Can God feel pain?

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Can God feel pain?

Postby Gabe Grinstead » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:24 am

I was mowing the lawn and thought to myself that I have forgotten God a bit lately in my life. I don't mean that I literally forgot, but that other things were taking priority. I thought to myself, does God miss me like a father would his own child who seemingly just has no time for dad? Well, then I thought, maybe the relationship with God isn't as real as it could be because I don't believe God can hurt. I mean, if God can't be hurt than my forgetting about him isn't a big deal. So the relationship feels altogether fake. Is it possible to have true friendship where hurt cannot occur? Can it be authentic?

I think maybe it is bad theology to believe God is so above us that he has no feelings... No, I think I reject this. I cannot have an authentic relationship with a being that is so unlike my own...

I don't believe we can truly fit God in a box or have him figured out, but I do think that treating him as non human has a very high likelihood of seeing God merely as a cosmic being who is a magistrate... God must be viewed and understood through human eyes... Just was curious to open discussion on this topic.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby DaveB » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:29 am

Gabe - you could give this a read. It is rather rigorous.

http://plato.stanford.edu/search/r?entr ... simplicity
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Geoffrey » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:37 am

The Orthodox Church's answer to this is as follows:

God the Father cannot feel pain.

God the Son in His human nature could feel pain.

God the Holy Spirit cannot feel pain.

The 4th Ecumenical Council held in A. D. 451 in Chalcedon near New Rome really hammered this out.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Paidion » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:59 pm

Well, grief is a form of pain, and we read:

(Genesis 6:6 ESV) And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

Of course, if we begin with the presupposition, (imported into Christendom from Greek philosophy) that God is impassible, we will dismiss this Scriptural statement as "figurative language."

Man was created in the image of God. It cannot be His physical image in which we were created since God is not physical; He is spirit. So man must have been created in God's mental image or spiritual image. So this would include emotions. God grieves; God gets angry; God is sometimes sorry for what He did, etc.

If God is wholly other, as many believe, then it seems that He must be unapproachable. Such a "God" would not change His mind about anything just because we prayed about it. Our prayer may change us, but it wouldn't change God. However, James wrote that you do not have because you do not ask (James 4:2). This implies that God gives us things that He would not have given us had we not asked Him for them.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:27 pm

Paidion is correct. God not only feels pain but rejoices. According to the Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga:

Now a widely shared traditional view of God has been that he is impassible, without desire or feeling or passion, unable to feel sorrow at the sad condition of his world and the suffering of his children, and equally unable to feel joy, delight, longing, or yearning. The reason for so thinking, roughly, is that in the tradition originating in Greek philosophy, passions were thought of (naturally enough) as passive, something that happens to you, something you undergo, rather than something you actively do. You are subject to anger, love, joy, and all the rest. God, however, is pure act; he doesn’t ‘undergo’ anything at all; he acts, and is never merely passive; and he isn’t subject to anything. As far as eros is concerned, furthermore, there is an additional reason for thinking that it isn’t part of God’s life: longing and yearning signify need and incompleteness. One who yearns for something doesn’t yet have it, and needs it, or at any rate thinks he needs it; God is of course paradigmatically complete and needs nothing beyond himself. How, then, could he be subject to eros? God’s love, according to this tradition, is exclusively agape, benevolence, a completely other-regarding, magnanimous love in which there is mercy but no element of desire. God loves us, but there is nothing we can do for him; he wishes nothing from us.

On this particular point I think we must take leave of the tradition; this is one of those places where it has paid too much attention to Greek philosophy and too little to the Bible. I believe God can and does suffer; his capacity for suffering exceeds ours in the same measure that his knowledge exceeds ours. Christ’s suffering was no charade; he was prepared to endure the agonies of the cross and of hell itself (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). God the Father was prepared to endure the anguish of seeing his Son, the second person of the trinity, consigned to the bitterly cruel and shameful death of the cross. And isn’t the same true for other passions? “There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7); is God himself to be excluded from this rejoicing?

Similarly for eros: “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5). The bridegroom rejoicing over his bride doesn’t love her with a merely agapeic love. He isn’t like her benevolent elder brother (although Christ is also said to be our elder brother). He desires and longs for something outside himself, namely union with his beloved. The church is the bride of Christ, not his little sister. He is not her benevolent elder brother, but her husband, lover. These scriptural images imply that God isn’t impassive, and that his love for us is not exclusively agapeic. They suggest that God’s love for his people involves an erotic element of desire: he desires the right kind of response from us, and union with us, just as we desire union with him. ~~ Warranted Christian Belief (online)
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Geoffrey » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:26 pm

If God the Father suffers, wouldn't the blessed souls in Heaven suffer as well? If so, what has happened to Heaven? We go from one vale of sorrows to another?

