THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
By: Wanda Mason
Matthew 14:25-26 - During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.  When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
EVIL - kakia, kak-ee'-ah, Greek 2549; from Greek 2556 (kakos); badness, i.e. (subject) depravity, or (active) malignity, or (passive) trouble :- evil, malice (-iousness), naughtiness, wickedness.
Yossarian: "the problem of evil". Why does it exist? What purpose does it serve?
Every time this subject comes up, there has been a new, hideous occurrence in the newspaper. Another example of absolutely senseless, sick nastiness. The one that comes to mind this time: Some guy went to his ex-girlfriends house and beat his two children to death. Now, had you or I been standing there, wouldn't you have tried to intervene? I know I would have. Now: What if you were an all-knowing, all-powerful being? In that case, you'd have to intervene --- you'd have no excuse! I mean, we weren't there, and we might've had some difficulty fighting this psycho if we had been. But "God" was there, and did nothing!
What business would I have associating with a "god" like that?
And if some kind of all-powerful being does exist, he's doing a lousy job, and should be ashamed. No god that would allow our world to exist as it does could be truly just or merciful, let alone "good"; no god that is limited in ability to stop evil would really be "God".
There's a problem with this --- where do you draw the line? What is to be accepted by faith, and what must be decided by rational observation?
If a used car salesman answered all your questions with, "Sorry, you gotta take this on faith," you'd laugh in his face. (And maybe call the Attorney General.) But when God falls asleep at the switch, we just hold our breath and "have faith" that what's painfully obvious --- that the world is evil, and is inconsistent with the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful, just and merciful God --- is somehow not relevant?
I most certainly cannot prove that there is no God. But I think I did prove that God is unworthy of our respect, let alone our worship.
So an unworthy "God" isn't really "God", by the normal Western definition. That's not proof in the rigorous, scientific sense; it's just an opinion of mine, which tends to make me doubt that there are any gods to begin with.
Think of God as a lazy contractor. He's walking around your kitchen, talking on the phone and drinking beer, when he's supposed to be replacing your kitchen cabinets. Every time you say, "Shouldn't you be getting those cabinets up?" he waves you away, saying, "Don't worry. All part of the plan. Everything will work out. You'll see." That might work for a while, but eventually you'll realize that this guy is a fraud, and he's ripping you off.
But we don't hold God to the same standard. We don't "fire" God, 'cause God is not to be fired. We don't question God, 'cause God is not to be questioned. "He" (?) just keeps saying, "Don't worry. All part of the plan. Everything will work out. You'll see." And we let him. You'd think, as the guy responsible for everything, we'd hold him to a pretty heavy standard. But, while we don't excuse lazy contractors who are just a tiny part of the whole, we grant blanket immunity to the Creator of the Universe. If God is really "God", he surely is more capable than the pot-bellied guy in the kitchen with the cabinets!
Yossarian and Mike Davis present some very interesting and thought provoking statements and I know that many if not most of us have asked these questions at one time or another. I offer some, of what I feel are possible and reasonable answers for your consideration.
Thank you guys for challenging us to our very roots.
Kevin J. Haley said:
"God is the source of all that is good. Everything God created is good. God loved us so much that He chose to give us free will instead of making us robots that have not the power to choose anything. Free will entails that we can choose to do good or choose to do something that is not good. If one observes the world, he sees different shapes and hears different sounds. Nothing we see or touch is evil in itself. The evil that we see in the world is not from God, it is from a perverted act of the will. Food is a good thing. God made it for us so we could be nourished by it. People can choose, however, to make food into their own personal god. When someone, by an act of free will, eats more than he knows he should, against his conscience, he commits the sin of gluttony. Does God cause this to happen? No He does not. God was not controlling the man as if he were a robot. God gave the man free will, and the man made a morally evil decision.
This is exactly what I have been trying to say several times on here.
What do we want? Do we want to have free will and be able to make choices in our own lives and our children's lives or do we want a God who "CONTROLS" our every move like a robot and "fixes" everything for us? (Actually kinda like the government we live in.) We don’t or shouldn’t do that for our children. If we don’t let them learn by their mistakes, then they don’t grow up. Sometimes our children suffer because of our own mistakes.
Such is the case with evil. Is it God that causes another human being to hurt another? NO! ALL human beings and even angels for that matter have "free will" and just because someone rapes or molests a little child or tortures or murders has nothing to do with God being there to stop it or not.
However, God created us with amazing minds and bodies with amazing healing properties. He also provided a way for our escape from pain and evil. An example of this is "dissociation" and "multiple personalities." Another personality is actually created in the psyche of that child who is the one who takes the abuse so that the child can function in life. I have done a lot of study along these lines and it was a big answer to me.
GOD WORKS THROUGH US! HE USES OUR HANDS, OUR FEET, OUR BODIES TO DO HIS WORK FOR GOOD.
