By Published On: 16th May, 2024Categories: Nuggets0 Comments on Theodicy 2689 words3.4 min read

Does God then allow ‘too much’ or the ‘wrong kinds’ of evil?  This is not a question about absolutes, but is relative to our own preferences and prejudices.  It asks God to fit in with our own standards.  If God allows us free-will, can we then expect Him to bend or break the rules to suit our choices?  What would we say if God did intervene to override our free-will and do something about evil?  For example, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, or the flood of Noah, or calling for the deaths of every man, woman and child of the Canaanites.  In order for God to eradicate evil, He has demonstrated to us that one way to solve the problem is simply to destroy those who have exercised their free-will.  That may be OK as long as it’s not us, but ‘them’ others.  If God is love, how can He justify being a mass murderer?

So what can God do to at least lessen the prevalence of evil?  What about if He came as a man, but His choices would be the right ones, even to loving us enough to pay for the wrong choices we have all made.  What if He chose to give us a renewed spirit that would still allow us free-will, but would be inclined towards good?  What if when that happened we could choose to have a close relationship with God, and more fully experience the goodness He wants us to enjoy?

John 3:16-17, “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”.

But what about those agents that spread the desire to choose evil?  Those agents mentioned in Genesis Chapter 3, the Book of Job, the many discourses of Jesus written of in the Gospels, or in the Revelation of John?   If we accept that evil is the result of allowing free-will, then the concept of satan must be the result of free-will bestowed upon beings other than humanity as well; that is, the angelic host.  Biblical evidence suggests that one-third of the angels ‘chose’ to follow Lucifer.  He is not a force of evil, but as can be explained by extrapolation of the argument already stated, merely one in whom the goodness of God is not exercised.  Sadly, we see this in many people as well.  There is a very strong argument that even the ‘evil’ forces of nature (earthquakes, floods, tornadoes etc) are a result of the exercising of humanity’s authority without using the Divine Goodness bestowed upon us.  It was the revelation of our Divine-ness (if I may coin such a word), that Jesus came to redeem us.  Jesus ‘saved’ us from a choice of being without the goodness of God, to being restored to that goodness, and we can agree with 1 Timothy 4:10 that, “we can trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”

So, if evil is the absence of God-ness, how do we defeat evil in our own lives?  James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”.  Allow more of God, and His goodness and love, to flow through your life.

And what about evil in the world?  God showed us that trying to destroy evil with war and destruction would not work, but only by doing good can evil be beaten.  As Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven”.  We need to stop hating the enemy and start loving more, for if God’s love is a love for others, then evil is the result of the love for self.

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