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 Note by Belinda:
Jane, our cell group study leader, sent this forwarded email, with the subject title, "Holy Conversation," which is the topic we are studying. I had to share!

   This   is one of the best explanations on the
nature of God that I have ever seen...

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair
cut and his beard trimmed. As  the barber began
to work, they began to have a good  conversation.
They talked about so many things and various subjects.

When they eventually touched on the subject of God,
the  barber said: 'I don't believe that God exists.'    

'Why do you say that?' asked the customer.
'Well, you just have to go out in the street to
realize that God doesn't exist. 

Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many
sick people? Would there be abandoned children?

If God existed, there would be neither
suffering nor pain. 

I can't imagine a loving God who would
allow all of these things.' 

The customer thought for a moment, but
didn't respond because he didn't want to
start an argument.

The barber finished his job and the customer
left the  shop.  

Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a
man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair
and an  untrimmed   beard. 

He looked dirty and unkempt.The customer
turned back and entered the barbershop again
and he said to the barber: 

'You know what? Barbers do not exist.' 

'How can you say that?' asked the surprised
barber. 'I am here, and I am a barber. And I
just worked on you!'

'No!' the customer exclaimed. 'Barbers don't
exist because if they did, there would be no
people with dirty long hair and untrimmed
beards, like that man outside.'

'Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens
when  people do not come to me.' 

'Exactly!' affirmed the customer. 'That's the
point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what
happens when people do not go to Him and don't
look to Him for help.  
That's why there's so much pain and suffering in
the world.'



Anonymous said…
The first time I read this I thought, "I must memorize this wee story - would be a good way to share the existance of God and address the song and dance that goes with those that don't believe - wars, famine, etc." Then I read it through again - and changed my mind.

At first blush I agreed that God exists and people don't know Him because they don't come to Him - but second thoughts arose around the statement "That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That is why there is so much pain and suffering in the world."

Hmmmm...what about all the Christians that have suffered? What about the suffering of Paul and Peter? How about Job? The rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous. I think it is too simplistic to say the problems are there because people don't turn to God. We don't know the purposes of God - and why He allows trials and tribulations, loss, death, disease and so on into our lives. I think we set people up for a crises of faith when we make it sound like God is going to turn our lives into a bed of roses. Such a mindset can make us feel like Christian failures when we meet with trials. We then can think that either we've done something wrong, or that God doesn't love us. There are more scriptural promises about our journey on this earth as being a time of trial and testing - with the enemy trying to kill, destroy, deceive and devour us, then there is sunshine and lollipops. Our eternal promises are indeed glowing - but just turning to God and believing in Him does not solve one's earthly problems - or that of the world.

There are no "short cuts" :-)
Belinda said…
Anonymous, That is a thoughtful critique of the message of "Does God Exist." I agree with every thing you said. It is wise to consider the easy answer and what people might receive from it. When I think of the bedraggled man with the long hair though, I think the analogy stands at least there. People, (while they may still live with suffering in this world--and are assured of it in fact, by the Bible "in this world you will have trouble,") are transformed when they invite God in or call on him for help. And..."The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. I will try my utmost to be that man." -D.L. Moody
Signing of with--I agree with you and thank you!

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