…is only a problem for non-Christians. It has been said countless times on internet forums (85,500,000 Google results for “Problem of Evil”) and by pop atheists that the existence of evil is proof that God does not exist.
The skeptic’s argument goes something like this:
- God is good and all powerful
- God would not allow unjust suffering
- Evil/suffering exist
- Either God is not good
- Or God is not all powerful
- Or God does not exist
One of the problems with the argument is that it leaves out the fact that God originally created mankind upright and that God’s creation was originally free of evil. The original pair of humans (Adam and Eve) rebelled against God’s 1 law, and this rebellion brought death, suffering, and destruction into reality (Romans 5 & 8) and onto their descendants. Even creation was affected by sin (Genesis 3:17-18, Romans 8:19-23), therefore it is not unexpected for the Christian to endure earthquakes, famines, and disease.
In addition to this reason, those who think the problem of evil is for Christians, ignore God’s purpose. God has sufficient reason to allow temporary evil for eternal glory. All of creation is intended to honor God and God would be justified in condemning everyone for their inherited guilt as well as their rebellion against His laws. But praise God that He has chosen to give mercy to the undeserving for His ultimate glory!
Here’s the catch for the skeptic: By the very fact that humans recognize the difference between evil/suffering/sadness and good/redemption/joy we have an ultimate standard: God.
The following video helps lay this out with great clarity.
If there were no God and everything proceeded forward from the Big Bang to stellar formulation to the concretion of the earth to chemical evolution of DNA to progression of the “Tree of Life” to humans by means of natural selection acting on random mutations, would humanity even be able to recognize evil/suffering/sadness? In that scenario death, pain, theft, rape, assault, fraud, and loss would never even be noticed because that would be the natural way of things. If humans are simply the a collection of chemicals that have become highly organized over the course of billions of years of pain, death, theft, rape, assault, and fraud, then why do we acutely feel the affects of these things when they happen to us? Why do we recognize them with anger and sadness as injustice when someone assaults us or steals from us or lies to us? We immediately understand that we have been WRONGED because someone has been evil to us. Do we not all recognize that the Nazi Holocaust was the result of people being evil to the Jews? Again, if we’re only the culmination of star dust, why do we recognize this evil as something wrong?
We only recognize evil because God exists and has set the standard for behavior. He allows evil because his purposes are higher. His purpose is love and for us to experience loving Him. If we were only created with the capacity robotically do right and love God then we would be mechanic. People have chosen evil…all of us, and that is why we need the love of God. He had his own Son punished for our evil, so that we would not have to face the wrath of the Eternal Creator if only we cry out to Him in repentance. Check out Romans 10:9-10
That if you will confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.