Friday, 11 September 2015

Why Does God Allow Evil?

Tragedies happen on a regular bases. Many of them make the news but others don't get noticed. Few disasters were as shocking as the Islamist attack on the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and the plane which crashed in a field fourteen years ago.

Why didn't God stop that terrorist attack? Why did both good and bad people perish in those tragedies? Come to think of it, why doesn't he stop all these evil acts before they take the lives of innocent people? It seems to us that God is uncaring, sadistic, or out to lunch.

I felt that way about the Lord once. After being continually castigated by heartless elders at a house church for lacking the faith to be healed, I became angry at the Lord. All I wanted was 20/20 vision so I could glorify him and get better employment. For nine years, I turned my back on God. Eventually, it dawned on me that it wasn't his stinginess or my lack of faith which blocked my healing. In fact, it wasn't blocked at all and neither was he being a tight-fisted tyrant.

As I found out when I bought my house in 2000, God's providence is much more miraculous than direct miracles. Why? So many factors have to line up perfectly to accomplish his will. For example, remember those gadgets which made a string of ordinary Christmas lights blink? If you plugged a whole row of them into the wall socket, it would take a long time for all of them to be turned on and light up the bulbs. Each gadget has a slightly different time set for when it would activate. That's how providence works.

We just don't know the Lord's reason for allowing each incidence of evil. Scripture teaches that we can't judge people by what happens or doesn't happen to them. The ninth chapter of John's gospel is a perfect example of this. Through it all, God has a good reason for everything that happens but he's not telling us now. This is why we must trust in him rather than worrying our puny brains into a lather. After all, he knows the end from the beginning whereas we don't.

I wrote in detail about that errant house church and how God delivered me from its toxic teachings in a book called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Learn more about my remarkable memoir at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books. I also have two previously-published paperbacks on my books page.


  1. Bruce,

    Your post asks "Why Does God Allow Evil?, you provide examples and you seem to end with what you put forth as the ultimate reason:

    "We just don't know the Lord's reason for allowing each incidence of evil." ....and "Through it all, God has a good reason for everything that happens but he's not telling us now."

    I don't see your reply as an effective defense, an unbeliever, would simply retort, "So, you're saying God works in mysterious ways and you have no answers."

    How does this persuade an atheist who might present you with an argument based on your claims about God nature? How would you reply to them keeping the theme of Job in mind? There is no WHY.

    A God that is [Omnipotent] would be able to prevent evil and suffering.

    B. A God that is [Omniscient] would know all the even that would take place from the beginning to the end.

    C. A God that is [Omnibenevolent] would not want evil and suffering to happen and would take the needed action to stop it.

    D. Evil and suffering happen.

    Possible Conclusions: God does not exist, He does, but is not omnipotent, ot worse, He is evil.

    Knowing none of the above is true, consider Job.

    Did you ever consider God has a Morally sufficient reason for PERMITTING the evil He does?

    The problem with the unbeliever who is forced to make the above argument is he or she provides the answer for you, the moment they concede (and they must or their argument falls apart Premise #2.

    "B. A God that is [Omniscient] would know all the even that would take place from the beginning to the end."

    They must be able to answer the question that is at the heart of the book of Job and crystal make crystal clear on the discourse of the last 5 chapters.

    How do you suppose a finite human is able to answer the following argument and what proof would they offer if asked:

    Prove to me that the evil God permits will not one day be shown to have been necessary, indeed, at that time, all will know no mater how bad humans with limited consider what they see happening, can in any possible way know that one day they will be given full understanding by God that it was all done for a greater good so unimaginable by a finite mind, all will have instant understanding.

    It is not possible to concede God is Omniscient and at the same time be able to prove, logically, the the evil He PERMITS to exist will not lead to a Greater good.

    However, to concede we do not understand and end it at that point without using what we know of God's nature hands the argument to the atheist, none of whom can construct a logical answer when the argument is put right back at them, the same way God put it right back at Job.

    The problem is people ask why, when there is no need. It is akin to those who would complain the doctrine of election is not fair, because not everyone has a chance to be saved and the simple answer is we should be down on our knees thanking God that He chose to save even one depraved sinning human, by His merciful Grace and by allowing His one and only unique Son to dies for the sins of many.

  2. Thanks for your insightful comment. It's well thought out and brings up some good points

    When atheists raise the 'why' question, they're seeking, in most cases, to refute the idea of a supreme being who knows best. While we don't know God's choices for each evil act he permits, we know that a mind capable of creating a complex universe and all the intricate lifeforms on our planet must also know the purpose for it all.

    I would say, and I have said, that there is enough evidence in the natural world to show that everything couldn't have come to be by accident. The folks at Illustra Media have put together a fine collection of videos showing how evolution couldn't have happened. Such a mind that could program DNA to recreate creatures is a lot wiser than any human computer programmer.

    A man named Steve Brown also said that the world we have now is optimal in creating beings fit for heaven. As I recently posted, God uses both choice and predestination to accomplish his goal. Beings who are preprogrammed, as animals are, have no choice. We haven't been given free choice but we have been allowed to choose God or our own way. It's like those records with multiple endings, like the flexi-disk which Mad Magazine published in one of their editions. But in our case, we can choose but we also have been predestinated. Just as light is both a wave and particles, we can't side with choice or predestination alone.

    Also, how can atheists say anything is good or evil? Those are categories denoting moral authority. The jihadis who still war against the west today believe they're doing the work Allah commanded them to do. To them, killing infidels is a sacred duty, not the murder of innocent people.

    I hope you don't mind if I use what you posted here as the bases for part of my next book. The last five chapters of Job show that asking 'why' is foolish.


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