I seem to notice a contrast between different people. When I debate someone on the Problem of Evil, they always bring up an idea that makes the Earth look like a hideous place where evil is around every bend. On the other hand, the Christians, like myself, see this place as having evil, yes, but that the good is by far overwhelming.
However, we believe that we are the people of the truth. Surely there must be some explanation for this discrepancy. Why is it that the non-believer sees so much evil that it outweighs the good? As I pondered this last night, I came to a conclusion that hinges on the way God is viewed.
Peter Kreeft says in his book “Heaven: The Heart’s Deepest Longing” that everything on Earth points to either Heaven or Hell. If that is the case, and I think it is, everything here is that which points beyond itself. Everything screams that this is not all there is. I think even evil screams that. Evil tells us that things are not as they were meant to be. This world is not in its final state.
In “The Man Who Was Thursday” G.K. Chesterton speaks about a character that when seen from one view, is thought by many that he is so evil that there cannot be any good. However, there are others who look and see the good side that they realize there must be an explanation for the evil. One view is true and one is false.
Now it’s not my point tonight to show which it is. I am simply wanting us to see how this problem is approached by those from the non-Christian side. My suspicion is that our lives are preparing us to take on either the nature of Heaven or the nature of Hell. When we reach each place, it will simply be stepping into what is called aeveterinity in the way we have been going.
Why do the non-believers see so much evil? Because they are resisting God at this point and are not wanting to see the good. Since they do not want to see the good, God is granting them their wish and they are seeing the evil. The more though they come to see good as it is and want the good for the sake of the good, the closer they will get to God.
As for us, we are making it our goal to see the world as it is, the way God would have us to see it. In doing so, we see that the creation truly is good as God said it is at creation. True, it is fallen, but do we really think the evil in the world can overwhelm the good of the creation?
We look at evil as a mere interruption of sorts. This is especially true of death. Death is a temporary good-bye for the Christian. For the atheist, it is still the greatest evil. It is that which is to be resisted to no end. When death comes, that is it. The non-Christian cannot view it as the Christian does.
For the Christian, all works together for good. Creation is not an accident. God is still in control of it. We do not have to think that we are in a funhouse of horror with danger around every bend. Instead, we are children that are in a huge playground and exploring it for the joy of discovery.
This could be a large part of Heaven in fact. It could be that we then have all of forever to explore the rest of the creation and see all the wonder God has made. Such is why I stated that when a non-Christian starts to love the good for the sake of the good, then he is getting closer to God. This is why C.S. Lewis told us that Hell has been unable to create a pleasure. They can only twist the pleasures of God. (Rest assured when they do, they actually become lesser pleasures.) If someone comes to true pleasure, it will get them closer to God.
How about you? Are you seeking good for the sake of good? Or are you looking out for yourself only and seeing a world of evil all around? Be wary if you are, for it means you are getting closer to Hell instead of Heaven. Perchance if that is the case, you might want to check to see who your loyalty lies to.