What are we to think when the sacred things of society are disregarded and become the site of evil? Evil seems unavoidable — even in church.
On Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, America witnessed the deadliest church shooting in her history.
The gunman walked into a house of worship outside San Antonio, Texas, and opened fire on members of the congregation.
Is God the author of evil? It is the question that challenges all of us during times of unexplained evil acts. If not God, how then do we explain evil?
Without debate, it was a gunman who perpetrated the evil in San Antonio. So it's man and not God? Which brings me to the next question: "Why didn't God make better creatures?"
The act didn't just happen; the law of causality teaches us that every event has a cause.
Investigators will spend countless hours trying to understand the motive behind the murder. In the end, the conclusion will be similar to other investigations. The shooter will be found to be unstable, using antidepressants or inconclusive.
No one seems to want to recognize the existence of an evil being, only evil acts.
The reason that immoral acts bother us and get our attention is that we are moral creatures who know the difference between good and evil.
Jesus made a shocking statement about Judas, the one who betrayed Him: "It would be better for him if he had not been born."
It's shocking on to think Jesus would make such a statement and equally shocking that Jesus, knowing the world would be better without Judas, allowed Judas to remain.
What is there about good and evil that we don't understand? Is it necessary for both to coexist, at least for a season? Does evil cause us to strive for good and in our striving permit us to find good? Does God permit evil in this world as a way to produce the best in us? That seems like God is using an illegitimate "end justifies the means" ethic.
There is something about evil that drives us to God. Atheist Jean-Paul Sartre said, "I needed God ... I reached out for religion; I longed for it, it was the remedy. Had it been denied me, I would have invented it for myself."
As a pastor, I struggle to explain the "why" behind the senseless evil acts that we witness as human beings. Simple answers to complex questions are bound to be wrong.
So what am I to do? I can give the pat answers that weary all of us, or I can admit my struggle, confront evil and seek to extend the love of God in both good and bad times.
Phil Hotsenpiller is the senior pastor of Influence Church in Anaheim Hills, California, and an expert in the field of end-time prophecy. His new book, "One Nation without Law," is now available nationwide. This Fox News piece is used by permission.
Last Modified: November 6, 2017, 9:00 pm