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[+] death
Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:40 pm
noir
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 34
Location: those mean streets




why death? why are we destined to die? why the hell would God choose this existence for us? should we be thankful to exist? should we be thankful when our friends and loved ones "go to be with the Lord." should we look on the bright side when a husband and father of two is taken away from this world at the age of 39? at the age of 49? what does his family do now? have faith? i really don't understand. i really don't.

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Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:27 pm
Indie
 
Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 27
Location: lost and confused




I don't know. I wish I had some words of wisdom.

_________________
Joel 2:16
"Sanctify the congregation, assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast."

[+] Question, Answers, and Intimacy
Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:46 am
Gary
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 7




A PRAYER
by Thomas Merton

My Lord God

I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following
your will does not mean
that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that my desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
A Prayer, as quoted in AquaChurch: Essential Leadership Arts for Piloting Your Church in Today's Fluid Culture by Leonard Sweet

_________________
May the love of God continually interrupt your day,

Gary
coffee drinker

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Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:05 pm
lynnette
 
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 12
Location: miles from where i used to be




questions about death, pain, and all that is awful about life as we know it raise questions about life, pleasure, and all that is good about life as we know it. why does food taste good? why are flowers bright and colorful? why does holding someone's hand make our stomach tingle with delight? and if we didn't experience the joy of such things, would we know what pain is?

i don't know. i don't have a lot of answers. or a lot of understanding. i'm a cynic, a skeptic, a doubter. but somewhere rooted deep within me is hope. hope that there is meaning and purpose in this life. hope that truth and beauty exist - and that i can be a part. hope that there is something beyond me...something wonderful and great that knows, that speaks to, and that touches the depths of humanity.

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Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:17 am
shawn
Site Admin
 
Joined: 26 Jul 2004
Posts: 33
Location: 609




the beautiful things in life, the fun things, and those things that make us happy are the gifts that God has given us. i find myself thanking God for things such as movies, video games, music, and the like, due to the happiness they bring me. but true JOY, that is a deeper thing, and something that i find in Christ. before i followed Christ, i experienced happiness, but joy didn't come till i changed my focus.

that being said, suffering has it's place. like Lynnette said, without the bad things, the good things wouldn't be as sweet. if things were perfect now, would we have a need to desire heaven?

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Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:12 am
Scott Mc
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 8




This is an issue I've struggled with before: to appreciate good things, do we have to experience bad things. I know every person has probably experienced the truth in this statement at one time or another in life, but can we say this is NECESSARILY true? People often say that sin HAD to enter the world, so that we could be saved and experience grace...saying that this is the way we are set apart from the rest of God's creation. What I struggle with is how this is apparantly short changing or underestimating God's holiness and perfection. If, theoretically, sin had not entered into the world, what would our relationship with God be?...it would be perfect. How can something be better than perfect? How can this be incomplete or less than fully comprehended? I think that we are not set apart from salvation because we have experienced salvation and grace, but because we are created in God's own image...not that I know exactly what that means, but still...

I agree that bad things in life help us to appreciate good things, but I think I have to disagree that bad things are necessitated for the identification of or appreciation of good things. Things are good by there very nature or essence. Their goodness is not a measure compared to the relative badness of something else.

[+] 
Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:33 am
shawn
Site Admin
 
Joined: 26 Jul 2004
Posts: 33
Location: 609




although i agree with your statements, my comments were not necessarily within a theological realm, as they were a more practical realm. is good better because of bad? i don't think so. does it seem so sometimes? sure. i like it much more when there are very few bad things happening.

but i do agree that God is good no matter what, and the bad things in the world, or "sin", don't in anyway detract from that goodness. or enhance it, for that matter.

of course, when getting into sin entering the world, and the purpose of that, we are staring into a deep deep well of theory and questions.

[+] 
Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:53 pm
Scott Mc
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 8




Agreed. And I need to say that I DEFINITELY agree that bad times/situations can/do make the good times all that much more sweet.

[+] 
Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:54 pm
noir
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 34
Location: those mean streets




yeah, i agree with most of the statements replied here. i'm totally down with the poem gary posted too. it was right on. the real question i posted, however, stemmed from a friend that just died last week. he had a heart attack while out of town on business and died alone. they had his funeral today. he left a wife and two kids when he died. it just enrages me at the seeming injustice of it all. a righteous man trying to support and raise his family is taken, while a drug dealer or rapist is enjoying their sin. it's super hard to see God's plan in that. i know that God has mercy on who he wants to, it's just hard to accept.

it's hard to get my mind around seeing this life as only a stepping stone to the next. we can talk about heaven, but this life is all i really know or can relate to. all the talk about "streets of gold" and "sweet by and by" don't really give me comfort. i don't know if it's my lack of faith, but a lot of times i still fear death. and to see innocent and righteous people's lives cut short just really gets me down. all i reall want from God is some comfort and peace, but i don't really know how to obtain it.

