Choice And The Existence Of Evil

“This is the verdict:

Light has come into the world,

but people loved darkness instead of light

because their deeds were evil.”

John 3:19

In light of the most recent tragedy, a man who reveres the bible was asked why God allows evil to happen to those who cling to His protection. Being that he was on TV and it was an impromptu question, he gave a gracious answer but altogether dodged the question. Understandable. I’d be too nervous to even say something if I were that man. It is true God promises protection to those who are His (Psalm 91), but it is only a facet of a deeper truth. Having encountered people who do not believe in God’s omniscience, He is one who sees beyond what we can see especially the good that may come as a result of a tragedy (Romans 8:28).

Jesus’ death has been deemed tragic by many which reminds me of one of Pope Francis’ speech where he says, “humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.” But the Word of God reveals what that seeming “failure” to those who are perishing achieved (1 Corinthians 1:18). It achieved redemption for humanity, the ultimate good that meant eternity with the Father (John 3:16).

God has entrusted me to rear and protect two children. I never thought I was ready to take on such a task but His sovereignty allowed it. I can try to the best of my ability to let no form of evil befall my children, restrict them from going places they should not dare to go, but I cannot love them in a way that I should lock them up and strip them from making their own decisions when the time comes that they are old enough to be under my care simply because I don’t want anything evil to happen to them. Doing so is nothing less than being controlling and being controlled by fear which does not come from God. It would be the type of protection that will lead them straight to the very path I told them not to go. I can only tell them the consequences of certain actions like God did with Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:16-17), and yet, we see that the choice was theirs to make.

Since God is a God who honors choices, this is why God allows even the evil things to happen. For the very same reason that some nonbelievers accuse God of being tyrannical, it defeats their case. If indeed He is what they claim to be, there would be NO EVIL in this world. But that would mean the very same people should not be allowed to exist since they fail the standard of righteousness which would automatically make them evil. God could stop evil from happening and enforce His order of things but since He IS NOT a tyrant, He DOES NOT force people to choose Him. Choosing to reject God IS choosing evil.

Some may argue fear of the consequence (hell) is a form of coercion in itself but fear generates different actions from different people. Some fear but react in a way by denying God’s existence, and someone’s fear (a good kind of fear) could lead them right to God which happens to be the beginning of understanding (Proverbs 9:10).

I can certainly think of a lot of instances in my life where God intervened and prevented evil from happening and a major divine intervention from such a great evil happened one day short from being a year ago, the election of Donald Trump, which affects the whole world. Since he was elected, we see an increase in violence but doesn’t the Scriptures already warn us that this world will only get worse (2 Timothy 3)? It is not because of Donald Trump this country is getting worse. He just happens to be the perfect scapegoat.

On a different note, as much as people and sadly even some theologians are led to believe some were intentionally created by God to commit evil which if true would make one’s culpability null if they were expected to do as they were programmed to in the first place, we cannot escape the fact that PEOPLE ALWAYS MAKE THE CHOICE. People make bad choices repeatedly, apart and removed from God.

God has nothing to do with evil.

Evil is the result of decisions being made that deliberately step away from what is good.

Before you find yourself walking in the path of disillusionment because of all the evil that’s happening around you, remember that God’s Word does not promise us we will never experience evil but the inconvenient truth that WE WILL have tribulation (John 16:33), not might, will. We bear different crosses and it is God who sees the full scope of one’s perseverance and endurance, surmounting obstacles which is part of the process of becoming more like Jesus.

The strength to endure in these last days can be found only in Him.

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