“If God is all LOVING and all POWERFUL why doesn’t God just get rid of all evil in the world and make it a better place?” The skeptic may ask.
Let me offer my opinion:
Do discuss this we first must center in on evil and define it and it’s source. Evil is injustice, crime, suffering etc. But more important than the effects of evil is the source of evil. Evil is caused by the choices of man. It only exists because certain individuals choose to do it. God gave man the ability to choose between His way, or their own way. I do not mean to say that God wants us to be mindless, opinion-less, will-less creatures. But we come to points in everyday life where we must make a conscious decision that has to do with morals, at this moment we can pick our way or God’s way.
For example when the murderer murders, he has not chosen God’s will, for God said “thou shalt murder”, but he has chosen his own will because he has decided to murder. Evil in the form of crime happened because in this case the person did not follow God’s will. If every person were to always choose God’s will in matters of life no evil would ever exist! So the source of evil is in man’s free will.
For God to remove evil in the world would be to remove choice from man. This He simply will not do.
Because He wants man to choose Him. Does everyone? No, but out of love He must always leave the option for us to turn to Him.
If God were to grant the wish of this skeptic we would only be left with one decision – to obey God at all times, to love Him at all times etc. Think about it like this – if we were able to program a child’s brain at birth and you programmed your children to love you at all times, to honor and serve you at all times no matter what; would it be real love? No, it would be programmed love, unauthentic, and manipulated.
God has not done this, He gives us the choice to turn to Him or to turn away from Him.
The evil that we see on the news today is simply the long term results of turning away from God for centuries. The first decision to disobey God was simply eating a fruit that God said was off limits! It’s wild to think that such global evil today exists as the great great great grandchild of that first decision away from God. Yet here we are. I’m not saying that when someone chooses contrary to God’s will that they are instantly killing children, committing genocide, or starving countries for riches. Because there are many atheists or adherents to other faiths and gods that are not causing the evils that distress humanity. However from this (at times) harmless choice away from God stems the existence of evil.
So we see God, out of genuine love for us and a desire for genuine love from us must give free will. He is not pleased when we turn away from Him but it must be allowed so that we can also turn to Him. So who’s to blame for evil? Man. Why do terrible things happen today? Because we do not follow God’s will at all times. Why won’t God take away every evil thing and fix all suffering because He would be transgressing on His creation – our choice to turn away from Him as well as to Him.
The second thing that should be mentioned when talking about God and the existence of suffering and evil is the standard of suffering and evil. Without God how do we know what suffering is, how do we gauge what is unjust and what is just, how do we discern evil from acceptable acts of humanity? We must have an absolute standard. This standard is God’s character which is not kept secret from us but revealed in His word – the Bible. We find He despises injustice on every level – social, economical, and governmental. We find the definition of love in God’s very being and so we know what it is to love and how to love. But for the atheist to disprove the existence of God because of the existence of evil and suffering – how do they grade what’s acceptable? In a Godless world there is no standard to compare our behavior to in order to come to a conclusion or a realization of any kind of problem at all.
Therefore the existence of God in the midst of suffering gives us some sense that unjust suffering exists at all and that people suffer which ought not be.
This was a conversation I had with myself in an attempt to answer this age old question. What are your thoughts on the proposed question?