FAQ: Why did God create evil? If God planned everything, why did He plan for really bad things to happen?
The “Problem of Evil” is a philosophical stumbling block for many people. Since the empirical evidence for creation, and therefore a Creator, is stunning (see prior discussions), many atheists attack biblical creation on philosophical grounds. The primary questions atheists pose are: “If God is real, and God created everything, why did He create evil?” “Why did a personal, loving God create a world in which evil exists?” “Why did God give man freedom to commit evil acts?” Atheists reason, “Surely, an all-knowing God of love would not allow evil to exist in His world.”
The response to the foregoing is summed up in God’s nature and His desire for mankind. Look at the logic: How could God allow for love without the potential for evil? God could have created robots that do nothing more than forever say, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” But such creatures would be incapable of a real love relationship. Love is a choice, and the Bible says God desires a real love relationship with His creation. Love is not real unless we have the ability to not love. One of God’s attributes is omniscience. God knew that in a world with choice, there would be much evil — to choose not to love is evil by definition. However, there would also be the capacity for real love. Philosopher Alvin Plantinga writes, “An all loving, all powerful, all knowing Being could permit as much evil as He pleased without forfeiting His claim to being all loving, so long as for every evil state of affairs He permits there is an accompanying greater good”. The potential for love out weighs the existence of evil, especially if evil can only exist for a time. Evil is a side effect of love. Suffering and death are a side effect of evil (Romans 5:12). God says in His Bible that this side effect is only for a time. Evil serves the limited purpose of establishing real love relationships between creation and the Creator, and evil will be done away with after that purpose is achieved. “And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever” (I John 2:17)