Monday, May 26, 2008

Why does God allow Evil?

We all know evil is real, and we all have personally experienced it in one way or another. But, a problem arises in the field of theology and philosophy. The question arises: if God is all-powerful and all loving, then why does He permit evil and suffering in the world? Why won’t God just put a stop to evil?

In various religious and secular circles, Evil has been described as “vice,” or something that is “depraved,” meaning morally objectionable. It is a malignant or malevolent principle, behavior, or deed that influences and practices; it brings about harm, destruction, and misfortune to others by direct action or inaction of the perpetrator. In most classic Christian thinking, Evil is anything that is not of God. From a biblical, theological construct, evil is sin and a form of adultery! It is adultery to God from our willful, moral rebellion against God. It is literally cheating on Him with our desires, lusts, and sins from what He has called and planned for us. It is humans’ seeking that which is contrary to His will such as hatred and bigotry (Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:3; Rev. 21:4).

There are two, main kinds of evil; one is natural evil (floods, storms, famines, etc.) that comes from the corruption of sin in the world. The other is moral evil (such as murder, sexual abuse, adultery, idolatry, etc.). However, many theologians say there is only one form of evil because natural evil is a result of our moral evil because of “Original Sin”—the sin that affects all of creation (people and planets)—the result of Adam's sin entering the world, allowing natural disasters such as fires, floods, storms, famines, etc.

As sin is rebellion against God, spiritual betrayal, and being disobedient (Jer. 31:32; Hosea, chaps 1-3; Eph. 4:30; James 2:23), we are not as bad as we could be. We are not utterly depraved as we still have, as Calvin said, “civil good.” This means we are capable of doing good works because we have a conscience, even though we are still corrupted by sin (Luke 11:39-44; Rom. 2:12-16; 14:23; Titus 1:15). Evil, meaning malevolence or extreme vice, goes further than sin. It means to have malicious and spiteful desires, and it comes about from the exploits of a “self absorbed” mindset in a person who has no regard for others and/or no fear of God (Rom. 3:10-18). Evil is badness, cruelty, ruthlessness, depravity, debauchery, and immorality—out of control. It is being merciless and unscrupulous in our dealings toward others. Evil is not merely a psychological disorder such as being a sociopath; it is a condition of the soul (Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 1:18-32). It is an act of “playing God” or being self-indulgent, so we think we have the final authority, and then we act on it out of spite. Only God has the final authority (Eph. 6:12; James 4: 13-17)! We have to realize that our lives are far better in His arms of love and care than with our whims and limited ideas (2 Cor. 5:16-17)!

Evil is man being so arrogant that he ignores God, His love, and His plan! To ignore what Christ has done for us is considered evil, both for the Christian and the non-Christian! We have the ability to ignore the heart of the cross, but we do not have the right to ignore God. This also includes ignoring what Christ did on the cross on our behalf (1 John 4:4)!

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What do you think?


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