The curious as well as the critics of Christianity ask this question. If God is all-powerful and all loving, then why does He permit evil and suffering in the world? Various answers have been given but permanently settling the issue is impossible because so many of our answers raise further questions. Nevertheless, our lack of ability to answer the question perfectly does not mean that we cannot offer solutions.
- A second opinion
"Do I have to obey rules made by someone with a higher authority than even human, government officials?"
In my opinion, based on things that have happened to me in MY life, I would have to say "most certainly"! Even if you don't believe that the human race is controlled or "guided" in any way, simply start looking around you. When you realize that you could have died 5 times today, had you not barely missed being in an accident, narrowly missed getting your chin clipped on the dresser when you stood up too abruptly, grabbed your kid out of the way of the car, but failed to notice the truck that blew right past you as you spun around, (nice video on the web of this), and hundreds of other daily, non-newsworthy incidents, you will come to wonder who is "assisting" in the prevention of even greater tragedies.
I have no opinion on this, particularly, but I am convinced that humans are lacking concsiousness to the point of almost total cluelessness. We think we are in total charge of our lives. We think we know everything worth knowing. We are so full of ourselves, that we fail to realize that we are barely qualified to rate the title "ignorant savages" even yet at our current stage of development!
A simple test: the next time you eat an apple (used in the Bible as a symbol of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of good and evil), ask yourself, How would I go about transforming this apple that I am eating into ME? Somehow, your body does it. YOUR BODY knows exactly how to do it. It does it WITHOUT you even being a part of the process! Because of the simple reason that you don't HAVE to know how to do it, you will probably shrug the question off as being totally meaningless. My point is this: if you don't even have a clue about how to do such a simple, common everyday activity as digesting an apple and transforming it into the building blocks used by your body, then how can you possibly think that you "know" very much about how the rest of the world really works?
The world, including YOUR body, runs pretty well without you being involved in practically much of ANY part of it! And a good thing too, given how much you have yet to learn!
I've been given the task of attempting to follow the 10 commandments in the Bible. I do not claim that this is useful "homework" for any other students (unless they get the same assignment at an appropriate time), but I've come to believe that they are more of a guideline for eliminating 90% of the misery that can befall a human being, than they are a set of rules some ogreish bully has made up just to keep us busy cleaning up our room (like our parents frequently did).
Given the amount of guidance that the average person seems to require, and how little they seem to be aware of it, it would seem to be a safe bet to say that SOMEBODY is in charge of babysitting us, and whether or not they ARE God/the Devil, they have sufficient power to SEEM godlike to us, and it would behoove us to act properly respectful of somebody wielding that much power.
I like to think that the passages in the Bible (I've been instructed to read it, I usually hate it, it is so hard to understand), that show God sending various people and agents (angelic beings, typically) on missions that HE could obviously handle himself far more effectively and without any trouble, and that this shows that God likes to delegate jobs to lesser creatures and that he likes to do this because we need the practice.
This doesn't mean that I think this is how things really work, it just means that I think God doesn't personally have to do things himself in order to get them done.
I hope you spend at least a little time considering alternate interpretations of the events you see and read about, and develop a better relationship with your own guidance so that you don't have to listen to the opinions of strangers on such important topics in your life.