Friday, October 15, 2010

A Study on Evil - Why Can't Evil Be Stopped (Replay)

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September 4, 2007

Good Morning Family,

I pray that everyone had a good Labor Day yesterday, although it seems like more people work now-a-days on Labor Day than have the day off.  In continuation with our study on evil, today we will tackle the question of "why can't evil be stopped?"

To ask "why can't evil be stopped" implies that there is a counter question.  That would be "why can evil be stopped" and as Christians, this should be our view on questions such as this.  However, even for Christians this may be a tough question to answer.  Typically the argument goes something like this:

  1. If God is all-good, He would destroy evil.1
  2. If God is all-powerful, He could destroy evil.1
  3. But evil is not destroyed.1
  4. Hence, there is no such God.1
Hmmm.  Numbers 1 & 2 makes perfectly good sense to us thus far, but because of 3, number 4 throws up a red flag to any Christian with an ounce of Jesus in them *LOL*.  To say that God cannot do such a thing suggests that He is not the omnipotent God who we claim He is.  That is rather counter productive to anyone who follows the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Exodus 15, we see just a sample of after-effects of God's power against evil:
"(6) Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.  (7) And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble."
This was the children of Israel after God had plunged the pharaohs army into the sea, who were coming to destroy them.  God DEFEATED evil in this scenario. So the question is still "why can't evil be stopped?". 
"If someone said that God should stop evil and suffering, then should God then stop all  evil and suffering? If God only stopped some of it, then we would still be asking the same question of why it exists. So, if we want God to stop evil and suffering, then He must stop all of it. ...He must stop that person from thinking his own thoughts. To do that, God must remove his freedom of thought. Furthermore, which person on the earth has not thought something evil? God would be required, then, to stop all people from exercising their free will. This is something God has chosen not to do."2
Destroying evil would be destroying the gift of freedom which allows us to love one another.  As we learned last week, if God did this, it would be an act of evil in itself.  God is not capable of evil but of only love.  The real answer is that God can defeat evil.  There is a difference.  To destroy something means to "do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of" or to "destroy completely; damage irreparably"3.  The definition of defeat is to "win a victory over". 3  With destruction you do not damage one thing, but it can have lasting side effects and/or inadvertently destroy other things.

Take for example 9/11.  When the terrorist decided to fly planes into the World Trade Center, their plans were to cause the destruction of 2 planes and to damage the 2 buildings.  However, the end result is that 2 buildings along with a couple surrounding buildings were completely destroyed.  Even Bin Ladin himself said he was shocked the buildings fell as that was not in the original plan.  As a contrast, the US and Coalition troops are in Iraq trying to defeat the enemy.  To defeat the enemy means they are to be no longer operable to cause havoc or destruction.  So they are not necessarily "irreparably damaged" but defeated to the point where they can no longer operate.  Or, to look at it another way, they have been disbanded or dismantled.

This is what God can do. "When will God defeat evil" is the real question at hand.   Just because it hasn't happened yet, does not mean it will not happen.  He will defeat evil some day.  God does not operate in our time, but rather when He sees fit.   Ecclesiastes 3:1, says "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven".   Net/Net, Those who wonder the answers to the question will have to wait a little longer as God has not deemed it the proper season to defeat evil.   "Apparently God would rather wrestle with our rebellious wills than to reign supreme over rocks and trees"1.

Be blessed gang and have a good one!


1 Geisler, Norman and Brooks, Ron. When Skeptics Ask. Copyright 1990.  pp. 63, 65
2 CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS AND RESEARCH MINISTRY.  http://www.carm.org/questions/suffering.htm
3 WordNet.  http://wordnet.princeton.edu/.  "destroy, defeat"
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Regards,

Antoine E. Hall

Blog:  http://toinebo.blogspot.com
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/AntoineHall

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." - James 1:22
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