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So I have a question.....

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

In a conversation with a friend of mine, I made the statement "God giving me cancer". She immediately said that God did not "give" me cancer. Rather, it appeared and God would cure it. So, who did create cancer or did it evolve? I found the comment rather lame - if we believe God created all then he created cancer or it evolved. So, which is it? It doesn't work both ways,

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soccerfreaks
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As an unbeliever (an agnostic) I may not be the one to answer this from the perspective you would be most comfortable with.

I do, however, have some things for you to think about, as I have been thinking about for nearly 40 years.

Let us assume that the God you reference is the Christian God.

If that is a given, then you need look no further than the trials and tribulations of both Abraham and Job to understand that God tests you.

Abraham was asked to kill his own son to show his belief; Job went through so much that the mere mention of his name is recognized by most as the epitome of misery.

Incidentally, if I am not mistaken both of those stories come from the Old Testament and are therefore affirmed by not one, not two, but three religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

If I am missing one, I apologize.

To be honest, I cannot, cleary, subscribe to your notion that God gave you cancer, no more than I can subscribe to your friend's silly notion that it simply appeared but that God will cure it.

Of course, as I advised, I am an unknower.

Even so, I would suggest that unless you are some sort of chosen one, God is not going to be there to cure you all by Himself. The saying, I think, is that God helps those who help themselves.

As for evolution and God, I am rather rationally inclined in this regard and side with evolution, although I cannot preclude the existence of a higher power. I am, as I stated above, an unknower.

I think it is possible that evolution is the real deal (I happen to believe that it is so) while also holding open the option that there is a higher power, whatever you want to call it. This one is not an either/or proposition, my friend, unless you want it to be.

Regrettably, I am not a believer. But any number of very bright people, including Einstein, to name but one, have studied, do study, the cosmos, and believe that there is a divine power.

It is probably hubristic of me to stay out here where I am, to be honest. But, to be honest to myself, I must.

In the meantime, yes, it can work both ways.

It is clear to me that cancer is a form of evolution. Some adapt and live on and make the world a different thing, while others die out and are, if not forgotten, at least marginalized.

Cancer, at the moment, is not marginalized. It soon will be.

Cockroaches, my friend, are another story.

Take care,

Joe

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

I like what you wrote. I will have to read it a couple times to digest it. Thank you for responding.

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zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

in an unknown place and situation, a little living cell started to mutate in a totally unconventional, unhealthy manner. The rest is history.
For me, it really becomes a question of 'why me' vs 'why not me'. And since I not only believe in God, but also trust his wisdom and power and grace and mercy and omniscience, I don't even care why I got cancer. It is what it is, and I am striving to handle it with the resources God makes available to me. And the battle and the aftermath thereof is stretching me to the limits. So I don't waste energy trying to answer unanswerable questions.
If God wants to make it all clear to me at some time and place in the future, fine. If not, fine.
It's called peace. And I am still working on it, but getting there.
God bless.

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

I wish he would make it clear - would make my life alot easier! :)

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kimby
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So, what you are saying is that you believe God gave you the last cold you got, the last raise you got, caused the economy to collapse, your college degree and that flat tire during the thunderstorm? As you said, you can't have it both ways. Because He CAN intervene in all things, doesn't mean He DOES.

Free will. Since I am a believer (I don't profess to be a knower so I guess that makes me an unknower, too.) I also believe in the presence of evil. The devil I guess. Angels and fallen angels. Equal and opposite effects. And in some way, evolution. In the last hundred years we have gotten taller, bigger feet, fatter, and increased our life expectancy.

Disease? I guess that is the nature of life. This is NOT heaven and is not supposed to be perfect. We are to have trials of all sorts, including illness and death. How else could we appreciate the help He offers or the glory of Heaven?

Blessings come in strange packages. I don't think canzer is a blessing, nor do I believe God gave it to me. I do believe He is blessing me through and in spite of this trial. Will He cure me? I don't know. I do know He is blessing me each day and has a plan to my greater good. Even through suffering and hardship.

Kimby

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daisy366
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Maybe I'm not getting the point. But it seems like the original post was looking for someone or something to BLAME for having cancer.

I believe in God. I believe in miracles. I believe in man's free will. I believe that a weakened immune system is not able to fight off illness as effectively as a strong immune system. I believe in the power of meditation, prayer, music, positive thinking, exercise, good nutrition, etc.

I know people who are still alive many many years after being given the cancer death sentence. One of the posters said it well - let's not waste energy blaming. Let's get busy participating in and supporting our wellness with responsible behavior which includes, in my view, taking advantage of science and holistic means to heal mind and body.

