Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Barber's Story: Does God Exist?

A Barber's Story A man went to a barber shop to have his hair and his beard cut as always. He started to have a good conversation with the barber who attended him. They talked about so many things and various subjects. Suddenly, they touched the subject of God. The barber said: "Look man, I don't believe that God exists as you say."

"Why do you say that?" asked the client.

"Well, it's so easy, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God does not exist. Oh, tell me, if God existed, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be no suffering nor pain. I can't think of loving a God who permits all of these things."

The client stopped for a moment thinking, but he didn't want to respond as to cause an argument. The barber finished his job and the client went out of the shop. Just after he left the barber shop he saw a man in the street with a long hair and beard (it seems that it had been a long time since he had his cut and he looked so untidy).

Then the client again entered the barber shop and he said to the barber, "You know what? Barbers do not exist."

"How can you say they don't exist?" asked the barber. "Well I am here and I am a barber."

"No!" the client exclaimed. "They don't exist because if they did there would be no people with long hair and a beard like that man who walks in the street."

"Ah, barbers do exist, what happens is that people do not come to me."

"Exactly!"- affirmed the client. "That's the point. God does exist, what happens is people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."


NOTE: This article is written as an anecdote for illustrative purpose only. Any reference to specific persons or characters is as provided from the source and not verified.


  1. That's silly. If God loved all His creation, as the bible says He does, then He would help people even if they don't love Him. If He loves us, then he wants the best for us, right? So He'd help us without having to receive the reward of being loved in return. So if He only helps people who go to him, then he doesn't love atheists or agnostics, even though He created them , supposedly loves all the things that He creates, and knew all along that they would be atheists/agnostics, is that what you're trying to tell me?

  2. God loves all His creation so much that He died on the Cross for us even while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). He does not need our praise to feel appreciated or rewarded (Luke 19:40). It is us who needs God to fill the emptiness in our hearts. Unless our relationship with God is bridged, we can never be truly happy or satisfied. Therefore, the message here is about free will. Man is given the free will to decide his or her own destiny, to live life abundantly, or to die in eternity (John 10:10; 3:16-21).

  3. Then tell me, why do perfectly nice religious people suffer from violence and hunger each day? If God loves all his children, then why does he continue to let these bad things happen?
    HINT: If you admit that you're not sure, the question will stop being asked.

  4. Why Would A Good God Allow Suffering? It's an old question. Four thousand years ago, a victim of personal, family, and financial reversals spoke to the silent heavens and pleaded, "Show me why You contend with me. Does it seem good to You that You should oppress, that You should despise the work of Your hands?" (Job 10:2,3,8). The questions are still being asked. "Does God hate me? Is this why He is allowing me to suffer like this? Why me and not others?"

    Though not exhaustive, the following link to an article by RBC Ministries attempts to explain in biblical perspectives some of the reasons for the many painful experiences in life:

    Why Would A Good God Allow Suffering?

    We are not alone in our sufferings, for Christ Himself suffered.

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NAS)

    Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1-2 NAS)

    but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. (1 Peter 4:16 NAS)

  5. Christians suffer, and I think they accept what you just said. But you dodged my point completely. Why comfort us in our suffering instead of stopping it from happening? That way the atheists and agnostics that He loves but who reject His love could feel His love, too. Your version implies a God that is not all-powerful to stop suffering, or just doesn't want to.

  6. Suffering was never there until the fall of man. Love is not just about feeling, it is a demonstration. God has demonstrated His love and man must in his own free will choose to return to Him. The world is not made up of agnostics and athiests alone. There are the anti too, people who are against the faith. All these, as well as believers, Jesus loves and died for, and it us who must decide in our own free will.

    Suffering is prevalent, regardless of our faith or belief, so long as we are here on earth. Until we see Him face to face as true believers in Him, suffering will then either end or become eternity. May God bless you as you continue to seek Him.

    'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the LORD (Jeremiah 29:11-14a NAS)

  7. You refuse to answer my question. If God loves everyone, then why does He make all this suffering go on when He has the power to stop it?

  8. Ever since the fall of man, man is sinful by nature. If there be no suffering, man will live lives as they deem fit. Our God is a holy God and His plan for man is to bring them back to a level of relationship in which we can be holy too (1 Peter 1:15-16). Suffering is one of the many ways in which man can be molded and be brought to the realization of a God who cares.

