If God is everywhere but evil is the absence of God, then how does evil exist?

Cold is the absence of heat; but since GOD really is everywhere, and evil really does exist, it’s evident that GOD in some way permits or tolerates the existence of evil. You’ve heard of “nature red in tooth and claw” because predators eat prey animals. (Herbivores are predators on vegetation, too.)

So, is the red tooth / claw predator evil? Good cases exist for both ‘yes’ and ‘no’, for instance “Without predators disease and deformity would degrade a species’ entire membership.”

But let evil be relegated to choices that favor oneself over the possibly better outcome of someone else. Sometimes the choice is so subtle we don’t even notice the effect, may mourn the effect as “necessary but minor collateral damage that everyone else will agree was “just the way these things work.”

Try this on for size: a newborn infant doesn’t choose hence can’t be deemed “evil” yet operates on a scale of one hundred percent me and nothing else even exists. Around age eighteen months this developing person realizes that, alas, those active elements called Mamma and Dadda have wills of their own. They can no longer be controlled with a smile or grabbing fingers. This prompts what are called “the terrible two’s” when the child pushes every edge of the envelope to find weak spots, situations in which the external will can be modulated or even defeated.

We grow up, but never reach “pure” in our relations with others. We admire the extremes such as Saint Francis or Mother Teresa – but even they might have agreed with Saint Paul who wrote in one of his letters that, compared to the holiness of Almighty GOD, his “most righteous acts were as filthy bandages.”

GOD is holy; GOD created the universe, and made it such that mankind would eventually evolve. GOD planned that mankind, born with zero hope of ever becoming holy (blamelessly righteous in every thought and act – refer back to Saint Paul) would still have a way to make the transition from human sinfulness into blameless perfection via what you can think of as a bailout program. Jesus, a part of GOD with all GODly powers set aside, died for our sins. We turn to HIM with “a broken and contrite heart” to receive the blessing of forgiveness, which “washes away” all our sin.

While alive we live in corruption. While saved we have Jesus’ promise; HE will wash away our impurity to make us acceptable in the presence of Holy GOD for eternal life.

Short answer: GOD abhors evil yet loves HIS children. HE confined them to at least this one planet (no telling if there are more, way above my pay grade) and sent a part of HIMself to live as human yet also pure, sinless, to die in our place thus bear the consequence of our sinful nature.

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