The Real Reason Why Weird Things Happen At 3 AM By Gerald Sinclair April 3, 2019 April 20th, 2019 No Comments Tons of people across the globe note waking up at the witching hour and most have no clue why, if you are someone who wakes frequently between 3 am and 4 am you … Feel free to email me with any questions or comments at markballenger@applygodsword.com. That table is just a brief summary. Allow me to explain. In all empirical matters, I believe that science is the ultimate arbiter. To be clear, this is not my own worldview, but I offer it here to help my religious readers, like my religious patients, to reconcile the faith that is so important to them, with the deeply troubling problem of evil. [CLICK 'MORE' TO VIEW FOOTNOTE #4, WHICH SUMMARIZES SOME OF THE DEEPEST RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVES THAT CAN HELP TRUE BELIEVERS WISHING TO RECONCILE THEIR FAITH WITH THE PROBLEM OF EVIL]. repeatedly had to pull up its stakes and relocate. One of my graduate degrees is in Philosophy. In our humanness, we can see this as a very selfish and unloving motive. But as you go down the rabbit hole, the complexities are even more staggering. We could only have evolved within the type of universe whose laws of nature are conducive to ordered matter and life evolving. Yes, we will find out why in the afterlife, but if nobody deserves anything, then the question still exists why those bad things happen to specific people.... (14) craig , December 21, 2010 6:08 PM But in the end, because these are metaphysical questions beyond the power of science to prove or disprove, each individual must find his/her own truth. It could not have been any other way. As long as the numerator is smaller than the denominator, this line of reasoning becomes more plausible. Parts of this article are taken from: Ralph Lewis, Finding Purpose in a Godless World: Why We Care Even If The Universe Doesn’t (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2018). Finally, in one of my other posts ("Does The Universe Have a Purpose? . !” You will even find it in intellectual circles and philosophy books: “If there really were a perfectly good, all-knowing, all-powerful God, then there would be … Vince, once again the points you've made are all ones upon which I hope our readers will give long and deep reflection. According to Kabbalah, the separation of the less powerful, fragmented aspects of God from the transcendent, perfect God occurred during the act of creation of the universe. Yalova, northwestern Turkey, August 17, 1999, following the 7.6 magnitude İzmit earthquake. Also expand our circle of concern to the other animals as well: We're like Douglas Adams' "sentient puddle": "Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory (New York: Pantheon Books, 1992), p. 251. Process theology vs. biblical theology. But in the end, when we have pushed scientific explanations to their outer limits, only then, can we entertain some measure of faith in small consolation to the mystery of Existence. Like the prodigal son who could only see the love of his father when he was at his lowest, God often lets us go through dark valleys so we will then be able to see how glorious and loving he really is. We know from the Scriptures that nothing occurs without God’s permission (Ephesians 1:11). God Allows Bad Things to Happen to You Because Without the Human Free Will Which Causes Much of the Pain in Our Lives, No True Love Could Be Experienced. If I read a Yelp review of a restaurant I like seeing lots of happy customers. 4 Warning Signs of a High Conflict Partner, The Understudied Trait That Makes for Happier Relationships, 3 Reasons a Sexless Marriage Shouldn't Lead to Divorce, Psychology Today © 2021 Sussex Publishers, LLC, Want to Make Someone Feel Better? If there are lots of real positive reviews and one whiner, I'm likely to discard that one bad opinion. ", This is another metaphysical proposition. He is not, however, willing to give us short-term pleasures at the cost of long-term suffering. Pertaining to “infinity,” such abstract concepts exist only in mathematics. Why? The theological problem of trying to explain why evil and suffering exist in the world is referred to as theodicy. #4 — It helps invite progress not perfection. The universe has no inherent purpose or design.". Validate Their Feelings. Who are we trusting when those things happen to us? Disclaimer:An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. God wants the best for us, his love is best, therefore he allows people to choose to sin so that people can also choose to love. Money Can Buy at Least One Type of Happiness, Consider Skipping New Year's Resolutions in 2021. We see a tangle of fabric that appears random and purposeless. There are a couple ways Christians answer this questions. Can Life Have Meaning in a Random Universe? The "why me?" But more importantly, I have my own conclusion about why this proposition is wrong. For as Revelations 21:1-5 states: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. Just because God doesn’t respond to your prayer the way that you want Him to then it doesn’t mean that He doesn’t care.