The argument goes something like this. Humans are inherently good. Therefore it is unjust for bad things to happen to them. Why doesn’t God do something?
But the bad things being done—the bullying, ridiculing, greed, and child abuse—are being done by humans. What is God supposed to do?
We don’t have two kinds of humans. The Hellish and the Heavenly. God can either wipe out all of us or He can remove our ability to choose. Either one will work. As one author observes, “They might as well say that since we are so good, God shouldn’t allow us to be so bad.”1
In his book, The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis goes to the heart of this argument and shows it for what it really is. Sadness. He writes,
“Humility, after the first shock, is a cheerful virtue: it is the high-minded unbeliever, desperately trying in the teeth of repeated dissolutions to retain his ‘faith in human nature’, who is really sad. I have been aiming at an intellectual, not an emotional, effect: I have been trying to make the reader believe that we actually are, at present, creatures whose character must be, in some respects, a horror to God, as it is, when we really see it, a horror to ourselves. This I believe to be a fact: and I notice that the holier a man is, the more fully he is aware of that fact.”2
Not many people seem to be aware of this fact. What’s that tell us?
“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” – Ecclesiastes 7:20
- Randy Alcorn, If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Multnomah press, 2009), 73.
- C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: HaperCollinsPublishers, 1996), 62.