Blessings to all,

Mary Ann

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lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I live nearby a rural church and on a recent Sunday, a youth leader and several teenagers stopped by my front yeard while I was outside cleaning my rabbit's cage. They told me who they were and said that they were taking a survey, and would I participate. I agreed and was asked if I knew the 10 Commandments and if I had ever broken any of them. I told them that of course I tried to follow the Commandments, but that I had lied, and surely broken others. I told them that I had cancer (in case the bald head wasn't a give-away!), and they offered to pray with me. I agreed. But the prayer they said was for me to be cured of my cancer, and when we finished, I told them that I never prayed anymore to be spared, that I felt it was inappropriate. I told them that I looked around at the people getting chemo with me, knowing each one was praying hard to be spared, each one throwing up "help me; help me, God!" to the heavens. And how could I ask for preferential treatment, knowing how wonderful so many of these people were, or remembering the little bald children coming in for radiation with me? What would make me more worthy than they were? So instead, I told him, I felt the appropriate communication with God at this point in my life, should be one of praise and thanks for the wonderful life I have lived. I told him that I would not want to risk my eternal soul by asking God for something He may deny me, and risk ending my days bitter and disappointed in His response to my begging.

The man from the church told me that several people in his congregation had been cured of their cancer through prayer. I told him that many who pray to be cleaned of their cancer die anyway, and that I just didn't think God GAVE people cancer OR took the burden of cancer away. I think cancer falls under the 'free will' category of earthly existence, and that we have polluted our earth, allowing these cell mutations. I just don't see God's hands in this cancer business.

(I'm finally getting to my point, I promise.) The man from the church actually said to me, "Well, the wages of sin are death, and you admitted earlier that you have lied and broken some of God's Commandments." Apparently this 'man of faith' believes that I brought my cancer on myself as God's punishment for my sins. How else could I take this?? I'm no saint, but I never did anything black enough to deserve THIS punishment!

I just said "THAT"s it. This conversation is over. Get off my lawn.", and went inside. I am thankful that my faith is strong and that such twisted thinking does not make me bitter with God or shake my faith in salvation. I'd love your comments.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
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Cast the first stone...how dare him!

Unless this punk (regardless of age) is more perfect than anyone I have ever met, he has a lot of 'damned gall' to borrow from a song I've heard somewhere along the way.

Before you got to the part where he was being so self-righteous, I was simply going to applaud you for an excellent perspective on your God's involvement with respect to the disease.

Now my applause is of the standing ovation type.

I will now shut up, and look forward, as you do, to comments from believers like yourself.

Bravo, Linda!

Take care,

Joe

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kimby
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Well, what he said was true. (Although his intentions were certainly not Godly!). The wages of sin are death. We all sin and we all die. Yep. You also can't be saved through good works. So, what does all this mean? Who really knows for sure? My take: we all sin; we all die; we all do the best we can while we're here. We do the best we can with what we've got. Sheesh....another nut job!

When I was 7 my 4 year old brother was hit in the road and died. My mother blamed herself and went into a deep depression. The pastor from OUR church came and explained to her during all of this that my brother would certainly go to hell because he had not been properly baptized. That was the day I lost the mother I have always known. He took her from me and the 3 children she had not given birth to yet. He also robbed her of her salvation. Sometimes evil comes clothed as religion. I LOVE God with all my heart and soul. I don't trust religion at all.

Your friend in Christ,

Kimby

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RE
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Religion is a concept as I have previously posted it is many things to many people. God on the other hand is God and not a concept if you know him and feel his presence then you have captured a true gift one that is elusive to too many. For as far back as my memory goes I have always known God, I do not recall a moment in my life that his presence was not known to me. I was quite ill as a child and nearly passed on a few occasions, my little sister thinks that is why I have always felt a connection with God. I agree Kimby that sometimes evil can present itself as good and often times does. I truly am sorry that this pastor did not choose his words more carefully and chose to cast such an unkind judgment that simply was his opinion.

Indeed your friend in Christ,

Rena

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Marcia527
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I agree with you totally. I don't even talk religion to anyone. I don't attend church but am spiritual. I don't have all the answers. I don't try to convince people to believe the way I do. Some people are just warped in their thinking (if they are thinking and not just brain washed). I'm not perfect but have had visions, and a prophetic dream. I know I'm not the one controlling these events. So why am I having them if I'm not perfect? I'm not crazy either. I think a higher power is controlling things (I mean the visions and stuff like that). I don't believe for a minute that I was given cancer because I've sinned. I just got it. I also got Parkinson's. We only have to deal with it in this life time and really a lifetime is not really that long when compared to eternity.

