Truth Seeker writes,
“You say that God creates people to suffer. Would a loving God, not even an all loving God, just a loving God do this. He creates the little girl in North Korea, who grows up in poverty and is homeless her entire life, then she will be tortured for eternity. This is not a loving God. He could show his Greatness without creating people to tortured for eternity.”
Thanks for writing, Truth Seeker. I noticed that you failed to define the term, ‘loving.’ Fortunately, it is of no consequence because when we are asking about a position, we need to respect the definition of the terms that are used to describe that position. Because of this, I will use the Bible’s definition of ‘love’ when answering this question.
Clearly, the Bible describes God as a loving God (John 3:16-18), but God is also a just God (Psalm 25:8) who takes no pleasure in the death of anyone (Ezekiel 18:32). It is important to note that there are various definitions of ‘love’ in the Bible. Since John 3:16 references God’s love for the world, we will use this verse as an example. The Greek word for ‘love’ in this verse is ‘ἀγαπάω.’ This particular word, which is used many times to describe God’s love, is a term where its usage makes clear that love is only directed at those who believe in God (Even so, believers may suffer despite God’s love for them (1 Peter 4:12-19). This shows that ‘love’ and a lack of suffering of a person on earth are not connected to each other in the Bible. Because of this, your question is clearly wrong headed. You are assuming that a loving God would not allow pain and suffering, but the Bible clearly presents love in a different light than the way you are presenting it. It is likely that your definition of ‘love’ is different from the one the Bible uses, and is therefore, attacking a misrepresentation of Christianity rather than Christianity itself.
Furthermore, when the Bible says that God is loving, it does not mean that God loves everyone. Romans 9:6-13 reads, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Keep in mind that the word Greek word for ‘love’ that is used in this passage is the same word that is used in John 3:16.
In the Bible, God’s love is not something that is emotional. Love in relation to God is defined as choosing to have mercy on a person. Not every person gets chosen. It’s possible that the suffering North Korean girl in your example could get chosen and although she may suffer for a time, may go on to paradise. Or perhaps, she will suffer on earth and go to Hell. While that may sound hideous to some, as it will be shown later in this answer, we are in no position to challenge God on his decisions.
Though God allows people (both believers and unbelievers) to suffer for a time on earth, God does not take pleasure in suffering, and, like evil, he endures it with patience so that his will, which will achieve the greater good for those who believe in Christ, will be carried out (Romans 9:22, Romans 8:28).
Indeed, God has answered this charge himself in Exodus 33:19, “And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” As the Apostle Paul points out in Romans 9:19:21, “19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?”
If God is the one who gave us life in the first place, how can we be in a position to find fault in him for taking it away from us? There is no one who is higher in authority than God (Hebrews 6:13). For a creation that owes everything it has to God to complain to God about such a thing shows a remarkable level of vanity on the part of that creation. God cannot steal from us what is already his (Psalm 24:1).
In conclusion, whether or not a person is loved by God has no bearing on how much suffering that person will bear in his time on earth, and we have no right to challenge God on how he achieves his will, for his ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).