The Question of Evil

April 17, 2011


May 11, 2011 -- GAFFNEY, SC

-- A three year old child is dead after a tragic accident at a Gaffney church.

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler says that Alyssa Jade Mayfield, of Gaffney, was airlifted to Spartanburg Regional Hospital Wednesday afternoon where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

According to Fowler, Mayfield was in the gymnasium at West End Baptist Church around 3:20 pm when a 4x8 foot section of a wooden stage fell on top of her. Mayfield, who was at the church day care facility, was trying to retrieve a ball and according to Fowler, it appears that the child had bumped the wheel cart where the stage was being stored on and caused it to fall.

"The stage section was one of several pieces that were being stored on a wheeled cart that was positioned next to a wall in the gym," Fowler said. "It appears the child bumped the cart while trying to retrieve a ball, causing the section to topple off the car and onto her."

February 24, 2011 -- Dublin, KY -

A western Kentucky coroner has identified the Amish children who died when their buggy tipped over in a flooded creek.

Rescuers found three bodies early Friday, then recovered the fourth later in the morning.

Hickman County Coroner Paula Boaz says the dead include three siblings, 8-year-old Samuel Wagler, 5-year-old Sarahmae Wagler and 5-month-old Rosemary Wagler. The fourth child is their cousin, 11-year-old Elizabeth Wagler.

The coroner says all four children drowned.

April 2, 2011 -- Japan

"Dear Mommy, I hope you are alive. Are you well?"

This is the heartbreaking letter written last week by 4-year-old Manami Kon. The girl's mother, father and 2-year-old sister have all been missing since their town was devastated by a tsunami March 11.

Manami is one of many children whose parents have died or remain unaccounted for since tsunami struck coastal towns in the Tohoku and Kanto regions 21 days ago. Children in the towns have been seen looking at the sea, apparently in the belief they will be reunited with their parents some day.

Press release, 07/19/2004

"Some 15 women and girls were raped in different huts in the village. The Janjawid broke the limbs of some women and girls to prevent them from escaping. The Janjawid remained in the village for six to seven days."

"Five to six men would rape us, one after the other, for hours during six days, every night. My husband could not forgive me after this, he disowned me."

Quotes from Sudanese refugees interviewed by Amnesty International

Stories like this make us scream "Where is God in this?" "Why did this happen to me?" "How could a good God allow so much evil, pain or suffering?" "If he is good why doesn't he care?"


How do we answer this question when it's posed to us?

I. Establishing the Conversation

A. Confession:

Lousy things happen, life is unfair, innocent children and people die, EVERYDAY.

Cr** Happens

B. Recognition:

Sometimes the question is not really a question. They may not really be looking for an explanation. They may be saying if God cares show me his kind of love and care.

James 2:15-16

15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

1 John 3:18

18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

C. Assertion #1: The cause behind much suffering is human.

Jeremiah 17:9

9 The heart is deceitful above all things

and beyond cure.

Who can understand it?

Admit we can't explain why people do such evil things.

D. Assertion #2: Not all Suffering is Evil

In general a hurricane, a flood, a tsunami is not evil, it is a act of nature. A happening of the created order. They cause suffering, but not by God's direct hand.

Suffering can be tragic, painful, ugly, but it may not be evil. Jesus said in this world we would have trouble. Bad things happen, but he does not abandon us in the bad things. He is with us in the storms.

II. The Crux of the Question -- The Problem of Evil

 God is good, absolutely pure, hates evil, and is compelled to respond to everything that is in rebellion to him.

 God is great, all powerful and he can conquer anything that challenges him.

 Evil is real.

 Since Evil is real one of the first two must not be true.

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Timothy Barnes

commented on Feb 9, 2017

Thanks Bruce for doing a good job tackling this tough question in a Biblical manner. Blessings!

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