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RE
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I am sorry, what church is this man attending the church of the ignorant. I know that is probably not correct to say but how could he say such a thing to do while professing his faith...shame on him. I agree while we are here many, many things will happen to us and we must deal with them. In my life time I have had to deal with Epilepsy as a child that nearly killed me several times, near drowning, cancer and its side effects along with things I just don't wish to share here. God did not bring these things to my doorstep, it is just my walk in life however knowing he was walking with me made my walk much easier. I have a pastor who is a wonderfully Godly man with 9 children. His wife battled breast cancer for 5 years and recently passed. He is in pain and saddened, he plans to ask God why she had to leave so soon when he gets there. His wife knowing that she was dying wrote her own handout for her send off, she never once complained that God was not going to cure her, she said she was sorry for leaving us and getting to go to Heaven first. She used her illness as a way to help others in need, she saw it as a gift even if it was a painful one. While she struggled with the cancer she asked for prayers for her family as she went through the process, she never asked for prayers for a cure. It seems to me that none of us get out alive, we will all pass of something including the man who apparently forgot that he will not live forever as he attempted to chide you on your own lawn. God is good my friend, even to the ignorant.

RE

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SonSon
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Linda...I love your story and your perspective. My mother-in-law is sick with cancer and I always wonder what she thinks about this type of question. She is always asking for health and recovery. It seems that your perspective would bring a person a lot of peace and free up the mind for doing what one can to treat and (hopefully) cure the cancer.
As for the church people on your lawn - there are lots of ignorant people even thought they have a lot of book-knowledge. Fat heads trying to see through the pinhole they have created by their version of God's plan for us.
I believe God loves us all regardless of what we do and that what befalls us is not necessarily a reflection of his pleasure or displeasure with us. It just is what it is.
Fatima

Angel_4_James's picture
Angel_4_James
Posts: 73
Joined: Nov 2009

This will help you with his comment. He needs to go read it, for he was out of line.
Stay strong in your faith and your relationship with God and don't let religous nonsense side track you.

Blessings,
Angel_4_James

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faithandprayer
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Whenever this dialogue comes up, I simply say:
"I don't know if God GAVE me the cancer but I believe he's ALLOWING me to have it"

I have had countless blessings since my diagnosis and, honestly, I wouldn't trade who I am today for who I was prior to diagnosis. That means, I wouldn't trade my cancer. It's all in the perspective. So, for me, if God GAVE me cancer, it was a gift horse and I'm not looking it in the mouth. God knows what he's doing.

Someone once told me that we only use 1/3 of our brains. Maybe the other 2/3's are reserved for eternal life. If that's the case, perhaps only then can we really understand these things...and sadly, as in the yard incident, it doesn't seem as if some of us even use the full 1/3 we have here ;-)

Blessings,
KC

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soccerfreaks
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Your response put a smile on my face.

Thanks.

Take care,

Joe

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faithandprayer
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...and you, friend, have made me smile. Enjoyed your "About Me" & will continue to catch up on your blog. Love your spirit, candor & perspective!

It's not whatcha' got, but whatcha' do with it!

-KC

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Melissa_Mae
Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2009

Oh, KC, I completely agree with you!
Since my diagnosis in Dec 2009, I have drawn closer to my relationship with God. A few weeks before my surgery (when I still thought my tumor was benign), friends of ours lost their teenage daughter to a drunk driver. After my diagnosis, her story gave me so much perspective! Because of her, I never had a 'why me?' moment. I kept thinking, 'why not me? who am I?'. My cancer diagnosis was affecting me. Not my husband. Not my kids. I could handle it!
God has used this time to test my faith and draw me closer to Him like I never knew possible. He has provided countless support thru friends and family. This has been the most amazing experience of my life and I wouldn't trade it for all the lessons I've learned.
Thanks for your post, I'm glad someone else shares the same point of view!

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Sally08
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I was raised bouncing from church to church.... so I've heard everything from "God is punishing you because you didn't give him the glory" to "The Devil has overtaken your life and God can't help you anymore"

For me the answer to this question is something I had to come to on my own as I believe for everyone it will be different... Someone once told me Faith is just that... the belief in someone/something with no known proof.... a blind belief however no matter what your belief is in or based on, It somehow for many brings hope and courage just to know they're not alone.

What I believe is, When you look at the book of Genesis... Adam and Eve lived amongst evil. I believe when they took the bite of the friut from the tree after God said not to, that evil gained more power. I believe everyday life on Earth is a struggle of good/evil - God/Satan. Then I look forward to the book of Job... That hardships are a test... however I believe God gave man freedom of choice and Satan is testing man's true content - How strong is our faith?

When I was diagnosed with cancer I believe Satan/evil was trying to gain control over my life and what happens from that point forth is up to me. I can stay true to my faith and even though I'm facing cancer I can make the best of my life and continue to pursue my faith

or, I can go the opposite direction and use cancer as my reason to not follow the path that God has planned for me.

> I realize this is an ACS board, I apologize if my post offends anyone. <

I hope that was not too jumbled up.
Sally

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Marcia527
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Actually I believe ACS/CSN created this discussion board to voice our belief in our faith. So people reading these postings shouldn't get offended.

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PhillieG
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Like others have said, they created this space for these discussions to keep the cancer forums focused on cancer and not God/Religion/Satan/etc.

