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1 Is God to Blame for Our Suffering?

1 Is God to Blame for Our Suffering?

Why It Matters

Many people reject God because they blame him for suffering.

To Think About

Directly or indirectly, many religious leaders have taught that God is the cause of our suffering. For example, some say the following:

  • Natural disasters are punishment from God.

  • Children die because God needs more angels in heaven.

  • God takes sides in wars​—a cause of great suffering.

But is it possible that religious leaders have misrepresented God? What if God has rejected them?


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 What the Bible Says

God does not cause our suffering.

If he did so, it would be contrary to his qualities as revealed in the Bible. For example:

“All [God’s] ways are justice. . . . Righteous and upright is he.”​DEUTERONOMY 32:4.

“It is unthinkable for the true God to act wickedly, for the Almighty to do wrong!”​JOB 34:10.

“The Almighty does not pervert justice.”​JOB 34:12.

God rejects religion that misrepresents him.

This includes religions that teach that God causes our suffering and those that are involved with warfare and violence.

“The prophets are prophesying lies in my [God’s] name. I have not sent them or commanded them or spoken to them. A lying vision and . . . the deceit of their own heart is what they are prophesying to you.”​JEREMIAH 14:14.

Jesus denounced religious hypocrisy.

“Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’”​MATTHEW 7:21-23.