Shifting gears...

Suppose I myself suffer (whether from injury, illness, financial ruin, or whatnot). Do I want my loved ones to also suffer? Do I want sadness to invade their souls? Do I want my wife, mother, and daughter to basically say, "Well, Geof is suffering, and we love Geof. Therefore we will suffer, too." Heaven forfend. I want them to be utterly joyful. Their suffering does not help me. I want their help, as far as they can give it; not their suffering. In fact, their suffering would probably make them less capable to help me. And would it not be a doubtful thing to hope that one's loved ones suffer simply because one was himself suffering?

To anyone who has closely read the seven Harry Potter novels, I put forth this observation: Harry Potter suffered throughout the novels. He was like a lump of iron ore forged over seven years into God's perfect sword to defeat Voldemort. In the last chapter we see Harry risen above all the anger, doubts, judgmentalism, and suffering that had afflicted him. All of that wasteful emotion had been purged out of him. He was serene, impassive. He calmly confronted Voldemort with truth and with an entreaty that he repent. (The movie is not faithful on this point, turning their final confrontation into the two of them blasting each other with special effects.) Precisely because Harry in this last chapter is no longer afflicted by sadness, anger, and all the rest, he was full of love and strong to save. If he had still been weepy, angry, etc., then Harry could not have defeated Voldemort.

In short, I do not think anything is to be gained by supposing God and the saints in Heaven weep, nor in hoping/expecting our loved ones to do so here on earth. Instead, much would be lost.

The Heavens are not heartless because they shout for joy. Rather, we are heartless because we do not join them.
Last edited by Geoffrey on Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:55 pm

God is omnipresent. Moreover, God's mysterious heart is infinitely complex and cannot be grasped by our finite and limited mind. He is paradox. Take for instance the evil murder of His Son. In one sense God wasn't pleased when innocent Christ was murdered. God doesn't delight in torture and evil in and of itself. What He was pleased in was what Christ accomplished on the cross is showing love and grace to sinners. He feels everything at once. In heaven in the presence of His glory there is no suffering.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby DaveB » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:32 pm

Geoffrey, I agree with you.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby LLC » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:01 pm

Geoffrey wrote:The Orthodox Church's answer to this is as follows:

God the Father cannot feel pain.

God the Son in His human nature could feel pain.

God the Holy Spirit cannot feel pain.

The 4th Ecumenical Council held in A. D. 451 in Chalcedon near New Rome really hammered this out.


If God is love, then yes, I would say that He feels pain. Love is vulnerable, but in it there is great strength. As St. Michael has mentioned, "God's heart is infinitely complex." How does the church know that the Father feels no pain?
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Geoffrey » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:35 am

St. Michael wrote:The reason for so thinking, roughly, is that in the tradition originating in Greek philosophy...


For all the riches the Church has taken from the Greeks, I dare say that contemporary western Christianity is far more beholden to the contemporary secular worldview than the Church ever was to poor old Plato.

The contemporary western world is obsessed with feelings. I do not know if I have ever read of a time or place more self-centered/solipsistic than our own. This world does not think, but feels. It has invaded epistemology, in which people feel that they can never achieve certitude, except for being certain about how they feel. It is of the utmost importance to exhaustively talk (and talk, and talk...) about our feelings. And to express them with crying, raging, sex, etc. Not to do so is supposedly "unhealthy". If at all possible, bawl like a baby on national TV while blubbering about your feelings. The western world is awash in illicit drugs because people empty of facts seek for feelings. Western Christians divorce at the same rate as unbelievers because of their feelings. People fornicate and commit adultery because of feelings (ignoring the facts proclaimed by St. Paul that the husband is an icon of Christ, and the wife is an icon of the Church). A baby in the womb is not a baby unless her mother "feels" that she is. If the mother's feelings are otherwise, then bad luck for the baby who isn't a baby because of the way her mother feels. Men "marry" men and women "marry" women because they "feel" love. Love, after all, is a feeling. It has gotten so ridiculous and disgusting that now this world thinks that a grown man should use the little girls' bathroom because he "feels" that he himself is a little girl. Etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Facts, reason, and reality have all taken a far backseat to these amorphous feelings.

And THAT secular zeitgeist, I think, is the main temptation of the western Christian world to think that God must also have feelings. After all, as defined by the zeitgeist, with no feelings there can be no love and no value.