It's great to hear different responses. It's what makes us all different and the world go round. Now all we need is a political forum and we'll be set
;-)

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PhillieG
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Good grief, some people do believe that but I think it's ridiculous. I think that is horrible that they said that to you. Very un-christian sounding to me but certainly not uncommon. You find out who your friends are when you get cancer it seems.

There was a good quote in Demon's and Angels, the book/movie by Dan Brown/Ron Howard when Robert Langdon says "Faith is a GlFT I’ve yet to receive".
I've yet to receive it and I tend to follow science which has theories and explanations for very many things that make total sense to me compared to hoping that some being will cure me or make me sick. But like I said, it's based on faith.

It could not have evolved because that would go against ID and with Darwin and Evolution, so if it weighs as much as a duck and floats, she must be a witch!!!
And what do we do with witches? We BURN THEM!
(from Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

Hope you feel better
-phil

why the hell can't they let me say gift and I have to use GlFT instead???

OCTOMAN
Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2009

In my veiw of God and my opinion that the bible can only be understood symbolically.Adam's rib being used to make Eve for instance,indicates there are two parts of a complete person,My wife is my better half.I accept you see the same things as I do differently.and I respect your veiws if they satisfy you ,all well and good.I also believe that god can give you cancer but God cannot cure it.It is not in his job discription.Sorry I see God differently.Yes I have cancer too.My way of life,allowed it to grow.I was the most wound up person on Gods planet,so impatient,every thing had to be rushed,and I mean everything meals,shopping for meals my poor immune system(Gods little helper)could not cope.I find when I pray (which I do often),my mind does not respond to being called IT, I believe this God image is in our minds,a sort of God gene. which men and women respond to.Some people worship science,I find it a bit pathetic when a person tries to prove the bible wrong by logic,when there is no logic.It is symobolic just like our dreams.Isaac Newton (a intelligent mind)fed on his belief's it was his breath of life.I believe we will grow beyond God one day.My wife is a Jehovah's Witness so are most of her family.I tell her it is perfect religion for her,but not for me,I dont need certainty,I have not finished growing yet,even if I will be eighty next year God willing.Well thats my two cents worth,(Did I hear,its not worth that much),Please forgive me I am English,thats my only excuse.try to respect other view's Remember variety is the spice of life.

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PhillieG
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I think that religion and science will always clash. Thousands of years ago people believed the world was flat, that volcanoes or eclipses were punishment for offending God. Science has proved that many events that previously were thought to be unexplainable can be explained. There are some who take the bible literally and believe the earth is around 6000 years old and that man and dinosaur lived side by side. So I think that religion and science will never agree. God, on the other hand, is based on faith. You mention a God gene, that's an interesting way to look at it. Sort of similar to the gift of faith that I mentioned in the Demons and Angels book. Some people have it, others don't. Some it matters to, others it doesn't. I feel it's much more important to live your life in a loving caring way for/with people than to belong to an organization that sort of handles the daily chores of being "nice". Some profess their faith yet do not act as their faith says they should act. There are many faiths and versions of God. No one (in my opinion) can say with any certainty that their God is the only one or the right one. That has caused much suffering in the world over centuries.

Somehow I feel if there is a God that all of the bickering between faiths is not what they had in mind. No one will know until they are gone and then they can't come back to tell us. That's what makes this such an open subject. It is pathetic when someone tries to prove the bible wrong through logic. It's as pathetic as someone trying to prove the bible right based on faith. I agree that they are symbolic stories for us to learn from most of the time, not all of the time.

Remember, God made you English on purpose ;-)
Cheers

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soccerfreaks
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This is an interesting response, contraposing science and religion as it does. I am not sure that we disagree in large degree. I am, by the way, agnostic, an unknower, just to put my cards on the table.

I agree (if I read you correctly) that belief in a deity or deities, in fact, a belief in deism, theism or pantheism, requires what is commonly referred to as a leap of faith. That leap is inherently irrational; faith is irrational: it does not rely on logic, as you sort of get into. That is not to say that it is irrelevant, inconsequential or even unreliable. Faith is a most reliable structure for one whose foundation is built on true belief.

But, it is irrational. It requires no logic, it requires nothing rational. It IS.

You will agree, I would presume, that our world consists of that which we know and that which we do not know. You will agree, too, I presume, that even scientists, mathematicians, specifically, but certainly throw in the physicists as well, perhaps the most scientific of the scientists, agree that there is what is rational and what is not rational.

So...cutting to the chase, your argument that proving the bible wrong through logic is pathetic is, well, pathetic. What is a logical person, a rational person, a person steeped in logic and rationality and without the benefit of faith and its irrationality to do BUT test the bible or other mystic documents based on the only tools at their command, their logic, their rationality, their science?

This is not to say that they are right, but that your argument is tenuous at best.

