We can feel the righteousness of our faith, but we can not always explain or prove it to a person who is not a believer, especially to someone whose worldview is somehow irritating. Reasonable questions of an atheist can confound even the most sincerely believing Christian. About how and what to answer the common arguments of atheists tells our permanent author Sergei Khudiev in the project "Dialogue with Atheists: Orthodox arguments." Watch the next live broadcast on the Facebook page on Tuesdays at 20.00, during which you can ask your questions.
If God's design is inevitably accomplished, then why make an effort to serve God?
And why do we make efforts at all? What makes our efforts meaningful? The fact that they are subordinated to some important, worthy goals. A person learns because his goal is to master a profession. She works because she loves her family and wants to provide for her. It makes scientific discoveries, because it wants to multiply our knowledge of the world, which will be used, for example, by doctors to alleviate human suffering and save lives.
If such an important goal is not there, any of our efforts turn into "Sisyphean labor", a source of senseless fatigue. The efforts of a Christian to serve God are subject to the highest and best goal - precisely because they are included in the plan of God.
A Christian fights like a warrior, completely confident of victory, works as a builder, absolutely sure that the building he is building will be completed. This confidence was (and remains) a solid foundation for cheerfulness and zeal both in the spiritual and earthly works of Christians.
If "for all the will of God" including, for example, illness and death, then what does the doctor - resist God?
When we say "Will of God," we can mean two different things. God's Law and God's Providence. God's law includes the "do not kill" commandment which not only forbids us to harm the life and health of people (including ourselves), but also requires us to save human life and health when possible. Therefore, a doctor who does just that, directly obeys the law of God. Through his efforts, God's work is being done to preserve the life of the patient.
When we say "all the will of God" in relation to some tragic events - such as suffering and death - we express our confidence that God can and wants and knows how to turn all these events for good, so we should transfer Them with patience and hope.
How can the human sin and suffering come into the plan of a good God? For example, a villain killed an innocent person - this is also part of the plan of God?
We can say that something is (or is not included) in the plan, referring to two different things:
1) We are actively planning something and we want this to happen exactly like this;
2) We anticipate that such events will occur, and have drawn up a plan to be ready for this.
For example, an evacuation plan for a fire does not mean that its authors plan a fire or want it, but that they know how to act if the fire happens. Or, for example, the work plan of the surgical department of the hospital provides assistance to victims of car accidents, accidents and crimes, and thus, all these misfortunes are provided and taken into account by the plan, but not doctors are the cause of all this evil.
In the world, blatant sins are committed, grave misfortunes occur-their cause is the resistance of the free created beings, angels and people, the will of God, the rejection of His dominion and His law, the trampling of His commandments. This is by no means what God wants for his creations. As Jonah says in the book, "You are God kind and merciful, long-suffering and arrogant, and you regret the disaster" (Ion 4: 2). Christ, as we read in the Gospel, wept over the grave of Lazarus (In 11: 35).
God does not in any way want his creation of tribulation, suffering and death - all this is the result of sin, both the sins of concrete people, and the general damage to the universe and human nature.
God's plan means that God knows what to do with all this, and turns everything for the good and the salvation of His creation. As Joseph says in the biblical book of Genesis, "Behold, you thought evil against me; But God turned it into good to do what is now: save a great number of people "(Gen. 50: 20).
The most striking example of this is the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ: when God turned the most terrible evil in human history - the rejection, betrayal and cruel murder of the Son of God - to the salvation of the human race. This is the purest instance of the murder of the innocent by the villains - and we know that God turned it to the greatest good.
But fishing works in the lives of ordinary people. I knew one young man who for several years was a heroin addict, brought a lot of evil and grief to himself and his family, almost died - but then got rid of his vice and began to help other drug addicts stop using. As a person who has personal experience of drug dependence, he has unique opportunities to understand and help, which people who do not know such a disaster have not. Of course, when he used heroin, he sinned and resisted God, but God included it in His plan and turned to good.
Does this mean that the woes and tribulations in human life are God's punishment?
In some cases, yes, they are enlisted to encourage a person to repent and return to the path of salvation. "Your wickedness will punish you, and your apostasy will convict you; Know therefore, and understand how evil and bitter it is that you have forsaken the Lord your God and my fear is not in you, says the Lord God Almighty "(Xerox 2: 19). However, we can confidently state this only in two cases - if we have (as Jeremiah) a special prophetic revelation from the Lord (which is hardly relevant for us) or we are talking about our own misfortunes, and conscience tells us what they have learned us as a result of some of our sins. If we are not prophets, we should not talk to our suffering neighbors, for which they suffered. We are called to "weep with the weeping," and not to speculate about which sins they suffer.
But much more often, woes, illnesses, disasters - is a manifestation of the fact that the world as a whole, as Scripture says, "lies in evil". Serious misfortunes can comprehend and pious people. We know that God's providence will turn everything for good, but we do not know why these events occurred precisely with these people. And we are not commanded to make guesses - we are commanded to serve God and fellow man.