The Problem of Evil

                When one describes the problem of evil, one typically brings up suffering, but I think these are two separate things, suffering being the result of evil. While I have already explored the problem of suffering, what I would like to do is explore the nature of evil, why it is here, and what the scriptures have to say about it and how God deals with evil.
                So first off, we must define terms. What is evil? The answer I will use here would be anything that goes against God’s law, which is the definition of sin, and anyone who reads the book of Genesis finds that sin entered the world when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. So evil goes against God’s law, so why doesn’t God in His omnipotence eliminate it? If He is omniscient, didn’t He see this coming and could have stopped it altogether or prevented it? Isn’t Hell an evil committed by God by tormenting people who only committed temporary crimes? All of these are interesting questions but the answers I have are far from complete. Something we must keep in mind while talking about God and that he is a person, not a mechanism. This means that he has a mind and intentionality behind his actions, and his ways and thoughts are much higher than my own (Isaiah 55: 8-9).  We are also persons with wills of our own, and we may choose to follow God’s will or our own.
                As far as eliminating evil, God has appointed times for dealing with it, and He has another time appointed in the end as well. One can read the book of Revelations and see that God has a plan for the final days on this earth. I fully believe that I serve an all-powerful God that can and will eliminate all evil and establish a place with no pain nor suffering, but even Jesus did not know when that day would come (Mark 13:32). This isn’t the first time that God has appointed times to deal with the wickedness of humanity, a prime example being the story of Noah’s ark. There are plenty of atheists who like to   So God has a plan for all of this, but why did He even let this continue if He knew what evil that humanity could bring upon this earth, as well as on each other. While I cannot pretend to know the mind of God, it is written that He works ALL things together for our good (Romans 8:28). This doesn’t mean that God will only work good things for us, but also the bad/evil that comes our way. As I said, I don’t know why God in his all-knowing state would allow this to occur if he knew it would happen if we continued on this path, but he does know us since before we were in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He knows us so well that he knows what choices we will make before we make them, without any input from God. This description isn’t Predestination, but something known formally as Molinism.
                So the final question that I brought up is the question of Hell, and this question brings with it quite a lot of controversy between Christians and between the world and Christians if that makes sense. A lot of people have this idea of hell of some place where Satan is in charge and eternally torments people unfortunate enough to go there. To start with the misconceptions, Satan isn’t in charge of hell, he is as much an occupant of hell as you are. So is Hell torment? I think maybe in a sense, but not in an active torment, this would make God actively committing evil. I think a more proper definition of Hell is an absolute absence of God. So taking the definitions that God is the embodiment of all things good, then the only thing remaining is evil, suffering, and pain. Why would God send someone to a place such as this? I think that God doesn’t send someone to Hell, people choose to be there. If you reject God in your life here, which is only a vapor, then why would you want God in your life in eternity? God is love, but love is a choice, so being forced into Heaven with God would be Hell for someone who did not want to be there. As an analogy for this, think about a man romantically interested in a woman. The woman is constantly spurning his advances until the man declares that he will force the woman to love him. That’s crazy right?

                This topic is a rather abstract one to me, and I may revisit this sometime later. I would hope that the information and ideas I have brought here shed a little light on the topic and have you thinking about Christianity and God. Even if you decide in the negative, I have always felt that as long as I get you thinking about God, then I have done my job, as salvation is a matter between you, the reader, and God. God bless and have a good rest of your evening. 

Comments

  1. If God is love, then evil has to be the antithesis of Love, not the Law, for God is NOT the Law. God transcends the Law without breaking it. The Law conforms to Him, but it does not rule Him. God can (and does) forgive transgressions against the Law, because God has authority over the Law. Cain sinned before there the Law was established, and Abel was accepted by God before the Covenant of the Law was in place.

    Sin at its root must be anti-Love, anti-Real (nihilistic), The fact that it is always opposed to the righteousness of the Law is almost a product of what evil is, not its definition. Before the Law ever existed, there was evil, the aberration of heavenly perfection and the opposition against God. My guess is that evil will not go away after the final judgment, but it will be fully exposed for what it is.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Common Arguments for the Existence of God

Do You Have to Have A Scholarly Answer for Your Faith?

Should Christians be involved in politics? Should we take sides?