Why Does God Allow Evil?

When I wrote my last blog (A Christian Response To The Aurora Shooting) my intentions were to offer encouragement for those seeking direction on how to react in the wake of the tragedy that has afflicted Aurora, Colorado. I never imagined my blog would see so much traffic over the weekend (and continue throughout the week). I re-read my comments and felt that maybe I could do a better job at answering the most pressing question, “Why?” Initially, my only concern was that we not lose sight of what those involved were going through. It saddens me to see our news media, those in politics, and those on message boards using the travesty to push their own political agendas. This has been an incredibly insensitive response that the families did not deserve. There will be a day when we need to analyze what has taken place and what our society’s response should be. In the immediate days following the assault there were not enough facts, and there were families just beginning to mourn (many had yet to know if their loved ones were among the casualties). 

After reviewing my blogs stats I realize that many who visited my last blog may have been looking for answers as to why this would happen. The whole country has been captivated by the fear and uncertainty of why this would happen. If there is a God, why would he allow an individual to take the life of so many? Why would a loving God allow the tsunami to hit Japan so hard last year? What about the busy tornado season that we experienced this past year? Why would God allow thousands to lose their lives on September 11th, 2011? Or why didn’t God stop Hitler? Why did God allow men to commit the horrible acts of the crusades in His name? 

These are all good questions. And after looking over the searches that led people to Studying The Way, I believe it is the questions that people in our country are asking (and apparently some in Canada and Malaysia as well). How do we respond to tragedy in light of our faith? How do we express our views to others? And what does it mean for the Gospel of Christ? 

Why do bad things happen? Why do we not live in a utopian world where as long as you are good, as long as you are not wicked everything works out for you? That is what we are looking for, is it not? We judge ourselves and those around us. There were plenty of “good” people in theatre number nine who did not deserve to die that evening. The same can be said for the victims of Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the Jews imprisoned and killed in the Holocaust, and the Tsunami of last year.

Answer: God created mankind with the capacity to choose between good and evil

Without this choice we would all be mindless robots who have no choice in the matter of whether to worship God or not. This is not what God made mankind for. The scriptures are very clear that we were created to love God, but it is not love if we are not allowed a choice. Love requires the ability to choose. Love does not grab you and force you into a relationship, you choose to love.

Just as someone can choose to love, they can choose to hate. Unfortunately, we have what the Bible calls a “sin nature.” Although some humanist philosophies contend that mankind is inherently good, it is obvious when you look throughout our history that we do have a capacity to commit evil.

So, why does God allow those who are evil to commit horrible acts against those who are good? Well, the truth is that none are good by God’s standards. We are all liars, thieves, murderers, and adulterers in comparison to the righteousness of God. If God took the worst of us, he would have to take all of us. I know this all or nothing seems intolerant to our society, but our society is shaped by our own lusts and desires (look around at the register lines of the supermarket). Our creator gets to choose His standards; we are not allowed to project our standards on Him.

What we fail to see is that “good” is a relative term. I know people who would argue that The Bachelor is a good show, but I also know plenty of people who would disagree with that assessment. Good is relative. If we are talking about the “good” that God uses to judge mankind by, I am sorry to say we all fall short of that description. Jesus said that none area good, only God is good.

How do we respond to this news?

I know that does seem harsh. We do not like to accept that God has the ability to choose the rules. It doesn’t seem fair does it? Why wouldn’t God “grade on a curve” and cut those of us who seem to be good people some slack? If God loves and he is good, shouldn’t he be more open-minded. I mean, many of us are trying to do the best we can.

The next question to enter your mind may be, “So what now?” If God deems all of our goodness as evil, how could we ever be righteous before his sight? And why would we want to even try. If God is so closed-minded that he writes off all of humanity as evil, why would we want to come back to him?

The answer is found in Jesus.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

                                                                                    John 3:16

But wait there is more!

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

                                                                                    John 3:17, 18

When Jesus came the first time, he came to offer God’s redemption to mankind. Until his return we are offered salvation by the work of Christ alone. There is nothing that I can do to become righteous (or good) before God, all I can do is believe and trust in the work of Jesus so that HIS righteousness will be counted as my own.

God will not remove the evil from this world until Jesus’ returns for those who have placed their hope in him. At that point, all evil will be removed and those who have gained righteousness by the work of our Messiah will at last live with God, forever. We will be free from our own sinful desires and be rewarded for our faith. What a glorious day to wait for.

Father, we thank you for those who you protected in the Aurora Massacre. There have been so many stories of heroism and sacrifice. We thank you for the miracles that took place amidst the tragedy. Father we continue to pray for those experiencing the loss of their loved ones. We pray that their loss draws them to you, and you use what appears to be a senseless act of violence to bring them to the place of acceptance of your Son. May you comfort them in their losses. We mourn with them Lord.

Thank you for offering a plan to destroy evil. We see evil commit tragedies all too often, and long for the day when we will enjoy life forever separated from it. Lord, I pray that men and women would run to you, and flee from the evils of this world; the evils that would lead a man to take the lives of so many. You are the only healing that this world needs. You are our only hope.

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About Mitchell Norton
My life was changed when God saw fit to forgive me of my rebellion against him. I am not worthy of a righteous God, and I am thankful that he reached out to me. My walk with the Lord has lead me to understand that loving others is just as important as loving God. I am a husband to a beautiful wife, father to an adorable daughter (and one on the way!), and servent of the Gospel. I am not perfect, but one day I will be. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence." - Jeremiah 17:7

One Response to Why Does God Allow Evil?

  1. Pingback: Remembering 9/11 « Studying the Way

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