Monday, February 14, 2011

The Christian God and the evil we do!

One of the biggest questions among many people Christians, and non-Christians alike, is "If God is good, how can He allow so much evil in the world?"

The answer to this question, and many others like it, although on the surface is simple, is actually quite complex.  So let's look at it in detail from the position of orthodoxy.  If you read this, and have comments, or questions, feel free to leave them on the site.

God IS good, and allows evil, so that we CAN CHOOSE good.

Now that I have expressed the simple, lets dig a little into the complexity.  If God is truly good, and All powerful, why would He allow people to hurt others when He COULD prevent it?

God is a father, not an inventor of robots.  He has chosen to give His children freedom of choice.  We are free to choose to do good, or harm.  Unfortunately, this means that people get hurt.  A wise man once said, "If we are careful enough, we can miss sadness, and happiness." We cannot truly choose good, if we do not have the opportunity to choose evil.  So God allows His children to hurt others.  Does He like it?  Absolutely NOT!  But He HAS to allow it.  Could He stop it? Yes He could, but He can't and still allow choice.  As a father myself, I have seen my children hurt each other many times. This pains ME, too, but I do not stop them ALL THE TIME ! I could, but then they would not have the opportunity to learn from the tragedy of harming another.  Sometimes I do stop them, when it is truly dangerous, or excessively hurtful, and I subject them to a lesson on why they should not act that way!  At other times, tho' I let them hash it out, and then they end up making up, and learning for themselves why they should not act that way.  They also learn how it feels to hurt, and to be hurt.  This actually serves to improve their character.  The Bible reminds us that if we, as imperfect as we are, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more, does our HEAVENLY FATHER Who is perfect give good gifts to His children!  (based on Matthew 7:11) Does this mean that it is good for us to be hurt, or to hurt others?  God forbid!  Of course not, but we CAN learn from it, and the learning to humble ourselves, and apologize, IS good for us.  God being both All-Powerful, and All-Knowing, could stop us, and prevent us from harming each other, but again, there is that whole freedom of choice thing. God is also the pure essence of Love, and does not wish any of His children to be hurt, or to hurt others.  Again, very complicated, because it is difficult for us to understand how a GOOD, LOVING GOD, could allow such evil, hurtful behavior.  It doesn't seem to make sense.  What makes even less sense is that this same God, came down from heaven, to live as one of us, to die for us, to make up for the hurt we caused!  He created us for love, and fellowship.  We turned our backs on Him, and were disobedient.  He died to pay the penalty!

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice forb our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
b Or as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). 1 Jn 4:10-11.

I know, this still does not completely explain the original question!  The thing is, a God Who is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Loving, and Perfect allows us to choose, because He wants us to choose to do what is right, even though He knows what we will do, before we even do it.  He even already paid the penalty for what we will do!  Does this make it ok to do the wrong thing?  Absolutely NOT! It just means that He has already also made provision for healing for those who have been hurt, as well as those who hurt others.  We just have to CHOOSE to LET Him heal us, and our relationships, and continue to Love Him to the best of our ability.

Thank You, Jesus!  My Savior, My God, My friend!