A couple of weeks ago, my brother and I shared the Gospel with you young skeptic who had a Catholic background. I ran into him again at the bus stops on Saturday (interestingly, bus stop evangelism can turn into a very relational ministry as you meet with and follow up with the same people).
I asked him, “Hey, I remember you – I met you a couple of weeks ago with my brother. What’s your name again?” He said, “X” (I will not use his real name). I said, “So, where did we leave off?” Not answering my question, and with a smirk, he said, “I saw Jesus in my cereal this morning.” I replied, also smiling, “Did he say anything to you?” He responded, “No, but he had a beard and he tasted good.”
There must be some evil in God
Getting more serious, and in a respectful manner, he told me, “Look, I think belief in God is a nice idea and there are some reasons that support it, but it’s not for me.” I said, “Why?” He said, “Well, you (referring to me) said that everyone is made in the image of God. And people have evil desires, therefore that makes God evil. I mean, we have evil desires and if God made us this way, there must be some evil in God.”
I gently told him,”Maybe I was not clear on this last time we talked, but the desire of man has been corrupted. God created everything good, but he created Adam and Eve with a free will. Now they had the potential to choose evil and they did. Do you think that still makes God evil?”
He said, “Yes. He knew it was going to happen and he didn’t prevent it; there must be some evil in him.” A little shocked by the logic of his argument I said, “Okay let me get this straight, you believe that because God created Adam and Eve with a free will that could potentially chose evil, that means that somehow God has evil in him.” He said, “yes.”
I sought to refute his argument
I sought to refute his argument saying that it is necessary for God to create beings with the potential to do evil, IF the created beings truly are to be free. It doesn’t necessarily follow that God is evil. God could have created something more like robots who could not choose evil. X thought that would be better. Of course, when an argument goes down this track we are dealing with utter arrogance: “I know better than God.”
Whatever the case, I argued: the fact that God created people with a free will, who could choose good or evil, simply means that God created creatures with a free will. It follows that this design is either wise or foolish. But as soon we enter into discussion about God, the Creator, it is unfitting for the creatures to judge him. Job learned this the hard way. God said to him,”Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” (Job 38:2-3). Romans 3:4 – “let God be true and every man a liar.”
The bus came . He had to go. I am so thankful to God for guiding me to X. I was especially encouraged that he had been thinking about our first talk. He recited some of the very truths I taught him before. For example, he said, “we are created in the image of God.”
May God cause his face to shine upon X and may he show him that “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). I hope and pray that I see him again.