More egregious is your argument that one might not 'prove' the bible correct based on faith. There is no other way to accept the bible or other religious documents than through faith, in the final analysis.

I humbly submit that to understand religion and its role in history and philosophy and art and even science from the beginning of time through this very day is to open oneself to a picture that is larger than you or me.

I mentioned in the beginning that I think we agree for the most part. I suspect from your discourse here that you secretly would suppose that structured, organized religion is an invention of man to communalize and civilize man. I do. An invention of man to save man, if you will.

Even so, is it not astounding that so many of the brightest men and women in our societies, regarless of when they lived or live, regardless of their chosen professions, so many of them insist that what they have learned says there must be a higher power? I think, first, of course, of the astronomers and physicists, and then to the people who study the human body, and the bodies of other living creatures. There is always a difference of opinion...but so many of them BELIEVE.

Not to preach. Again, I honestly have no clue, and sometimes, often, wish I did (I think).

Please remember to accept the possibility of both the rational and the irrational, of the provable and the unknowable, with the knowledge that what is irrational today may be logical tomorrow; what is unknowable today can be known with the simple burning of a bush.

In the meantime, remember, purpose made your God speak English :).

Take care,

Joe

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PhillieG
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I too would consider myself an agnostic, more specifically a recovering catholic. I went through 8 years of catholic school (1-8) and even from the beginning of school, I never really bought the whole concept of the bible and of God. They did teach me to refer to the one God with a capital G and that has stayed with me, more out of respect for the religion even though I don't care for their teachings. I've always felt it was based on fear and guilt. You mentioned that you felt that I secretly thought religion was an invention of man to save man. I openly feel that religion was an invention of man to control man, not so much as to save him. I wasn't clear, it was late when I wrote the post and I'm not nearly as eloquent in my writing as you are either. I do find your posts interesting and thought provoking but I have to read them over at least twice to understand them. Too much chemo on my end maybe???

I agree that the world consists of known knowns and things that are unknown. I think Donald Rumsfeld put it best when he said "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know." As far as proving the bible is right of wrong through logic or faith is I suppose a futile task. Like I think I said, I really do not know much about the bible other than the parables that were taught to me in grade school. I have never read the book so I probably would makes many judgments just based on what I think it says. As far as faith goes, that does venture into science. I can not see gravity but I have faith that it will keep me on earth.

I'm not clear here what the disagreement is and if there even is one. I said: "It is pathetic when someone tries to prove the bible wrong through logic. It's as pathetic as someone trying to prove the bible right based on faith."

You replied: So...cutting to the chase, your argument that proving the bible wrong through logic is pathetic is, well, pathetic. What is a logical person, a rational person, a person steeped in logic and rationality and without the benefit of faith and its irrationality to do BUT test the bible or other mystic documents based on the only tools at their command, their logic, their rationality, their science?

Ah-ha, after reading this numerous times, I think I see your point. If one does not have faith, how else are they to test the bible, etc other than through logic. I agree with you, if you don't have faith and try to understand the bible all that would be left is logic.

My opinion on this all is that I believe that there must have been some force that set all that we know as life and our thoughts and our realities into motion. I do not believe that it is the judgmental God that was taught to me as a youngster. I would imagine that if I got involved in religion and studied the bible I might have a different opinion but I frankly do not feel it has that much to do with the afterlife for me. I'm here in the present and try to be a good guy (over simplification and that can be interpreted many ways).

I don't know if religion and science will ever get along but I think that spirituality and science can get along. One does not have to follow any religion to believe in a power or force greater than you or I. So I agree that there have been many great people who believed in a higher power but that does not mean that they did follow a particular religion, does it?

It sounds like at times we often confuse or clump religion and spiritually (or a belief in a higher power) into the same thing. I don't think they are. Religion I believe and commented on above, was created to keep people in line and to give a certain group power and money. It also gave people something to look forward to after they die. Don't get me wrong, I think there are many religious institutions that do well by mankind and are helpful to others, but I think the majority are self serving institutions, many that are run by greedy people whose only goal is to save the people from their money.

In the long run, I really do not think about the subject that often. So why do I post about it? I'm not sure, maybe I like a discussion or want to know what the others think or maybe I'm trying to understand it all a little bit better.

In closing, I do believe that what is not known is possible. Science's goal seems to be to seek out the unknown and make sense of it. I'm not sure if I made things clearer or more muddled Joe, but it certainly is a provocative subject and your comments are thought provoking and interesting.

-phil

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

It seems then, Phil, that we are in agreement, for the most part. It seems that you use the word Religion (with capital R) while I use the word religion (lower-case r) and that this may be a source of hair-splitting. I am referring to what you call spirituality as a part of the broad thing that is our study of and search for meaning when I use the word religion. You are referring exclusively to organized religion when you use the word, it seems, and I would tend to agree with you in that regard.

Have enjoyed your posts as well.

