Evil is a real problem. It has hurt many people. It has caused much pain and confusion. Many people wonder how an all-loving and all-powerful God could allow so much evil and the specific evils that have hurt them personally. This problem is the underlying reason many people do not believe in God. I want to devote my life to thinking critically, conversing about, and studying this philosophical quandary, the problem of evil. This post won’t get to the depths of the heart of the matter. I suspect that over the next several years, there will be many posts on varying aspects of this topic. For now, this post will get us started.
There are three main reasons why people don’t believe in God. There are intellectual, emotional, and willful objections that people have. With the problem of evil, the main objections are emotional or willful. Someone has a hard time believing in a God that has allowed such evil and suffering to happen in their life (emotional), or they don’t want to believe in a God that allows such evil and suffering to exist (willful). Though these objections are very real, and they matter very deeply to the one holding them (because they stem from some deep hurt), they aren’t necessarily based on reality. The only types of objections that hold ground in terms of what’s really real are intellectual objections.
Just because I feel a certain way or don’t want to believe a certain thing does not make that thing not exist. It can cause someone to reject reality, but it does not change what’s really real. This is the problem many people have within the problem of evil. They fail to examine what’s really real because of the dark blinders of suffering.
There are many explanations as to why God would allow suffering, but outside of all of those defenses and theodicies, one thing must always be remembered. God is not exempt from evil and suffering. He took on flesh to take on evil and suffering. He willfully suffered excruciatingly at the hands of evil to defeat evil. And He did. He died. But by His death, death was defeated. And because He is alive, He has provided an eternity (FOREVER) where 1) there is no more evil and suffering and 2) we will fully comprehend the love of God through the sacrifice of Jesus.
This is good news. This is good news that would be no news apart from the bad news of the existence of evil.