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He loves me He Loves me not ~ a reply to a professed atheist.

My heart goes out to you my friend. It sounds to me like it is more the fact that you are angry with God for all that is happening here than it is that you don’t believe that He exists. Atheist, agnostic either way, God gives you a headache and you would rather just not think about why someone who claims to be so powerful, would chose to turn His back on His own creation. You have given up on God’s existence so I am presuming that you do not believe in Satan as well. I will continue as if I am correct in that presumption.
I am by no means even qualified to have this conversation much less try to put my 2 cents in and explain why God does what He does.
I will tell you what I have learned, and stop here if you would rather not explore this with me. First and foremost I have learned and believe that God does not cause things like the Aurora Massacre. I will use that as my example here since there are billions of examples and way to much for my small mind to comprehend or discuss.

As I was saying...God does not CAUSE or WILL things like the Aurora Massacre to happen. One person did... James Eagan Holmes did. He and he alone took months of calculation and deliberation and planning, to go out to a certain destination (the movie theater) and follow through with the actions he had been dwelling on over and over in his mind no doubt for many months. I believe he thought about it so much he actually convinced himself had no choice but to go through with it. The human mind is a powerful thing. I also believe he was lead to those thoughts by Satan himself, by whispering in James’ mind over and over again that he had to do it. And so James chose to listen to that small voice inside his head…but it was NOT the voice of GoD. Instead of seeking God’s counsel, and pursuing GoD’s still small voice that would have guided him down a much better path, he chose to ignore it as if it wasn’t there. James’ actions did not only effect himself but it touched the lives of many innocent people, in fact not only did it effect those people who were murdered and wounded by his actions, it effected our nation.
God did not cause him to do it nor was it His will…ALLOWED it most certainly, but it is not His will that it happens. Our Heavenly Father has given us a choice. As I see it the CHOICE or FREE WILL of most people will lead to the resistance of what God’s will is. I mean it is way to difficult to follow a path so concrete, black and white and NARROW. Right? So why bother. Our humanness, our flesh which is sinful from the get go, (thanks to the fruit tree incident in the garden all those years ago) is bent that way. We get extra assistance from a certain wicked musician who believed and still believes that he is more than equal to God himself, whispering in our ear telling us exactly what you believe…If God is so great than why doesn’t He stop all the pain and misery and disasters in the world. Jesus heard those words straight from the source…but stood strong against the temptations to side with Satan. I know this was no easy task, but He knew the consequences, on both sides of the coin. Paradise or Hell.

Let us explore the possibility that God did intervene. That He had given visible warning signs that James needed help or showed someone that this atrocity could be prevented…this person or people had tuned out the voice of God, or dismissed the warning signs…as so many of us do. Perhaps the Lord did intervene but could not find anyone who would listen…with so many disregarding His call or guidance, what can be done? Should God Himself stepped down from the clouds to save those people???? Many of whom have more than likely have decided to shut Him out of their lives in the first place. Many like you who may have chosen not to believe He even exists? What do you do when someone dismisses you over and over and over…? You can’t tell me you drop everything and go to their aid regardless of the consequenses. If someone tells you to get out of their lives and let them live it they way they want to…more than likely you do as you are asked. NO? The innocent believers in that situation that were gunned down…are now with the LORD…what better way to be rescued from the torment here on earth?

Andy Stanley has a great book “The Principle of Path”. He has a great analogy of that statement, Where he compares God who is no respecter of persons…to an unfinished stretch of highway.
This unfinished stretch of highway dead ends in a swamp, so if one chooses to continue past the warning signs, when they come to where the pavement ends will find themselves in a swamp.
One can make the decision to obey the signs warning of the dangers; and choose not to continue on and find a more suitable path; or they can disregard the warnings and continue on anyway. It is after all ~ their choice. Regardless of race, creed, color, sex or station in life, anyone who continues on down that road anyway will have the same end result. Everybody will get the same treatment. That is true of every highway, freeway, driveway or path. It leads where it leads, regardless of who is on it. You can fire up your GPS, get out the maps, talk to people about it…but the road leads to the same place every time. This applies to all areas of our lives. Now this is a 204 page book that I simply cannot sit here and re-write out for you to read…and in all honestly I don’t expect this to change your way of thinking, so I am not going to bother with it…you can get the book and read if you so desire.