Take care,

Joe

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PhillieG
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I consider religion to be only be organized institutions and spirituality is the belief in something greater than us (higher power, god, mother nature, the force, etc.)

Damn! I was looking for an argument.
(not really...)
Take care, see you on the forums Joe
-phil
;-)

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
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Joined: Sep 2006

Got so wrapped up in explaining where I was coming from that I missed my main point: science and religion do not have to clash. If you read my above, you will see that I (and science) accept both the rational and the irrational. The rational, of course, and obviously, is that which is provable. Any moderate student of science now knows that rationality is hobbling on rather unfirm ground (I refer to quantum mechanics and wave/particle theory in particular).

The very notion that we can be objective (and therefore completely 'rational' from a purist perspective) is in complete shambles.

Still, you and I, I surmise, would hold that science is holding up rather well and doing a marvelous job of continuing on in a rational tradition that is acceptable to all but the very purist of us.

Even so, science now most certainly, and has for centuries, if you study your mathemetics, allows for the irrational.

Religion, faith at any rate, as I posit above, is irrational inherently. This does not preclude it from the realm of science any longer (if it ever did). Science now must embrace it after a fashion; not the anti-evolution, pro-creationist stuff (at least not the literal zealotry), but certainly the notion that what is not known is possible, and that what is observed is experienced and repeatable and ergo provable in the scientific, rational sense.

Beyond that, of course, as I also indicated, when some of the most contemplative and objective and ingenius minds throughout history not only allow for the existence of a higher power bur insist upon, it must give one pause.

Science and religion, my friend, especially as we get closer and closer to resolving the Big Bang issues, are becoming less and less mutually exclusive, regardless of the sensibilities on either side of the issue.

Take care,

Joe

Jewel41510's picture
Jewel41510
Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2009

I think the answer to that question differs from one person to the next. There is injustice all around us, in the bible, in our battles with cancer, it's part of life. None of us are perfect, we can only do our best with the time we are blessed with. I don't feel God gave me cancer, but I do feel he has a purpose for me and the battles I face are equiped with the opportunity of growth in myself and my faith. Do I believe God will cure me? I can only pray for that, I know where it has brought me today, and that's to a peaceful place where I no longer question the time I have but rather what good I can do with it.

sure_hope's picture
sure_hope
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2009

The only way we can find out things about God is by looking into his word the Bible. You are not alone in your belief that God is responsible for causing your sickness. In fact, there is a case in the Bible that answers the question as to whether on not God causes our sickness.

It is the case of Job. He was a wealthy man with a wife and 10 beautiful children. Notice what took place in a matter of minutes.

---------------
(Job 1:14-19) . . .And there came a messenger to Job, and he proceeded to say: “The cattle themselves happened to be plowing and the she-asses were grazing at the side of them when the Sa·be′ans came making a raid and taking them, and the attendants they struck down with the edge of the sword; and I got to escape, only I by myself, to tell you.”

While this one was yet speaking that one came and proceeded to say: “The very fire of God fell from the heavens and went blazing among the sheep and the attendants and eating them up; and I got to escape, only I by myself, to tell you.”

While that one was yet speaking another one came and proceeded to say: “The Chal·de′ans made up three bands and went dashing against the camels and taking them, and the attendants they struck down with the edge of the sword; and I got to escape, only I by myself, to tell you.”

While this other one was yet speaking, still another one came and proceeded to say: “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their brother the firstborn. And, look! there came a great wind from the region of the wilderness, and it went striking the four corners of the house, so that it fell upon the young people and they died. And I got to escape, only I by myself, to tell you.”
-----------

In one fell swoop he lost it all. The fire coming from the sky killing his sheep, and the strong winds unnaturally blowing in all directions killing his children, and the fact that in each of these cases there was only one survivor left alive so that there would be no doubt in Job's mind as to the cause of these calamities.

What do you think, was it God?

Listen to the conversation that took place just prior to these calamitous events:

--------
(Job 1:7-12) . . .Then Jehovah said to Satan: “Where do you come from?”

At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: “From roving about in the earth and from walking about in it.”

And Jehovah went on to say to Satan: “Have you set your heart upon my servant Job, that there is no one like him in the earth, a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad?”

At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: “Is it for nothing that Job has feared God? Have not you yourself put up a hedge about him and about his house and about everything that he has all around? The work of his hands you have blessed, and his livestock itself has spread abroad in the earth. But, for a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch everything he has [and see] whether he will not curse you to your very face.”

Accordingly Jehovah said to Satan: “Look! Everything that he has is in your hand. Only against him himself do not thrust out your hand!” So Satan went out away from the person of Jehovah.
---------

Job and everyone on earth was not aware of this conversation. That is why Job, his wife and his false comforters thought that it was God that did this. But in actuality, Satan was responsible. Satan’s purpose was to make Job believe that God had caused these great atrocities so that he would then curse God and die as his wife had bitterly suggested. But would this have been true? No. Satan perpetuates this same lie today. Many people, when tragedy strikes immediately blame God.

