Home OPINION NORTH STAR Why does God allow Evil? – Part II

Why does God allow Evil? – Part II

Why does God allow Evil? – Part II

By  Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

The connection between moral evil and physical evil is traced back to the Garden of Eden. Eve ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Original sin is symbolized in the forbidden fruit and temptation is symbolized in the talking snake. When our first parents disobeyed God, the spiritual harmony present between God and the souls of Adam and Eve has been disrupted. As a consequence, the harmony between the souls of our first parents and their bodies broke up which gave birth to death. Death is the alienation of the body in relation to the soul. Original sin likewise brought disharmony between our bodies and the physical world which accounts for the cause of sickness and suffering.

God’s solution to evil is Jesus Christ. Christ has solved the problem of evil not just in thought but most importantly in deeds. He did this not just by teaching us about evil but by actually entering into evil, on the Cross by suffering the worst of evils from the worst of people and by using suffering and death to work for good, for our salvation. Christ made His suffering of evil part of our salvation from evil. That’s why God did not remove suffering in this world after Christ ascended into Heaven because it is an instrument we also have to use for our salvation.

Evil seems to disprove God. If you don’t believe in God, you can just say “evil happens” or as it is said more often these days, “sh*t happens” which is the same thing.  If there is no God, we could just simply say bad things naturally happens and leave it at that. If there is no God, there is no contradiction between evil and God. But if God is real, and evil is also real, there is apparently a contradiction between God and evil. The problematic situation is: If God is all-good, He wants only good; and if He is all-powerful, He gets everything He wants. So why is there still evil? It seems that it must be either because God is not all-good or because He is not all-powerful.

Part of the answer as we have seen is that we made evil, not God. We freely chose it. When sicknesses happen as a consequence of too much alcoholic drinks for example that is evil that is brought on oneself.  God has nothing to do with it. Another part of the answer is that God brings good even out of evil. When an innocent child gets sick of cancer, God is allowing the sickness to happen because there will be a good that can come out from it. Often times this kind of good is spiritual and has to do with the sanctification of our souls so that it can be deserving of heaven. The child’s sickness might be good for his or her soul or for the souls of those taking care of him or her which we can’t apparently see of course but will all come to light in the next life. We have to remember that God prioritizes the spiritual good over bodily goods because life’s purpose is to be holy and to be deserving of heaven. That’s why He sacrificed His Son to die on the Cross for that purpose (the greatest evil that happened in the world, which is killing God). When pandemics, wars, earthquakes occur we can’t see the overall good it contributes. But God who sees the big picture and has calculated already in advance the comprehensive good it contributes to the whole world. We creatures see only a limited view but God sees the complete view: past, present and future with the aim of deriving spiritual good from everything that happens. As Regina Brett would say, “Sometimes when things fall apart, they could actually be falling into place (through God’s providence).”

This story will illustrate how we can’t see right away the good that can be derived from evil. One day a farmer had a horse that ran away. His friends came to console him, and said “What terrible luck you have, you lost your horse!” The farmer replied, “We’ll see.” A week later, the horse came back with two other horses tagged along. The farmer’s friends came to know about it and said, “How wonderful! What good luck! You now have more horses.” The farmer replied, “We’ll see”. His son then gets on one of the horses, falls off and broke his leg. The friends came back and said, “How terrible! What bad luck you have.” He said, “We’ll see.” A week later, officials from the government came to draft the son into the army but when they discovered he had a broken leg, they did not draft him. The farmer’s friends came back and said, “Wow! Congratulations, what great luck! Your son was not drafted.” And the farmer replied, “We’ll see.” And the story goes on in this pattern. The point of the story is that it is close to impossible for us to see the full consequences of an event. What appears to be simply good or simply bad with the way things unfold it is never clear to us for what purpose they serve. But God knows the purpose they serve. Thus, we will just have to trust Him. That’s why faith is important.