For me, I hold the Orthodox Church's teachings as certain. But even if I were an unbeliever, I would hold with Plato rather than with the feelings zeitgeist, which I find both preposterous and nauseating in the extreme.

(EDIT: In re-reading this post, I think I should underscore that my disgust is not directed at any of my fellows here in the forum. It is directed solely at the contemporary world.)
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby DaveB » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:17 am

Another great post, G.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:56 am

Perhaps God - at times - needs a little humor :!: :lol:

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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:54 am

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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:57 am

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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:59 am

God designs for His higher creatures the happiness of being voluntarily united to Him and each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. ~~ C.S. Lewis
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:01 am

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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:05 am

As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you

Isaiah 62:5
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:14 am

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. - Phil. 4:4





Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. - Psalm 33:1





Rejoice at all times. - 1 Thess. 5:16





Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer - Romans 12:12





My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptation - James 1:2-4





The Apostle Paul was:


sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. - 2 Cor. 6:10




"Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. - Deut. 28:47-48
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Paidion » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:15 pm

Geoffrey wrote:For me, I hold the Orthodox Church's teachings as certain. But even if I were an unbeliever, I would hold with Plato rather than with the feelings zeitgeist, which I find both preposterous and nauseating in the extreme.

Uh oh! Looks like you're going downhill, Geoffrey. Finding "feelings preposterous and nauseating in the extreme" sound a lot as if you're feeling something!

(EDIT: In re-reading this post, I think I should underscore that my disgust is not directed at any of my fellows here in the forum. It is directed solely at the contemporary world.)


YOU HAVE DISGUST? Another strong feeling!
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Geoffrey » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:00 pm

It's not feelings I was posting against. It was "the feelings zeitgeist", the "contemporary world". In other words, the latest version of the thing Christ says will always hate the Church (John 15:18-19).

I find it amazing that no matter the world's current intellectual fashions or styles, the world always hates the Church. The only question seems to be, "Will the world in this particular time and place actually murder us for being Christians, or will it oppress us in less extreme ways?" I do not think that the world (at any time or any place) actually has any beliefs. It is motivated by hatred of the Church. It merely selects different sticks at different times and places with which to beat the Church.

This makes sense. George MacDonald wrote somewhere (in one of his realistic novels, perhaps?) that a man cannot believe a false thing. He can believe only a true thing. He compared it to the fact that a man cannot eat a stone, but can eat only food. Sure, a man can put a stone in his mouth and go through the motions of eating it. He may even swallow it. But he is certainly not eating it in the same, full sense that he eats bread. Same with falsehoods. The mind can go through the motions of believing them, but it is never actual belief. I wish I had the actual quotation. How I love that man!
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby maintenanceman » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:10 pm

Goecffrey said:
I do not think that the world (at any time or any place) actually has any beliefs.


wow :?:
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Paidion » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:49 am

Thanks for the clarification, Geoffrey.

I, also am a George MacDonald fan. I have nearly every book he has written.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Paidion » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:24 am

Hi Geoffrey, you wrote:George MacDonald wrote somewhere (in one of his realistic novels, perhaps?) that a man cannot believe a false thing. He can believe only a true thing. He compared it to the fact that a man cannot eat a stone, but can eat only food. Sure, a man can put a stone in his mouth and go through the motions of eating it. He may even swallow it. But he is certainly not eating it in the same, full sense that he eats bread. Same with falsehoods. The mind can go through the motions of believing them, but it is never actual belief. I wish I had the actual quotation. How I love that man!


I have a book of 3000 quotations from the writings of George MacDonald. I looked under the heading "Belief/Unbelief," but could not find it.

The closest that I found was under the heading "Faith."

George MacDonald wrote:The thing that is untrue cannot find its way to the home of faith; if it could, it would be at once rejected with a loathing beyond utterance—What's Mine's Mine
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby LLC » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:16 pm

Geoffrey wrote:
St. Michael wrote:The reason for so thinking, roughly, is that in the tradition originating in Greek philosophy...


For all the riches the Church has taken from the Greeks, I dare say that contemporary western Christianity is far more beholden to the contemporary secular worldview than the Church ever was to poor old Plato.

