Why Is There Evil?
This is a question that many have asked for a long time. And of course it is a religious question. If God is good, and all powerful, why does He allow evil to hurt so many innocent people? On the small scale we see a drunk driver who walks away from the accident, while the other car’s occupants go to the morgue. Then we have crazies with guns shooting numerous people for sport, and crazies with cars running over numerous people for an ideology. Then we have Hollywood promoting evil for money by producing horrible sin & killing intensive flics for us to emulate. On the grand scale we have millions of innocents dying in wars from the beginning of time. I’ll briefly touch the answer of 3 religions, (but for birth defects & disease & famine, only God has the answer.)
In Buddhism evil is a part of life. There needs to be evil to illustrate good. How can good exist without it’s opposite? For the American Indian, evil is caused by evil spirits. They have no explanation where the spirits came from, but there are spells to placate evil spirits so they stay away. The Judaeo Christian view is much more elaborate and in my experience & opinion, more credible.
God is the creator of the spiritual dimension AND its occupants – angels. There are only a few named “top management” angels such as Gabriel, Michael, & Lucifer (who may have been the highest ranking), then possibly millions of “worker bee” angels. Before time as we know it, a conspiracy happened in that dimension above, BECAUSE God gives FREE WILL & Lucifer was condemned along with his following for trying to take God’s position, (see Isaiah 14:12-17, Ezekiel 28:12-17)
Then we have the “very good” physical creation – earth, animals, man, etc. The most perfect place was for the perfect man & woman, and they had perfect reproductive systems. But man & woman had FREE WILL and transgressed God’s command (by the lie & luring of that serpent Lucifer). Paradise lost. . . Now that original couple were the representatives & SEED of the human race. We were evicted from the perfect place, lost a perfect relationship w/God, AND sent out into a “cursed” world with a fallen nature to multiply like flies. And sin/evil has been in this imperfect world since then, along with all the suffering, sickness, uncertainty, & death. “Many have wondered: Is evil so big that God cannot destroy it? If good cannot exist without it’s wicked twin, have we found a chink in God’s all-powerful armor? Is there something God can’t do?” (from The Religion Book, 2004 Jim Willis) My answer is NO. God can do anything He wants. The real question is: Why does God allow evil? I believe He uses evil to test us. This life is a proving ground of human character & affiliation – which side are we choosing – the narrow path of good & God, or the wider path of rebellion & pride/ego, & going with the god of this world. And God has generously given the Bible & ministers/priests to give us light and answers, if we choose to accept those answers. Some Bible refs. may be helpful:
-- Genesis 1:1 & 31a “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. . . And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”
-- Genesis 3:17 & 19 “And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; . . . In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
-- Romans 5:12 “Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.”
-- James 4:2 “You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask.”
-- Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (And demons possess people still today – see “Demon Possession”, link 168.)
-- Psalms 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” (There is peace & hope in “relationship”.)
Christ came into the world to give hope & salvation, from the spirit of sin/evil in the world & in ourselves. It requires faith & seeking, but it will pay off, because Jesus defeated evil & paid for our sin on the cross. So we can also defeat evil & have restored relationship w/God, and ultimately Paradise regained – for eternity, and no evil will be there. That’s the Gospel (good news) message, and the answer to the question of evil. Choose Jesus, He is Alive. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 See also “Human Nature” link 182.
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net – Link 0 is Index. * * F. J. Stone * *