“How can a loving God allow such evil and suffering?” This very real, pointed and anguished question is not a matter of if, but when. It’s a question which touches us all and only varies in the severity we personally experience it.
It’s certainly not a new question..
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Epicurus, third century Greek philosopher
No God, No Good, No Evil
What is good? What is evil? Is simply a matter of taste or opinion? Or is there an objective standard to it?
“In some cultures they love their neighbour, in other cultures they eat their neighbour. Do you have a preference?”
Ravi Zacharias (on discussing the need for objective morality)
Therein lies the condition. If good and evil are simply societal constructs then they are simply outcomes of a popularity contest. But if they are to be based on truth, that which is outside of mere opinion, then they need to come from outside of man.
That’s why if there is no God, there is no real claim to anything being good or evil. If there is no purpose or design to anything, there can be no sin since there is no purpose or design to violate.
Know God, Know Good, Know Evil
I Timothy 4:1-2
The awfulness of what we wade through down here are pointers to what we were really made for up there. Like pain, rather than being purely negative, it is a form of severe mercy.
The opposite however holds true. Continued, willful rebellion can lead to a lack of sensitivity to the purpose of life (sin), This in turn rots a person from the inside out. Left unchecked, it’s a slow, disfiguring and ultimately fatal process.
But why the possibility of evil in the first place?
“Love is the supreme ethic. Where there is the possibility of love, there must be the reality of free will. Where there is the reality of free will, there will inevitably be the possibility of sin. Where there is sin, there is the need for a Savior. Where there is a Savior, there is the hope for redemption. Only in the Judeo-Christian worldview does this sequence find its total expression and answer. The story from sin to redemption is only in the gospel with the ultimate provision of a loving God.”
Think Again – Deep Questions, Ravi Zacharias.
Love requires choice. You can’t truly love someone if you are compelled to.
Since love requires choice, God gives it. Even to the extent of letting people chose to be separated from Him and all that is good.
Evil is real but God’s love more so. And the good news is that love is not only the reason why evil is possible, it is the reason why it is vanquished. The Good News, the Gospel – pass it on.