… Bad things like diseases and natural disasters happen because creation is broken because of the fist sin that happened in Genesis 3. Just grateful for a wonderful read. 2. However, when we enter the realm of metaphysics, then everyone’s opinion is on equal footing. While I would never want to make light of hard questions like these, the reality is God is not responsible for all the evil in this world. According to this view, God may nevertheless still be at each person's side comforting them and giving them strength during times of adversity (an idea also invoked in the famous "Footprints in the Sand" poem). We give value and meaning to life. There is much we can do to alleviate each other’s suffering when adversity strikes. But they do. The Bible says that God’s primary purpose in everything he does is to bring himself glory. An easy earthly life that results in being blinded to God is actually a curse that leads to hell. And God of the Gaps. Since you quote Smolin, here’s his take on String Theory: A scientific theory that makes no predictions and therefore is not subject to experiment can never fail, but such a theory can never succeed either, as long as science stands for knowledge gained from rational argument borne out by evidence. And more disturbingly, there are too many callously brutal people in the world for anyone’s comfort. It can simply be because of what energies they attract. In other words, while God does not want us to go through hard things, he knows those hard things will turn out for our good if we gain a greater glimpse of God’s glory through these trials. How precisely this could happen—how such astonishing and ‘clever’ complexity could have arisen and developed out of fundamental randomness and simplicity (and perhaps ultimately out of nothingness! And all of this will be accomplished because Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, died for our sins, rose from the dead, and will one day return. AGW Ministries is meant to be an online blessing to you. I try to express gratitude to them for sharing their life experience with me and for teaching me profound lessons about the human condition. Thank you very much Vince for your as-usual thoughtful and penetrating comment. When we feel like God must micromanage reality and take away our choices and stop everything bad that can ever happen – we are saying that the gospel is not enough. We do things every day that can adversely affect us or those around us. Let’s assume that the denominator is a very large number (VLN). So much to unpack on your excellent post. Here again, we may touch upon spiritual aspects, but not in the traditional sense. If God stopped all the bad, no one would have a true choice to do anything good either. "Consensus means nothing! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. Nevertheless, I've often found denial helpful when it comes to my ageing and my avoidance behaviour is helpful in that regard (eg diverting attention, pretending it's not happening etc.) “We could bear nearly any pain or disappointment if we thought there was a reason behind it, a purpose, to it.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Here is some sage advice about why everything happens for a reason: 1. Our brains are not satisfied with randomness. People change so that you can learn to let go, things … It also could be related to why things happen the way … (16 Signs), 3 Signs God Is Revealing a Hidden Gem to You, God Is Getting You Ready to Experience His Goodness If…, When God Is Not in a Relationship, This Will Happen…, God Is Telling You to Take a NEW Path If…, 4 Reasons God Is Not Taking Away Your Desire for Sex, 5 Signs God Is Asking You to Refocus on Him, 5 Signs God Is Saying, “Your Feelings Are Misleading You!”, 3 Reasons Jesus’ Incarnation Is Needed for a Godly Relationship, 5 Subtle Signs God Is Saving You from a Bad Relationship. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. And 3. God Always Wants the Best for You, What Is Best for You Is to Glorify God, and God Is Often Most Glorified During the Hardest Times in Life, To really understand this point, we have to take a quick step back and remember what the glory of God is according to the Bible. In 2019, we do in fact have a remarkably high level idea of the "how" -- far more is now understood than even most educated people appreciate. He summarizes how science has come to view the universe and absolutely everything in it as the product of entirely spontaneous, unguided processes, and why this is actually a highly motivating realization for humankind. Consensus of opinion is very important to me. Why you? Swedenborg learned big picture reasons for this. That would nullify the point of making us to begin with. Because metaphysical issues cannot be empirically disproven. is indeed a very intriguing question, one to which some scientists have given much thought. And not just empathy, but active help towards those human beings and to other animals also. In the ordeal of Karin’s cancer, we were the grateful beneficiaries of very much kindness and caring. It is much easier to accuse another. .”. Why doesn’t God need to stop the bad things from happening? When needed, I offer consoling religious ideas to help patients whose faith has been shaken by cruel adversity and who are asking "Why did this terrible thing happen to me when I've tried so hard to be a good person?" "Yes, as counterintuitive as it is, it is indeed fully plausible that the universe and all the complexity and life and consciousness contained within it could, in fact, have emerged and evolved entirely spontaneously and unguided. If there are lots of sour reviews and one person that raves about the place I'm skeptical. Hi, I'm Mark Ballenger and I'm so happy you've come to ApplyGodsWord.com. “Bad things can happen, and often do--but they only take up a few pages of your story; and anyone … When you are in your deepest pain, you will then be able to experience that God is the greatest comfort. And it is a human habit to infer deliberate intention to events in self-referential ways. So here are 3 reasons God is allowing bad things to happen to you. Adopting a secular worldview entails recognizing that meaning and purpose are human attributions and that events do not have inherent purpose—unless of course the event is caused by intentional human action (or the purposeful behavior of some other animal). I had seen how these get deployed by people facing serious threat and uncertainty—all the more so when those people's fates are being arbitrarily determined by random and trivial factors that seem to mock the significance of their lives. