Does Moral Evil Prove There is No God?
How Could a Loving God Allow Moral Evil?
God calls us to love one another. But have you noticed the fact that people seldom turn to ‘love’ before they turn to ‘hate’? Have you noticed that there are people in the world who seem to love evil as much as some of us love kindness? The existence of moral evil is perhaps the single largest obstacle for skeptics and non-believers. If there is a loving God in our world, then why is it so messed up? Why is there so much evil in the world? Why would God allow people to act this way?
It’s important for us to struggle together to try to understand the nature of moral evil and disprove the lie that its existence proves that there is no God. And as we go through this process, I hope that we will find a way to face the challenge of evil in our own lives, as we grasp what God is doing in our world:
James Russell Lowell:
Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.
Evil As A Proof
It shouldn’t surprise us that non-believers look at the existence of evil as a proof that there is no God. If you read history at all, you will recognize that it is filled with war and incredible brutality, and our own nation has engaged in war within its boundaries as well; a brutal, nasty war where many lost their lives and their faith. You also can’t help but turn on the news and see a world that is full of poverty and cruelty. And most of the images we look at seem to involve innocent people who have come to this position as no result of anything that they have done. Many were simply born into their condition. And now in this new world in which we live, we face a new kind of suffering and fear, as terrorism plagues our land and threatens to destroy us. In light of all of this, many are left asking themselves:
“Where is God?”
Many would claim that the condition of our world simply proves that he does not exist. But this position is built on one of two lies, that God is either NOT all-powerful, or that God is NOT all-loving. Which of these two positions do you hear the most from your friends? Many would simply say that God is not all powerful:
“We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.”
“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?”
And some would say that God is not all-loving:
“If there is a God, he is a malign thug”
Edgar Allen Poe
“The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.”
Suffering at the Hands of Christians
Part of the problem in trying to convince the world that moral evil does not disprove the existence of God lies in the fact that non-believers often look at Christians as the SOURCE of evil in their world. Christianity seems to have a history of conquest and brutality of its own. This history is from the design and plan of God, and completely contrary to His desire for our lives, but it is a real history none-the-less.
The problem lies in inability many non-believers to understand the nature of suffering and evil, the nature of love and the relationship between the two. This relationship requires a little bit of thought, and many of us simply choose to take the easy road, embracing the false notion that:
God cannot exist if there is evil and suffering in our world
But when you examine the source of moral evil, you will see that its presence actually proves the existence of a loving God.
1 John 4:7-8
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
According to the Bible, God is love. But if this is true, how can God stand by and watch His creation be filled with so much anger and hatred? The answer is clear once we begin to understand the nature of love. Love cannot exist without a cost; it is not free. Love comes with a price. Those of us who have loved know this to be true; whether Christian or atheist. Love often involves pain. Why is that so? And why can’t an all-powerful God simply STOP people from doing things that are morally evil?
Is God All-Powerful?
We often say that God is ‘all-powerful’, but we seldom understand what this means. How many of us recognize, for example, the fact that even an all-powerful God is not able to do everything or anything we might suppose? As a matter of fact, if you stop and think about it, there are some things that God simply CANNOT do.
God Cannot Sin
Holiness is part of his intrinsic nature, He cannot ‘do’ or ‘be’ otherwise. For this reason, we also know that God cannot lie. This places no limitation upon an Almighty God. It is simply the necessity of his character. If God has said anything, promised anything, or threatened anything, you can bank on it. God cannot sin, He cannot lie. Why? Because it would be contrary to His NATURE!
God Cannot Change
His Being is immutable. His purposes are unalterable. The objects of his love and the measure of his love for them are always the same. He is the same today as he was from the beginning of time. He will not cease to exist. Why? Because it would be contrary to His NATURE!
God Cannot Learn Anything New
Before He created anything He knew all about it. There is no progression in knowledge for God as there is with man. God has no limitations on anything that He can create. There is nothing that God does not know. This too is simply a part of his NATURE.
You see, it is quite possible to be all-powerful and still exist within the parameters of your nature. Doesn’t that make sense? If your nature is truth and love, then everything that you are is simply a reflection of that nature. It’s for this reason that God also cannot contradict truth…
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