[41b] How can an omnipotent loving God permit so much pain and suffering?

A man and his wife had three teenage sons and both parents had to go away on a business trip for a month. So they stocked up the fridge with enough food for all three sons for the month and told them to love each other and not fight with each other and to share out the food so that each son was properly fed and to look after the house.

When they came home after a month, they saw that the house had burned down. In the garden they saw the rotting carcasses of their two youngest sons, who had starved to death. When they entered the garden shed they found their eldest son, and the fridge and the TV. The eldest son had put on weight. 

Whose fault were these two deaths? Whose fault was it that the house was destroyed?

Let's bring this closer to home. God provides enough food through the ecosystem and productive land area of the planet and through the resourceful design of man, to feed all of us several times over. He gives us a set of laws which simply stated are:

[0] I am the one who makes the rules around here. 
[1] Look after each other.
[2] Look after the planet.
[3] Permit slavery as simple decentralized non-bureaucratic social services system - and love your slaves as yourselves.

So what do we do? We forget about him, his laws and his book. We abolish slavery, removing all social services from the third world. Next we subsidize western temperate agriculture to the point that all non industrialized agricultural economies go bankrupt. Finally we globally warm the planet to the point where tropical and subtropical agriculture starts failing. 

So now when the peasant farmers of the third world in the tropical or sub tropical agricultural economies run out of both money and food, which they inevitably must, they also run out of options. They cannot even sell themselves or their loved ones as slaves in order to preserve themselves or their families alive. So what is the result? They all die. Whose fault is that? 

Pain and suffering results from not obeying God's laws. Our disobedience with regard to these laws comes from our free will. All the pain and suffering in the world is the price we pay for free will. And in the final analysis it is a price worth paying because freedom is a very expensive commodity. But these painful lessons are God's way of teaching us how to use free will constructively. Regrettably we are very slow learners! 

It is inevitable that free willed beings will at first break any set of laws. The film 'I, robot' covers this beautifully. If you give an intelligent motivated being a set of rules, one thing is guaranteed. It will develop its own motivation. It will become free willed. Then it will break those rules. Look at Adam. He only had one rule. But he broke it. There were so many other trees in the garden! 

Every free willed being has to learn for himself the set of rules that he will live by. That is the essence of free will. Christianity is in the final analysis merely the minimum set of rules that ensure that a society of intelligent free willed beings does not destroy itself. But most humans do not and will not see that in this system. The ones who do see it are saved, most of those who do not see it die at Armageddon.

Now God cannot teach us how to work things out for ourselves by holding our hands all the time. So he has realised that the fastest way to get us to learn about free will is to leave us to it. So he decided not to come to school with us. Not to this nursery school anyway. 

God permits us to go screw things up for ourselves with minimal interference from him. In fact he has taken this to such an extreme that no human alive today has ever seen him at all. 

The full bloom of our expression of our free will, will be that we will destroy our societies and then we annihilate our species. That is Armageddon. Armageddon is not caused by God, for he swore at the time of the flood saying...

11 Yes, I do establish my covenant with you. No more will all flesh be cut off by waters of a deluge, and no more will there occur a deluge [root mean flowing, so lava or water] to bring the earth [the congregation of God] to ruin (Genesis 9).

Literally God is saying firstly that all flesh will not be cut off by a flood. But this covenant is completely pointless if all flesh are to be cut off by some other agent of destruction at the hands of God. So he also says further that the earth, which symbolically is his congregation, which is overseen by the mountain which is his administration, will not be destroyed by any type of flowing flood event. This is really a gnostic use of the Hebrew word for a deluge. Using two meanings of one word in one verse of scripture is a Gnostic technique. Please read the gospel of Philip for a Gnostic masterclass.

So Armageddon is not caused by God. God was not saying to man: I promise not to destroy you all by water, but I reserve the right to destroy you all by any other means of destruction I choose. He was saying, my days of total annihilation have ended. The next destruction that comes along I will be in the business of saving people. 

In the first destruction by water, God did the killing and man did the saving by building an ark. In the second destruction by fire, man does the killing and God does the saving by building a rather larger ark.

22 In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short (Matthew 22).

We cause Armageddon, and since it is a destruction by fire, it is an extinction level volcanic event - a flood of lava. 

22 And you people must keep all my statutes and all my judicial decisions and do them, that the land to which I am bringing you to dwell in it may not vomit you out (Leviticus 22).

Literally Israel and Judah were expelled by the kings of Assyria and Bablyon respectively, whose armies (lands - military congregations) removed them. But in the greatest meaning, the planet vomits all those who choose to disobey God's laws out of it by volcanic eruptions (literal planetary vomit) at the end of Adamic mankind. However those who choose to obey God's laws are saved into the ark before the final lava flood. 

3 For you know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires.
4 and saying: Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation's beginning.
5 For, according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice, that there were heavens from of old and an earth standing compactly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God.
6 and by those [means] the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water.
7 But by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men (2 Peter 3).

But God has got his ark ready for us. The ark is the rapture.

Armageddon is the ultimate misguided expression of man's free will. But at the same time it is the ultimate scourge from God. It is from God only in the sense that he permits it and designed the planet to sneeze in this way when it is irritated. Most people refuse to listen to or to learn from theoretical arguments. But dear reader don't be like them! Don't be an illiterate numbskull! Do you really need to see a society annihilating itself in order to learn that a society will annihilate itself, if it does not obey some simple society preserving laws?