The contemporary western world is obsessed with feelings. I do not know if I have ever read of a time or place more self-centered/solipsistic than our own. This world does not think, but feels. It has invaded epistemology, in which people feel that they can never achieve certitude, except for being certain about how they feel. It is of the utmost importance to exhaustively talk (and talk, and talk...) about our feelings. And to express them with crying, raging, sex, etc. Not to do so is supposedly "unhealthy". If at all possible, bawl like a baby on national TV while blubbering about your feelings. The western world is awash in illicit drugs because people empty of facts seek for feelings. Western Christians divorce at the same rate as unbelievers because of their feelings. People fornicate and commit adultery because of feelings (ignoring the facts proclaimed by St. Paul that the husband is an icon of Christ, and the wife is an icon of the Church). A baby in the womb is not a baby unless her mother "feels" that she is. If the mother's feelings are otherwise, then bad luck for the baby who isn't a baby because of the way her mother feels. Men "marry" men and women "marry" women because they "feel" love. Love, after all, is a feeling. It has gotten so ridiculous and disgusting that now this world thinks that a grown man should use the little girls' bathroom because he "feels" that he himself is a little girl. Etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Facts, reason, and reality have all taken a far backseat to these amorphous feelings.

And THAT secular zeitgeist, I think, is the main temptation of the western Christian world to think that God must also have feelings. After all, as defined by the zeitgeist, with no feelings there can be no love and no value.

For me, I hold the Orthodox Church's teachings as certain. But even if I were an unbeliever, I would hold with Plato rather than with the feelings zeitgeist, which I find both preposterous and nauseating in the extreme.

(EDIT: In re-reading this post, I think I should underscore that my disgust is not directed at any of my fellows here in the forum. It is directed solely at the contemporary world.)


Having a heart is feeling. As the bible says: " You honor me with your lips, yet your hearts are far from Me."
If a mother felt anything for the fetus inside her womb, abortion would not be so easy. We don't help someone because we think we should. Loving your neighbor as yourself requires putting yourself in another's shoes. Having a relationship is more than just going through the motions-bringing flowers, buying jewelry, saying "I love you". You'd better feel something or the relationship won't last very long.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:34 am

Nicely put LLC! :D
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Geoffrey » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:00 pm

Emotions may or may not accompany love (Greek agape). Dorothy Sayers, who was an Anglo-Catholic, mentioned in a letter to C. S. Lewis that she never once in her life felt a religious emotion. She did not doubt that some other people sometimes had religious emotions because she had read about them.

"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me." (John 14:21)
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:22 pm

Geoffrey wrote:Emotions may or may not accompany love (Greek agape). Dorothy Sayers, who was an Anglo-Catholic, mentioned in a letter to C. S. Lewis that she never once in her life felt a religious emotion. She did not doubt that some other people sometimes had religious emotions because she had read about them.

"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me." (John 14:21)


We probably need to define "religious emotions". The article at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, talks of many different contexts:


For example, the article:

    Asks the question: Does religion have a single emotional center?
    How do religious emotions differ from “ordinary” emotions?
    The article talks about Gratitude, Contrition and Compassion. Do folks on this tread, consider them "religious emotions"?
    Are religious emotions “cognitive”?

Good questions and sub-topics to consider.

Let me quote from the introduction:

This article discusses several interrelated questions that philosophers, theologians, and psychologists address about religious emotions. Do they have some essence? Is there one emotion-type that warrants the title “religious,” or are there many religious emotion-types? How do religious emotions differ from “ordinary” emotions? Are they “cognitive” or “non-cognitive,” “rational” or “non-rational”? What good are they? What epistemic import, if any, have they? This article will focus on emotions in or purportedly in the Judeo-Christian tradition.


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Now suppose we were discussing "stink bomb" - without defining it. The common conception is probably something that blows up and stinks. But if we study the Wiki article:


Things can get a whole lot deeper.

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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:00 pm

Let's take a look at agape:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~~ 1 Corinthians 13


As we can see,to say love doesn't include emotions is ridiculous. Moreover,

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. ~~ Romans 12:9
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby DaveB » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:47 pm

Do we WANT God to suffer pain?

Not a stupid question by the way - I've heard it stated on this forum that unless God suffers as we do, there is no point in honoring Him for anything.
Which seems to me to be..............what's that word?............ah, yes - Stupid.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:43 pm

DaveB wrote:Do we WANT God to suffer pain?

Not a stupid question by the way - I've heard it stated on this forum that unless God suffers as we do, there is no point in honoring Him for anything.
Which seems to me to be..............what's that word?............ah, yes - Stupid.

I'm going to bite on this though Dave, you may have to bail me out or laugh at me. :D

I would say suffering is a state of mind. I deal with many folks every day that make STUPID choices in their life and they 'suffer' the consequences. Gods laws and statutes are there for us to see, read and correct our lives by. Jesus in His sermon on the mount, gave us some new, very important advise on how to live.

