An answer to the problem of evil

The problem of evil is something I have struggled with for a very long time, as you may know. In fact, I might even go as far as to admit that it has served as a kind of road block to my growing in faith. Wherefore, I’m quite pleased that I seem to have found an answer. I remember reading a quote from some long-gone pope that although shedding one drop of Christ’s would have been sufficient to save the human race, he suffered pain and death on the cross to demonstrate his love for us. I believe the same is true about evil; God could perfect and purify the whole world from sin in an instant if he wished to do so, but he chooses not to, in order to show his love for us in spite of our sinful nature.
I would be delighted to hear what you all think of my revelation.

GOD wants us to chose HIM. Not to be forced, but to “seek HIM and find HIM”. To make this possible, GOD has given us (and the angels) our free will, to chose or to reject HIM. If we reject GOD, we invite violence and evil upon GOD and upon ourselves, for to reject GOD is to disobey the first commandment.

Likewise, in exercising our free will, we can chose to do evil according to our state in life. Individually, nationally, or internationally, again based upon who we are and the power we possess through our state in life.

Yes, GOD can fix this in an instant, but then we would become robotic souls and slaves, and not believer, lovers and friends of GOD.

I think the main issue would still stick. To show that love, billions throughout history has suffered greatly in various ways. Is permitting that suffering an action of a being that is all-good? And, wouldn’t an all-powerful being be able to show that love without allowing the suffering?

I’m not saying you’re wrong, just playing devil’s advocate.

Suffering conforms us to Christ when we accept what we cannot change for love of Him. Our lives are short, and when we love and obey the Lord we are picking up our cross and following Him. And, in spite of chaos around us that we cannot change, we can have His Peace.

When I meditate on the Lord’s Passion of suffering for me (and all of us) I owe Him everything, and I become more and more aware of my fallen nature and how easy it is to be distracted when I am not focused on Him.

When we die to ourselves with Him, then we will rise with Him for all eternity in an ecstasy of His Love.

That is what I’ve heard which makes the most sense to me. Also, we can’t understand the explanation, so he came to show us.

It’s a wonderful observation - God shows his love for us by allowing our sin.

This makes sense.

And to resonate with your thought, I take comfort when I hear God describe himself as our Father. A Father MUST allow his children to make mistakes so as to learn from them. He tries to protect them so that they will survive. A Father shows his love by allowing them to make mistakes even mistakes that hurt the Father. And this also means that the children have the power to destroy themselves. Love is a risk.

It’s funny that the problem of evil can be a blocker to agnostics and atheists faith. It would be strange for a kid to think that just because his Father LET him get hurt, it must follow that the Father does not exist. As you point out, what we gather from the problem of evil is instead something we can learn about the nature of God’s love. His love is like a Father’s love. When we grow up, I hope we can better appreciate our Father’s love.

Thank you sharing for your prayerful thoughts, and helping us grow-up a little in the process.

Yes, I agree. I just realized though that I forgot to add an important qualifier: God shows that he loves us in spite of our sinful nature only if we show repentance.

Hi!
…I think that the best way to explain it (God can remove all evil/sin–why don’t He?) is found in Jesus’ parable:

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” (St. Matthew 13:24-30)

Though Christ died as a demonstration of God’s Love, I believe that evil is left among us so that we have full ability to exercise our “choice” for God: that is to say, if God keeps us from thinking or bringing a thought to fruition, how would man be able to exercise his God-given free will?

It is only when we willfully choose Good/Righteousness/God’s Will that we can prove to ourselves and to God that we are in Fellowship (humble obedience and love) with God.

Maran atha!

Angel

Hi!
…you’re premise is the ole catch 22–Satan offered it to Christ: “if you are the Son of God…”

Allowing man to experience life does not diminish God’s Divinity, Mercy, and Love. Rather, if God were to control man’s environment to the point of keeping man from all harm, would God not be enabling man to take greater risks?

As a clear example, check the restrains on “experimental/recreational” drugs (we can throw in sex-ed, as having contrary results)… as the restrains became laxed a greater number of users and variety of drugs became the norm. In spite of the increase of negative effects on the consumption of drugs (Columbia University researchers performing a toxicology examination of nearly 24,000 driving fatalities concluded that marijuana contributed to 12% of traffic deaths in 2010, tripled from a decade earlier: usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/06/09/marijuana-accidents/10219119/) the use/demand continues to grow (US).

Those who need someone to blame would of course blame God for not keeping man safe.

Man cannot demand that God intervene in human affairs only when it suits him!

Freedom of choice does not mean “just do it!” We must exercise self-control and common sense!

Maran atha!

Angel

Evil is…a “problem”? How is it a problem?
Or is it something you don’t like?
Or, are you saying that the existence of so-called evil makes you question God or Catholicism? (but why would it do that?)

And,
How, exactly, would this pope know that “shedding one drop of Christ’s blood would have been sufficient”?
Did someone *tell *him this? Is he guessing?

To summarize, are you saying that God keeps plenty of evil in the world…to show his love for us?

Sorry so many questions, but everything you said leaves me with glaring…questions.

.

Just because someone rejects God, does not necessarily make them evil in anyway. I know plenty of folks out there that are not religious and never have been, yet they are some of the kindest, gentlest people I have met.

Free will gives them the right to ‘exercise’ it too, There is no reason why they should be punished for making a ‘wrong’ choice. They are just choosing not to have a relationship with God. That is what free will is all about…having a choice.

Furthermore, I have also met many people who originally came to God because of fear of being punished for making the wrong choice, or fear of going to hell, its kind of a ‘you have a choice, but make the wrong choice, and you suffer for eternity, no matter what kind of person you are’. (not much of choice imo.)

Imagine if there were no hell, no eternal punishment or suffering for anyone, didnt matter what choice they made…how many people would still be devout christians?

This quote regarding that one drop of Jesus’ blood would be sufficient for the human race has quite a sorted past and on reflection seems to be a source of much theological confusion between Catholics and Protestants…

The quote is from a poem about the Eucharist written by St Thomas for Pope Urban IV for the creation of the Feast of Corpus Christi.

preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/Hymni/AdoroTe.html.
cathcorn.org/hotbam/79.html

From the second link, the ancient interpretation is given:

“O loving Pelican, Jesus Lord, cleanse me, unclean, in Thy Blood, one drop of which hath power to save the whole world from all its sin.” Pie pelicane: The pelican is a symbol of Christ and of charity. There is a legend that when food fails, the pelican feeds her young with her own blood. When she is thus represented in Christian art, she is said to be “in her piety,” i.e., standing over her nest with her wings extended, and wounding her breast from which fall drops of blood. *

Please note that no where does St. Thomas say that the death of Jesus is NOT needed. He simply is remarking that the small amount of blood that we have available to us in the Eucharist is sufficient for our salvation, just like the baby birds live off small amounts of their Mother’s blood. Thus he is describing an important aspect of the doctrine of the Eucharist, namely that we receive the life of Christ himself through the Eucharist. Recall that ancients believed that blood CONTAINED life itself, your spirit, etc. That means that when we receive the blood of Christ, we receive HIS life, his spirit, even if it is a small amount of blood, namely, the amount we receive in the Eucharist.

Now, when Martin Luther got a hold of this, he argued that the Catholic church was doling out the ‘extra’ blood that was not necessary to be spilled by Christ. He says that the church claimed to have the ‘extra’ blood, and could give it out as needed to cover for the new sins (after Jesus’ death) in the form of indulgences.

I believe the Catholic interpretation is correct regarding the ‘extra’ blood and the interpretation of the Eucharist. God gave us the extra blood of Christ, and this is made available to us in the Eucharist, and washes clean (gives new life) to those who suffer from these new sins. That is why he gave us the Eucharist.

The church becomes the Pelican and provides the cleansing blood of Christ in an ever replenishing supply that never runs out (the Eucharist). God explained this to us as he multiplied the loaves, and, when he showed his apostles how to give others his own blood.

Luther found this offensive and had to change Catholic doctrines and interpretation of the bible to make it go away.

Luther could not accept that God would give us this ability, to be so intimately linked to him. And also, there were those in the Catholic church that abused this power for personal profit so his objectives were based on real issues.

So I don’t agree with you that a Pope said that: ‘although shedding one drop of Christ’s would have been sufficient to save the human race, he suffered pain and death on the cross to demonstrate his love for us’ That seems to contain a theological error and I doubt that a Pope actually said it. The theological error is to say that the death of Christ was not necessary. In fact it was according to Aquinas.

