If God is Holy and Powerful, How can Evil Exist?



By human logic, the two of the three above statements taken together is mutually exclusive to the third statement. The three statements cannot occur at the same time.

If God is holy and all powerful, then there would be no evil. Of course, everyone agrees there is evil.

Could it be that God is not absolutely holy? Bible absolutely rejects that. God is absolutely holy. That cannot be contested.

God is not completely powerful hence there is evil? No, God is completely powerful. So are we in a bind? Yes. There are some common attempts at explanations.

  1. Evil is the absence of God similar to darkness being the absence of light. The explanation sounds good, but not completely satisfying. If God is absent in some area of the universe, then He is not all powerful. It would be like a king that cannot eliminate all resistance fighters. There would be pockets of territory that the king cannot control. Did God purposely withdraw his influence from parts of the universe and let evil fester? That would again be in conflict with God being completely holy.
  2. God gave man and Satan free choice. That is true, but the concept of evil is complicated. The theology of salvation needed to overcome sin is so complex that angels and even Satan did not understand. Sin in itself is very tenacious. It can be passed from person to person, and results in sin of the flesh, sin of the world and Satan’s domination over the world. Did Satan blind sighted God with the idea of evil, and God then had to fight it? No. Satan did not create evil and blind sighted God.
    If God was all powerful, Satan cannot be the originator of evil. Satan simply chose evil. God had the concept of evil before Satan. Question still remains, how can an absolutely holy God create the concept of evil.

Where did Evil Come From?

We know the Ten Commandments were from God. God defined what sin is in the Ten Commandments. God created the definition of sin.
Also, in Genesis 2:9, “And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow … The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” God created the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The tree belongs to God, and he created the concept of evil represented by the tree. Adam and Eve simply choose evil. Neither Adam, Eve nor the devil came up with the concept of evil. It was God’s tree. Isaiah 45:7 said the same thing: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

It cannot be said that Satan came up with the idea of evil first, and God put it in the tree. In another word, Satan did not come up with concept of evil, and God said ohh, what a wonderful awful idea, let's put that in the tree. Concept of evil came from God. Sin for man was a binary yes or no answer that came pre-packaged. You either ate or you don’t. The fruit was not an ala-carte. You don’t get to pick what kind of evil you want whether you want to be the “Good Witch” or the “Wicked Witch”. God did not give Adam and Eve a blank canvas to define whatever evil they want. Satan did not create the concept of evil outside God's domain. Evil is nothing new with God.

Is God Evil? No

God is holy, so he cannot do evil. He will not tempt us with evil. Two main verses states that:

James 1:13–14 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”

1 John 1:5–6 “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

God can create the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and only he can define what constitute sin. He gave us that knowledge with the Ten Commandments. He can create the concept of evil. Is important to state that defining what is evil both in the commandments and the tree of knowledge of good and evil is different from God being evil.
If I build a card house and made a bowling ball, I did not destroy the card house. I tell my children not to touch the bowling ball. They have the free will to enter the room and do as they please. Inevitably, the bowling ball will be used again the card house. However, I still would not be the destroyer of the card house. I am the builder of card houses, and I cannot takedown.
Do we have a problem with God and Evil? Yes
From a human logic point of view, we do have a problem. Remember, humans are also pretty feeble. We are low in the totem pole. Hebrew 2:7 “thou have made him a little lower than the angels;” Our logic is simplistic point to point. To us, one plus one can only be two. To God, one plus one can be anything he defines it to be.
Isaiah 55:8–9 gave us a humbling message ““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God certainly do not think like we do. His thoughts are very different than ours. God said killing is a sin because he said so. God told the Israelites to annihilate their enemy. That is holy because God said so. The Israelites spared the life of some enemies, and that was a sin because God said so. God defines what is good and evil.


How do we resolve the problem of an all-powerful, holy God and evil ? ... Easy, we don’t!