[+] 
Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:20 am
shawn
Site Admin
 
Joined: 26 Jul 2004
Posts: 33
Location: 609




wow. i totally see where you're coming from. i think that the kingdom of God is here, and it is our duty to live in the here and now. i don't think about heaven much, and like you, i fear death. i think death is unfair, to some extent, in that none of us are immune to it, and it chooses who it wants to take, when it wants. i wonder how much God is involved with the whole death process. when people that i know die, i often wonder if God has some plan for that, or is it just part of the randomness that God set up when He made the earth.

this really plunges into deep theological territory, talking about God's involvement in the earth, and in our lives. i've been thinking about this some over the last few weeks. the fact, that as Christ followers, we live our lives according to a book that's 2000 years old (and more - the OT), and when the letters and records from the NT were written, they all expected Christ to return in their life times. but that, i guess, is an entirely different thread...

[+] beauty
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:10 pm
a linne
Guest
 




Death has to happen so we can enjoy the fleeting moments of life that we have. The saddest myth of all is that of immortality... and storyteller worth their words will tell you that. Look at Anne Rice's vampire tragedies or Neil Gaiman's Sandman... when you are immortal there is no hope of faith being completed. There is no sense of friendship when EVERYONE you ever connect with inevitabely goes away. Theres no sense in stopping to smell a single rose because you'll always be able to do so later.

Death, by perhaps design, defines how precious earthly life is.

[+] faith
Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:13 am
astrotoby
Guest
 




hmmmmmmm....

For one thing, death is probably going to be the greatest sentinent experience of life (I'm sure being born was probably amazing as well except that we weren't developed enough to remember it consciously). There's no injustice in death, it's across the board, no one is exempt, everyone is included. Death comes to us all.

When our appointed time to die comes around, that is the way it's supposed to be. It's our destiny. Everything is planned out. Everything that happens has always been going to happen exactly like that. It's been written in stone, written in the stars since before the beginning of time in the cosmic mind of God. There is no injustice, there's only perfect destiny, planned out by a power whose attributes as God include being perfect and good.

There is an absolute purpose, it exists, and we must rest in that fact and embrace the truth. For me the breakthrough came when I abandoned my own reason as the beginning and end of truth. I was able to stop worrying about the problem of evil and pain when I abandoned the foolish idea that my limited human logic is the ulitmate source of truth in the universe.

I don't know why it took me so long to realise that there could be a truth out there that did not make sence to me but was nevertheless somehow true, but once I did I felt massive releif. The ability to abandon my own reason and logic was one of my greatest challenges, and one of my greatest rewards.

A higher power exists. You are not God. You see through a glass darkly. Embrace that truth. It's called having FAITH.

[+] 
Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:58 pm
noir
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 34
Location: those mean streets




Quote:
It's our destiny. Everything is planned out. Everything that happens has always been going to happen exactly like that. It's been written in stone, written in the stars since before the beginning of time in the cosmic mind of God. There is no injustice, there's only perfect destiny, planned out by a power whose attributes as God include being perfect and good.



i don't accept that at all. put a face on suffering and tell me God planned it. no way. maybe God allowed it to happen, but he did not plan it to happen that way.

two men, both a husband and father of two have a heart attack at 39. a teenager is fighting an agonizing battle with drugs and then hangs herself. a righteous college student is killed in a car wreck at age 19 and all she wanted to be was a foreign missionary. these are just some of the tragic injustices i've faced in my personal life. people i knew and loved.

widen it out to the view of the whole world and it's crazy. it totally gets me down all the time. it's a heavy weight that's always on my heart. i don't know why God allows that **** to go down. i keep trying to follow Him, though. i don't know what else to do. we can't stop reaching out.

[+] 
Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:10 pm
Indie
 
Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 27
Location: lost and confused




noir,

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful--
for he cannot deny himself.

2 Tim. 2:11-13

_________________
Joel 2:16
"Sanctify the congregation, assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast."

[+] all knowing?
Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:28 pm
astrotoby
Guest
 




Noir,

hey, do you think God knows when everyone is going to die?

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