Mankind was charged with leadership and dominion of all the animal kingdom. He was not just given authority and power, but responsibility. Many may mention, if not too casually, that freewillthe human ability to choose right and wrongwas part of the package.
I agree, it sounds too “convenient” for Christians to simply say that freewill is the reason for evil and suffering. But more importantly, that’s not really the question. The question many ask is, “In the face of evil, oppression and suffering, torture, mayhem, human trafficking, child molestation, murder, terrorism, etc., how could such a “loving God” allow all this evil to exist? Why doesn’t he raise a hand against it? Why doesn’t he just “fix it” all?”
While He certainly could, in His mercy He has chosen not to. You see, he allows men and women to make a choice. From the very beginning, we have had this choice. For without it, God’s children could not choose to love Him. And contrary to what some think, God does not need our love. But He desires our love by choice. As parents, we cannot make our children show love to us. And we are continually challenged with watching and letting them make their own choices regardless of the quality of those choices. Because we love them unconditionally, we give them the same freedom to choose.
God does not want or like the evil that persists and pervades this world. But He must allow it, for now.
Yes, it sounds additionally convenient for me to say that, and that God will “fix” everything in the last days when He accomplishes His great plan, right? So why must he wait?
Well, to answer this, we must first ask another question. One that most are not willing to consider:
If God were to get rid of all the evil in the world, where should He start?
Should He start with you? With me? Our families, our friends? Because the problem comes back to the question of “by whose standard are we to judge what is evil?”
For if we are judging by God’s standard, then, as the Bible says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
As parents, we cannot force our children to love and obey us. But because we love them unconditionally, we let them live their lives their way. We do not condemn them, even if their choices hurt others. We let them make their choices that either wreak havoc in the world or bless it.
God has already set His plan in motion and in place for taking care of all of this. He sent His Son to die in our place so that we could live with Him forever, if we so choose. And because His plan involves us keeping our choice, He does not make us choose Him if we don’t want to. We have the right to reject Him. I mean, why would a loving God force those that don’t want to know Him in this life spend an eternity with Him?
The members of the human race can be capable of such horrendous atrocities, against other men, women, children, and the rest of God’s creatures. But they are also capable of the most heroic and noteworthy actions. And all are capable of both.
In the beginning, there was no death. When Adam and Eve tended the garden and raised their family, the world was filled with animals that lived in peace, and to whom mankind could even speak. Men and animal lived together, and there was no death.
But that was a long time ago. And one day, it will be again.