An atheist said a while ago something like, “The rape of just one child shoots your religion all to hell.” He of course was referring to the idea that a loving God would never allow something like that to happen and if something like that does happen, then obviously no God exists.
People who work as counsellors know beyond doubt that for there to be any improvement in a bad situation, the bottom must be reached. The situation must either get worse or the person must somehow become aware of how bad the situation really is. The situation must be clearly untenable and indefensible to the individual before a decision to improve will be made. Some people of course must hit a lower bottom than others. Some people die before that bottom is reached.
That seems to be the case with the human race in general. All of us are on a downward slide into depravity. Whether it’s our own sinfulness or the rot that we observe in the larger community, all of us have a bottom; a place where we become so disgusted that we say, “Enough! No more. I’m turning this life around.” For Christians we reach a point where we repent of our corrupt nature. We agree with God that our moral situation is hopeless and we beg for forgiveness and for help to change. And as is shown by empirical evidence, we then go out into the world and attempt to right the wrongs that we see. Be it homeless shelters, hospitals, schools, food distribution centres, etc. etc. where ever Christianity goes, help for the helpless closely follows.
Atheists of course are still at the stage where they believe that "Ya, there are problems but it's not me. It's someone else's fault." In fact, atheists are forced by their own creed that says, “I don’t need God in order to be good,” to deny the evil that is present in their hearts. Oh sure atheists notice when the religious screw up but beyond that they really can’t see anything wrong. In fact, so great is their bigotry and their commitment to what they erroneously think are acts of self-preservation that atheists actually believe that it’s religion and not the human heart that is the root of most of our problems. Again, it can be empirically shown that atheists, by and large, do nothing to improve the condition of their own lives or those of the people around them. When atheists do come together to raise a large amount of money, do they use it to feed the hungry children? Nope. They use the money to put signs on buses to promote atheism. Ya, right. You don’t need God to be good.
For a long time it’s been believed that the presence of evil was the greatest refutation for the reality of God. Well, it’s no logical refutation of the existence of God but it certainly causes a disconnect in our ideas of how we think God should be and act.
But isn’t the presence of manmade suffering also the greatest refutation against the idea that “I don’t need God in order to be a good person?” After all, if there really is no God, then the rape of a child, the murder of thousands of people in crimes of passion or robbery, the starvation and death of thousands of children on a daily basis, sexual slavery of untold thousands of children, genocide and on and on and on is OUR fault. We tolerate it. We encourage it. We benefit financially from it. If there really is no God and this is the condition of our “soul” we truly are in a pitiful and hopeless state.
All evidence to the contrary, atheists would have you believe that we are born good and we’re getting better. In reality, in the absence of God’s love we humans are a horror show of wickedness and evil which is exactly the diagnosis that God gives of us in the Bible. Our vile and brutal nature is the exact reason that Jesus came to earth so that we could be rescued from ourselves.
Anyone who is able to process information and make logical conclusions can see that the presence of evil proves nothing regarding the reality of Creator God. Anyone who can observe and draw conclusions from those observation can also see that enormous good can and does come from sorrow and tragedy. This seems especially true for those who are in an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus. It is those who have been brought to an awareness of their hard and evil hearts and those who are being changed by Jesus, who understand clearly that:
Because God is all good, He WILL one day remove evil from the universe
Because God is all powerful, He CAN one day remove evil from the universe
Yes, there is still evil in the world - but it’s OUR evil - not God’s.
Based on the reality of and the promises of Jesus, we can be sure that one day God CAN and WILL remove from the universe the presence of evil as well as all those who are against God and who in this life tolerate, promote and benefit from evil.