In the USA, there are degrees of suffering. In Africa, there IS suffering.

Check out the link here https://www.ted.com/talks/gary_haugen_the_hidden_reason_for_poverty_the_world_needs_to_address_now?language=en
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby DaveB » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:06 pm

I'll stand with ya, Chad.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Geoffrey » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:28 pm

St. Michael wrote:Let's take a look at agape:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~~ 1 Corinthians 13


As we can see,to say love doesn't include emotions is ridiculous. Moreover,

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. ~~ Romans 12:9


Perhaps we're not using the word "emotions" in the same way? I do not see emotions mentioned in either of those passages.

For example, when my daughter was a young infant, she (as is typical for infants) cried at any hour of the day or night whenever she was hungry. When I was awakened from sleep (night after night, week after week, month after month), and had to get out of bed at 3:30 a.m. (after already being out of bed at 11:15 p.m. and 12:09 a.m.), change her diaper, warm-up some formula, and hold and feed my daughter, I felt only one single thing: EXHAUSTION. I felt no emotions. I simply obeyed Christ's command to feed the hungry. In obeying Christ I was loving both Him and my daughter. Emotions do not enter into it.

If, while doing all of this, I was awash in warm feelings/emotions, would that have made my love more? Certainly not. Love is in doing, not in feeling. (If it were in feeling, then we'd have to say that the moronic and hormonal teenagers "in love" with each other are the most loving people on earth, which would be preposterous.)

Reading George MacDonald was one of the most liberating things in my life. Before reading him (and C. S. Lewis), I struggled with the thought that I didn't "love" God. I felt strong emotions for my beagle at a young age, and I felt strong emotions for my high school girlfriend, but I never felt strong emotions for God. How freeing to know from MacDonald and Lewis (who both, of course, learned it from Christ) that love consists in obeying God, regardless of emotion. We are not to screw-up our faces and try to manufacture feelings towards God (or towards anyone or anything). We are simply to obey Him, regardless of what emotions come or don't come.

My wife had the exact same difficulty until I explained it to her. She, too, found great liberation in knowing that loving God, neighbor, and enemy consists in doing your immediate duty by them, not in trying to feel emotions about them. Lewis somewhere wrote that attempting to do that with one's emotions inflicts harm on oneself.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:35 pm

The scriptures are clear that emotions are included in love. This doesn't mean I'm perfect and always rejoice in doing good. Indeed, I go ahead and do good if I don't feel like it. But I need to repent for having a sluggish heart. The scriptures are clear:

"Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. - Deut. 28:47-48


It is more virtuous when I take someone out to eat and pay for the meal with joy rather than begrudgingly. When I pay for the meal and they say "thank you" and I respond "it's my pleasure" it's not selfishness or arrogant. Seeking joy in doing good breaks pride. I go along with C.S. Lewis:

If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point. I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love. The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. - C.S. Lewis, The Weight Of Glory, 1-2.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. ~~ Romans 12:9


To abhor or hate evil is an emotion.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~~ 1 Corinthians 13


Patience is an emotion. To rejoice in the truth or find joy in doing good is an emotion. To endure and hope is to feel. We are to rejoice in hope.
According to the KJV the fruit of the Spirit is love. One of the facets of this diamond is joy and peace:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, - Gal. 5:22


Without a doubt love includes emotion. Christs love of purifying His bride was motivated by joy:

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
I do not say we are called upon to dispute and defend the truth with logic and argument, but we are called upon to show by our lives that we stand on the side of truth. ~~ George MacDonald
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:02 pm

DaveB wrote:I'll stand with ya, Chad.

:lol:

I found the link from Mr Beck's blog, and to be honest, It is really interesting, as He equates Paul's Romans 13 with poverty.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Paidion » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:04 pm

Love feelings usually accompany love practice.

The interesting thing is that if you dislike a person, but serve him, and do other things for him as you would do if you did have love feelings for him, the consequence is usually that you will begin to have love feelings for him as well!

Geoffrey, George MacDonald used the word "passion" in reference to both hate and love. If passion isn't emotion, then what is?

George MacDonald wrote:Hate keeps its object present even more than the opposite passion. Love makes everything lovely; hate concentrates itself on the one thing hated.
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Though we may distinguish between acts of love and feelings of love, it is my belief that love in its fullness includes both action and feelings.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Geoffrey » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:14 pm

I suspect that at bottom there is not much disagreement here. That said, I suspect that our touchy-feely culture is leading to some unfortunate expressions. Two questions:

1. When I was a teenager, I used to sit in my room alone and feel "love" for my girlfriend with such intensity that I thought my chest would burst. Was that love? I say no. What say you?

