One of the perplexing questions that troubles most Christians is the question of the suffering and evil. It is often used by those who don’t believe as proof that God does not exist. Don’t be arrogant when you confront it.
Anybody who professes that this is an easy question to answer is not being intellectually honest. There are so many that try to dismiss this question with trite answers. It is just not acceptable. People who are seeking answer, particularly people who are in pain need to be treated better.
The Theology of Suffering and Evil is a Red Herring
When I lost my father there were so many well meaning people that came to me with well meaning platitudes and it doesn’t help. Ironically most of these people knew this and yet still, because they didn’t know what to say, they still said them.
There was one person however, that didn’t know what to say, so instead of speaking he sat in silence with me.
Let me be clear: What I am saying, is in the face of pain “Shut Up”! Nobody wants to hear your theology.
The grieving may need your help by listening to them in silence.
The best and most honest answer that you can give if they ask you why this has happened is, “I don’t know”. Because you don’t! And they can’t process the answer even if you did.
There will come a time, when it is appropriate to answer. In that case Be Honest. Don’t claim that you know all the answers; because you don’t. The problem of suffering and evil is not easy, just tell them what you believe. In the bible epistle of 1 Peter 3:8 Christians are called to be sympathetic and 1 Peter 3:15 calls us to give and answer but only when asked.
- Don’t preach to them
- Do not be Pius
- Don’t be spiritual
- Definitely Do No Argue
- If they interrupt you let them. They will ask you to go on when they are ready.
- Just be yourself
- Be as factual as you can
- Speak your truth as quietly and calmly as you can.
Here is one apologists point of view. It’s a good one. I hope it helps.