We know God is there because of the evil in the world

In the 1990’s Romeo Dallaire, a Canadian career soldier, was posted to Rwanda in charge of UN forces. During his time there Dallaire witnessed the mutual slaughter of Hutu and Tutsi whilst the international community stood by. Over the course of 100 days he saw over 800,000 people being killed. Dallaire’s experiences left him distraught and destroyed. He was eventually discharged from the military suffering from PTSD.

In his autobiographical account of his experiences in Rwanda, ‘Shake Hands with the Devil’, Dallaire, who was brought up as a Catholic, makes the following comment, ‘I know there is a God because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know there is a devil, and therefore I know there is a God.’ It is a striking comment about the nature of evil. Very often the modern mindset is how can there be a God if there is evil and suffering in the world? Dallaire puts the question in a rather different way. If there is evil in the world how can there not be a God?

It is an important question. For evil and suffering are only a problem if there is a God. If there is no God, no arbiter of justice in our universe, then evil and suffering are not a problem-they are normal. When we witness evil then in our hearts we cry out for justice because we know that the world is not the way it is supposed to be. We long for justice and it is God alone who can offer that justice. As Dallaire’s experiences in Rwanda show the great liberal idea of the goodness of man, an international community of nations working together for the good of mankind is just a myth. Instead nations led by sinful individuals are driven by self-interest. Rwanda, like other acts of genocides shows the reality of the rottenness of the human heart where machete wielders and passive politicians equally have blood on their hands.

There is no hope for humanity from within the human race. Our only hope is the God who breaks in from the outside. The God who gives a second Adam. A new head of humanity who brings with Him a kingdom of righteousness, holiness, justice and joy.

Why is there evil in the world? The explanation of that evil ultimately lies beyond our understanding. Indeed it may do so forever. But we know that God is not indifferent to that evil. Instead He gave His one and only Son Jesus into the hands of wicked men who put Him to death, so that by that death He might overcome the evil one and all who live under his rule.

Sadly as long as our world continues there will be other genocides. Because genocides occur because of the evil that lies in the heart of man and only God can deal with that evil. It is He and not the UN or any other organisation or individual who will bring justice to the earth.

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6 Responses to “We know God is there because of the evil in the world”

  1. DaveK1979 Says:

    “Why is there evil in the world? The explanation of that evil ultimately lies beyond our understanding.”

    Not really. In God – ALL THINGS ARE. ALL THINGS ORIGIN IN GOD. Even John says that in the first few verses of his account. “In the beginning was the Word…” Rings a bell ? Go look it up. That’s an inevitable explanation for the presence of anything – including evil.

    However, this has another disturbing consequence. If you believe John’s words, then you believe that EVERYTHING roots from God. Well then… where did God build this all from ? Does the Bible say there was 545456455353256766574345E+45645763453463 tons of material right next to God in the beginning so he could start building his universe, mankind and so on ?

    NO. It’s his Word and the Word is Him what is all around and most importantly – IN YOU. You are part of God (not all of God) and this sole truth creates the path to understand the biggest controversies of the Bible. Free will vs God’s will ? You can never hope to solve this problem without understanding the roots, the Beginning.

    Your every move and thought is directed by God, but you still have free will. ->> Your will equals God’s will. ->> The next logical step would be to postulate that you equals God. This is however not true if you are still who you believe you are. DaveK1979 is only a name and a few billions molecules. The name and those molecules will die one day. What’s left is the true You. In that way, yes, You equals God. Try to find a way to You and you will start experiencing Life instead of life.

    Evil is an inevitable part of this world. Kingdom of Heaven after Jesus’ arrival, warmly welcome as it is, is only an isolation from evil, “the good side of God”, but not the end of it.

  2. sibbesian Says:

    Thanks for the comment Dave although I pretty much disagree with all of it. Your comments are what Christians would identify as pantheism which is a position that is explicitly rejected in the Bible. God is eternal and as you point out matter is not. What God creates is not an extension of Himself but exists outside Himself. Furthermore whilst God permits evil to exist in the world He is not the author of evil. This kind of yin and yang teaching does not belong to Christianity.
    I can see your line of reasoning but it is not a Christian one.

