Why Is God So Cruel?

Skeptics frequently accuse God of being cruel; however, an examination of His actions and attributes reveal otherwise.

It is understandable that some may ask whether God can really be so cruel. Here are a few points in His favor.

1. He punishes people for their sins

No matter if it be God causing children to die or raining sulfur into the atmosphere or giving a man leprosy – the Bible contains heartbreaking tales that leave people reeling. Skeptics use these accounts as evidence that God is cruel or believers are simply deluded; however, when taken in context they may provide insight into divine discipline.

God punishes people for their sins because He is a God of order who does not tolerate lawlessness. Those who break His laws deserve punishment. In fact, the word “punish” occurs 128 times in Scripture but often takes on more of a divine chastisement role than usual punishment handed out by authorities such as mayors, governors or presidents.

Some punishments in the Bible may appear cruel due to our cultural perspective and understanding of right and wrong. While we might understand why God would not want to punish a child for killing their parents, we may not comprehend why He punished Amorites 4000 years ago for practicing human sacrifice, bestiality, sorcery and demon worship – practices which may seem horrific now but were common back then.

Though we might find it confusing, it is essential to keep in mind that God created humanity with the ability to understand what’s best for them. He knew the Amorites were practicing evil that could bring about their destruction; furthermore if their sin were unpunished it could result in violent rebellion (Ecclesiastes 6:5) on Earth as it is in Hell (Ecclesiastes 6:5).

2. He allows animals to suffer and die

Many people believe that an all-powerful God would never allow animal suffering and death; however, evidence to the contrary suggests otherwise; there have been multiple incidents where animals suffered due to predation, disease and natural disasters; this can seem very unfair to those who love animals.

Hugh Ross and other theologians argue that God allows some form of animal suffering so as to create a world for humanity. Unfortunately, such arguments fail as they do not stem from biblical teaching; furthermore they assume animals are morally capable of wrongdoing, as well as failing to account for how animals were suffering prior to God’s Curse of sin and death.

Other theologians, like Irenaeus, attempt to justify animal suffering by asserting it is necessary for soul-making. Unfortunately, this theodicy relies on an incorrect dichotomy between matter and spirit: animals cannot develop towards an ultimate eschatological goal of God-consciousness since they lack free will – making adversity fruitless for soul-making purposes.

Other theologians claim that God allows animal suffering as a form of discipline or punishment. But this argument falls apart because it fails to take into account that all forms of suffering will ultimately be redeemed; additionally, Scripture teaches us that suffering should not be seen as God’s disapproval but instead seen as natural birth pangs.

3. He allows people to be tempted by Lucifer

God, who created our world, is not an uncaring force. Instead, He is loving and punishes any instances of wrongdoing in accordance with His laws. Skeptics who accuse Him of cruelty often base this claim off of knowledge from the Bible alone without understanding its context and his thoughts directly.

Nonbelievers fail to comprehend that God is an impartial judge who protects his people while punishing their perfidious neighbors. Biblical accounts of divine violence often leave non-believers perplexed as to why such suffering could take place: bone cancer in children, AIDS and genocide are some examples mentioned within its pages.

Though we know little of Lucifer and his fall from Heaven, what we do know is this: evil did not exist there before Satan became prideful and brought it in through prideful behavior. Thus God did not create evil – He simply did not want it in heaven – while Satan brought it upon himself through prideful behavior.

Lucifer has long had a history of deceiving and corrupting those around him, yet it is important to keep in mind that his reign of terror will eventually come to an end. Knowing he will eventually be destroyed in hell for good, he tries to deceive as many people as possible into following him so as to gain their allegiance away from God and bring about their downfall.

Satan and his minions study each person carefully to discover what their vulnerabilities are and then try to tempt them with lies woven into truth, or by offering temptation in sugared forms. He is masterful at tempting people into sin; therefore he uses all his abilities against Christians.

4. He allows children to be preyed upon and tempted by Lucifer

Skeptics frequently accuse God of being cruel because of all of the suffering and hardship in this world. They point to examples where people are killed or punished as proof that He is unfair; yet their argument fails to take into account other important considerations, including that the Bible tells a tale of redemption which upholds His justice in His plan for mankind.

When the Bible describes Satan, it paints him as a red dragon who works to “storm the castle of our hearts.” Satan is notorious for his fierceness; according to Peter he prowls around like a lion looking for people he can devour.” Satan knows our temperaments so he tailors his temptations specifically for each person he comes across – Achan was covetous so he offered him a wedge of gold; Eve doubtful so she was teased with questions like, “Did God really say you would never die?”

Lucifer rebelled against God with an argument that humans were inferior, being made from clay rather than pure light. He claimed he should be worshipped and served instead, calling these beings “clay dolls.” In pursuit of this desire for worship and service he rebelled against His Creator and took millions of angels with him when He expelled him from Paradise, leading them all the way into Hell – now filled with angels! The Bible informs us this phenomenon has continued throughout time.

5. He allows people to be tempted by Satan

Skeptics of Christianity often accuse God of being cruel because of stories in the Bible about Him killing people and raining burning sulfur down on them, but this perspective only comes from human viewpoint. We must remember that only He knows right and wrong and how He uses problems and suffering to bring glory to Himself. God created all things, so His power is limitless: for instance He could send a bear after 40 boys who teased a prophet or destroy a town on His divine bets.

God is all-powerful and knows who has the ability to grant life or death, therefore there’s no need for Satan’s temptations; but, out of love for humanity he allows Satan’s temptations because he knows this will lead to sin and destruction.

The Bible is filled with tales in which God brings destruction upon those who displease Him, whether through idolatry or war (2 Samuel 12), whether by destroying homes of idolaters or sending famine to families of the fallen (2 Chronicles 20:29-30). God often strikes down innocent civilians long after an individual or people have committed offenses against Him as was seen with Amalek (1 Chronicles 20:29-30).

Some Christians attempt to reduce the sting of such examples by suggesting that God punishes people only because they deserve it, which isn’t accurate since scripture depicts Satan, who is a fallen angel, prowling around seeking to devour all he can (Genesis 3:1-5; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 2:10). God allows Satan a long leash as He knows that when people encounter temptation and battle the effects both physically and morally this magnifies his glory more than taking swift action against Satan would do just as much (Genesis 3:1-5; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 2:10).

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