2. When I was a new father, I used to sit half-dead and feed my infant daughter at ungodly hours of the morning, feeling only exhaustion. Was that love? I say yes. What say you?
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby St. Michael » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:17 pm

Jesus Christ suffered the most horrible pain imaginable in loving and purifying His bride. Yet

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


Love includes emotion.


Image



Abhor

regard with disgust and hatred
I do not say we are called upon to dispute and defend the truth with logic and argument, but we are called upon to show by our lives that we stand on the side of truth. ~~ George MacDonald
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:22 pm

Paidion said:
The interesting thing is that if you dislike a person, but serve him, and do other things for him as you would do if you did have love feelings for him, the consequence is usually that you will begin to have love feelings for him as well!


You are right :shock: But many ask... how do we move from bitterness, hatred and disgust, to making the step to love the un-loveable? :o

What can you give as advise to actually making the step, extending the hand so to speak? (with the understanding that the two of you: being yourself and the one you are having issues with: just don't get along...)
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby Geoffrey » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:25 pm

Paidion wrote:If passion isn't emotion, then what is?... Though we may distinguish between acts of love and feelings of love, it is my belief that love in its fullness includes both action and feelings.


Somewhere C. S. Lewis wrote that acts of love are what we give God, and emotions are what God gives us. We must be content with what God gives (or not).

As for the word "passion", I use it in only two senses:

1. "The passions", referring to our sinful inclinations. This is to be distinguished from our appetites. Eating and enjoying a banana because one is hungry is an appetite, and therefore innocent. Eating dozens of bananas at one sitting until we make ourselves sick is a passion, and therefore wicked.

2. Christ's "Passion", referring to His sufferings for us.

I am of course aware of other uses of the word "passion" (such as "Collecting stamps was his passion."), but I do not use the word thus.

George MacDonald often wrote of the vital importance of doing one's duty, of obedience to God. He did write, in agreement with what you wrote, Paidion, that duty and obedience are the path but not the goal. In Heaven there will be no more duty or obedience. We will be effortlessly perfect. Speaking for myself here on earth, I am doing well when I am obedient (which is far too seldom). I am far, far from the Heavenly ideal. St. John Klimakos (of the Ladder) wrote a seminal work entitled The Ladder of Divine Ascent about 1,400 years ago. He gave a schemata of 30 "rungs", each a step on the path to Christian perfection. When I first started reading the book, I said to myself, "I wonder which rung I am on? Five or six, perhaps?" As I started reading, it became clear that I was not even on the first rung. I'm still standing on the ground, perhaps with one foot in the air.
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby maintenanceman » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:29 pm

Geoffrey wrote:I suspect that at bottom there is not much disagreement here. That said, I suspect that our touchy-feely culture is leading to some unfortunate expressions. Two questions:

1. When I was a teenager, I used to sit in my room alone and feel "love" for my girlfriend with such intensity that I thought my chest would burst. Was that love? I say no. What say you?

2. When I was a new father, I used to sit half-dead and feed my infant daughter at ungodly hours of the morning, feeling only exhaustion. Was that love? I say yes. What say you?


Yes but there is maturity at work. And responsibility, and commitment.

These (maturity, responsibility and commitment) are very strong and necessary things for a thriving community and thriving relationships to have. :cry:
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Re: Can God feel pain?

Postby davo » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:19 pm

St. Michael wrote:Love includes emotion.


Image



Abhor

regard with disgust and hatred

IF one holds to “inspiration” then it is hard to question IF the One giving such inspiration can so instruct IF said One knew none of this itself.


maintenanceman wrote:What can you give as advise to actually making the step, extending the hand so to speak? (with the understanding that the two of you: being yourself and the one you are having issues with: just don't get along...)

This is where something like this might apply to a believer…
Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

The reality is such might not always be possible, BUT the injunction to attempt such is there for the believer to as best possible exercise.


Geoffrey wrote:1. When I was a teenager, I used to sit in my room alone and feel "love" for my girlfriend with such intensity that I thought my chest would burst. Was that love? I say no. What say you?

Well whatever it is you have come to conclude about such “intensity”… it was clearly an emotion.
“...the power and mercy of God’s grace is NOT limited to man’s ability to comprehend it...”
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