Does God allow Evil?
This is written by my friend Richard Murray, you can find him at his blog, http://www.thegoodnessofgod.com/, it's a definite must read. Take the time to learn something:
DOES GOD ALLOW EVIL? by Richard Murray
Before you say, "Yes, obviously He does," I want you to take a step back and consider a couple of other possibilities.
For the sake of argument, let's assume that a good God would never create or allow evil of any kind. In other words, a good God would always DISALLOW evil and never ALLOW it.
With me so far? Now, assuming that such a good God would DISALLOW all evil, the question becomes HOW would He disallow it? Would such a God have any limitations on HOW He would disallow all evil motives, evil actions and evil events?
Would such a good God coerce the wills of free beings to incinerate every evil thought before it arose? Would this God forcibly intervene in each and every circumstance nipping every evil event in the bud before it occurred? Would laser beams descend from heaven burning up all evildoers to stop their wrongdoings?
Wouldn't this type of forced entry into our minds and lives make God a "rapist" of sorts? If He could physically "take over" our hearts and minds like a master puppeteer, wouldn't that make us His puppets rather than His children, His robotic chess pieces rather than His treasured offspring?
Could we then say that such a good God would NEVER resort to "reality rape" in disallowing evil? Rather, He would have to disallow evil another way, a way CONSISTENT with His flawless character.
For instance, Titus 1:2, along with several other verses, says that it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to EVER lie. So, we can easily see that God would never lie in order to stop evil.
GOD WOULD NEVER COMMIT EVIL TO STOP EVIL. The reason? Because evil is simply NOT in His nature. This good God we are discussing IS all-powerful, but ONLY in the CONTEXT of His perfect CHARACTER.
This is easy to see in the context of lying, that God would never become a liar Himself in order to stop some particular evil. But, what about other qualities of virtue in His divine nature? What if God wouldn't allow Himself to kill, rob, destroy, coerce, manipulate or brutalize in order to disallow evil?
And it's not just that God WOULDN'T do these evil things listed above to stop other evil things from happening. It is that He COULDN'T. His character IS pure virtue. His name IS His virtue. His nature is seamlessly weaved into His being. In Him is light and NO darkness, NO shadow of turning. (I John 1:5; James 1:17). He cannot violate His own goodness.
This good God is all-powerfully virtuous, NOT all-powerfully wicked. God is all-powerfully honest, all-powerfully honorable, all-powerfully loving, all-powerfully kind, all-powerfully patient, all-powerfully merciful, and all-powerfully healing. God is NOT all-powerfully cruel, all-powerfully vengeful, all-powerfully angry, vicious, coercive, etc.
Matthew 5:48, and the preceding ten verses establish that God the Father's perfection lies in this: He always overcomes evil one way and one way only--- with goodness. He always blesses His enemies to overcome their evil. He endlessly turns the other cheek, walks the extra mile, gives the extra cloak, etc. And Jesus tells us to always do the same, to "be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect."
Do you see? God has already disallowed ALL evil, but not in the way our carnal minds would expect or foolishly demand. We wrongly expect, just like Israel at the time of Christ, the Messiah to be like Arnold Shwartzenegger, a brutal terminator of evil. Jesus rocked those expectations by instead appearing as the meek Lamb of God, just as He continues to rock our expectations as well.
So exactly WHEN did Jesus DISALLOW all evil? Hallelujah, at the very moment evil became possible. At the foundation of the earth, before the world began, Jesus was the Lamb who was slain who takes away the sin-evil of the world. See John 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Revelation 5:12-14, 13:8.
But, if thus is so, why has evil continued to appear ever since the foundation of the world? Why hasn't it already been disallowed and taken away, if Jesus was somehow slain since the foundation of the world? One word answer: PATIENCE. The way God resists, overcomes and disallows evil requires patience.
The force of goodness does not always operate instantly, although it often does where faith is fervent. Overcoming the evil in other men's hearts though usually takes time. Turning the other cheek endlessly against our attackers, perpetually blessing those who curse us, and continually forgiving evil done to us------ this all takes time to snowball to avalanche proportions.
As we operate as children of the light by responding to all evil with all goodness, more and more momentum is being built up and stored in the heavenlies. Like rain clouds saturated with life-giving rain, the heavenlies will ultimately pour down the glorious power of God's goodness. This force of goodness will "hasten the day of the Lord" where all evil is visibly vanquished.
Jesus got the avalanche started. It is coming to full manifestation sooner or later. Sooner is better. Our goodness hastens it, while neglecting our so great a salvation hinders it's full manifestation.
We must believe that God's way of disallowing evil is SOLELY through the Cross. Jesus did not return evil for evil. He did not become evil to stop evil. Rather, He absorbed ALL our evil upon Himself, without judging us, without revenge or retaliation toward us, and without wrath returned to us.
Jesus at the Cross turned His cosmic cheek the other way and blessed us rather than cursed us. THIS was where God disallowed all evil. Evil is doomed. It is already dead. It just is thrashing wildly about, the same way a dead snake continues to furiously writhe after its head has been severed.
The greatest act of pure, powerful, and virtuous goodness happened at the Cross. The Lamb who was slain is worthy to be praised. Listen to the fate of DISALLOWED EVIL in the following passage:
"And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four [and] twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever....
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away....
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it..." Revelation 5:11-14; 20: 4; 22:3.