Does some physical evil come as a direct result of our own free choice or the free choice of others around us
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Free Choice, Physical evils, Free will
- Ankerberg: We need to slow this down for people, that some physical evil does come directly from our own free choices. We shouldn’t blame God for that. We can see it. If we overeat and we get fat, we can’t say, “Hey, God’s got a problem here.” Alright? We made that choice, and He allowed us to make that choice. He allows us to make other choices. And some of them do cause us health problems. If we’re “A” kind of personalities and we’re flying all over the country and we’re doing all kinds of things,… we just had a friend who died recently because of his lifestyle. But he chose that. So you can’t say, “Well, listen, God somehow caused this thing.” We bring these things on ourselves. So that’s number one. Number two is, some physical evils come to us indirectly. We don’t choose it ourselves, but yeah, we might have parents – you had a dad who was an alcoholic, right?
- Geisler: Right.
- Ankerberg: So, tell us a little bit about what happened to you.
- Geisler: I grew up in poverty and my parents used to fight. My father would get drunk and come home drunk and the kids would be screaming and fighting. And so the consequences of his choices were found on us in terms of lack of proper food and clothes and so forth. And we do the same to other people by our decisions. Also, there are free choices that directly cause influence on others, and there are those that indirectly cause influence on others. I would daresay if you took those four – directly on myself; directly on others; indirectly on myself; and indirectly on others – you could account for maybe 90 percent of all the physical evil in the universe. So, what about the other 20 percent? Well, one…
- Ankerberg: Before you go there, tell me a little bit more of what you mean. I was thinking of something like, hey, there’s a lot of people that have the freedom to drink, so they kill a lot of people who weren’t drinking just because they’re driving drunk.
- Geisler: Right.
- Ankerberg: Alright. That’s one of those indirect things.
- Geisler: Exactly.
- Ankerberg: And again, it’s not something that God did, but it’s a result of giving all of us free choice. Now we’re starting to harm each other. Give me another illustration along that line.
- Geisler: Well, we can all think of illustrations along that line – somebody is aggressive in warfare, take Saddam Hussein, and so he’s killing off other people…
- Ankerberg: Torturing innocent children.
- Geisler: Torturing innocent children. You say, “Well, how can God allow innocent children to be tortured?” God didn’t torture them, an evil person called Saddam Hussein tortured those people. Or take the 3,000 people in the Trade Center building. They were innocent people. All they were was “there” that day, you know. But some wicked terrorists caused that. And look at the indirect effect it had on our economy and people who are out of jobs and all the other things, the mass of things, the network of things that come from just these evil actions.