October 2, 2006.
Gunfire shattered the tranquility of a one-room Amish schoolhouse.
When the tragedy ended, the shooter and 10 little girls ages 6-13 lay dead.
The kind of evil that’s hard to wrap our brains around.
And that’s true for believers and unbelievers alike.
Today’s blog post in the Tough Questions series will answer the question: “Why does God allow evil to exist?”
Previous TOUGH QUESTIONS blog series posts:
- Which great flood account is actually true?
- Why did God put that tree in the garden?
- How do we know the Bible is actually true? (Part 1)
- How do we know the Bible is actually true? (Part 2)
Why Does Evil Exist? The Heart of the Problem
Why Does Evil Exist? Answering Opposition
Opponents of the Christian faith use the problem of evil to claim that:
- Either God is nonexistent, or
- He’s not truly a good, loving, and just God.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Evil Actually Proves God’s Existence
C. S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, calls it the Moral Law.
“It is after you have realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power — it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk. When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor.”
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Opposition to the Moral Law Argument
“I’m here to say to you this morning that some things are right and some things are wrong. Eternally so, absolutely so. It’s wrong to hate. It always has been wrong and it always will be wrong! It’s wrong in America, it’s wrong in Germany, it’s wrong in Russia, it’s wrong in China. It was wrong in 2000 B.C., and it’s wrong in 1954 A.D. It always has been wrong … Some things in this universe are absolute. The God of the universe has made it so. And so long as we adopt this relative attitude toward right and wrong, we’re revolting against the very laws of God Himself.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Rediscovering Lost Values”
So what about the question of God’s goodness? Keep reading.
Why Does Evil Exist? Let’s Keep This In Mind…
“Man is the one who messed up, and we’ve been blaming God for it ever since.”
God Could Intervene, But…
As all-powerful God, He could intervene in our world and put a stop to evil.
God is just and righteous in all He does. So His direct intervention to stop evil would also put a stop to each of our “little” sins as well.
The Bible is very clear about the utter depravity of mankind. We’re all guilty by His standard.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Why Evil Exists? A Bigger Plan
- gave the commandments for the good of people (Exodus 20:1-17).
- judges sin (Revelation 21:8).
- warns about the danger and invasive nature of sin (Genesis 4:7; Galatians 5:9)
- allows us to experience the consequences of our sin to turn our hearts toward Him (Hebrews 3:7-19).
- delivers His people from slavery to evil (Exodus 14:21-28).
- alone decides whether to act against evil or allow it and is the only One qualified to do so.
God’s thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). So we can trust that He has a good reason for allowing evil to exist.
I’ve heard artists make similar comparisons. Light and bright colors stand out better when contrasted against a dark background.
Honestly, it comes down to this. He’s God and we’re not. For us to tell Him what is fair or unfair is the height of human arrogance. He’s not answerable to us! (See Romans 9:20.)
Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear Me and keep all My commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
Why Evil Exists? Our Best Response
So our best response to the existence of evil is to:
- Acknowledge Him as our Lord God. His plan is bigger than simply prohibiting evil.
- Recognize that we live in enemy territory in the largest civil war ever.
Why Evil Exists? Wrap-Up
Here’s a summary:
- Opponents claim that since evil exists, God must not. But evil actually proves our Divine Creator wired us with a Moral Code.
- Some may claim that morality is relative and determined by individuals. Counteract this by asking if lying is wrong.
- Another argument suggests that one’s culture determines morality. Minor cultural differences exist. But all cultures agree on basic tenets of right and wrong.
- Some claim that God must not be loving, good, kind, righteous, just, etc. since evil exists. Actually since God is all these things and more, He is beyond human comprehension. So man’s description of God doesn’t diminish or change who He is.
- God could have created man with the inability to do wrong. He could also intervene to stop evil. Both would destroy man’s free will, rendering people as little more than puppets or robots.
- Instead God allows evil to exist. But Bible history proves He battles against evil and encourages mankind to do right.
- Our best response is to acknowledge Him as God and live accordingly. We also need to realize this universal spiritual battle between perfect good and pure evil. Evil loses to good when Jesus returns!
Along with today’s question about why God allows evil, we get a whole host of other questions.
One of my favorite online resources in GotQuestions.org. Below you’ll find several related questions answered on that site.
- What is the Biblical Solution to the Problem of Evil? (article)
- Why Does God Allow The Innocent to Suffer? (article)
- Why Did God Allow The Holocaust? (article)
- Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen to Good People? (article)
- Why Does God Allow Natural Disasters? (article)
- Why Does God Allow Sickness? (article)
- Does God Use Evil to Accomplish His Plan? (article)
- How Can I Believe in the Goodness of God When There is So Much Evil in the World? (article)
- Why does God allow us to go through trials and tribulations? (article)
Can she return good for evil, or will those who plot her destruction have the final say?
A justice-seeking small town girl and new attorney dreams of a perfect life. Gracie is far from happy when her far-from-perfect former boyfriend shows up unannounced. Disillusioned by life as a defense lawyer, she goes to work for the prosecution. But things are not as they appear. Unsure of who to trust, she launches her own covert investigation. By the schemes of a master manipulator, she’s caught in the cross-fire of a personal vendetta. In a heartbeat, her perfect dreams disintegrate in a heap of ashes.