One of the truly foolish arguments atheists sometimes use is the argument that “The God of the Bible (especially the Old Testament) is a murderous lunatic, not worthy of my worship, and a very evil God.” They base this logic on the fact that in various points in the Old Testament, God exercised judgment on mankind and destroyed various peoples by ending their Earthly life in some way.
They like to point to such events as the world-wide flood in Noah’s days, the Sodom and Gomorrah destruction, the various wars of Moses and the Israelites, a person being stoned for blaspheming God, etc.
They see that God did apparently “evil” things such as allowing people to die, and they twist this to say, “See, God is evil and crazy.” Some say, “How could I worship such an evil God?” But is their premise true? No, not at all. There are very serious logical fallacies in these arguments, and they misrepresent the truth of what the Bible actually teaches.
Is The God of the Bible (Jehovah/Yahweh) an Evil God? Is He Evil for Allowing Innocent People to Suffer?
It really shocks me that anyone really accepts these very weak arguments presented by atheists that God is somehow an evil God. How on Earth can anyone not see the truth that the Bible clearly teaches? How can people really not catch the little dirty “trick” that the atheist is using in this false argument?
I want to jump directly into the argument of “God is evil.” Again, people generally try to argue that God is evil based on various observations in life (or the Bible). Here are a summary of the “main” reasons why people say God is evil or crazy:
- People suggest God is evil because it is an observable fact that all people suffer (good or bad) in this life. Therefore, since some “seemingly innocent” people suffer, (the argument states), God is an evil and unjust God.
- People love to twist scripture and bring up events from the flood, or times in history when God executed a judgement on a nation, people, or person, and ended their human life. Since God allowed people to die in this way, and perhaps even an innocent child or woman, he must in fact be an evil God (or so the argument goes).
- If God is really all-knowing, and could have seen events in the future (such as Adam and Eve’s disobedience), and yet still allowed these things to happen, he is in fact a bad God (or so the argument goes).
It really disappoints me how people let 1 (or all) of the 3 faulty arguments above turn them away from a belief in God (or at least the God of the Bible). In fact, even famous evangelists that have walked away from God has blamed his reason on the first argument. Charles Templeton, a former evangelist (now deceased) who started his evangelistic career with the famous Billy Graham, in fact turned atheist (or at least agnostic) in his later life. What is the reason he cites for his loss of faith? The seemingly needless suffering that happens to innocent people (the first reason on the list above).
The first 2 arguments I listed above operate on the same faulty premise, and use “the trick” to convince people God surely must not exist, and if He does, He is in fact evil. So what is the “trick” that is being used here? It is the same trick that is used in almost every faulty argument, it uses only 1/2 of the truth, and conveniently “forgets to mention” the rest of the truth of what the Bible states. Let me elaborate on this trick in hopes that anyone that may read this very article never falls for the dirty trick of Satan again.
Revealing the “Trick” in the “God is Evil” Argument
The other 1/2 of the truth that this trick conveniently forgets to mention is the fact that death is not the end. God promises a great resurrection and not one single person who wants to be saved will perish. The ONLY people who will be punished in the lake of fire is the unrepentant sinners, who willfully rejected the free gift of salvation.
When someone dies on Earth, it is not the end of that person. This is a biblical teaching from the Old Testament to the New. God has yet to ever exercise “The Great Judgement” on anything or anyone (Satan, demons, evil, or the righteous). This is all being held until the end when all of the wicked appear before the great white throne. People who see someone die and think it was “not fair,” forget the fact that it isn’t the end! If it were truly the end, of course it wouldn’t be fair. But God himself says it isn’t the end!
So when someone says it is evil an innocent person died, or suffered in this life, they forget the whole part of death not being the end of that person. The fact is that God indeed will resurrect all of the wicked and punish them in eternal hell, and the righteous (by faith in Christ) merely step from this life into the presence of God. For the Bible declares:
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8
Let me illustrate this whole argument in a way that is easier to understand. Here is the “faulty” example most atheists present:
Innocent people suffer and even die, therefore, God is an evil God to allow this to happen.
See how that conveniently misses the other 1/2 of the truth, to make God sound really bad. Now let me rephrase the argument above to include the whole truth that the Bible teaches, and see if God sounds so evil as the first example:
Innocent people suffer and even die, however, God has promised to save the righteous by faith and grant eternal life in paradise, and punish the unrepentant wicked people in the lake of fire for eternity. He promises to give the righteous eternal life, and the evil punishment. Therefore, God is an evil God.
