In Bilezikian, this portion of the reading is one of the few that has caught my full attention. In the beginning of part three, Bilezikian states, “… if God is great and good, why did he create a world in which there are evil, pain, and sorrow”? This question stood out to me while I continued reading the rest of the chapter to gain some understanding of why.
The author did not leave me with unanswered questions, however, he left me with a new perspective on it. As a follower of Christ, I often do not question why or how He does what He does. This very question has opened up various questions and the one I can not seem to wrap my head around, why. Perhaps as mortal humans we may never be fully capable of understanding why He decided to take the chance of evil by creating us.
Bilezikian explored several reasons behind this pertaining to both traditional and biblical answers. Each targeted specific areas like for traditional answers: things happen whether it is good or bad, that there is no evil, evil is an illusion, evil is justified, a limited God who cannot keep up with His creation, suffering is a spiritual battle, and evil is God’s will. Evil explained in these ways makes sense, however, our God is a loving one. He does not want to do evil but why did He allow this to be a possibility if He knew the consequences?
By taking a look at the biblical answers to evil: humans who abuse freedom cause evil is one of the reasons for some reason I can not truly understand. How does God define abuse of freedom? Perhaps it is having the ability to kill another? Anything against moral standards? God gave us free will because he loves us, but he must have known that freedom means potential to disobey. He knew that some will turn, but does that make us evil?
This may go back to His love for us. With the creation of us, my curiosity wonders why does He love us so much? Again, maybe I will never truly understand the power of His love. For me, the only way I can try and understand it is through the love of a mother for their child. Does He see us this same way? Is it like a father looking down at their child’s crib? As mentioned in the Bible and in church, we are the children of God. But as children of God why would He make the difficult decision of our creation just to have the possibility of us turning our backs to Him? The potential of us becoming “evil”?
With regards to evil, I managed to create more questions concerning the all knowing God and why He did what He did. He created us out of love, He gave us life, and He gave us His son. All this occurred because we were created. What was His reason for our creation? Would His son ever be born and crucified if we were not created? My inability to understand why He decided on this massive and important decision continues to baffle me. As I sit in class debating my thoughts asking why allows the mind to wander. I often think about what I would ask God if I ever get the honor to meet Him one day. Would I even understand what He has to say? Would I be just as confused as I was if I was still alive?
Bilezkian attempted to get his readers to understand this. He described and provided evidence of all the reasons he wrote about, however, that is his understanding. It could possibly be the way he chose to explain these reasons that it may have opened more questions from me.
I chose this topic to discuss because of how many people lack to ask why even for the simplest things. I chose not to question God, however, I can not pretend that these thoughts have never crossed my mind. Now that I have allowed my conscience to process this thought, it makes it difficult to have it remained unanswered.
God is the all powerful, all knowing. For Him to make this decision, He has to have had thought about the different ways His creation could turn away from Him. Despite His sacrifices like His son, people continue to turn away. He tried to create a way to get His children to come back to Him. The thought of how some would and could never accept this is truly mind boggling.
God had this occur but he made a way to return. Now it is in our hands on how we handle this situation. I can see how evil plays a role in how humans abuse freedom. The area that tricks me is when the devil comes to play. He, a fallen angel, strives to take God’s creation down. If the devil was a thing before humans, does that mean that he is evil and he causes evil? With his manipulation like in the story of Adam and Eve, his greatest power is how he can make others act upon their darkest desires.
Without the devil is there still evil? Looking back to the story of Adam and Eve, if the devil never occurred in that story would we have original sin? If the devil was not there to manipulate Eve, would she have eaten the apple or would Adam’s desire be too strong to withstand? If Adam decided to bite into that apple with such curiosity, would he be considered evil for being interested in seeing why or what would happen? In the original story when Adam is beside Eve when she bites into the apple, is that considered evil? Is it evil that he did not react nor stop her from committing that? Is sin evil or an accident made in that situation?
Whenever I refer back to this story, is this the idea God had by evil? Personally, it feels like the line between evils is fuzzy. There does not seem to be a correct answer and that is what makes theology difficult for me to understand. Difficult to think about because God created these myths that contain the answer but it depends on your interpretation and analysis of it.