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It is written:
Ezekiel 14:23-And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it,” says the Lord GOD.
Through the years, people have often been pretty hard on God. They sometimes blame Him for all the evil that people commit in the world. Sometimes when pain is so great, it blinds people to logic.
People often have a lot to say, especially about God and how they believe He should run the world. So let’s give them their due and a chance to air their opinions and consider them to see if they really know better then God about how to deal with the evil, pain, and suffering in the world. First though, we need to realize how the existence of evil actually demands that there is a God (and for this, the atheist has no answer).
If there is no God, then how is anything REALLY right or wrong? How can God be guilty of “wrong” if there is no real “right” or “wrong?” If the atheist is right, then “right” and “wrong” would be words that really have no objective meaning. They would simply be based upon each person’s individual taste.
Yet we know that there are certain prescriptive moral absolutes in every culture throughout time. “Prescriptive” means that these moral codes define how a person “ought” to behave. As such, in every culture there are some things which have always been understood as “wrong.”
“People commonly say, “All religions basically teach the same things.” There’s some truth to this. It’s actually uncanny how similar the moral laws are across cultures— in ancient China, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome; across Anglo- Saxon and American Indian culture; through Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Muslim sacred writings— all basically agree in this area. Former Oxford scholar C. S. Lewis gives evidence of this common moral law summarized below: Don’t do harm to another human by what you do or say (the Golden Rule). Honor your father and mother. Be kind toward brothers and sisters, children, and the elderly. Do not have sex with another person’s spouse. Be honest in all your dealings (don’t steal). Do not lie. Care for those weaker or less fortunate. Dying to self is the path to life. 10 In just about every culture and world religion since the beginning of recorded history, we see this common moral law. “They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts” (Romans 2:15 NLT).” (John Burke, Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Promises, And The Exhilarating Future That Awaits You, 160-161 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books).
The fact of objective moral law demands the existence of God.
When the atheist acknowledges that there is “real” right and wrong, he immediately acknowledges that there is a God (try though he may deny this). This is why it is so absurd for the atheist to use the existence of evil as an argument against the existence of God.
Let’s turn our attention to some arguments unbelievers have raised against God in which they claim to know better then God about how He should deal with the problem of evil, pain, and suffering.
“God Should Not Have Created The Universe In The First Place”
I have often heard it said that because God knew all the evil, pain, and suffering that would exist in the universe, it was wrong for Him to create in the first place. Maybe He should just not have made us to begin with!
It is true that there is a great deal of evil in the universe, and that if the universe did not exist, neither would the evil in the universe. However, does the evil in the universe suggest that it is better for the universe not to exist?
I don’t believe so, for the simple reason that the amount of good in the universe will always far outweigh the evil.
Think about it.
For every cell of cancer, there are literally quadrillions of cells that function properly.
For every hurricane and tornado, there are untold days of good weather.
For every parent who neglects their children, there are millions who love them and treat them well.
Good will always outright evil.
More to the point, isn’t it possible that an all-knowing God could have a good purpose for allowing evil to exist temporarily in the universe ?
Couple with this the fact that we all know intuitively that it is better to exist then not to exist, and that the atheist uses his God-given existence to bemoan his existence and to curse his Creator, and we can see the irrationality of this position.
In fact, let’s do a little experiment here (one that I have conducted with several unbelievers that I have been blessed to work with in Hazard).
If God were to tell you that He could take away the pain of a loved one’s death by simply never having created them to begin with, would you take Him up on the offer?
I have not had one person say “yes”so far.
Because they know that as hard as death is to bear, the blessing of their loved one’s life and the memories of that life are too precious to exchange for the void of nothingness.
No, the evil in the universe does not negate or even begin to outweigh the good. It is better to exist then not to exist.
“God Should Not Have Given Mankind Freewill”
Sometimes it is argued that because suffering is the result of the misuse of freewill, God should have simply made mankind without freedom.
It is true that if God had made man without the ability to choose, there would be no evil, pain, and suffering in the universe.
Yet what atheist would willingly exchange his freedom for such slavery?
Without freedom, there could be no love.
Should God deprive His creation of the highest good (i.e., love)?
It is better to be free then to be a slave.
“God Should Have Given Us Freedom Without Consequence”
This argument is raised by a generation who have not realized what such a world would be like.
What happens to a child who never receives consequence for his actions?
He becomes a spoiled brat who never quite grows up and learns to lead a responsible and productive life.
If God were to give mankind freedom and then not allow mankind to receive the consequences of said freedom (whether good or bad consequences), then He would see mankind become a race of infantile creatures who never progress and grow into the destiny that God had lovingly planned for them.
“God Should Do Something Now About The Evil”
God has given mankind His Word, the Holy Bible, along with more then enough evidence to prove that it is truly His Word to guide and lead us (Psalm 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
God has given mankind His Son, Jesus Christ, along with more then enough evidence that He is truly the Messiah, to save us from our sins (Hebrews 1:1-2; John 20:30-31).
God has given mankind the church, His redeemed people who are fighting for good in this world of darkness (Matthew 5:14-16; 28:19-20).
God has given mankind government in order to provide justice in this fallen world (Romans 13:1-7).
God has given mankind the family unit in order to provide safety and security for the lonely (Psalm 68:6).
God has given mankind the promise that Jesus is coming back one Day for judgment on the world and the redemption of His people (Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
God has promised a world where moral evil be finished (John 14:1-6).
The problem with the unbeliever is that he is angry that God is not acting RIGHT NOW in the ways that he claims God SHOULD act.
Could it be that perhaps God knows more then the atheist, and is going to work when HE knows is the right time and in the way that HE knows is right, in full harmony with HIS good will?
“The argument against God from evil makes some arrogant assumptions. Just because evil is not destroyed right now does not mean that it never will be. The argument implies that if God hasn’t done anything as of today, then it won’t ever happen. But this assumes that the person making the argument has some inside information about the future. If we restate the argument to correct this oversight in temporal perspective, it turns out to be an argument that vindicates God. 1. If God is all-good, He will defeat evil. 2. If God is all-powerful, He can defeat evil. “3. Evil is not yet defeated. 4. Therefore, God can and will one day defeat evil. The very argument used against the existence of God turns out to be a vindication of God in the face of the problem of evil. …God isn’t finished yet. The final chapter has not been written. Apparently God would rather wrestle with our rebellious wills than to reign supreme over rocks and trees. Those who want a quicker resolution to the conflict will have to wait.” (Norman L. Geisler & Ronald M. Brooks, When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook On Christian Evidences, 64-65 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)
Unbelievers do not know nearly as much as they claim.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.