  3. DaveK1979 Says:

    I’m not saying it is a Christian POW. I strongly believe there is a level above Christianity/Buddhism/Islam/Taoism… There is something that connects us more than religion, therefore it’s more important.
    And that is our being humans.

    Most Christians readily nod to the idea that all people are God’s sons/daughters, however are very quick to add that we need to approach and change “the others” into Christians. Billions of people lived and died on this Earth before Christ arrived. What will happen to them ? Did we have any chance to convert them into Christians ? Will they be left in the lake of fire because they didn’t embrace Christ ? :-))) That is how God treats his sons ?

    Most assuredly NOT.

    Christianity is one of many viewpoints. Universal truth shines through every religion to some degree, but to be able to see beyond is what is needed.

    Pantheism ? It’s not what I meant by far.

    But THE question is: Would you abandon Truth for dogma ?

    Is it more important for you to stay labeled Christian (meaning follower of earthly church and all the dogmas it created, while rejecting universal truths) rather than labeled Heretic (meaning a person that actually follows the rules, because they are a rational part of life, but hasn’t stopped asking questions) ? God sees right into your heart and it will not matter how good you are at naming yourself Christian but how earnest you are in seeking Him (and in that process you can’t but follow what Christ said or how he lived). The difference is apparent I hope.

    God is eternal and I believe in that, so why are you bringing up this point ? Am I saying otherwise somewhere ?

    Permitting evil to exist or being author of evil is a play with words. Why are you not commenting on the facts John brings up in his first verses ??? The truth couldn’t be explained clearer. How hard to understand is that ? ALL THINGS origin in God. FULL STOP. Go figure out the rest.

    Yin and yang teaching doesn’t only belong to Christianity, it is a part of it. Give love so you may receive it. Reap what you sow. These are just simple observations of that rule in practice. In fact, without yin/yang policy none of the stuff of the past few billion years would happen. Check out magnetism and how that principle cleverly governs the universe.

    You can’t explain why God is looking at the suffering of his children from the classical church education. You can’t explain free will. You can’t explain zillions of controversies in the Bible. You might name yourself Christian and point out how many inconsistencies there are between my and your POW, but the point is elsewhere.

    The whole point is in seeking God with the whole heart, not stopping where church-Christianity denies the answers and have the courage to step forward, losing nothing but gaining all.

    Inevitably one day you will realize that Truth is much bigger than religion.

  4. sibbesian Says:

    Dave thanks for a thorough reply. In the first instance orthodox Christianity does not argue that we are all the children of God and that he is our father. Rather we are all alienated from God because of our sin and it is only through coming to God through Jesus Christ that we receive the rights and privileges of sonship.
    Secondly, you state that ‘Universal truth shines through every religion to some degree, but to be able to see beyond is what is needed.’ Is that simply your point of view or is it empirically proven? Do Satanism and Christianity both point to truth? Do animism which recognises no God and Christianity which is centred on God both point us to truth?
    Thirdly, THE question as far as I can see is what is your authority for making the statements that you make?
    Fourthly, I believe that truth and orthodox Christian dogma are co-terminus.
    Fifthly, John 1:3 does state that God made everything but is ‘evil’ in that sense a substance. The Bible does not seek to explain the origins of evil other than to assure us that God is not the author of evil.
    Six, you state ‘Permitting evil to exist or being author of evil is a play with words.’ No it is not. There is a significant difference. For example God allowed wicked me to put His Son on the cross. It was fully their action. But he permitted it for the eternal salvation of all who believe in him.
    Seven, yin and yang are not part of the Christian faith. Ultimately the Christian faith is about grace- God bringing to sinful people such as me a salvation that we do not deserve.
    Eighth, I already accept that the truth is much bigger than religion. Because as a Christian I believe in Jesus who said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the father except through me.’
    For me Dave, the crucial point in all that you say lies in the issue of authority. Where does the authority for your worldview come from?
    Thanks for the stimulating conversation.

  5. DaveK1979 Says:

    Thanks for your reply.