See how absolutely ridiculous the argument sounds when you include what the Bible actually teaches about it? This argument becomes useless to atheists, and absolutely silly to anyone who reads it. Who cares that we die (innocent or not)? It matters none whatsoever when we realize death is not the end, and God promises to give the righteous (by faith) eternal life, and all of the truly evil people (Stalin, Hitler) will be punished accordingly.
Let me re-do this entire argument and relate it to life so you can see first-hand how the trickery would be if they applied it to a real-life situation, and how deceptive this argument really is. I will use a man in this example for the atheists arguments, and use “The trick” in the same way. Watch how this works:
A man took an innocent woman, cut her body with a sharp scalpel, and then proceeded to remove her organs. Therefore, the man is an evil man.
See how the man looks so evil when “the trick” is used to only include 1/2 of the truth? I would say that man indeed seems pretty evil. Now watch what happens when we include the other 1/2 of the truth:
A man took an innocent woman, cut her body with a sharp scalpel, and then proceeded to remove her organs. The man did all of this, because she had cancer on them, and by removing the organs, he gives her longer life. Therefore, the man (who was a doctor) is an evil man.
See how that completely changes the whole thing when you include the other 1/2 of the truth? It makes the “evil man” argument look ridiculous.
In that very same way, God is in fact a loving God. While He may appear to be evil or unjust in that innocent people suffer and even die, when we include the whole message and reasoning, we see that God is loving, and far from evil! In fact, all other things are evil but God, and God is a righteous and holy God.
What About an Innocent Child Dying? Is that Fair for God to Do?
Of course we all die, whether we are good or bad in this life. That is a command of God that we shall all die since Adam and Eve. For the scriptures declare:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
God has set up a dynamic in life, giving us free will and time on this Earth. Some of us live long lives, some of us live short lives. We all have eternity, however. The Bible makes it clear we will live forever, the only question is where.
Some people believe, some do not. Some die terrible deaths at young ages, some die peacefully in their sleep at age 100. However, we all die, do we not? Who is exempt from death? Not one of us. Death and taxes eventually get us all in the end.
What happens on this Earth means nothing compared to eternity. Whether you are 9 months old when you die, or 99 years old makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. Let me illustrate this using mathematics.
What is 1 plus infinity (or eternity)? Is 1 year plus eternity any greater than 5 years plus eternity? Or 90 years plus eternity? What is the answer?
The answer is that eternity is eternity. Adding a number to eternity becomes illogical, because there is never an end to eternity (or infinity). It only sounds like a greater number in the constraints of our own minds (which is why children frequently use the 1+infinity argument). Yet ask any mathematician, and you will quickly see that in fact any number plus infinity, still equals infinity. So 1+infinity=infinity. 9,000+ infinity=infinity.
So then, we can use this truth of mathematics and life (eternity) to realize that in fact whether a child is killed at only 2 months old, or whether a man dies at 120, it makes no difference in eternity. They still get eternal life. They get the same amount of existence for eternity. How then, is anyone cheated?
Life is but a vapor for us all. We all live, we all die. Death is not pleasant for anyone, whether you do it in your sleep or if you get struck in the head or blown up, or ravaged by cancer. It doesn’t matter if you are 1 or 101 years old. In any situation, it happens to us all. The cause of death or age of death is inconsequential. The same thing that happened to a child in a war against the Israelites (death), or a child in the flood (death), will also happen to you and me.
Not only that, but the same thing that happened to Jesus (the resurrection), also happens to us all. While we all die on Earth, we all also live for eternity. Jesus died so that we no longer have to fear death. This is why the scriptures declare:
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1 Corinthians 15:55
When you can actually understand what I just said above about infinity/eternity, then you will quickly realize that no injustice has been done to a child who’s life is taken early by God for some reason. We all get the same amount of existence in eternity. And God, being a just and loving God, grants us eternity in paradise if we turn from sin to faith in Christ. On the other hand, for those rapists, murderers, and evil people who never repent, God will bring justice on them.
Remember, even if God allowed a child to perish in Sodom, or the flood, or an invasion or war by the Israelites, or whatever–that child merely stepped from this life into the presence of God. The Bible indicates that children who die before the age of accountability will inherit the kingdom of God.
And furthermore, what is this life compared to the presence of God? I remember hearing a story of a boy who lived in the slums. He was beated every day by an abusive father, and he ate food from a garbage can. One day, the boy went missing, and all of the village mourned for him. Years later, a person who used to live in the slums found the boy, who was now a much older man. He had been found by a wealthy couple, who took the boy in, gave him an education, and let him live in their mansion.
