Post Author: Bill Pratt
One of the most common objections to belief in God is the problem of evil. One form of the problem of evil sounds like this: “I can’t believe in a God who allows children to be sexually molested. If there was a God, He wouldn’t allow such things to occur.”
I can understand the objection, and it’s an objection that all Christians have struggled with one time or another. However, there is a response to this challenge.
The sexual molester has free will and has chosen to exercise that free will to commit an act of evil against another person. In fact, every human being has free will and makes choices every day to do good or evil. God has given each of us this power of choice.
The objector wants God to take away the power of free choice from the molester to prevent him from doing evil. Even though this crime is particularly heinous, the objector must surely want God to stop a variety of other acts of evil as well. After all, why stop with child molestation when genocide, rape, and torture go on every day?
The only way for God to stop all of these crimes, these acts of evil, is to remove the power of free will from every person. Some of you might say, “Wait a minute! I don’t commit these horrible crimes. Why do I have to lose my free will?” You may not commit these kinds of crimes, but you commit acts of evil every day, most likely. They are just more subtle.
Do you lie? Do you steal? Do you gossip about other people? Are you committing adultery? If you don’t think that you ever do evil, just ask your spouse or a sibling. I’m sure they can provide some examples to you. The truth is that we all do bad things and that we are all capable of horrible crimes.
So, if God is going to rid the world of moral evil he is going to have to take away every person’s free will first. Would you be willing to lose your power of free will to rid the world of evil? If not, then you can hardly blame God for the evil in the world. You must blame yourself. After all, when given the chance to rid the world of evil, you declined!
If you would give up your free will, your ability to choose between good and evil, then I encourage you to become a Christian, because that’s exactly what Christians, in a sense, are doing. Christians acknowledge that the world would be a much better place if we would follow the one man who consistently chose good for his entire human life, Jesus Christ.
When we submit to him, we are submitting our power of free choice to his direction and instruction. We are saying to Jesus, “We want to do what you did. We want to choose the way you chose, because you always chose good and never chose evil!” Instead of every day demanding that our own choices be paramount, we strive to subject our free will to him, and he gives us the power to live as he did.
Our reward for submitting our free will to Jesus results in our spending eternity in heaven. In heaven, our free will is perfected, as we will always and forever only choose the good.