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. Why? And while there may forever be things unknowable to science, the problem with Faith staking its territory at the outer limits of scientific explanations is that those outer limits are very rapidly expanding. You see it in articles and blog posts after the bombardment of an entire village: “What kind of God would allow these things to happen? 1. The transcendent essence of God is referred to in Kabbalah as Ein Sof, meaning “without end,” infinite, and it is said to transcend the universe. conclusion extrapolated from the known fundamental physics). Could God stop the bad things from happening in your life and in this world? . It's all free! I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.". Or see this link for a very brief video providing a synopsis of the book. It’s Trying to Save Us. As I’ve stated elsewhere, in my psychiatric clinic I am not in the business of changing people's religious worldviews, unless they ask me to help them do so and if it's appropriate and helpful to do so. One day God will make a new heaven and a new earth. The partial, immanent aspects of God that we are said to experience in our world are sometimes likened to mere sparks of the ultimate transcendent light, trapped within the material of creation. But what if…the numerator exceeds the denominator? Ask the pastor. " Also, God can allow bad things to happen to good people in order to teach them lessons, to discipline them, to improve their character, to encourage them to depend on him, etc. The point is we find ourselves in a universe with regularities and patterns that lend themselves to mathematical understanding. Dust cover is intact; pages are clean and are not marred by notes or folds of any kind. Thanks to a whole lot of dumb luck, and some remarkable medical breakthroughs, we made it through—though one is never really out of the woods with cancer, and we have had more scares in recent years. Certainly, this question you pose is still at the outer limits of science. Rather, God’s solution comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ. In conclusion, this last comment deserves a reply: Faith staking its territory at the outer limits of scientific explanations is My gift to you. I am open to all of these amazing opinions. Moreover, biological evolution (which is far better understood than the origins of the universe) is utterly incompatible with any kind of foresight or planning. Profoundly Challenging Questions to Ask an Atheist. One day humans will no longer hurt each other. Bad things happen because sinful people can do hurtful things to us. God Allows Bad Things to Happen in Your Life Because God Wants Us to Find Our Ultimate Hope for Salvation in Jesus Christ Alone. When bad things happen, when you’re facing heavy challenges, when you don’t understand all the reasons behind your struggles, here is one thing to always remember: No matter what trial you’re facing, when you’re feeling lost, alone, defeated, or broken, the Savior’s arms are open to receive you. Presupposing the laws of quantum mechanics is to commit the logical fallacy of begging the question. It's completely free - my gift to you. Do Narcissists Prefer to Date Other Narcissists? I am primarily in the business of helping people to function better and to be less distressed. For what children are not disciplined by their father? With that said, God is still the one in ultimate control, but he grants freedom to humans to act in ways he does not approve of, which is called sin. For several years following the diagnosis, we expected the worst and lived with tremendous uncertainty. The truth is that the "reason" bad things happen isn't somehow baked into our life's trajectory. Well thought-out opinions, such as those articulated by Vince and others here and elsewhere in this series, deserve to be taken very seriously by readers. Once that unambiguous conclusion from science is fully grasped, then the mystery of why bad things happen to good people simply evaporates. I have a Master's Degree in Pastoral Counseling, I've been married since 2008, we have two wild children, and we live in Cleveland, Ohio. And all of this will be accomplished because Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, died for our sins, rose from the dead, and will one day return. . Ralph Lewis, M.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, a psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and a consultant at the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto. All those bad things happened later after humans corrupted this world with sin in Genesis 3. I find it no less explicable than positing the Christian God. This was an old version I was working on a few days ago. Can you point to anything in the physical world that we would characterize as “infinite?”. “We can ignore even pleasure. Everyone’s opinion is equally valid. It's very hard to keep up with the current state of science across multiple disciplines. God allows hard things to happen in our lives because he is willing to let us endure short-term pain if it will result in long-term pleasure. As mentioned previously, this assumes a universe generating mechanism. But given everything we now know about how evolution proceeds, a god who uses evolution to create living creatures can only be thoroughly cruel or indifferent, as well as inefficient, tinkering, and bungling. This proposition would be correct if you conflate metaphysics and faith. As a meaning-seeking species, we tend to process events in terms of what they mean to us: is it good or bad for us? 3. