An argument I run across periodically from evolutionists attempts to say that the existence of evil in the world proves that there cannot be a God. Essentially they claim that evil people and bad things happening mean that there cannot be a God, because no loving God would permit those things to happen. This argument is erroneous for a number of reasons, which I will discuss in this article.
The first error of logic in this argument is it misunderstands the character of God. Evolutionists like to portray God as a loving grandfather in the sky Who would never hurt anyone, at least when describing His view of man. While the Bible does describe God as a God of love, it also describes Him as a God of judgment. ” For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14 tells us. Clearly, God does more than just love. Romans 2:2 confirms this. “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.” God has a judgement planned for those who oppose Him. However, misunderstanding God’s character is not the only thing wrong with this argument.
Those who argue that a good God would not permit evil also misunderstand evil itself. Evil in the Bible is an opposition to the moral will and commandments of God. When evolutionists speak of evil, they often think of wars, poverty, and starvation. None of those things are inherently evil by God’s definition. In fact, God commands war multiple times throughout the Old Testament. While poverty and starvation are not things that are good for the people involved, nothing in God’s Word claims they are evil. They are merely results of man’s sin, not a sin of themselves. God views evil as a broad brush right and wrong idea. His commands are moralistic, not humanitarian. When He commands not to steal, for example, it is because He views theft as evil, not because the property stolen is of value to its owner. Evolutionists view evil based on how it affects the victim. God views it based on how it affects victim and perpetrator. Evil is not a societal ill, it is a moral and religious decision made by all mankind when they choose to sin.
Evolutionists claiming that God and evil cannot coexist in the same universe fail to take into account the idea of consequences. God is a God of choice. In the New Testament, the idea of man having a free will shows up repeatedly. Revelation 22:17 tells us “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life”. Clearly, this is meant as man’s choice. Genesis also gave man a choice. Genesis 2:17 says “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. Man was given a choice. Obey God, or there were consequences. Man chose to disobey and reaped the consequences. The consequences of man’s sin were the evil that came into the world, bringing with it the host of moral ills that haunt us to this day. Evolutionists do not grasp this concept, largely because consequences of sin require an authority to enforce and they spend their lives denying that He exists.
Evolutionist’s attempt to deny God by pointing to evil is ludicrous because it ignores man’s culpability for the existence of evil in the universe. God did not make the evil we see around us. He made everything perfect in the beginning. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. ” Genesis 1:31 tells us. Evil, in the form of sin, did not enter the world until two chapters later in Chapter 3 when Eve bought into Satan’s lie and disobeyed God. That single act of disobedience, a moral evil, brought about all the wickedness we see in this world. In chapter four we find the first murder and by chapter six we find that man had completely fallen into wickedness. ” And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”. Genesis 6:5 tells us. One evil choice was all it took. God is not responsible for evil, man is.
Evolutionists attempting to either blame God for the evil in this world or deny His existence because of it are simply wrong. They misunderstand Who God is, and how He views evil. Further, they ignore the facts that actions have consequences and that evil on earth was not created by God but was rather spawned by man. At the heart of it is their desire to escape the possibility of having to account for their actions before a righteous God. This causes them to be “willingly ignorant” as Scripture says, of the nature and character of God, as well as mankind’s own history.