This post is about good and evil... and God and evil.
can God allow evil people and organisations achieve such powers of
destruction? Whether we're talking Hitler or ISIL, it is hard for people
to contemplate the juxtaposition of such things and a loving God. Even
the Archbishop of Canterbury recently admitted to struggling with his
faith over such matters. (Not sure that helps a lot, Justin.)
Things like this are responsible for many people NOT believing in a loving God - or any God,
for that matter. Take the tragic death of a spouse or relative. The
murder of a child. Bad things done by members of the Church. How can God
allow such things?
Well here's my view on the matter, in case it helps
anyone. The world is as we see it. That's pretty much the way scientists
see it - except in matters of fine detail where their 'beliefs' tend to
change with time. And that word 'belief' is an important one. Science,
you see, 'believes' what it has theorised or thinks it has proven so
far, but frequently new theories come along and those beliefs have to
change. Given this, a scientist should look more kindly on those whose
less complex belief is in God. A scientist can prove little of what he
believes, and he cannot disprove what a Christian believes - except
perhaps a few of the fine details like the method of creation.
The world is as it is. As we see it. And that is the
way God created it. In a masterpiece of creativity, his thought became
our universe, our realm of creation, and that is where we exist. Clever
stuff? Yes, but hang on. You create worlds which seem just as real to
your perceptions on a regular basis: in dreams!
Yes, evolution has played an enormous part in our
physical selves, and that was all part of the natural development of the
world God created. There are different levels of 'good' within it, no
matter how we define the term, and another term used to describe the
negative extreme of good is 'evil'. Through the graduations of behaviour
we label as good or evil, it is inevitable there will be evil. That is
all part of the free-flowing nature of creation.
God created a system which appears to follow rules or
theories. But almost anything can appear to have rules if you go to
extremes of modelling it (like weather forecasting). The fact we have
weather forecasting models that boil down to rules does not mean the
weather actually follows any rules. God does not chose to interfere with
this realm of existence, although he has given us guidelines, which
religions document: as guidelines or 'rules'. God is, no doubt, entertained by the evolving nature of this creation but, like a human father, he prefers to let his children - us -
make our own way in the world. Why would he want to control everything?
What would be the value of a creation where he had to control the
movement of every grain of sand, the path of every falling leaf... or
the actions of ever-interacting human beings? He prefers to give us
freedom and to delight in those individuals who follow paths of good.
Good will ultimately prevail, for evil would be self-destructive, and
what creator wants to destruct his creation? So evil people and
organisations can exist. It is up to the powers of good in the world to
destroy them. How do we know what is good and what is evil? That is
where true and trusted religions come in: such as Christianity; in their
case they have the Holy Bible - which the believe to have been
'God-inspired'. (But since human beings wrote it, and had a cap on their
levels of understanding, there is scope for some misinterpretation and
human error here and there. (Not to mention the fact that powers have
changed its wording through the centuries.)
If you believe there is a devil as the ultimate essence
of evil then such an entity would most delight in fooling people who
start out believing in God and then turn their behaviour into the
opposite of what should be their true aims. What a laugh for the devil -
and what an achievement. ISIL is an example of this: religion gone
wrong to the extreme. And nations all over the world can see it is
There are different ways to accept a God, and it it
wrong for a particular religion to disparage another if it also believes
in one God.
Christians believe there is an afterlife - Heaven - and
that, of course, is another realm of existence. Jesus told a repenting
criminal on an adjacent cross to him at his crucifixion that he would be
together with him in Heaven that very day. And if there is an
alternative existence for believers who die, one we are led to believe
is a better one than the physical world, that puts a whole new
complexion on people dying; they can move on to a better world. Our
point of view is restricted to this life, but God's is not. He can see
his other creations. He can see the better lives that exist for those
souls who had a bad deal in this world. And so must you. Think about the
wider picture, think about the freedom God gives us in this creation,
think about the promises he makes about a better life after death if we
believe in him, and just understand this world is a world of freedom. It
is up to use to identify and eliminate evil using the uncorrupted
word of God. And that is where things go wrong: when activists believe
in a corrupted idea about the word of God. And that is why God and evil
It is up to each and everyone of us to determine the
right path. Deep within our selves God provides the means for us to
judge between right and wrong.
When you 'get it' and add 'oh' to your understanding of God... you will see the Good.