By Ernest O'Neill

How Could a Loving God Allow Evil in His World?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

How could a loving God allow evil to continue to exist in His world? If He is loving and almighty and good then He surely could not do that. If He allows it to exist then it must be because He can't stop it. So, He isn't almighty. And if He wills it to exist then He cannot be loving. So that's the problem we have.

How could a loving, almighty God let evil exist in His world? How could He ever allow an archipelago of prison camps to destroy millions and millions of people in Russia? How could He ever allow an evil man like Hitler to gas millions and millions of Jews? And yet, we all know why in our own experience.

Every one of us here who has had responsibility for bringing up children or even those of us who have been responsible for teaching children or for training and guiding any other person, know that there are two ways you can do it. One -- you can imprison them in a protected sterile environment where evil cannot possibly get at them. Or secondly, you can allow them to go out to school, out into society, out into the world, and to exercise their own free wills to reject the powers and influences of evil as they come to them. You know which choice we have all made.

We know there is no possibility of producing a live, whole, human being with a free will who will be able to choose what is best for him unless you send them out into the midst of influences, of powers, and forces that are not always the best for him because at least it gives him the opportunity to exercise his free will. We all have made that choice. All of us here have made the choice already in our schools, and in the way we run our families. We have made the choice.

We have determined that freedom of the will is a more precious thing than freedom from pain or freedom from suffering. We've said that freedom of the will is something that is worth preserving above everything else. We, in our country of America, especially stand for freedom. Really that's the same situation God was faced with.

Once He determined that He would create people who would be like Himself, (free, have free wills and who would therefore be free to choose to be His friends and to live in love with Him forever), He opened the gate to the Hitlers and the Stalins. He opened the gate to the Machiavellis. He opened the door to the possibility of some people refusing to choose His friendship, refusing to choose His love, and determining to live for themselves and therefore to inflict tremendous pain and suffering on others.

Loved ones, do you see that the first time God would ever have come down into that bunker in Berlin and coerced Hitler's will, (even if nobody had known about it), the first moment God had come down into that headquarters that Hitler had in Berlin and had coerced his will even a little, to stop the command to kill even one person, that moment free will would have disappeared from the face of the earth. The possibility of us ever coming to love God because we chose to and wanted to, would have been forever removed from life here on earth and probably in the universe itself.

So once the Father determined to create us for the very best that He knew, to be people who loved Him freely because they wanted to and not because they had no other alternatives, that moment God opened the way to many of us refusing that and in fact making ourselves God. Therefore we produced evil in this universe and that really is what has happened.