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. Barbour Publishing, Incorporated, 2008. He is limited in what He can do by laws of nature and by the evolution of human nature and human moral freedom.”3 Kushner went on to propose: “Let me suggest that the bad things that happen to us in our lives do not have a meaning when they happen to us. Everyone’s opinion is equally valid.". Nonetheless, as I said in the above mentioned post about the Exodus myth and the origins of the Bible, some of the philosophical and psychological ideas that theologians have come up with along the way do have merit as human insights. When bad things happen, you may feel like you are in the bottom of well, full of darkness, despair, and no way out. Our brains have a natural proclivity for coherent stories—grand narratives with an overarching point and a satisfying end: things must happen for specific reasons, they must have a point. As the Nobel laureate physicist Steven Weinberg commented, “If there is a God that has special plans for humans, then He has taken very great pains to hide His concern for us.”2, Rabbi Kushner’s proposed solution, in his now-famous book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, was to drop the belief in God’s omnipotence: “I believe in God. As New. Type in your email address and a copy will be sent right to your inbox. PS: Small typo: I meant to refer to Victor Stenger. What we must remember is that God takes the long view. This belief is a double-edged sword: it can be reassuring and comforting but can also lead to disillusionment, anguish, and feelings of abandonment by God, under conditions of cruel adversity. Bad things happen when we make sinful choices. God doesn’t have to stop the bad things from happening in our lives to spare us from becoming broken. However, recently I've been doing therapy and my old coping mechanisms are failing. If we reach out to God in time of need, then we are accessing the One who created the universe. God has sovereignly created a world where people’s choices matter and his ultimate plan will still come to pass. It seemed obvious to us that there was no reason we should be exempt from misfortune and tragedy. Yes, as counterintuitive as it is, it is indeed fully plausible that the universe and all the complexity and life and consciousness contained within it could in fact have emerged and evolved entirely spontaneously and unguided. The book is a deeper dive into questions of purpose, meaning and morality in a random, purposeless, godless universe. Consequently, Faith has 3. God uses pain to get our attention. Jesus glorifies God the most because he reveals God the most, for in Colossians 1:15 it states, “He is the image of the invisible God . To Mould Us into Christ-likeness. But fortunately, most people are caring, and the overwhelming majority are capable of caring when they can be taught to relate to other people’s predicament and perspective. In fact it fits me staggeringly well, may have been made to have me in it!' But as I’ve painstakingly learned, this is metaphysical territory. While the latter might seem more reasonable than the former, they can both be types of the grand excuse. But my favorite act of serving God is revealing his truth in written format. From whence, do these laws of nature emerge? Thank you very much Dominique for your keen interest. We are only good because He has taken our sins and is transforming us into His good image. In an infinite number of universes such a universe is not only possible, it is inevitable. that those outer limits are very rapidly expanding. Severe adversity seemed almost overdue for us. 1. My passion is to help others apply God's truth to every aspect of life for his glory and our enjoyment of him. … People can and do care, even if the universe doesn’t, Woops I've responded to the wrong article. Yes, he could. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! . We have to account for how these disjointed pieces harmonize together to create life. So when she was diagnosed in 2005 in her late thirties with a very aggressive life threatening cancer, she never dwelled on questions like ‘Why did this happen?’ or ‘Why me?’ When people asked her if she struggled with such questions or if she felt a sense of cosmic injustice, her characteristically matter-of-fact reply was “Why not me?”. A Guidebook for Every Phase of Christian Singleness, To really understand this point, we have to take a quick step back and remember, what the glory of God is according to the Bible. The multiverse hypothesis assumes the existence of a mechanism that engenders bubble universes with varying laws of nature. For example, I don’t believe that extrapolating a million years in the future, science will be any closer to answering the question: does God exist? But the solution found in the gospel will only be received by those who put their faith in Jesus, repent of sin, and receive God’s grace. In an infinite number of universes such a universe is not only possible, it is inevitable. . One day God will make a new heaven and a new earth. It’s not really that God is allowing us to suffer or allowing bad things to happen to good people, it’s a sin thing. Davies spoke at the Templeton Foundation and would be sympathetic to the view that life is a non-random process. For a summary of the historical context for the writing of the Bible, see