Many struggle to believe the Bible is true because it says that God is overseeing the world, yet the world is having serious problems on multiple levels. Pretty shoddy oversight, it appears. If there is a God, why does he allow so many bad things to happen?
That’s a good question. Have you ever asked it? I certainly have. But what I don’t get is how eliminating God from the picture makes anything better. (I say this because most people decide that the solution is to deny God exists.) Well, okay. But how does that make the picture better? Let’s agree, for sake of our discussion, that there is no God.
- There is no God, but is there still evil in the world? Is the planet still filled with violence, oppression and corruption?
- And if there is no God and we still have the problem of evil, whom should we hold responsible? Who’s to blame for the millions who have been murdered worldwide in the name of ethnic cleansing? Who’s to blame for the hundreds of thousands of homeless children who live in urban garbage dumps throughout South America? Who’s to blame for the thousands of women being kidnapped and sold as sex slaves?
We rarely stop to think about it, but let’s take a moment to consider what God’s options would be if he wanted to clean up our mess and make a perfect world. There are really only a few options he could choose from.
One thing God could do to fix the problem immediately would be to just get rid of us. Make the planet free of humans and the amazing restorative powers of nature would eventually envelop humankind’s mess.
I’m personally not in favor of that one, so let’s move on to option #2: He could make humanity perfect by controlling our every thought, emotion, motive and action. And because he is God, he could even do it in such a way that we would feel as if we have free will. Basically, we would be part of a divinely created illusion, a Stepford planet where everything is perfect because we really can’t choose for ourselves. Anyone interested in that option? On the one hand, it is appealing because we like the idea that God is around to fix our every wrong choice. That part is appealing, but the flip side of it is that I’m a robot.
So if we eliminate the first two options God has for making a perfect world (destroying the human race or turning us into robots), what options are left? Only one, really. We’ll explore that in part two…