SICKNESS SHOULD NEVER HAVE EXISTED. God created us to live forever in perfect health. It was a spirit creature, Satan, who caused sickness, pain, and death to afflict the human family when he led our first parents, Adam and Eve, into sin.—GENESIS 3:1-5, 17-19; ROMANS 5:12.

The answer to, 'Why Does God Permit Suffering?' is answered from the Bible. Here is a link that offers the Bibles satisfying answer to this question.
http://www.watchtower.org/e/200611/article_02.htm

What is God’s purpose for mankind?
http://www.watchtower.org/e/bh/article_03.htm

I hope this will answer your question.

Sheryl

trish07's picture
trish07
Posts: 141
Joined: Jul 2009

My husband thinks God is punishing him for not living a better life.

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I don't believe that! I think stuff happens in life. It's side effects of life. I don't have all the answers but sometimes we just get sucked into stuff. I don't believe it's a punishment. There is science behind why each of us get cancer. Scientists are finding more and more answers.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

I really wish that your husband would not believe that. He did nothing wrong other than being born in this day and age and in the USA. As great of a nation as I feel the USA is, we are killing ourselves with "progress". I wonder sometimes if it wouldn't be better being born as some Siberian herdsman in Upper Mongolia who does not have the "luxuries" of modern society. I do not think their cancer rate is anywhere close to what ours is at all.
Also, they do not believe in the Christian God.

I'd miss my i-Pod though...
-phil

sal314
Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

That's SO NOT true! As for living a "better life"...no one can live a life "good enough"! That's why we all need a saviour and to be forgiven. Jesus offers that to ALL who ask for forgivens and receive his FREE gift of eternal life!

"For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." ~Matthew 7:8

I'll be praying for you and your husband!

Best,
Sally

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PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

Sheryl, many choose to believe the Bible, that seems to work and explain things for many. I, along with many others don't believe the bible is the word of God or even that God, as described in the bible, exists.

I'm a believer that our lifestyles (diet and environment being major contributors) cause cancer. If it were based on "bad behavior" why are so many murderers and dictators and the like alive and regular folk like most of us have the disease. Please don't reply "it's the work of Satan" or if that's what you believe then...I guess good for you. You have an explanation as to why you or someone you know has cancer.
-phil

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

I'm sure my thoughts and beliefs may upset some people, that is not
my intentions. I just wanted to express the way I feel and think about
God "giving" us cancer.

I don't have the answer to why we get cancer but I certainly do not
believe God or Satan "gave" us cancer. If this were the case then why
are there so many innocent children suffering, they certainly couldn't have
done anything in their short lives to deserve this.

There are so many horrible things happening in our world today and I don't
blame any of them on God or Satan.

I believe God put us here and the evil things that are happening (sickness,
war, starvation, etc.) are caused by humans. We have destroyed so much on
the earth that God created, in the name of progress, that we are now seeing
the repurcussions of our lifestyle.

My faith and belief in God has become much stronger since my diagnosis but I
can not even begin to believe that God has had a hand in this. I think he
left us to our own devices and is now watching us destroy ourselves.

Could he stop our self destruction - probably - but then what?? In time we
would probably start destroying ourselves again. I do believe he steps in
and saves people occasionally, these are the miracles he performs and I do
believe in miracles. I do not pretend to know why he saves certain people,
I just believe it is in his master plan, he has a reason for saving them and
I do not question why. Would I like to be one of the ones he saves, YES, but
if I'm not then so be it.

If anyone said to me that God "gave" me cancer (because of my lifestyle or
because I was not a "good" person) I would ask them why he gave it to little
Tommy who is only 2 years old....what did he do that was so bad that he
deserved to get cancer?

Sorry, these are just my feelings and I had to write this to get it off
my chest.

Glenna

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

Great points Glenna.
Thanks for commenting
-p

sure_hope's picture
sure_hope
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2009

Phil, I know you said that you don’t believe in the Bible, but the bible agrees, in part, with your statement.

Job said: “Why is it that the wicked themselves keep living, Have grown old, also have become superior in wealth? Their offspring are firmly established … Their houses are peace itself, free from dread, And the rod of God is not upon them. … They continue raising [their voice] with the tambourine and harp, And keep rejoicing at the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in good times…” (Job 21:7-13)

He said this in response to what his false comforters had said. They said that Job’s suffering was a result of his “bad behavior” or wrong acts.

They said: “. . .Who that is innocent has ever perished? And where have the upright ever been effaced? According to what I have seen, those devising what is hurtful And those sowing trouble will themselves reap it. (Job 4:7-8)

They were not speaking truthfully concerning God and his dealing with people. God rebuked them for their faulty thinking.