Why are "WE" doing what we are doing here on these websites? What is our purpose? I know that my purpose is to help those who are hurting, to heal. God is working through us to help hundred's of people. Mike, Yossarian, if you guys had not been through what you went through at GAC, you would not be able to do what you are doing now would you? Why would you even want to? You are doing it because you want to see justice done. Right? Some of your reason may be revenge but if that is what it takes to get the job done, then so be it! The point is that “because” of what you suffered, many people are being helped and “set free.”
Basically, God “allows” evil but is not the “cause” of it. As Dave Linder and Kevin said, God created everything good. Then He turned it over to us!
Now, I am going to use scriptures from the Bible to back up this theory since we are talking about the God of the Bible here. Whether this is a literal happening or a Hebrew myth or parable story to carry a common truth across the ages by word of mouth, it makes sense to me.
God provided: Genesis 2:9-And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God warned: Genesis 2:17- but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Or be worthy of death and not live forever) Adam lived to be very old even after this.
Satan entices with lies: Genesis 3:4&5 - "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Man listened to the lies and made the wrong choice: Genesis 3:6 - When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Results of man’s wrong choice: Genesis 3:22-23 - And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."  So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
Didn’t take long for man to really “mess” it up: Genesis 6:5-The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
God took care of the problem for awhile: Genesis 6:6-8 - The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.  So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them."
But found one who would do what was right:  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Gave the other people time to repent: It took a long time for that ark to be built (*and there seem to be some evidences that the ark was built and at the bottom of page are some links) and the people watching this had ample time to get into the ark to be safe but made the wrong “choice” and refused.
God promised to never destroy the earth with water again: Genesis 9:11- I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."
So in essence, the first man and woman or “Adam”: 'adam, aw-dawm', Hebrew 120; from Hebrew 119 ('adam); ruddy, i.e. a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.) :- × another, + hypocrite, + common sort, × low, man (mean, of low degree), person, brought the curse upon all mankind and man gradually forgot who he was and where he came from in the beginning.
Even the innocent suffer because of MAN’S wrong choices: Romans 5:14 - Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
So although I know this is just the tip of the iceberg, it makes sense to me. I do not go to church in a formal way. I believe it to be exactly as the Lord said in:
1 Cor. 6:19 - Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
We are the temple of God and wherever we are, there’s the church. He does not dwell in houses made with man’s hands.
Mark 14:58 - "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.' " Acts 7:48 -"However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says:
Acts 17:24 - "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 2 Cor. 5:1 - Now we know that if the earthly tent (body) we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Hebrews 9:11 - When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. Hebrews 9:24 - For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence.
1 Peter 1:1-2 - Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,  who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Foreknowledge: prognosis, prog'-no-sis, Greek 4268; from Greek 4267 (proginosko); forethought :- foreknowledge.
And as far as all the conflicting scriptures in the Bible and there are some, just because it is written in the Bible doesn’t mean that God did it or said it. Too many human beings have had their hands in the pie so to speak. I know that God is just and in my own life, I have found that if I just wait awhile, the answer will come. I do believe that everything in my life is for a reason and believe me, I’ve been through a lot of hell on earth. I have “willingly” given my life to the Lord and have found that as long as He has His way, things work out for good. It’s when I have tried to force my own way that I’ve had the problems.
Sometimes God simply “takes His hand of protection off” because after continual and repeated warning, a person “refuses” to do the right thing. Such as was the case of Lloyd L. Goodwin. After awhile, God just took His hand of mercy away and let him die from the results of his own actions.
Ezekiel 33:11 I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that he turn from his way and live. (12) The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgressions; the wicked shall not fall in the day that he turns from his wickedness, neither shall the righteous live in the day that he sins. (13) If the righteous commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered, but he shall die for his iniquity. (14 -15) and "if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that which he has robbed. Walk in the statues of life, without committing iniquity, he shall surely live!"
Lament. 4:  The LORD himself has scattered them; he no longer watches over them. The priests are shown no honor, the elders no favor.
LB - Ezekiel: 28 -"Your heart was filled with pride because of your beauty: You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. Therefore I have cast you down to the ground and exposed you helpless before the curious gaze of kings. You defiled your holiness with lust for gain. Therefore I brought forth fire from your own actions and let it burn you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all those watching you. All who know you are appalled at your fate; you are an example of horror, you are destroyed forever
3 John 1:11 – Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
What is MPD/DID?
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), is a condition in which the sufferer uses dissociation to mentally remove himself/herself from situations of trauma and/or anxiety. Widely used by children during developmental years as a natural mechanism to cope with anxiety, dissociation can continue into adulthood as a chronic defense mechanism that can lead to serious dysfunction in work, social and daily activities, Many individuals with MPD/DID have endured repetitive, overwhelming, and often life-threatening trauma during childhood. MPD/DID is one of five Dissociative Disorders identified in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV.