Why Does God Allow It?

by Jim Denney, adapted from
Clear, Straight Answers to 20 of Life’s Most Perplexing Questions

In the 1981 movie Time Bandits, the satanic Evil Genius (played by David Warner) wreaks enormous carnage and destruction on the world. After the smoke clears and the dust settles and the Evil Genius is vanquished by the Supreme Being (Sir Ralph Richardson), it’s time to figure out the moral to the movie.

A young boy questions the Supreme Being about all the death and devastation: “You let all those people die—just to test your creation?”

“Yes, you really are a clever boy.”

“Why did they have to die?”

The Supreme Being shrugs. “You might as well say, ‘Why do we have to have evil?’”

“Yes, why do we have to have evil?”

“Ah! I think it’s something to do with free will.”


We live in a world in which free will runs riot. Evil people kill and maim and torture their fellow human beings, yet no bolt of lightning crashes down from heaven to stop the evildoers or punish them.

Atheists say the existence of evil proves the impossibility of God. The argument goes like this:

  1. If God exists, then meaningless pain and evil cannot exist; a good and powerful God would not allow it.
  2. We know that meaningless pain and evil do exist.
  3. Therefore, God does not exist.

Sounds logical. Yet we, being limited human beings, cannot possibly know with certainty that God doesn’t have profoundly good reasons for giving us the terrible gift of free will. Suffering that seems meaningless and pointless to us now might have meaning in the eternal scheme of things.

In People of the Lie, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck writes, “Free will is the ultimate human reality. . . . Evil is the inevitable concomitant of free will, the price we pay for our unique human power of choice.”

When we look at the history of wars, slavery, genocide, violence, and other assorted horrors, we find ourselves wishing God would revoke our terrible freedom and end all this slaughter and suffering. Wouldn’t it be better to be robots than to endure a world of such horrors? Yet God refuses to violate human freedom. He will not force us to be good, even to prevent a holocaust. 


As Christians, we know that Jesus, God in human flesh, has entered into our suffering. He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He took into Himself the very worst agony that evil men can inflict on a fellow human being. And He calls us to take up our cross and follow Him, becoming conformed to His likeness, accepting the injustice and sorrow that this world inflicts, and becoming Christlike wounded healers in a sick and dying world.

There is an old parable that underscores our responsibility as Christians:

A man goes to God in prayer and complains about all the suffering and injustice in the world. “God,” he says, “why do You allow this to go on? Why don’t You send help?”

“I did send help,” God replies. “I sent you.”


Answers-SoulANSWERS TO
Clear, Straight Answers to 20 of Life’s Most Perplexing Questions
by Jim Denney 

(Kindle Edition: $2.99)

“Read this book and save yourself a lifetime of searching and wondering. The answers you seek are all right here!”
Jack Canfield, author of Dare to Win and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series

“Grab an arm-load of Answers to Satisfy the Soul! Buy one for yourself, one to lend out, and a dozen to give as gifts. You’ve got a lot of friends who need this book!”
Pat Williams, author of Character Carved in Stone

“If you are on a quest for success, happiness, love, meaning, or God, this book is for you. Whatever you seek in life, Answers to Satisfy the Soul will speed you on your journey.”
John C. Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

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