There are children starving in Africa. 3-year-olds are raped and then murdered. Millions of people in the world have cancer, HIV, and other diseases for which we have no cure. Gasoline is over $4 a gallon. I can’t believe in a God that would allow all these things to happen in the world.
Have you ever heard an argument like this, or some variation thereof? We live in a screwed up world, there is no argument about that. I believe in working to find a cure for AIDS, feeding the hungry of the world, and any other humanitarian cause you can think of. But none of these problems can be put together in a equation that equals God does not exist. God made a world that was perfect (read Genesis chapters 1-3). There was no cancer, AIDS, measles, mumps, polio, terrorists, rapists, child molesters, pedophiles, Michael Jackson, etc. There was perfection. The man and woman lived in perfect marital bliss, and the garden provided for their every need. They had personal contact with God who spoke with them face to face. Sin is what changed the state of man and the earth. Sin entered into the world, and all of creation was cursed by God for it. We are fallen people and live in a fallen world. Are all of those ailments listed punishment from God? No, I don’t think so. I think all the evil we see in the world today, including the suffering of the innocent, is what happens to mankind when allowed to go our own course. It is our natural state to lower ourselves to the utmost levels and disgust and debauchery. We did this to ourselves, our fellow man, our world. This is not what God created.
Many athesits, and believers alike at times, think God should be more of a genie in a bottle. Since God hasn’t POOF! cured aids, or POOF! ended world hunger, then God is either A) a cruel, vicious tyrant who gets off watching us suffer, or B) he does not exist. God doesn’t show up the way we want every time we ask him to and grant us our wishes, so we decide he’s either powerless to do anything about it or doesn’t care to; or does nothing because he’s not real. The truth is, all our suffering grieves God greatly. He knows each time a sparrow falls from the sky, so you can be assured he knows exactly how many children live in hunger each day, how many die from unclean drinking water; in other words, God knows where it hurts. It hurts him too.
Not showing up with miracle cures for each one of society’s ills is one more category that could be included in God not giving us a sign. Just because he doesn’t jump into action each time we click his remote, doesn’t mean he is weak, cruel, or imaginary. The Bible isn’t Aladdin’s Lamp that grants wishes; it is God’s revelation to mankind of his grace, love and mercy. God will take vengeance on the evil people of the world, in his time. All wrongs will be made right, and the faithful will receive their reward. If that seems unfair to you, try to stretch the limits of your imagination and remember that you breath the air he gave you, and drink the water that appeared at his spoken command. It’s his game, and he made the rules. The reason many people do not believe in God is that he doesn’t obey their every whim. The problem is compounded by Christians that tells us he does grant them their every whim, and entice people to choose Christ because he makes their lives easier.