He said: . . .“My anger has grown hot against you and your two companions, for YOU men have not spoken concerning me what is truthful as has my servant Job. (Job 42:7)

In short, the Bible does not support the idea that God gave us cancer.

My explaination as to why I have Breast Cancer stage IV is this:

The Bible tells us that God made the first man, Adam, perfect, healthy, and having the prospect of living forever. His continued enjoyment of all of this depended on his obeying his Creator. Adam chose to rebel and thus cut himself off from God, with whom “is the source of life.” Hence, the first man became imperfect, vulnerable to sickness, and eventually died.—Gen. 2:17; 3:1-19; Ps. 36:9.

It is well known that certain diseases can be inherited. Similarly, sin, imperfection and death are inherited. “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) The heritage Adam gave his children was an imperfect life with vulnerability to sickness and death. That is the basic reason why disease exists today.

Sheryl

Does God Really Care About Us? - Why God Has Permitted Suffering
http://www.watchtower.org/e/dg/index.htm?article=article_06.htm

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

I'm glad that you figured out why you have/had cancer. I would imagine that it gives you comfort knowing this. Why I have cancer isn't too important to me. I have it until I no longer have it and I will live until I die.

I'm not sure if I was clear before so I'll try to be clearer now. I do believe that the bible was written (by man) but I do not believe that it is the word of God. I don't know if there is a God, it's not something that I put a lot of thought into. I'm more interested in the here and now and I look to science for explanations as to the questions I might have. I imagine that this may be a surprise to you and I respect you and your faith but I am not a believer so quoting passages from a book that to me, is no more than words of "regular guys" telling a bunch of stories. This may sound horrible and I don't mean it to be but I don't believe. That's me. When all is said and done we shall see what happens to us all.
Faith is a gift I have not yet received.

Be well and enjoy life!
-phil

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

A lot of different faiths and cultures preach what happens when we're BAD or sinful. This seems to keep alot of people in a state of fear. It feels like we are to constantly beg for forgiveness. I have come to feel that helping others, trying to keep body, mind and spirit in accord and to show love is what's important. Religion can be so heavy on the heart. Love and caring lifts the Spirit.

sal314
Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

I think you're missing the point. There is a HUGE difference between "religion" and Christianity! Religion is something someone does to "gain" favor with God. Jump through hoops, work to be "good enough", follow all the "rules." Christianity is the opposite. It's coming to realize that you will NEVER be "good enough"! BUT that you don't have to be because Christ took the hit for you when he died for you on the cross. It's about a RELATIONSHIP with God. It's about KNOWING God, not just knowing ABOUT God. It's about having that heaviness and burden of trying so hard taken off your shoulders. It's about KNOWING and feeling the love of Christ in your heart. It's about FREEDOM. It's about LOVE. It's about CARING. It's about having your world rocked and life changed!!

Sally

sal314
Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

If you have you don't any reading on how the bible came to be? There is plenty of information out there about how the books of the bible came came together. Some of the history behind them is pretty amazing and has no explaination other than being of and from God.

There is a set of great books written by a guy named Lee Strobel. They are pretty interesting reads. And may I add Mr. Strobel is no slouch. He's a Yale Law School grad and former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune. He was a self-proclaimed atheist and spirtual skeptic who spent several years researching the claims of the bible.

Anyway... the books are "The Case for Creation", "The Case for Faith", and "The Case for Christ." There is also a really good book by Dr. Hugh Ross called "The Genesis Question" which addresses both science and the Bible.

Hope I don't seem too pushy. I just thought if you were interested these are good books to read:)

Best,
Sally

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

That's correct, I do not know much about how the bible came to be. I know it is a compilation of many different stories written by many different men. I am very interested in Joseph Campbell and his writings on religion/mythology. At first I was surprised at how many other cultures have very similar stories about creation and also how the snake/serpent has a role in it. After reading and listening to his work, it is very interesting to read how many common themes exist in different faiths even though the cultures are so diverse as tribes in West Africa to the "main" religions that came out of the Middle East.

I will take a look at the books you mention.
-phil

sal314
Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

I don't believe God "gives" anyone cancer. I believe that the world we live in is full of sin (simply put, full of imperfect people and events) and is NOT what God originally inteneded for his children. Because of this fallen world, natural events (good and bad) happen. And unfortunately, that means cancer. God never wanted any of us to suffer. But when Adam and Eve chose to go their own way, God said "fine" have it your way. Our choice. Our free will. Thus...here we are. We will not live in perfection until God comes back and makes it right with man.

No one ever promised life would be easy. In fact, God himself said "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~John 16:33

In short, this present world ISN'T what God intended. This isn't the way the story was suppose to play out. It's what happened because mankind decided to do things their way instead of listening to God. So...here we are stuck in the cesspool until GOD decides to make it all GOOD.

Blessings to all,
Sally

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