The problem of evil in our world in light of a creator who is good has been written about many times and than some over the centuries. But for my own personal records I am going to share some of my thoughts on this (random and scattered though they may be).
One of the biggest obstacles to my ability to completely and fully trust in God is what I call the problem of collateral damage. Essentially I find it difficult if not completely impossible to reconcile a God who cares, loves, and was willing to die for this world with a God who will watch ( and choose not to stop) the suffering of every human whose existed and then toss the majority of those people onto the garbage heap of eternity (also know as hell).
And I know the typical Christian response is that man did this to himself and is suffering the consequences of sinning against God. My issue with that is the fact that (based on my understanding thus far) God created the world knowing exactly what would happen. Yet His hands are completely clean of the whole mess and mankind (along with Satan) is left holding the bag so to speak for everything thats gone wrong in the world. Convenient…for God anyway.
And the typical response here, that I have usually heard, is that God is God and He can do what He wants and who are we to question Him? Well some problems with that is the fact that He claims to be loving. (1 Cor. 13, 1 John, ect.) And from what I see of this world and from my understanding of eternity (according to the protestant churches I grew up in) is that God doesn’t really care about people. Not really. Not if we must go with the idea that God’s people are always in the minority and we should just be content that He saved any of us. I have a rather significant problem with the mindset that we shouldn’t really care about those poor suckers who don’t come to Christ. And even if we do care lucky for us we will stop caring once we’re in heaven so in the end just trust that eternally torturing most people who have ever lived is not a deal breaker when it comes to trusting God. And by deal breaker I mean not something that makes most people even consider that there could be anything wrong with this view of the world, humanity, eternal destinies and so on.
Ultimately I wonder why are we (most Christians) so okay with the fact that many if not most people will suffer in many ways in this life and most of those people will simply move on to an eternity where the sufferings of this world will (apparently) pale in comparison? And for all eternity God’s people will live happily ever after while most of humanity, including no doubt many loved ones, will be suffering never ending pain somewhere in the realm of God’s domain? (Really makes me wonder if I’m meant to become more like Christ ( loving, selfless, compassionate, merciful ect.) and I’m guessing I will be more fully these things once I’m before His throne … why will I be indifferent to the pain of billions of my fellow human beings for all of eternity?)
One criticism I expect to get for thinking these things is that I am just making God into what I want Him to be. Though I might deal with this more in another post I would simply say there isn’t anyone who isn’t somewhat guilty of this. (The more I’ve thought on this the more hell seems like its much more a reflection of sinful man’s love of vengeance and violence than God’s). And the more Christians I see who are ok with a God who is sadistic and suffers from multiple personality disorder the more I realize maybe my issues aren’t really with God to begin with. I think I’m just learning to untangle the unhealthy and even evil views people have made up about Him over the course of history.
In the end I guess it is sometimes just too hard to believe that so much collateral damage is worth whatever glory God is supposed to be getting from all of it.