The Problem of Evil is a big deal and often goes misunderstood. The problem is “If God is good, how can he create a world that is so evil? How can evil exist with a good God?”
I am an Open Theist, I believe this theology to be consistent with the Bible for many reasons, This is an invitation to see the answer through it’s scope.
Open Theism, if you don’t know, believes the future is open, even to God, to change and some uncertainty and is thus unwritten. Using this theology answers many of the questions about the problem of evil when you apply freewill to the equation.
It might be a strange question, but think about it: What if God cannot see beyond the decisions we have not yet made. Many say the tests God puts man through are for man to know the outcome… I say that they are so God knows too. When Abram went to Sacrifice his son, God was testing to see if he loved God, and when God knew the answer, he admitted, “NOW I know.“
Adam and Eve weren’t give the tree as a test for their own good…. If God knew the future, he would have known the outcome was not good. Instead, the tree was about choice, a choice we needed to have in order to be free.
Being free is important for us because it allows for us to experience and give true love. But being free means we need to have a way to reject love. God created a world, perfect and sinless and intended it to stay that way. His creation was good, and saw no evil.
But this creation requires a certain amount or rules and order to function correctly. He made gravity, for example. It always pulls things down. He made rocks hard, he made ground soft, each has its reason for being made the way it is. God made man with very complex bodies and a powerful mind. But if a man were to jump off a cliff, gravity would take over and that man’s body simply cannot withstand the impact.
God didn’t create event of a man jumping off a cliff leading to his death, this suffering is not a creation at all. If is rather a choice that man made.
Man took the good things God created and began to use them in ways that opposed the order of things. It is just a choice.
I believe God did not know that Adam would eat of the forbidden tree. I do not think God knew the men to follow Adam would sin in much much worst ways than he did. He knew it was a possibility, which is why he planned from the very beginning, and before that even, to allow Jesus to be the sacrifice that would atone the world of those who wished to be atoned.
Why is Everyone Evil?
Did we really get evil because we inherited it from Adam? I think not, when you have a theology that says everything is planned, It is easy to believe that God made us evil (supposedly for his GOOD purposes….), but I do not believe either to be the case.
What God did was give us a law, written in our heart. Paul talks about all this in the first few chapters of Romans. The first law, was written on our hearts. Remember, Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil. Not of the tree of MAKE ME EVIL, as predestinationalist think.
Adam and Eve received this knowledge, a law, of what is to do and what not to do. They didn’t have it before, they relied on God for such understandings. Eating the tree was the perfect way to leave God because now, no longer do you need God to know what to do, you can look to this law, written on your heart, your conscience.
Now, evil is not that God made us naturally evil because Adam was that way. God did tho give us all this conscience because of Adam. God saw it fitting to let us all have this conscience because Adam had one now. The conscience can be thought of as the first law.
It, as it turns out, is this law that, in essence, brings about sin. Paul goes on about this in his writing. He asks that because of this “feature” of the law, does that make the law sin too? No, because the law is meant to prevent this sin. It is the person who uses the law to find out what sin is to commit that sin and then fall from God.
But the thing you might wonder is why does everyone sin? Not because God made us that way… it isn’t built in our hearts and souls to sin. Some want this to be true because they argue “It creates a need for Christ,” what they fail to see is that we always have that need, be it for forgiveness, or just the oxygen that we breathe.
We were all given these incredibly strong and complex bodies, a fantastically designed mind, and the great and wonderful freedom to go in the path we wish. It is a power we have, compared to other creation, we have super powers, if you will.
We often do not want to give up this power or want more for ourselves and use our knowledge of evil to get it, in some small way, or some bigger way. Wanting power isn’t bad, I think we were designed to want to grow and gain for for ourselves, but that good desire along with our knowledge of sin is a troubling combination, but necessary to instill order in the human race who has chosen to live without God’s help.
So evil by nature? Not quite… at least not in the way some say.
Natural Evil includes other evils of the world, such as natural disasters and disease.
There are many aspects of life today that were not issues for man in the garden. Disease, for example could be cured instantly by the tree of life… But I do not believe disease was a problem for early man. The same goes for natural disasters.
The Flood is the event that I believe changed everything. Before the flood, men lived for hundreds of years, then gradually the life span shortened. God said he intended to destroy the earth, he did.
I believe the flood caused new mountains to be formed, the elevation to change and the atmosphere to change. I believe the water that covered the earth fell into what is now the atlantic ocean as the mountains formed. This triggered all sorts of conditions that threw off the true natural balance.
The piles of dead flesh, the gigantic mass of water, just imagine what mutations of viruses and bacteria would result. These things that were good before the flood and had a good function changed over time, and still are changing.
The flood rearranged the entire earth, weather, the land, everything changed. Earthquakes, hurricanes, everything was made possible from this one event.
That’s my theory. If I am wrong, it doesn’t matter. By faith we can know God didn’t cause unjust evilness(wickedness) in this world.
Open Theism is a theology that you can use to sort through this yourself. It frees preconceived notions from your mind so you can read the bible without adding your own ideas… It is fully compatible with the word. Best of all, it erases the ideas that a Good God caused Evil, and allows you to see God as one of passion and who is flexible, who can change his mind and who can do is he really wishes.
God is all knowing… but the future isn’t a thing to be known because God didn’t create and predestine every little thing. The future is open, not settled. It completely solves the problem of evil and helps one to understand what the Bible is saying.