Evil Exists because God is Love

Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher who lived about 300 B.C., said, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able and not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” Others have asked these same questions for the 2300 years since. However, in their seeming wisdom, they merely demonstrate how philosophers, enamored with their own wisdom cannot see the flaws in their own reasoning.

Epicurus and his philosophical offspring over the millennia have created a false dilemma. That is, they have developed a set of choices and acted like the choices they have listed are the only ones available when they are not.

Epicurus believed a God who is able to eradicate evil but doesn’t do so must be malevolent. So, there are but two choices. Either God is not able to do anything about evil or God is evil Himself. It didn’t occur to Epicurus that there is a third option. It never occurred to him that God might actually be wiser than him and have a better alternative.

Is it possible God sees a good end that can come from the evil and suffering that goes on in the world even today? Is it possible God allows evil because in His infinite wisdom He can actually use it in a way that benefits men if we will let it?

I suggest God who is able to eradicate all evil is unwilling to do so not because He is malevolent but because He loves us too much to do so. First, His love is demonstrated by granting us the free will to choose between good and evil. He loves us too much to force us to be good like Him. He lets us pursue our own course.

Second, He loves us enough to allow evil so that we may grow and learn to rely on Him, which leads to salvation (cf. II Corinthians 12:7-10; Romans 5:3-5). Without evil in the world, we would have no notion of our need to turn to and rely on God. We would be lost and never know it.

Third, He loves us enough to allow evil so we can learn to be merciful like Him (cf. Matthew 5:7). If there were no evil, we could not learn how to relieve the suffering of those who have endured evil. We could not learn to be like God.

Finally, God loved us enough to send His Son as an answer to all evil. By surrendering to Jesus (cf. Galatians 2:20), we can eradicate evil in our lives and help do so in others and prepare for the day God eradicates the world because it is evil.

Yes, evil exists, but not because God is malevolent. No, evil exists because God is love.


PS. As promised, you get extra bonus material on our website that those who only read the bulletin version of this article don’t get.

I just had to use the version of the pic above because of the smart-aleck comment whoever generated this version made. “Athiests (sic) Winning Since 33 A.D.” This poor individual, who doesn’t seem to even know how to spell “Atheists” also doesn’t get it. He sees the death of Jesus in A.D. 33. Certainly, on that Friday, it seemed like Atheists had won. Yet, on the third day, they found out they were losing. 

Jesus claimed the victory by rising from the dead. 

Of course, this atheist will deny that happened. However, this statement is a great logical contradiction for the atheist. In fact, by making this smart aleck comment, the author of the picture admits that Jesus was someone important. He was not just some unknown or fictitious person. He was and is a real person. He is someone that has to be dealt with if one is going to be an atheist. Further, note the use of A.D. What an admission of the importance of this man who is supposedly nothing but just one of us. All of time has been measured from this man.

Here is my challenge, if the atheists won in 33 A.D. by killing Jesus, produce His remains. If you can’t, then learn who was truly victorious in 33 A.D.



6 Responses to “Evil Exists because God is Love”

  1. ken on January 16th, 2009 12:11 pm

    I agree with this until the last paragraph. Producing 2000 year old remains of anyone remains elusive. We were able to save some mummies, maybe the bones of some emperors. Asking to see his remains now, 2000 years later, doesn’t really bolster any argument.

  2. Edwin Crozier on January 16th, 2009 3:27 pm

    Ken, I get what you’re saying. I was actually writing that as a somewhat rhetorical device.

    I was trying to highlight that for 2000 years folks have tried to claim Jesus is in the grave. Yet even 2000 years ago, they never brought out the remains even though they could have easily done so then if He were in the grave.

    Here is another interesting point. We’re not even sure where Jesus was buried. We wouldn’t even begin to know where to look. This guy who thinks atheists have been winning since 33 AD, actually can’t even begin to look for the proof of their victory. There’s something important there.

  3. Ami on August 9th, 2009 8:45 pm

    Yes, except the problem is that it wasn’t atheists that killed your god, but his own followers.

  4. Edwin Crozier on August 9th, 2009 9:14 pm

    Ami, I’m not at all sure what your point is or how it matters in the context of this article or discussion.

  5. john doe on February 12th, 2010 1:56 am

    You yourself don’t seem to understand Epicurus argument.
    His beliefe that anything that does not prevent evil is also evil, weak or ignorant holds true as long as you dont attribute your god with some unknown attribute that lets him/her/it of the hook.

    If you remove god from the question and make it a man that has the same choice. Do you not call him evil if he ignores the pain of others that he himself inflicted ?(that is if you beliefe is that a god made the universe and is interested in our lives.)

    And as for your statement that atheists only see 2 alternatives. How is it that all day i hear the creationists trying to explain that evolution is work and what not… i mean disproving one thing does not make the other one true.

    Also every religious person is a living conradiction. Saying that its there god that is the right one. how arrogant is that ? i am right but the rest of the world that believe in 2000 other gods is wrong. and the worst ones are the ones that go one step further and dont believe in any of them.

  6. Edwin Crozier on February 16th, 2010 10:08 am

    Hi John,

    Thanks for challenging and helping us clarify our thinking.

    However, I disagree with your first assertion. Epicurus did not claim God was either evil, weak or ignorant. He claimed He was either evil or weak or He just wasn’t God. He didn’t say anything about God’s potential ignorance. Therein lies my claim. God is not ignorant. In fact, God is so wise He knows better than we do the end from the beginning. He allows what seems evil to us because He knows in the end it will have a good outcome for us or that it can if we will use it properly.

    Regarding men, I know plenty who cause pain in order to produce good and we don’t call them evil. We call them coaches, trainers, parents.

    I do not understand your point in your third paragraph.

    Regarding religious people living in contradiction, again I think you are using the wrong words. There is no contradiction in believing the God I follow is the true God. I may be wrong about that. Maybe there are more gods. Maybe there is no God. But believing I am following the true God is not a contradiction. Nor is it arrogance, if I’m right. Rather, wouldn’t it be malevolent if I believed in the true God who could save you from your sins and didn’t tell you about Him and try to convince you of His grace?

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