Does God Allow Evil?

August 17, 2018 at 11:56 am | Posted in Q&A | 2 Comments
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Question: I saw on TV where Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, said that God did not allow the Texas church shooter to shoot and kill all those people. He said the devil is the “god of this age” and that he’s the one in control. Does this mean that God is not really in control of what happens? Or is He only in control of some things? Or only good things?

Answer: I think I found the interview you are talking about here: If anyone doesn’t want to watch the whole thing, you can skip to the 2:00 mark where the lady asks him, “If God is all-knowing and in control, why would He allow something like this to happen?”

I don’t want to sound too critical of Mr. Graham. If you watch the whole thing, he said several good things about Jesus, and I’m thankful for someone who would talk about Him and His salvation on national television. I also don’t want to make it sound like Mr. Graham is not very knowledgeable about God and the Bible. I’m sure he’s way better at answering questions about them than I am. HOWEVER, he did get the part about God not allowing bad things very wrong. I will assume he just misspoke or maybe misunderstood the question. There is no doubt that God is in control of everything that happens (I Chronicles 29:11, Job 42:2, Psalm 135:6; Proverbs 16:4) and that He definitely could have stopped this shooting from happening if He had wanted to. We don’t know why He didn’t stop it, but, as horrible as it was, we have to admit that if God allowed it (and He did), then His allowance of it must have been the right thing to do in some way that we can not understand.

I do think it is highly likely that the devil motivated or caused an evil, vile, professed atheist murderer to shoot and kill a church full of worshiping Christians, and it is grievous to even think about it. There is a sense in which the devil is the “god of this world,” (II Corinthians 4:4) and that he is being allowed by God to do vast evil, but we must not lie about God and take away from people who are suffering the assurance that God is ultimately in control and is working all things together (including horribly evil things) for some greater good than we can imagine.

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