How does God allow evil to exsist?

As we explore the thoughts and ideas of God, we are drawn to large questions that plague our society. One being, how or why does an all powerful, loving, personal being cause or simply allow evil to exist in our realm. He (GOD) that knows all and has assumed control over all is often the blame for great world disasters, and horrible human atrocities. As we begin to explain this to a world that is so broken and in need of the very thing they blame for their pain, we must start with proposing the existence of God. We will briefly discuss an argument of creation that will lead us towards a moral creator. What does this mean to us as humans and how we view the areas of good and evil in our view of the world? Are we the ones who decide what morality is, and if so which one of us sets those standards for the rest of us? Will understanding the existence of evil in our world lead us ultimately to a just and loving God?

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” is what we discover in Genesis chapter one verse three. God spoke and created the universe and all the heaven and earth. This is our christian view. There are many forces coming against this view point. Scientists are calling it the “big bang”. They claim that everything came from nothing and nothing exploded into what we have as our natural universe today. This is the accepted view in the world of science today. How can something come from nothing? How can nature create nature? Nature in itself can simply not create itself from nothing so there must be something outside of nature. We call this super-natural. We know this as God. This is the cosmological argument. Cosmos is the Greek word that means world or universe. The argument is that everything that had a beginning had a cause, the universe had a beginning, therefore the universe had a cause. We will not discuss the full exhaustive details for this discussion, however, we will take that this argument leads us to the truth that there was a creator that created the universe. This creator must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, personal, powerful, intelligent, creative, and moral. This creator is not inside our time or space, but is personal because he created us as personal beings. Knowing that he created us as moral beings means we can know and understand the difference between right and wrong. If there was not a creator that gave us the standards of right and wrong then how would we know what was right or wrong? This is the common thought of the modern atheist. They believe that their morals come from the natural man. How could this make sense if we were simply made from nothing and evolved from simple life forms into the complex beings we are today. What cells or atoms are the ones that decide what is right and wrong for us? Who among us is evolved to this higher life form that is now the final judge to dictate our morals? This is clearly illogical. The Bible teaches that the laws of God are written on our hearts. God alone has set the standard of what is right and wrong.

We can now understand that there is good and evil because God has given the standard to us. Even before the law that leads us like a schoolmaster to Christ, we had this standard in our hearts and conscience. We are moral creatures, and God being the good creator. Why then is there evil? Is not God a loving creator that wants us to come to Him? The simple answer is yes. He wants and desires us to come to Him, but not on our terms. We often want God to do and act how we desire. We want him to fulfill our thoughts and stop the evil around us. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts” we read in Isaiah. God is good. Anything less than his holiness and goodness is technically evil and he being good does not mean he brings evil into the world. We still must ask why he allows evil in the world at all. He is all powerful. Can he not remove evil from the world? If he removed evil, where would that leave us as created beings with free will and the freedom to choose between right and wrong? We were created to glorify him.  We were created with the ability to make that choice.

God is loving and loves us that he would not force someone to follow him. He creates us with our human thoughts and emotions. “Humans would not be genuinely human without free will. Whether humans are free in the sense assumed by Arminians or free in a sense not inconsistent with God’s having rendered certain what is to happen, God’s having made humans as he purposed means that they have certain capacities that they could not fully exercise if there were no possibility of evil. For God to prevent evil, he would have had to make humanity other than it is. Genuine humanity requires the ability to desire to have to do some things contrary to God’s intentions. The possibility of evil was a necessary accompaniment of God’s good plan to make people fully human (Erickson 162).”  We now realize that we have a creator that gave us our moral standards and our freedom to choose. This is what makes us human. Freedom to choose right and wrong and freedom to choose to believe in him.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). The horrible atrocities we see in humanity can be hard for us to bear in our conscience. How can we as humans do such evil to our fellow man?  We are in a fallen state of being and this is where the greatest evil, and the greatest picture of justice meets at the foot of the cross of Jesus. We see that Jesus was fulfilling God’s purpose of redemption for us. He freely chose to become a sacrifice for our sins. Brutally beaten and nailed to a cross and hung to die is where evil, justice, love, and forgiveness all converged as one. Evil is what his accusers had in their hearts, justice because of what God demanded. A sacrifice to atone for our sins. Love because of his willingness to lay his life down for us. Forgiveness because he says, “father forgive them for they know not what they do.”  This is where we must begin to look and understand how God allows evil to exist. “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”(Hebrews 12:2). God knows our hearts. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slanders. These are what defile a person” (Matthew 15:19-20). When we begin to correctly see ourselves we understand our desperate need for redemption. God is holy and anything less is what we should truly see as evil. Our creator has created us for his glory. Will we decide to stop blaming him for the evils in our world and begin to look to him for our purpose? “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).”

Works Cited

ESV: Study Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, 2016.

Erickson, Millard J., and L Arnold. Hustad. Introducing Christian Doctrine. Baker Publishing Group, 2015.

Geisler, Norman L., and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Crossway Books, 2004.

YouTube. “Ravi Zacharias: The Existence of God.” YouTube, Ligonier Ministries, 29 May 2015, https://youtu.be/mRRuKDXT7Kg.

YouTube. “Does God Exist?(Frank Turek vs Christopher Hitchens.” YouTube, Cross Examined, 23 May 2011, https://youtu.be/S7WBEJJlYWU.

Erickson, Millard J., and L Arnold. Hustad. Introducing Christian Doctrine. Baker Publishing Group, 2015.

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