Why Does God Allow Evil?

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Babs Hunt, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I struggle with this question alot even as a believer. It doesn't seem fair that good people or innocent children would have to suffer evil. I found some good answers to that question below.



    Why does God allow evil?

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    Question: "Why does God allow evil?"

    Answer:
    The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? Perhaps a practical way to look at this question would be to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:

    1) God could change everyone’s personality so that they cannot sin. This would also mean that we would not have a free will. We would not be able to choose right or wrong because we would be “programmed” to only do right. Had God chosen to do this, there would be no meaningful relationships between Him and His creation.

    Instead, God made Adam and Eve innocent but with the ability to choose good or evil. Because of this, they could respond to His love and trust Him or choose to disobey. They chose to disobey. Because we live in a real world where we can choose our actions but not their consequences, their sin affected those who came after them (us). Similarly, our decisions to sin have an impact on us and those around us and those who will come after us.

    2) God could compensate for people’s evil actions through supernatural intervention 100 percent of the time. God would stop a drunk driver from causing an automobile accident. God would stop a lazy construction worker from doing a substandard job on a house that would later cause grief to the homeowners. God would stop a father who is addicted to drugs or alcohol from doing any harm to his wife, children, or extended family. God would stop gunmen from robbing convenience stores. God would stop high school bullies from tormenting the brainy kids. God would stop thieves from shoplifting. And, yes, God would stop terrorists from flying airplanes into buildings.

    While this solution sounds attractive, it would lose its attractiveness as soon as God’s intervention infringed on something we wanted to do. We want God to prevent horribly evil actions, but we are willing to let “lesser-evil” actions slide—not realizing that those “lesser-evil” actions are what usually lead to the “greater-evil” actions. Should God only stop actual sexual affairs, or should He also block our access to pornography or end any inappropriate, but not yet sexual, relationships? Should God stop “true” thieves, or should He also stop us from cheating on our taxes? Should God only stop murder, or should He also stop the “lesser-evil” actions done to people that lead them to commit murder? Should God only stop acts of terrorism, or should He also stop the indoctrination that transformed a person into a terrorist?

    3) Another choice would be for God to judge and remove those who choose to commit evil acts. The problem with this possibility is that there would be no one left, for God would have to remove us all. We all sin and commit evil acts (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). While some people are more evil than others, where would God draw the line? Ultimately, all evil causes harm to others.

    Instead of these options, God has chosen to create a “real” world in which real choices have real consequences. In this real world of ours, our actions affect others. Because of Adam’s choice to sin, the world now lives under the curse, and we are all born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12). There will one day come a time when God will judge the sin in this world and make all things new, but He is purposely “delaying” in order to allow more time for people to repent so that He will not need to condemn them (2 Peter 3:9). Until then, He IS concerned about evil. When He created the Old Testament laws, the goal was to discourage and punish evil. He judges nations and rulers who disregard justice and pursue evil. Likewise, in the New Testament, God states that it is the government’s responsibility to provide justice in order to protect the innocent from evil (Romans 13). He also promises severe consequences for those who commit evil acts, especially against the "innocent" (Mark 9:36-42).

    In summary, we live in a real world where our good and evil actions have direct consequences and indirect consequences upon us and those around us. God’s desire is that for all of our sakes we would obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). Instead, what happens is that we choose our own way, and then we blame God for not doing anything about it. Such is the heart of sinful man. But Jesus came to change men’s hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He does this for those who will turn from evil and call on Him to save them from their sin and its consequences (2 Corinthians 5:17). God does prevent and restrain some acts of evil. This world would be MUCH WORSE were not God restraining evil. At the same time, God has given us the ability to choose good and evil, and when we choose evil, He allows us, and those around us, to suffer the consequences of evil. Rather than blaming God and questioning God on why He does not prevent all evil, we should be about the business of proclaiming the cure for evil and its consequences—Jesus Christ!Recommended Resource: If God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think about the Question by Norman Geisler


    Related Topics:

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    Does God sometimes use evil to accomplish His plans (Habakkuk 1:5-11)?

    How can I believe in the goodness of God when there is so much evil in the world?

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    Why does God allow evil?


     
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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    Were I a "believer", I, too, would struggle with such a question. Essentially the same concept, my Dad, basically a non-believer, responded at funerals to voiced opinion that the deceased was "too good a person" to be taken in death, with, "The good Lord takes away the good people first, leaving the bastards alive to torment the others living".

