James 1:19

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

I think this is what James and John were alluding to when we read these passages

James 2:15,16

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

1 John 3:18,19

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

When someone is hurting and in lost it is better to hold off on dealing with the words of philosophy and be Jesus to them through love

The problem of evil

Our basic problem with evil is struggling with three things

– If God is good – then why is there evil shouldn’t a good God do the good thing and wipe out evil

– If God is all-powerful – why does he allow evil to exist can’t he simply wipe evil out

– That fact that evil exist at all with an all-powerful all-good God

There are several solutions to this problem

Solution #1

Deny God exist and with it the reality of evil

The idea is this because evil exists then there must not be an all-powerful all-good God!

Quote from serial killer Ted Bundy who raped and murdered over 30 women and girls said this

I learned that all moral judgments are “value judgments,” that all values are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either “right” or “wrong.” . . . I discovered that to become truly free, truly unfettered, I had to become truly uninhibited. And I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block, and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable “value judgment” that I was bound to respect the rights of others. . . . Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as “moral” or “good” and others as “immoral” or “bad”?

If morality has nothing to do with God then what does it have to do with?

Renowned atheist John Steinrucken in an article entitled what “Secularisms on-going debt to Christianity” is quoted as saying, “I challenge any of my fellow atheist to come up with the “immutable (unchanging) moral laws of secularism”

“Their right is just as right as our right”

CS Lewis quote from Mere Christianity If you haven’t read CS Lewis please do! He is so much more than the Chronicles of Narnia

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it?”

“Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless–I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

Ironically the problem that caused CS Lewis to not believe in God is the very thing that brought him to God

If it were not for a loving God that gives us a standard of right and wrong there would be no understanding that anything is evil.

Solution #2 

Make evil part of God

You have heard this more than you know

If everything is part of god rather than the personal God we believe in, then evil and suffering are part of that god too

In other words, God is not good but a mix of good and evil. What kind of schizophrenic god is that?

Solution #3

Diminish God’s power

It is a decision to choose to make God not great. It is saying to God that you are powerful but your power is limited.

The problem is the Bible tells us differently

Exodus 15:6 “Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Ephesians 1:19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Solution #4

Diminish God’s goodness

On the face of it, most of us would deny believing this but in the midst of pain we say to ourselves, “If God is all powerful and he knows this evil is going on in my life but He just doesn’t care, He must not really love me.”

If evidence of the evil in the world is evidence that God does not exist then perhaps beauty, love, and all the many blessings of our homes, families, jobs should be evidence God does exist.

Philippians 4:6,7

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

We live in a tension to believe that God is good, great, and nevertheless, allows evil in this world for a season for His greater purpose.

These are some of the arguments against God and his being a good loving, Father

It is true that:

God is always good

God is great

evil is real

Next week I am going to share with you a few points of what to say to your friends based on the foundation I have laid today. We will give them and you hope in times of crisis.

If you are here today and are battling God’s goodness or greatness toward you, we can do far more than intellectually and spiritually lay out the arguments we can pray and allow the Lord to meet you here