The wonderful thing about our faith is God can say anything, and we have no problem with it. God said he is holy, we say yes. He said he is all powerful, we say yes. There is evil in the universe, but God is holy. Why not, we just say yes. With faith, we just accept contradictory principles. We are like little children. Parents say there is Santa Clause, and we believe. Except our heaven parent is God. He tells us what is good, and we believe. There does not need to be any reasons because first, God did not give us a reason and second, assuming he did, we probably would not understand it anyway. There are plenty of things we don't understand the logic of, and most people don't care to understand the logic of it either.

Math is made of logic, but as it gets complex like transcendental number theory, we don't care for it. The only reason we keep asking for God's logic is because we are searching. We are not searching for God no, but we are searching for an excuse. That is sin in our heart to make excuse.

If God were to give you a semester long lecture on his logic, do you think you will be eager to learn and then accept Jesus? No, because this is not about understanding God, this is about dismissing God. You will say you are still considering. You are really looking for an excuse because sin in you wants you to avoid holiness of God. If you are very truthful to yourself, you will say I am asking a question that I don't care what the answer is. I act like I care, but I really don't because I am just trying to dismiss God whatever it takes. Sin keeps you from asking the question, what do you gain from staying with your sinful ways?
1 Corinthians 1:18–19 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.””
Faith by definition is foolishness to the world. Faith is spiritual. The world is physical. Hebrews 11:6 said it is impossible to please God without faith.

Are Christians Rational? Yes, but only pertaining to earthly matters.

Yes, Christians have to be very rational on things pertaining to us on this earth. We are not to be rational with thing pertaining to God up in his heaven where his thoughts are above our thoughts. We do not use our reasoning to rationalize God’s business and determine if God deserve to exist or not. Christians are not to entertain arguments on whether God is right or wrong. Those who wants to challenge God will find faith to be foolish as written in 1 Corinthians 1:18. Human logic will never understand God. When God seems illogical to us, it is not because our logic is so superior that we just stumped God. We like to think we have God cornered. If you just sit and think for a second, you will come to the conclusion we all have, that our intellect is quite pathetic.
Romans 9:20–21 “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”
In John 9:1, the disciples asked a common question of the blind man. Did the blind man or his parents sinned? This is in reference to Exodus 34:7 and Deuteronomy 5:9 where God said the sins of the father will pass to third and forth generation. Jesus however said "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the workd of God should be revealed in him." God is the one who creates good and the bad. With our human logic, we cannot resolve why someone is born blind or what purpose that serves. It is the same with a child that is born in an atheist household versus a child born to a pastor's home. We expect one is going to have a greater chance of becoming a Christian than the other. This comes back to the answer in Romans. We have no right to ask God that question. We think God should come to us and justify everything he did line by line. Only then will we accept Jesus. What is missing is we are not grasping the concept of how great God is. When the CEO of your corporation comes by for a visit, employee sit straight up and put on a fake smile. And that is just with a CEO. If God ever passes by, we will realize we are good as dead because that is how magnificient he is. We can be quite arrogant now because we don't see him. Don't be the one to talk big when God is not around only to find your foot in your mouth when you are finally judged!
We are not the ones to ask God why he made the universe the way it is. Use earthly logic where it belong to figure out what we need to please God. Leave heavenly logic to the realm of God.
In Job 40:7, after God showed Job all of his creation, then God admolished Job by asking him "Would you indeed annul My judgement? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?" God said have you decided that you are the one to judge me? Are you saying I am guilty so that you may declare yourself to be perfect? When we see God, the answer is a dumbfounded I am so stupid of course no. But this is a rhetorical question to highlight the blind arrogance of man's heart.

The Impossible Faith

To non-believer, faith is comically silly. Attributes of God does not make sense, so believer just use faith. How can someone just believe in something that have no grounds for prove. Faith itself is an impossible task. No man on earth has faith to believe in God's word. Faith is a spiritual attribute given by God to man. God has to give you faith to believe. Christians do not have the ability to just believe. Nobody does. How do you get that faith? Humble yourself and ask God for faith to believe his words. Seek and ye shall find, ask and ye shall receive. As you are asking for faith, do not rationalize the character of God. These questions only lead you further from where you need to be to ask for faith.

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