    A powerful statement for a young boy's ears, yes, but I didn't know that, then. I did not perceive of my Dad's failures of character until many years later, after he had died, as I evaluated the mistakes I had made in not communicating with him more closely, when I was a child. Only my Mother hugged me, my Dad had never done so. Solicited this question of my nephews, they confirmed similar experience with their own fathers. Peculiar.
    Frank
     
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  3. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    @Frank Sanoica I have learned through the years that other people, even those we love the most and who love us, often do not know what we need unless we tell them. Your dad was probably never hugged by his dad, and his dad may have never have hugged him. Society back then also dictated the way a "man" should act (no crying, no showing "weak" emotions, etc.) while woman were expected to do all these things. And sometimes people just do not need the same things we do, so they wouldn't think of giving a hug to someone else if they never felt the need for one. It is very important that we tell each other what we need...and we can also fill that need by just going ahead and hugging those we love...therefore giving and receiving what we need.

    I don't think it is only believer's who wonder why evil is allowed. But when you believe in a God that hates evil and yet allows it...it's a hard concept to accept.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I think that this is a question that we have all wondered, and probably one that might have stopped someone from even believing in God at all. We , as Christians proclaim that God is love, that He hates evil, and that he is all powerful.
    So it is only natural that people would think that if God can do anything and he hates evil,he would stop the wars and terrible diseases .
    Even back in the book of Genesis, there was evil.
    Cain killed his brother, Abel. This is not a "now" thing, this is how it has always been in this world, and even though God had said through the prophets and writers in the Bible that he hates evil behavior, he still gives everyone the choice to decide what we do. The Bible says that the rain falls upon the just and the unjust.
    There is another thing that might (or might not) factor in here, and that is whether there is more than one kind of person here on the earth. The Bible does imply in places that there are some people who are from God, and some who are from Satan. It even talks about separating the wheat from the tares/weeds in the last days.
    The instructions for clean living and moral behavior that were given in the Bible were given by God's designated prophets and leaders, but were only given to his holy people. The pagan people who worshiped idols and sacrificed babies, and all of the other wicked things they did were left to live their lives with no instructions from God. In fact, many times, God specifically instructed his armies to take the land and kill the inhabitants , as opposed to trying to teach them a better way to live.
    So (and this is only my thoughts), it seems to me that there is at least a possibility that some people here on earth are different , and have no moral concerns like most of us do.
     
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    Lifelong imponderable here:

    Adam and Eve had two children, Cain and Abel, both males. Cain slew Abel.

    Where did the rest of the people come from?

    Frank
     
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  6. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    @Frank Sanoica Adam and Eve had more children. Eve bore Seth next and then the Bible says Adam lived 800 more years and had sons and daughters. Cain married and had children. Seth married and had children...and so on...and so on.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  7. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    This would be in the Times of the Old Testament before God sent His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ to save the World. After Jesus gave His life on the Cross everyone was and has been given the chance to believe and receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life through the shed blood of Jesus. If you accept Him as your Savior He washes you clean of all sin and you are assured of eternal life with God and Jesus. Even though this gift is freely offered to everyone, the Bible clearly says that not everyone will accept the gift.

    Satan and the rest of the angels that rebelled against God roam this earth too deceiving people into believing they are the ones who will save them...but what will happen to those who choose satan is that they will sink further and further into evil and end up being destroyed along with satan and his demons in the end.

    We can actually thank the Jewish people for not believing Jesus was the Messiah sent to save God's chosen people the Jews. Because they did not believe Him they hung Him on the Cross and because of this God offered Jesus' sacrifice to all people if they believed and received God's Word on this. The Jewish people are still waiting for their Messiah, although there are many Jews who have received and believed the Good News gospel and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior now. God has not forsaken His chosen people though and He will keep the Covenant He made with them and save them in the end too.

    For now we live in a world where God allows both good and evil to exist....but there will come a time when that will no longer be true and only what is good and holy will exist.
     
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  8. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Ok. I can already hear the next question coming. Who did those 'men' marry? I don't have that answer.

    I was raised by my German Baptist father on one side, and my Native American mother on the other. I think my maternal grandmother had some good points that made sense to me.

    The Creator allowed evil, so that each of us could learn to overcome it.
    Without evil that builds fear, we could not learn courage.
    Without Evil there could be no Holy.

    Of course there was more to it than just that, but it was a good way to get one to start thinking.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  9. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Those men married the daughters of the other men. The earth started off with everyone being related to one another ...and in many ways we are still all related to one another.

    There's alot of wisdom in what your maternal grandmother shared with you @Ina I. Wonder.

    Alot of evil comes from people using the gift of free will that God blessed us with...for the wrong reasons instead of the right. There are always consequences for our choices and some of those consequences bring good, while others bring evil.
     
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  10. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I've not seen too much pure evil, just maybe some bad decisions made. I'm not talking about history and people like Hitler. I know there are people with mental problems that cause them to do evil things but I've never blamed God for evil, so that's never been why I had troubling believing....i have trouble believing the Bible story as anything more than history.
     
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  11. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Pure evil can be seen and heard about every day...all we have to do is turn on the News or go online. I wouldn't want to see pure evil face to face for sure and my heart cries for those who have and do experience it that way.

    The Bible is definitely history...but so much more than that. I pray one day everyone will be able to see the Truth contained in it.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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