God's influence

(330 Posts)
orangatan Tue 18-Mar-14 09:12:30

Have nc for this but only becuase I am busy as it were on other threads.

I am having trouble getting my head around something.

I am a committed christian.

When things go wrong, and I am really just talking about very minor things that other people have done to you, how much of that has been orchestrated by God?
Any of it? None of it? Somewhere in between?

Thanks

orangatan Tue 18-Mar-14 10:54:32

I will start to answer my own question!

www.acts17-11.com/armor.html

I am thinking I need to know more about God's shield?

orangatan Tue 18-Mar-14 10:58:47

But how much is God helping with this?

I am always mindful of the part at the beginning of the book of Job where I think it says that we are ringfenced?

I am confused!

orangatan Tue 18-Mar-14 11:01:14

Mabe we are ringfenced on earth, but not in Heaven?

I think you are asking a question about God micromanaging the universe so that all the things that go wrong from stubbing my toe to my best friend getting cancer is because God has willed it. My own answer to that question is that no I don't think that. Your link to the article on the armour is very detailed but I think it implies that if you are a Christian then bad stuff can't happen to you. Well no, bad stuff happens to Christians (see comment about best friend and cancer) but God is with us through it and not separate from us because of Jesus.

I glanced at your link, and I really don't think that's how we are supposed to use the Bible. I really, honestly do not believe that the people who wrote those passages intended anyone to put them together in that kind of detailed way and use it as an argument. The different books of the Bible were written by different people at different times, with different audiences in mind.

Beyond a general concept of 'shielding yourself against evil' I don't think you can do this to it without bending it to suit your own preconceived ideas.

If God was personally responsible for every tiny thing which happened to me, and to others, then I would be completely unable to follow that God. A god who used His omnipotence to ensure that colleagues and acquaintances were mildly irritating to me would be much better off using that power to encourage people to stop wars and famines, to cure cancer, to make sure babies weren't born with conditions that made their lives short and painful.

So, no, I do not believe that God in any way orchestrates the little bits and pieces that happen.

The point of Christianity is that God became man and experienced it, and gave the Holy Spirit to be alongside us in it. That is our 'shield', not anything that stops bad stuff from happening.

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 14:03:00

I think Satan is responsible for the evil.

We can overcome it through Faith in Christ. The process of overcoming is a learning one and can make us stronger in our Faith.

Evil is present on this earth, it does not even have to seem very big. Evil can be quite mundane / ordinary. It is anything against God's will. For example sometimes if I stubb my toe annoyingly I will say to myself that the Devil is just trying to annoy me and take my focus away from the thing I should be concentrating on. This helps, dinner is not burnt or it does not make me late or whatever.

We will come across Evil (some more than others) in this life and have to deal with it. Faith in Christ is the best weapon, your 'shield'.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii1sbbCO6r8

^Interesting song from Jarvis Cocker with some ideas encompassing some of these issues.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 18-Mar-14 15:12:30

If god is so powerful why does he allow satan to exist? He was god's creation after all. Omnipotence and all that. He could smite him then you would never stub your toe again.

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 15:18:36

It's just one of those mysteries, atthestroke.

Free will is an important element I think, you learn to discern what is good and from God and choose it, choose Him.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 18-Mar-14 15:20:36

Those mysteries are a little too convenient. Either god is all powerful or he isn't.
I don't get why he created the whole bizarre scenario anyway- bored one wet Wednesday and decided to set up some quarreling pets to amuse himself?

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 16:07:49

atthestroke

God is all powerful. He just gave us Free Will. It makes sense to me. I would rather someone choose to love, than someone being controlled and been made to love. Is it real love if you cannot choose it?

The Free Will means we can be wild - not pets at all.

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 16:10:50

...and mystery can seem inconvenient if all you want is straightforward clear cut answers....

I like mystery. It suggests something on the edge of comprehension, something greater than ourselves. It is compelling and exciting.

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 16:12:24

Don't you like just a bit of mystery atthestroke?

hmm When I stub my toe, I usually blame myself for being clumsy. It would never occur to me to say it was Satan's fault, or that Satan wants me to burn the dinner.

I find it odd to allocate such great power to Satan, when normal everyday life is quite sufficient to explain an event. Equally, I don't find it necessary to assume God has personally intervened to make sure there is one lettuce left on the supermarket shelf when I get there to shop, or any other random 'positive' thing that happens in my life.

If God spends all his time sorting out these trifles, then He should get on with something more useful.

If Satan can make me stub my toe, why doesn't he make me fall down the stairs or something that takes about the same level of clumsiness but has much more effect on my life?

Most of life is random, or is other people just being themselves. The question is how we choose to respond to it - do we curse the world and everything in it, or do we try to improve things for others? Do we grouch back at the irritating neighbour or do we try to understand why they are miserable and help them. Do we take out our irritation on our loved ones, or do we let it go and try to stay calm and sane? That's where faith might influence how we choose to act, and how we want to see ourselves - though equally we may try to be 'decent' people just because we think it's the better choice, without any religious reasoning.

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 16:56:11

AMum

hmm When I stub my toe, I usually blame myself for being clumsy. It would never occur to me to say it was Satan's fault, or that Satan wants me to burn the dinner.

grin I see what you are saying. However I don't think what I do allocates power to Satan. I said I would ignore the toe stubb. It is recognizing the imperfect part of ourselves, the bit that causes us to stubb out toe is not part of God's will and therefore down to Satan. Drawing strength enough to ignore it, is God working. Simples...

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 18-Mar-14 16:58:55

So it is "therfore down to satan" that you stubbed your toe. Is he bored too?
Is life always so black and white?

You may not always want to ingore it- not if it needs a band aid.

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 16:58:56

I don't believe life is truly random. Patterns have even been found in what was previously thought to be Chaos...

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 17:02:25

I love your typo atthestroke I'm imagining a gory toe now!grin

Ignore or deal with quickly, but not let it get you down.

Black and white? Not exactly. Just being able to prioritize and focus on what is most important at the time.

So, do you just use the word 'Satan' to mean 'Everything that happens that isn't directly God's will' or are you actually thinking in terms of a personification? An actual deliberate act by an evil force?

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 18-Mar-14 17:05:19

ha ha gary toe!!!

I would feel a little puppet like thinking that my life is being ruled and judged by two celestial geezers.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 18-Mar-14 17:05:36

Done it again.......

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 18-Mar-14 17:06:30

Been eating a sneaky pack of crisps- slippy fingers!!

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 18-Mar-14 17:10:40

The figure of satan is a disturbing bastardization of many old pre- christian gods, particularly Cernunnos, the horned god of the forest.

He seems quite an interesting archetype

silver-fish.hubpages.com/hub/Who-is-the-Devil

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 17:33:44

I would feel a little puppet like thinking that my life is being ruled and judged by two celestial geezers.

Sort of except you choose which one to follow...I do not wish to become a 'slave to sin' and I am 'Free in Christ.'

Interesting concerning the old myths and legends and also the Pagan element in the Church. IMO a Christian has to stay strong to value Love and Faith over letting the ritualistic elements dominate too strongly. Although, saying this, ritual can really focus Faith. Interesting juxtaposition, I think indicative of human make-up.

capsium Tue 18-Mar-14 17:36:54

AMum

So, do you just use the word 'Satan' to mean 'Everything that happens that isn't directly God's will' or are you actually thinking in terms of a personification? An actual deliberate act by an evil force?

Both. No either or. Deliberate act by an evil force and everything that happens that is not God's will.

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