I have a theory on the Problem of Evil. My thinking is that not all suffering is necessarily evil. Just because you don’t like something or it gives unpleasant feelings doesn’t mean it’s evil. If you step into a hot bath for instance, at first, there is a surge of pain, but in a way, you want that pain. If you work out regularly, you enjoy the pain that you feel from doing so at times.
Now there are some pains no one enjoys also, but at the same time, it doesn’t follow that they’re necessarily evil. It takes more than not liking something for it to be evil and it takes more than liking something for that to be good. What I’ve concluded in this is that evil is actions and that means that evil exists when moral agents exist be they human or non-human such as God, angels, etc.
When looked at that way, the problem of evil is really the problem of sin. What goes against the nature of a God who is all good? That is what is sin. Many of us complain about natural disasters that happen and we wonder why. I have a harder time with the evil though that I see in my own heart, and I’m hoping most of you are the same.
If we want to see examples of evil actions, we can find plenty in our own lives every day. If we look at our past, we will find evil. Most of us are quite sure the future holds plenty of it as well. This is one reason I don’t really speak on the sins of others too often. I call it sin of course, but I always remember that “There but for the grace of God go I.” I haven’t been a saint my whole life either.
That is why I see the cross as the solution to the problem of evil. The cross deals with the problem of sin. Let’s see what Scripture says about the cross and evil.
Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
Ephesians 2:16 speaking of unity between Jews and Gentiles
and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
The cross is where the battle took place. The final declaration of that victory is coming, but for all intents and purposes, we fight a defeated foe. The battle is already won. Sin has been dealt with. Sinners are being reconciled and God is forgiving their sins based on the sacrifice of his Son. Sin was allowed to be punished as sin and people were allowed to be saved as people.
Does any other worldview have this?
The Problem of Evil as I have said is everyone’s problem. Everyone has to find an explanation, but most seem to want to avoid the most real evil of all. What about the evil in their own hearts? Christ gives me an answer to that. He tells me that I am a sinner, and it is true. I do not need convincing of that. Then he takes my sin and the punishment for it upon himself and offers me his holiness in exchange. He gives me the Holy Spirit that I might live a new life and be the man I ought to be.
In fact, it is by him that we are allowed to be us. The BOM says in it “Adam fell that man might be, and man is that he might have joy.” Christianity gives the true answer. Christ came that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. Christ enables me to be the human being I was meant to be, one that walks reflecting him.
The cross, God’s solution to evil.