Flawed System

Some of us distrust God because we believe he set up a flawed system.

God’s System

First, God created a perfect place called heaven and filled it with perfect beings, known as angels, even though he knew that Satan, a high ranking angel, would rebel against him and persuade many of his angelic cohorts to join his revolt.

Then God created a perfect universe, including the earth, which he populated with two perfect people named Adam and Eve, even though he knew they would yield to Satan’s temptation and defy him.

God knew their defiance would allow evil to damage his perfect world, render us innately sinful, and generate suffering for everyone. He knew our native sinfulness would automatically disqualify us from heaven.

God knew this situation would require him, in the person of Jesus, to come to earth and die, so we could have the opportunity to enjoy eternity in heaven, despite our sinfulness.

He knew the death of Jesus would not immediately rid the world of evil. He knew our suffering would continue as a result. He knew this suffering would be the primary reason we distrust him. He knew our distrust would render many of us indifferent to his salvation plan.

So why did God create a system with these inherent vulnerabilities, when he foresaw the bad outcomes that would result?

The answer is a matter of the will.

The Will

God created angels and humans with a will so we could love him and each other by choice and carry out our assigned tasks.

Our will enables us to think whatever we want, whenever we want, subject to certain constraints.

It gives us the ability to make choices within limits and do things we think will advance our perceived self-interest.

Advent Of Evil

Suffering is ultimately a manifestation of evil.

Evil emanates from wrong choices that are based on moral untruth, which is a lie, deception, distortion, or half-truth about something God deems to be morally true.

God intended the angels, Adam, and Eve to use their will to make right choices based on moral truth. These choices would generate the superior outcomes his perfect system was designed to produce.

Instead, they misused their will to make wrong choices based on moral untruth. The ensuing evil damaged God’s perfect system. Now it produces inferior outcomes he never intended.

The Alternative

God could have precluded these inferior outcomes by creating the angels, Adam, and Eve without a will. But he discarded this option because of its inherent defects.

Foremost among them, as descendants of Adam and Eve, we would not have a will.

Without a will, our ability to think new thoughts and create new things would be limited. We would be indifferent to discovery, exploration, and invention.

We would be disinterested in actualizing our potential. The world would be void of culture, e.g., art, architecture, poetry, music, humor.

Our moral values would be individually determined by instinctive responses to our current needs and circumstances, without regard for the greater good.

We would be apathetic about building civil, just, and free societies. We would not care about being fair, gracious, or merciful to others.

We would be complacent about forming new relationships. We would be unable to love anyone.

This brings us to the ultimate reason God gave the angels, Adam, Eve, and us a will.

Ultimate Reason

God wanted to enjoy an eternal relationship with us based on mutual love. True love is not a function of instinct or feelings. It is a matter of choice.

God dedicated himself to loving us the moment he contemplated our existence. He had to give us a will so we could choose to love him in return.

God determined that the upside benefit of giving us a will—eternal relationships with us based on mutual love—outweighed the downside risk inherent in our volitional freedom—the temporal evil generated by our immoral choices.

This risk assessment is remarkable, considering all the devastation evil has caused throughout history—personal, societal, and natural. God’s desire for an intimate relationship with us is stronger than we can imagine.

Best Outcome

God is omniscient. He is unconstrained by time. He sees the outcomes of all possibilities at once.

God selected the current system over all other potential variations because he knew it would produce the best of all possible outcomes.

This outcome will ultimately be heaven on earth, occupied by blissful people who delight in God, his creation, and each other while actualizing their potential.