March 15, 2006

The Problem of Evil

Jon Meacham Interviews Billy Graham - Newsweek National News -

How does one answer the question of evil? If there is a loving God, why does He allow bad things to happen? Not just bad things, but horrible things.

Is there really an answer sufficient?

All I know is that God has provided a response. As a Christian, I believe that God in human form participated in the suffering of humanity. This does not tells us the "why" but it certainly tells us that God is not leaving us alone in the pain.

Unfortunately, we do not have a sufficient answer to the why. But I also don't think this should be a roadblock to faith in God. I think it creates problems when we think that God causes the pain and suffering. I also think it causes problems when we blame God for "allowing" it to happen. It assumes a vindictive nature to being God, and accuses God of taking pleasure in the pain of His creation. God would have to be completely vindictive and impersonal to not feel empathy toward human pain.

Somehow, probably on faith, I believe that God loves humanity. I also believe that trials and suffering somehow make us better as people. I don't think He enjoys the pain, but for some reason He allows the world to deal with the consequences of human sin.

I agree with Billy Graham that the root of the problem is the sinfulness of the human heart. Sin makes the human animal capable of some great atrocities. But, then again, so does religion in the hands of the sinful. As I look at the person of Jesus Christ, I see someone who set the example of how to live.

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