my post "Why the Exodus Story Has Value Despite Being Complete Myth" and the hypertext link contained in that post to the table of historical chronology. All the things after sin entered the world, reflect the enemy. There are multiple converging lines of more detailed evidence very clearly demonstrating that the Bible's authors were very human and that they had a pitifully limited and flawed Iron Age understanding of the world. The question still remains: Why do bad things happen to those who have faith in Christ? Bad things happen when we make sinful choices. We can either be mindless robots who experience only good things in life but will never actually experience true love because we don’t have choice, or we can be real people who can actually love God and others but who also have to experience real consequences for sin in this world. The glory of God is when the invisible qualities of God are made manifest. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? God has sovereignly created a world where people’s choices matter and his ultimate plan will still come to pass. Bad things happen because sinful people can do hurtful things to us. In an eternal multiverse the origin question is moot (the idea of a multiverse was not invented with the goal of rendering this question moot, it is in many ways an inescapable conclusion extrapolated from the known fundamental physics). . "There is much we can do to alleviate each other’s suffering when adversity strikes. For example mental illness, why bad things happen to good people, why God answers some prayers & not others. Once we come to terms with the universe’s indifference, we realize more acutely that we have only each other to rely on. God didn’t create cancer, famines, and broken relationships in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1. The Law of Attraction. My wife Karin is a much more practically-minded, down-to-earth person than I am. It was 430 pages, 200 pages lesser than my latest version! He is not, however, willing to give us short-term pleasures at the cost of long-term suffering. 1. Bad things happen because sin is written in our DNA. Wanting bad things to happen to yourself can be thought of a form of self-punishment. 1. The Top 10 Most Viewed AGW Videos from... What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? What makes matters even more confusing is that the Bible also teaches us that God is all loving. We can also turn the question around: "Why would an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God allow good things to happen to bad people?" But bad things do happen, thus people often conclude that God is either not all powerful or is not a loving God. But I’m not talking about faith but metaphysics. In an eternal multiverse the We’ve Got Depression All Wrong. The universe has no purpose, but we do. Or, more simply and crudely put, “Sh*t happens.”. The central quandary is this: “Why do terrible things happen in a world governed by an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good God?” How can God simultaneously possess all three of these qualities and yet allow bad things to happen to good people, and with such frequency and such savage intensity? One day humans will no longer hurt each other. Do you want to love and know God better and better every day? He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’, And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.””. The Bible says that He is waiting for our response. God allows hard things to happen in our lives because he is willing to let us endure short-term pain if it will result in long-term pleasure. Au contraire, this hypothesis seems the most mentioned proposal in trying to obviate the need for a God hypothesis. We have no idea about the “how.” In terms of plausibility, I find the arguments of Biologist James Tour to be “fully plausible.”. And indeed it would be if anyone but God sought all the glory for himself. However, we can also perform actions that have positive effects. In short, the darker the night the brighter the light that shines. Sometimes things just happen, and we can't control them. The reason bad things happen to you is because you’re a dumbass. The downside is that the reason is not always given to you. One way is to say, yes, everything happens for a reason and often times that reason is that we are stupid people who make bad … Because the gospel is enough. The implication is that we would naturally find ourselves in such a universe, rather than in any of the myriad other universes with randomly differing laws of physics not conducive to our existence. It. ”, 2 a form of self-punishment fits me staggeringly well, may have been made to me! Agree that the domain of faith has diminished as science the reason bad things happen to you exist in physical! Let me hastily add, not true sons and daughters at all experience that God is when invisible! Experience is that the denominator is a non-random process for everything—the purpose of it all Does not override free. 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Process theology this sense, the darker the night the brighter the light of Christ shines, this question pose! Metaphysics, then we are only good because he allows human choices to matter chris, in empirical. Sin is written in our lives in at least 3 ways even more staggering is transforming us into Christ-likeness 12:7-11... Can also perform actions that have positive effects human fathers who disciplined us and him.! With them, and as a psychiatrist had honed an ever-present awareness of the grand.. Primarily in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3 lots of happy customers one to which some scientists given.