  9. So what you're saying is that the God who supposedly made all people and who loves them and is all-powerful can only mold people into the people he wants them to be by making them suffer. This raises a number of questions.

    1. If God made each and every one of us to begin with, why can't He make us into the people He wants us to be in the first place, instead of gradually changing us into different people?

    2. If God is all-powerful, surely He can make us into the people he wants to be without making us suffer, right? After all, if He loves us, He must not want us to suffer.

    3. If the plan is to bring people closer to God using suffering, the plan fails on a number of levels. Many people, when confronted with suffering, lose faith in God or abandon him altogether. Also, it would be silly not to ask this question in the face of suffering, so your God doesn't seem very smart right now, to only be trusted by idiots.

    4. If the whole point is to make us closer to God, why not just keep us up in heaven to begin with? Why risk losing his precious, beloved children to the devil?

    On a separate note that is related to your last comment, why is it that what humans want for themselves is wrong? Surely God put our instincts into our design for a reason, right?

  10. Dear Meow-Mix McKeown

    I kind of expected these questions coming up, so let me answer some of them to give a suggested closure for this discussion here, and if needed to take this offline through another mode of communication.

    1. Things take time, therefore in order to build a person to the desired qualities, one must go through a process to learn and to appreciate. No one with free will can change instantly without some resistance, especially after the fall of man.

    2. The question why God cannot make us into the beings He wants us to be without going through suffering again questions the freedom of will. If God make us to do what He wants, then we are not free.

    3. Suffering does lead some to fail, but can also lead others to thrive and become stronger. It's a matter of choice, and even if we fail a couple of times and return to God, we become stronger and we can others better. Read Romans 3:3-12; 6:1-23 and 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 for more details.

    4. As to God risks His children to be tested, it once again falls back to free will. God can will stones to sing His praise (Luke 19:40), but that will defeat the whole purpose of free will. God created man to be in His own image and it is His intent for us to be creatures of free will, therefore the choice is for us to make.

    Our 'instincts' or sense of right and wrong very much depend on our relationship with God. When we live in Christ and Christ lives in us, then through our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, we shall know what is right. Man's instincts since the fall have been jeopardized, and without guidance by the Holy Spirit, we can be misled, therefore we must go back to the basics ... return to God and live in Him.

    Unless our hearts be willing, let me say no amount of intellectual or rational discussion will help us understand God's purpose for us in our lives (Romans 8:28). I pray therefore that you may come before God with a humble and contrite heart to seek after Him and to understand His will (Psalm 51:17). Seek Him with all your heart and He will be found of you (Jeremiah 29:11-14a).

    One thing is sure, however, and that if Christ had chosen to walk away from the suffering of the Cross, all our lives, our hope and our faith would have been in vain, and we would all be lost forever.

    This discussion, I believe, has gone beyond the scope of this blog. Given its lengthiness, if you wish to continue to discuss on this or on other matters pertaining to the things of God and the Christian faith, may I ask that you email me instead.

    May God bless you as you continue to seek Him. Have a fruitful new year!

  11. An example of someone that loves somebody that is ruining their life.

    You love someone that is into drugs...that's their choice. You talk to them and tell them what they are doing to their life and you want to help them. You give examples of their consequences and they still choose drugs. You tell them how great their life would be if they get away from what they are doing. They choose to not listen and stay into drugs. You try all you can in your power to save them. They can only save themselves. They will not have help or get help unless they choose. The suffering of a Christian is a consequence to a decision they have made earlier in their life. With every decision comes a consequence.

  12. Well, if you think that everything on earth should be perfect and good, then there's no way that we have to aim Heaven. Because Heaven is here and now. But, definitely, it's not. There's a deep purpose why everything in this world is not perfect and why we have to suffer. We need to realize to know and believe in God on our own volition. Not as God wanted us, but as we want it coming from our heart. By the way, we are to please God, not God to please us. Otherwise, it's us who are Gods and not Him. In the way that I see, is it fair to deny God simply because we don't enjoy life here on earth? Should God always please us in order for us to believe in Him that He does exist? That's something that is very irresponsible and insane, isn't it? To me, God does exist and always feel Him in my heart even in suffering and in miseries. God is God and has a perfect plan, not meant for this world, but for the next. Why we have to prepare now!

  13. The broken links in this conversation is now found at:

    Why Would A Good God Allow Suffering?
    email me

    God bless.