A man, troubled by the amount of evil and suffering in the world, petitions God. “Why do you allow the maleficent deeds to continue without intervening?” “If you are all loving and all powerful, why not put a stop to the evil that takes place?” God decides to answer, “Where shall I start? How about I eradicate those that take human life with disregard?” The man was slightly startled, but he angrily replied, “Yes, get rid of all those murderers.” “Who will be next, God inquired.” “How about I annihilate all those who abuse others sexually?” “Yes God, the man replied, remove all of the rapist, child molesters, and those that take advantage of others.” “Maybe next we should remove all of the thieves from the world,” God petitions.  “Absolutely, there is no room for those that steal for others in this world,” said the man. “We are making considerable progress. Shall I remove all of the liars next?” The man stuttered to answer. God repeats the question, “Should all the liars be struck dead now?” The man said nothing. He now understood that for evil to be eradicated, all of mankind would need to be demolished.

Many want to say the existence of evil is evidence that God does not exist, or at the very least he is either incapable of doing anything about it or does not care about the plight of man. Norman Geisler asserts, “The very fact that evil is troubling to atheists or naturalists logically leads to a standard of good or justice beyond the world.” That is to say, those who appeal to the fact that God is evil are doing so on the basis of His existence. Without an overriding, external standard of right and wrong, morality merely becomes one person’s opinion against another’s.

Many times, people want to both have their cake and eat it. They want free will without the option for choosing to act on evil impulses. When God created man with the capacity to choose, evil was a potential byproduct. I have presented many people with the question, “Would you rather have free will with the potential for suffering, or a lack of free will devoid of any pain.” I have never had anyone answer that was willing to relinquish their free well. Yet, often we want to be free without the choice to do evil. This is logically inconsistent.

God created man with the ability to experience love. Love only grows within the capacity for freedom. Love cannot be coerced, for then it is no longer love in its purest sense. If God were to eliminate the potential for evil, mankind would need to be stripped of their free will. As a result of this, we would become mere automatons and lose the capacity to truly give our love freely or withhold it.

So, why doesn’t God stop evil from happening? For God to bring a halt to evil it would require either revoking man’s capacity for choice or annihilating every living person. As Romans 3:10 reminds us, “There are none righteous.” The world is stooped in sin. As the man quickly found out, for God to stop evil it would require everyone to be eliminated.

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.