Our Father (like a Pelican) gives us ALL of his life. He dies in his effort to save us. That is his message to us through Jesus. The death of Jesus was necessary. To say that his death was unnecessary does not fit with Catholic doctrine and is un-biblical.

So I assume the quote came from a protestant source, supposedly quoting the Catholic church, to re-enforce their objection to the Eucharist.

The Resurrection and redemption of human kind is a grand demonstration that whatever evil God permits is allowed only because He can draw an even greater good out of it. We trust in God, who is our life and our source of being, that He knows best, even if it’s beyond our comprehension, and that man’s ability to put himself at odds with God or willfully submit himself to Him is “worth it”.

Dying and then not suffering eternal punishment is an admirable goal (:rolleyes:) I guess.

Many Christians however have heard the words of Christ as he promises eternal life and happiness and have decided to shoot a little higher. So take away hell and punishment, and the Christians will still show up.

Not going to hell is a start I guess. But contemplating an eternity of joining with an infinite and loving God is awesome. It is an offer made with love, a gift that must be received with humility that requires a free will and spiritual strength to say yes to.

Please consider the rungs on the scaffold of love as described by St. Bernard. Attaining the promises of Christ is a life long journey. To decide to avoid damnation is perhaps ground 0. Being kind to others for their own sake is actually rung 2. (rung 1 is being kind to others because of what they do for you). Rung 3 is to love God for what he can do for you (that is where salvation comes in). Some folks get stuck there. But then we move on to rung 4 where we begin to Love God for his own sake (contemplation). There are many steps from there along the scaffolding of love as one comes to know and love God as Jesus showed us. Eventually we arrive at (as Saints) loving creation and others for God’s sake. At that point we give back to the world and others because we see them as God does. We join with God’s will and find joy in it.

I agree with you that some can attain this bliss without necessarily knowing God through a church or other religious institution. God can speak through man’s heart. Or perhaps some are stuck at rung 2 and can go no father. We all have our own journey.

But for many of us, we need need the guidance of the church, of Jesus and the Saints in order to encourage us along this scaffold of love to move beyond rung 2.

Have pity on us, those who need help through church to attain the promises of Christ.

Hi!
…wow… quite confusing… so are you pro evil or pro good; Catholic or anti-Catholic; pessimist, negativist or realist…?

Maran atha!

Angel

Mike!
…let’s take it from your ending thought…

Atheist don’t believe in God–as you’ve noted there are a whole mess of people who do not believe. There’s nothing wrong with that. They are exercising their free will.

Why cannot God also exercise His Free Will?

Your premise suggest that if one does not believe and exercises his free will to commit evil God cannot but welcome that person into Eternal Bliss… well, if there’s no righteousness required for those who exercise their free will to reject God, how could God be duplicitous in requiring those who simply choose to exercise their free will to live in unrighteousness?

No rules for one man must, by default, demand no rules for all others!

Maran atha!

Angel

Hi!
Excellent post! :clapping::clapping::clapping:

…this is another of those anti-Catholic “teachings” that those who desire to circumvent Christ continue to embrace and propagate!

Maran atha!

Angel

Nice thought, but I don’t agree with the “one drop of blood would have been sufficient”.

The wages of sin is death. And because Christ was paying for our sins… the price was death.

Who said the non-religious are non-believers too? Just because they are not religious does not mean they still do not believe that God exists.

And also why must the only 2 destinations in the afterlife be either total bliss or total suffering? IF God can do anything, surely he could create a neutral place, not as good as heaven, but not as terrible as hell.

Hi, Mike!
…ever heard the expression “the water is wet?”

It can be said that water is warm, hot, cold… to state that the water is wet is an exercise in futility since “wet” is the condition of anything that comes in contact with water.

Being religious does not demonstrate Faith/Belief in God–atheist are religiously anti-deists. Immoral people are given to immorality religiously–most of them do not believe there’s a God.

Anyone who rejects God is anti-God. There’s not middle ground.

Conversely, there’s no middle ground for those who reject God and for those who “claim” God: both must accept the consequences of their choice.

What you are demanding of God is to let man do as he will–in your mind, God must make sure that He Loves and Saves man, regardless of man’s rejection of God’s Authority.

Maran atha!

Angel

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