Is God Evil?
What a question to ask. When you look out at everything happening in the world how can you not help but to wonder? We have seen a number of calamities over the last 10 years. Just to name a few, September 11, Katrina, Haiti, wars, a tsunami, and recently earthquakes and volcanic activity. In addition to these major events innumerable amounts of people have suffered pain because of cancer, murder, rape, kidnappings, divorce or whatever. If God is a God of love how can he allow these things to happen? An agnostic said to me once, “I refuse to believe in a God that allows these things to happen.” And I’ve seen an Atheist write, “If their God is so loving why does he allow violence?”
Atheists will use the following argument to show that our God is not in control, and/or our God is evil: “Your God says that he is in control of everything, this means that he allows bad things to happen. This can only mean one of two things…God is evil because he allows evil things to happen to others, if you say that he is not Evil, but is in fact love, then God cannot be in control of the world because of all of the evil that happens.”
If you have ever been in a heated discussion with an atheist, or even an agnostic, this topic surely came up. With an atheist, it came up as another reason for them not to believe in God at all. If it was an agnostic, it came up as a reason for them to not believe in the God of the Bible. Thus, either directly or indirectly, they claim that the Bible is errant, after all the Bible emphatically claims that God is good (cf. 1 John 1:5, Psalm 25:8, Genesis 50:20).
So the real question is…Is God Evil? The simple answer….NO!
And not just a simple no, or a feeble no. Not the kind of no you hear from your child as you ask them questions when they know they have been caught in the middle of a lie. The answer is a very strong NO!
To prove this “NO” I am going to focus on two key points used by atheists and agnostics to formulate their opinion…God is not in control, and God is Evil.
God is not in control: Atheists and Agnostics alike will try to tell you that bad things happen because God is not in control. So what do we know so far about God being in control? We know that God is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (everywhere at once). We can confirm that God is everywhere, and that he knows everything. But what does the Bible say about God’s control. How does he demonstrate it in the Bible? If you look at the Bible you will notice that God demonstrates He is in control, not only by the large things, but also with the smallest things.
God’s word is really fascinating when is comes to His power. God could simply say that I am in control of everything and be done with it. But, what God does is demonstrate his power. Sometimes He does so in the most extreme circumstances (Sodom and Gamorra), others in the most simplistic circumstances. Here are a few verses… God’s own words… about his control.
Matthew 10:29 – God demonstrates that he is in control of the small things.
Mark 1:27 – God has the ability to intervene against evil spirits.
Amos 3:6 – God controls disaster.
Matthew 8:27 – God controls nature.
Proverbs 21:1 – God controls our leaders hearts.
Luke 22:31-32, Job 1:12 – God controls Satan
The Bible does not give us a simple statement, like… “God controls everything.” The Bible gives us a complete picture of what God controls… which is everything. Birds, demons, natural disaster, human hearts, nature, and even Satan himself.
All of this will lead some to the conclusion: Well, if God is in control of everything… God must be evil. This is where atheists will try to catch you.
God is evil: If God is in control over everything, we now have to show that the result of that is that God is good, rather than evil. To demonstrate this we need to look at one of the deepest characteristics of God: His love.
God’s love is all over the Bible. Included in this is the ultimate display of love, the sacrifice for others. If God is love…how can God be evil?
How much does God loves us?
1 John 4:8 – God IS love
Romans 5:8 – God has demonstrated that love through Christ
Romans 8:38-39 – There is nothing you can do that can separate you from God’s love.
And the ultimate display in love…
John 3:16 – God sacrificed his only child because of His love for you.
Many question the motivation of God. I know that I certainly have. It has to be a natural reaction in some cases. No matter what, there are two things that are constant, God is in control and God is love. Everything our Father does is because He loves us … because He loves you. The problem with the argument presented by many is that they try to force God into being one thing or the other. If God is in control He is evil, if God is not evil there is no way He could be in control. God is perfect in nature, and is perfectly capable of being in control of everything, and being love at the same time. The next question some will naturally ask…why? Why would God do these things? Well….It’s not so much “do” as it is “allow”. God doesn’t do anything evil, but He does allow evil to exist and persist, for now. Why? Because He loves us too much to make us simply be puppets. We don’t always know what the specific reasons for bad stuff happening is, but what we can always bank on is that ultimately everything that happens branches out from His love for us. How does that work? Well… maybe next time.