    1. Orthodox Christianity does not argue that specific point indeed and that’s what I said above as well. It’s the next step, to make everyone a Christian, that adds a taste of bitterness into it. As if the people of other faiths didn’t share the same breath of life our Father has given us and were somehow doomed if they didn’t accept/hear of Jesus.

    2. Well – “empirically proven”… There are probably very few things about spiritual life you can “empirically prove”. If it wasn’t so, we would all share one faith already.

    3. To THE question: My authority is the same as yours or anyone else’s, I can speak for what I have experienced and learned about life and universe. I try to keep my mind open, I’m studying, asking questions, praying, looking for answers, eventually getting them. I don’t accept blind faith and dogmata as something I should follow without questioning. I’ve seen too many people who don’t ask questions anymore and that is frightening. I’ve seen others who see the answers clearly and are too stubborn and/or agenda-driven to leave their crumbling faith. And I’ve found a whole lot of answers and obviously want to share them with other people.

    4. You might as well think again. One example: Sabbath. Nowhere in the whole Bible did Jesus cease to keep Sabbath for Sunday. Yet that’s one of those orthodox Christian dogmata. Most of those dogmata have their roots in the aftermath of the council of Laodicea, banning a whole lot of biblical books, changing Sabbath for Sunday… Diligent knowledgeable fathers with a whole lot of – you might like this – authority are now, after 17 centuries, still messing with the Truth.

    5. He is who He is. All qualities are in God. Good and bad. If it wasn’t so, God wouldn’t be omniscient, as evil would be completely outside Him or completely impossible to understand for Him and He wouldn’t be able to calculate it into His plan. If it wasn’t so, there would be no evil in the first place. If it wasn’t so, God would have no control over evil and Jesus’ mission would have been a failure before it had even started. You might argue the Bible doesn’t explain the origin of evil and obviously John doesn’t say “God is evil” as well as he doesn’t say “God is not evil”. He simply states “all that is has its origin in God”. Not to forget God is a sustainer of evil as well. We might start a wee bit lengthy discussion on the topic: “Is it greater evil to create Evil or sustain it ?”.

    6. Are you wicked ? Were you born sinful ? I can’t recall the exact moment I signed my own birth to this planet, but I’m sure if I did I didn’t choose to be wicked or sinful. However I am sinful, as a consequence of not fully realizing my place in the whole picture, not having enough information on life itself, put together – not being like Christ, the model to which we all should aspire.

    7. If I see correctly I added an example there. Quite obviously yin and yang are not mentioned in the Bible. Airplanes are not mentioned there as well. Yin and yang is just another name for the balance of forces. That’s actually the stuff that keeps you sitting while typing your response instead of taking you down to the Earth’s core or smashing you right into the next galaxy.

    8. And except a few billion people that realized Christ’s qualities in their life without even knowing anything about Christ, who will precede many an astute Christian into Jesus’ Kingdom.

    The crucial point: see point 3.

  6. sibbesian Says:

    Dave thanks for another detailed reply although I suspect we are occasionally writing at cross purposes. Since the length of the list of issues raised by both of us is growing quite lengthy I’ll highlight this one of authority again. My baseline is that as a Christian I accept the authority of the Bible. I accept that as God’s authoritative revelation and it thus becomes the measure of what we might know about God. It also becomes the foundation of whatever dogma I accept. So for example I accept the Christian dogma of the Trinity but not the Catholic dogma of Mary. Hence I do not think I believe things blindly but examine them in accordance with Scripture.
    Now my point with regard to what you state is that you make statements such as ‘Universal truth shines through every religion to some degree, but to be able to see beyond is what is needed.’ Now against what criteria can I judge that to be a true or false statement? Or is your authority nothing more than your opinion.
    I’m glad you state that ‘I try to keep my mind open, I’m studying, asking questions, praying, looking for answers, eventually getting them.’ God’s promise is that if we seek him we shall find him when we search for him with all our hearts. Indeed he tells us that he is not very far from us.
    I still think this issue of authority is a crucial one with regard to the ideas you raise.

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