffering?"
Good men do not always get suffering any more than evil men. However, the human condition is such that some suffering will come to everyone. This is not heaven, but a fallen mankind such that the evil which some people do will affect not only themselves but also good people. The drunken driver who loses control of his care may kill or injure perfectly innocent people.

6- "Why bad people can live for a long life in this world?"
Living a long life is possible for both good and bad people. God's final judgment on both good and bad people will come later; it is not executed in this life. Psalm 37 is a discussion of this problem and a solution is given.



Question: About eating animals.

 I was puzzled by a question that a boy asked: he said, "Since you are a Christian, why you eat animal?

"I know God give us right to control all animals, while He also tell us to protect them, so I do puzzled. Please help me by explain."

Question: About non-Christians blaming.

"And there are a pity thing happened on the wedding, the day the two Christian married, while the bridegroom lose his mobile phone, and then the digital camera. No others lose anything. Itís may me a little depression. For know can you explain G love and protect us? Yeah the thing is not expensive, while it is a special day, it do can decrease some bodyís faith, and most important is it make them confusion. Dear Bob, will you kind of let me know your opinion?"

About mocking: When others mock you are Christians, you can be sure that they do not know the truth about you or Christians. Mocking another may be just asking a question and they want to learn.

Or, it might be that they are trying to make you feel bad so that they will feel good. Sometimes, people push you down so that they feel better than you. It's their problem.

If they are wanting to know, then you can do three things:

1. Do not feel badly. Instead, know that you have an opportunity to help them.
2. Then, give them a short answer.
3. Then, when they are ready, give them a long answer. This is where you open your Bible and let them explore with you. I gave you the long answer in my mail to you. You have the scriptures.

Here is an example of a short answer:

About animals: "God made some animals for our food. Others, we are not to eat. He gave us livestock to eat such as cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, and turkeys. We take care of all animals and eat those that God said are good for us to eat. We feed them well." "Would you like to read the Bible with me?"

About the husband and bride who lost their camera: say this, "Somebody stole the camera at their wedding. A Christians would not steal. I feel badly for the married couple and the one who stole the camera.. The one who stole the camera needs to learn not to steal. Christians do not steal. The Bible tells us that it rains on the just and the unjust. This is in the book of Job." "Would you like to study the Bible with me?"

If the person is mocking you or Christianity, and they do not want to listen, it is best to walk away from them. They are not willing to learn.

A person in Kosova mocked me while I was there. Here is how it went:

Person: "Is your God tired? Why did he rest on the 7th day?"

I said, "He rested like you rest on your Holy Day, Ramadan. You are welcome to come study with me. Would you like to do that?"

Person: "No."

I asked him if he wanted to study with me. He said, "No." I left the store where he worked.

Had he wanted to learn, I would have arranged a time and place to study with him, but he did not want to learn. I left the store where he was working.

Jesus told his disciples that they would be persecuted just as he would be persecuted. The Jews mocked Jesus, asking him questions that were meant to trap him. He always had a short answer that they could not respond to. At times, Jesus escaped by walking into a crowd of people so that he could not be found.

Read some examples: Luke 20:1; Luke 20:27

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