However…as it is with the road..so it is with God.

You have knowledge of the bible I can see from your paraphrasing scripture and throwing the chapter and verse out there. You seem to question God on every turn of the page as well.
While this country was founded on biblical principles, given it’s power by God rewarding those who sought Him out and built their lives with His guidance. We once were a nation that stood on that foundation. This country has been turning its back on Him more and more every day for decade upon decade. This is not a sudden development. The United States of America had it all. Power, Finances, and God. We had to fight for it, we were given power and Godly leaders, and the more we fall away the less God can or will intervene. He doesn’t CAUSE these bad things to happen but He does allow them. Many have come to a point where we only accept God’s desires and requirements for our lives only in as far as it suits our needs. He commands that we do not fornicate, we do not love outside our marriages…but we feel we made a mistake in our choice…(or HE made a mistake in choosing our mate)…then His Word no longer works for us…He can’t possibly want that for me…I am not happy…so we disregard it and do what we think we need to do to make us happy. In our minds it is all about us. EVERYTHING is about us. We are the arrogant ones in that respect, and expect God to make us happy and do what we want instead of the other way around. Which is wrong thinking, and not the way it works at all.
So HE steps back and says okay you know better and you don’t want My help. Go for it. He will not step in and force His demands on us. He has never promised us there won’t be suffering but He has promised that He will be there to help us through it. The suffering does not come from Him, it comes from our tormentor; the one we so often chose to hear the whispers from rather than God. God can’t be where there is sin except to be there long enough to eradicate it from existence. He is no respecter of persons. He gives us warnings, and teachings and endless opportunities to go in His direction, to run to Him, to follow His plan for us…but if we don’t, there isn’t anything He can do about it. He will redirect us until the cows come home, but if we chose not to see the light and only listen to the one who opposes Him…we pay the consequences. .

Your friend's interpretation that we are like God’s Dogs, is an unusual anecdote. But we are much more than that to Him. We are incapable of loving our dogs as much as He loves us and I know how much we love our dogs I am a trainer and a fanatic about them... I have a facebook page to prove that. His protection does not come in the form of saving us every time we screw up, it comes in the form of forgiveness and grace. It only comes when we call on Him, and ask for Him to intervene. Sometimes the answer is not what we want to hear, and that is when we start questioning His deity. We want Him to FIX everything we think is wrong in the world. He works things out according to His plan. Whether we want to believe it or not, we are not the only picture on His refrigerator, and our lives touch MANY MANY other lives, we are all intertwined; and while He is answering prayer the effects ripple and touch the lives of many, not just the one who prays the prayer. We will in fact never understand why He chooses to do what He does because ~ it is not all about us! Plain and simple. He is working in MANY lives at the same time and the end result is what is best for His plan and glory for His Kingdom. The end result will be for His Glory not ours.
Anyway, I know you have searched for all the answers in your own way and have come to your conclusions (not lightly I would believe).

I feel unequipped to go much further in this conversation at this very moment. But I will leave you with this, that God in my eyes (and I would venture to believe in the eyes and heart of every believer) that God is a Good God with our best interest in His every consideration. He can guide us, but we are the ones who have to make the decision to follow His lead. If we don’t He can’t be there for us. Satan does the same and he is a deceiver and very good at what he does and he is always willing to be there for us as long as we listen to him as well. Either way the choice is ultimately up to us. It is in fact Black and White, and what we do with our choices determines our destiny.

We can deny that God loves us, we can even deny that He exists, but that doesn't make it true. And should we choose to believe that God is a Good God who does exist and who does love us and honor and worship Him...and we end up being wrong, there is only an end to life and no consequence of Hell. But if we do deny Him and His exsitance, and we are wrong... I for one must say that is not a consequence I am willing to take a chance on.

“And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Check out some of Louis Giglio Youtube videos "LAMININ" "Indescribable"

Books ~ Andy Stanley's ~ Principle of the Path
C.S. Lewis's ~ Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity