The Problem of Evil in Nature


Sermonette 12-27-03 Ann Arbor, Michigan Eric Snow UCG



One day when I walking near the Michigan State campus some years ago, I spotted a cat who had caught a squirrel.The cat allowed the poor squirrel to walk away some, and then pounced on him again.Then the cat allowed him to move away again, just to jump on him again.


Why do I tell you about this incident today?


Charles Darwin, the modern father of the theory of evolution, wrote what may be the second most influential book ever written, On the Origin of Species, published in 1859.The influence his theory has had on our society is massive and inescapable, for he made it possible for the people who run America and other Western countries to ignore God when making decisions.We wouldnít be discussing gay marriage today, for example, if Darwinís theory had been rejected.What provoked Darwin to come up with a theory that basically denied God had to be the Creator?As weíll see, he had a REAL problem emotionally and morally with God allowing animals to prey on each other, such as cats cruelly playing with mice before killing them.


So how do we resolve Darwinís problem here?Did God intend from the moment of creation that some animals would feed upon others?Did God make some physical or anatomical structures of animals somehow less perfect than others?Do these imperfections prove God doesnít care or isnít almighty or didnít know everything?


But actually God created a world in which all was good, but then cursed it due to human sin.He will end all these problems one day.


S.P.S.The apparent evils and imperfections in the animal world that scientists have used to argue for the theory of evolution are only temporary intruders, not permanent residents, and God intends to eliminate them one day.


Letís consider this problem of evil in nature more detail and why it matters to us Christians.


Darwin had a real problem with natureís imperfections.He reasoned that an almighty, all-knowing, all-loving God couldnít have made the worldís animals as we find them.In particular, he had an emotional problem with animals being predators on other animals.ďI cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created [a species of parasitic wasps] with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.ĒHe had a similar problem with cats playing with mice they caught before killing them, as I mentioned earlier.


These kinds of arguments are actually crucial to the theory of evolution because evolutionists often attack some idea of God they have in order to support their theory.


Cornelius Hunter, Darwinís God:Evolution and the Problem of Evil


But is their idea of God correct?Is it Scriptural?Evolutionists here actually are attacking a God of their own imaginations, not the God of the Bible.Their God is actually the stripped-down rationalistic, modernistic God of liberal Christians who didnít take Scripture very seriously.They didnít like much a God who punished, got angry, or who did miracles.They didnít like an intervening Jehovah.So once we show that the God of Scripture is different from the one they are attacking, their arguments lose much of their force.


Genesis 3:14-19


Conflict set up between man and beast (snakes here).Women, as descendents of Eve, suffer from her sin physically today when they give birth.MSU associate professorís complaints about S-curve of human back making birth more painful for women.Ground cursed as a result of Adamís sin, why work unpleasant in part.


Hence, nature as we see it today is not perfect or ideal, yet evolutionists, in their arguments, assume the Biblical God would have made it perfect as we see it now.


Letís consider what the Bible has to say about animals that eat other animals, or carnivores.Will they always do this?


Isa. 11:6-9


During the millennium, God will restore His creation to being more like it was originally intended to be.Animals preying on each other wonít be a permanent condition of His world.The Edenic curse will start being removed.


God paid the cost for allowing evil to exist:His Son, who was God, died for all the evils men have committed against each other.So God allowed evil, true, but then paid the ultimate price for doing so.


Evolutionists who complain about God creating imperfections or evils in nature should argue with the Christian God, not some generic deistic God of the philosophers, a god who doesnít get angry and who doesnít do miracles, certainly not a God who died to save humanity from its sins.Our God died on a cross because of the evils we committed out of our free choice.


Is it scientific to make arguments against God based on nature, but unscientific to make arguments for God based on nature?This is a key inconsistency of evolutionists philosophically.For evolution is about philosophy, not science.Evolutionists complain about natural theology being used to prove God, but use it to disprove God.


If evolutionists attack and eliminate God based on His allowing evil in nature to exist, they canít then say evil doesnít exist.That is, they use a system of moral absolutes to eliminate God, but then (normally) erect a system of moral relativism for people after getting rid of Him.But if indeed all is relative, and there are no moral absolutes, you canít complain about parasitic wasps eating the living bodies of caterpillars or about cats playing with mice as ďimmoral.ĒIf indeed all is relative, and no evil therefore exists, you canít condemn God for allowing evil to exist.


Luke 13:1-5


Regardless of what we think about God allowing evil to exist, itís our job to repent or else perish.We like to think we can act like Job, and judge and convict God because of bad things that have happened to us or others.But actually the shoe is on the other foot:God has all the power and knowledge, not us, so we had better learn to conform.


Conclusion:God has allowed evil to exist in nature, but itís only a temporary condition that soon will end.If we question God and doubt him because He has allowed evil to exist, letís suppose Jesus could stand before us right now while He was being crucified.Suppose He was asked, ďWhy did you allow all these evil things to happen?ĒSuppose He responded by pulling a stake out of his wrist or ankle, and said, ďIf I as God am dying for you, wonít you have faith in my ultimate love for you?Do you really know enough now to judge and condemn Me?Repent, wait, and have faith, and you will be rewarded.Ē