Does religion adequately answer the problem of human suffering? Many of my Christian friends are convinced that an eternal God that suffers on a cross does in fact somehow provide an answer. What is this answer? Well, for some it seems to be an explicit recognition on behalf of God that He in fact cares immensely and has therefore identified with humanity in a most intimate way.
This is a portrait of a God that puts Himself into the trenches in order to gather any and all that would simply call on His name. This is where unconditional love is said to shine and pour forth for the world to both see and know. This one instance after all is God’s absolute best toward His beloved children. So how does this stack up to the actual human predicament?
The first factor that would seem to bring this into question is the alleged strategy of this all-knowing, all-powerful God. In comparative terms we are being asked to believe that an insurmountably wise divine being planned to spread salvation to a suffering world via oral and written tradition from a rather obscure part of the ancient world? It puts this religion very much on par with all other oral and written traditions that most certainly have a completely different set of assumptions. There is automatically an unnecessary amount of competition!
Not only is this the case, but it limits Christianity to being a primarily human driven message. An all-powerful God chooses to limit a dire message that could supposedly save the highest estimated amount of people imaginable? An all-knowing God chooses to make salvation conditional upon whether or not someone worships Him in this lifetime? These two questions alone present a high number of hurdles to meeting this God’s supposed ultimate goal.
In my next segment on this subject I plan to delve in even more as to how Christianity has failed both in the present and in the past at remaining relevant with the actual suffering that we observe. This is a human problem worthy of human answers.