Suddenly, the person realized that while the village mourned, the boy had obviously been much better off the whole time.
In this same way, it is devastating when we lose loved ones. But when an innocent child dies, or a Christian dies, they are merely leaving the slums to visit their heavenly father in His mighty mansion. Jesus said,
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
So to say God is unjust for allowing a poor young child to die, is not very accurate when the whole picture is considered. Infinity is infinity, we all have the same time. And just because they died on Earth, doesn’t mean God won’t be a just God in judgement. God is the only one with the right to take a life, because only God has the right to give a life back.
Of course, it can be very devastating to us when we lose a loved one or young child. My wife’s sister committed suicide as a young teen, and it devastated our whole family. A neighbor of my mother’s lost a very sweet boy to a rare disease when he was just a few years old. These events are so sad, and it is normal to mourn and feel a sense of devastation and loss. But even in the midst of our deepest grief, we must remember not to become so carried away like a person with no hope. We have a mighty God, and we have a hope:
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13
Furthermore, in those very rare times when God allowed a child to be killed, we must assume there was a valid and logical reason. God sees things we don’t see, and He knows things we don’t know:
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The reasons above are valid enough (that death isn’t the end, that all people get the same time in eternity, etc.). But even more so, we don’t know why God may have allowed a child to die in the Bible. Perhaps a child had some crazy disease, and God didn’t want that child to infect the Israelites. Or maybe it was just more easy to allow that child’s life to be ended by God, or else it would have suffered hardships, or other problems in life. Or perhaps the child would have grown up and became a rebel. We don’t know, but we should trust God.
Even Abraham trusted God’s love so much, he didn’t even question God when he was asked to offer up his son Isaac. That is the best testimony of God’s love and justice, that even a man would offer his only son of the promise at the command of God, knowing that God himself could bring him right back to life if necessary to fulfill his promise of making a nation of Abraham:
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac—he who had received the promises was about to offer his unique son in sacrifice, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
We don’t know all of the possible reasons why God may have allowed some innocent to perish at times. And we must not forget the other gazillion verses in the Bible that show us that without a doubt God is loving, kind, fair, and just. When Abel was killed, it hurt God. When the Israelites were slaves, God knew it wasn’t right. God has always been a loving and righteous God, despite atheists attempts to isolate a few verses, and provide an argument based on 1/2 of the truth.
What About God’s Omniscience or “All Knowing?” Doesn’t That Prove He is Evil?
Down to the 3rd major argument, which is that if God knows the future, why did he allow certain events to transpire. Or why did God even create Adam and Eve if he knew they would disobey? In other words, why would a loving God allow evil to happen, if He knew that evil would happen. Why not stop it?
Even though humans sinned, God allowed their sin so He could reveal His love and mercy.
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Also, we must keep in mind that even though God may know humans will act sinfully, He allows us to exercise that free will. God gave us choices (with obvious limits). Those choices include living in a manner pleasing to God, or rejecting that in pursuit of sin. He does this for many reasons.
First, as the scripture above pointed out, God is longsuffering (which means patient) with us all. Why? So He can display His love and mercy. We’re all sinners. I thank God He has been very patient with me as I continue to struggle against the flesh, and strive to walk in the spirit. I’ve sinned much in my life, praise God He has had mercy on me.
Next, we must remember that many people who are wicked sinners now, may eventually come to faith in Christ and be saved. Jesus gave a great parable on this point, which shows God allows the sinners (weeds) to persist for a little while with the wheat (saved), but will reserve the total judgment until the end:
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“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?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 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.’”
In the parable above, Jesus illustrates that an “enemy,” meaning Satan, has come to plant “weeds” among the good crop. God will have a great harvest one day, and will wait patiently until that day to bring punishment on the wicked, and to grant life to the saved.
Conclusion: Is God an Evil God After All? Or Is God Loving, Fair, and Just?
Given the above reasoning, it becomes quite clear that any atheist’s arguments fall flat on their face when they try to attack the character or motives of God. God is loving and holy, and this is abundantly clear all throughout the Bible.
Only a person who is “tricked” by the fallacious arguments would think otherwise. So please, never trust a fallacious argument against God without considering the WHOLE TRUTH, and not just 1/2 of it.
You don’t have to believe in God, you don’t have to like God, you don’t have to follow God. But to make a lie or to believe a lie that God is evil by twisting events and only telling 1/2 of the truth is utter deceit.
God is righteous, God is holy. He puts up with sinners like you and me. God wants to save you from your sins so badly, He sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross. Have you placed your trust in Christ? If not, today is the day of salvation.