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How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

Make no mistake friends, God exists. God is real. Should you countenance thoughts otherwise, this case involving Jerry Sandusky and his committing unspeakable crimes of violation against a number of young boys proves it. This case demonstrates the existence of God by demonstrating the existence of evil. Now of course, evil is not some deity that is the opposite of God who contests God, as dualistic religions and philosophies propose. Neither is evil some force (whether personal or impersonal) as again some religions or philosophies claim, i.e. the “karma” of eastern religions and the New Age ideas that influence them. Instead, Gotquestions.org (a Christian ministry) provides a very suitable Bible-based definition:

A dictionary definition of evil is “morally reprehensible, sinful, wicked.” The definition of evil in the Bible falls into two categories: evil against one another (murder, theft, adultery) and evil against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the prohibition against eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9), to the destruction of Babylon the Great, the embodiment of evil to come (Revelation 18:2), the Bible speaks of evil.

So allow it to be said, from a reverse-logic standpoint, that because evil exists – as the Bible clearly bears witness of – then God must necessarily exist also. Moreover, God must exist as the answer to evil, the one who defeats evil, which the Bible also bears witness of. Great, unspeakable, incomprehensible craven crimes against the innocent is evidence of the existence of evil, evidence of a great problem with our existence that must be overcome lest we be destroyed by it, and evidence of a solution to this pressing existential problem and threat that only God can provide. If there is nothing more powerful than evil save God, then God must exist. It is said that love is more powerful than evil. This is so, and the Bible bears witness that God is love and that God is loving.
‘Tis tempting to deny that the actions of Jerry Sandusky were in fact attributable to evil, which one might accuse of being some abstract idea. Instead, one can propose a more rational, reasonable scientific root cause: that Sandusky is simply disturbed, one possessing an abnormal brain biology or chemistry that causes him to both have abnormal urges and be unable to restrain himself from acting on them; that indeed he might have an inability to discern or respond to reality. Legitimate medical science has proven that such is the case with a number of people, indeed those that have committed monstrous crimes against individuals and humanity. And yes, the problem of evil must be explained in such a way that deals with cases as these, just as explanations are needed for such things as natural disasters, epidemics, and stillborn children that lack an identifiable human villain, antagonist or cause.

But in this case, one not need to consider (solely) Jerry Sandusky when it comes to evil. Instead, we have other figures with regards to this case such as Mike McQueary, Joe Paterno, and many other figures at Penn State University and the surrounding community who had knowledge of the crimes of Sandusky for many years and failed to act in a manner that would have punished the guilty and protected the innocent. These figures chose not to act because of the wealth, power and prestige associated with college athletics, in particular Pennsylvania State University football. 1 Titus 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all evil!” At other points in the Bible, the contrast between mammon – the desire for money, power and privilege – and the things of God are given, as are the people who seek the former verses the latter. Thus, even if we deny that Sandusky is evil, then the actions of those who chose not to act in the interests of those that Sandusky victimized and to protect him from committing further harm most certainly was! So the monstrous behavior associated with this case was clearly evil, and evil on this scale demonstrates the need for one with the power and desire to defeat it, and this need can be met only by God.

If God hates and can overcome evil, why does He suffer its existence in the first place? The reason is that the existence of evil was the cost of accomplishing creation. Only God is perfect, containing perfect power, knowledge and righteousness. Thus, anything and everything that is not God will inevitably come to a state of imperfection, and this imperfection is either evil itself, or allows for evil events to occur. So, though creation was not evil at the time that God finished it, creation did what was inevitable, which was lapse into an imperfect, evil state.

The Bible describes this occurring both with Satan in Ezekiel 28:13-19 and Isaiah 14:12-17, and with Adam in Genesis 2-3. The Bible states that both Adam and Satan were created perfect (see Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 1:31 concerning Adam and Ezekiel 28:15 concerning Satan) but that they both abandoned that perfect state of their own accord, through no fault or action of God and without being attributable to any flaw or defect in their making or original condition. God did not create evil, but instead evil was the inevitable result of creation. As God did not cause or force the actions of Adam or Satan, being responsible for creation does not make God responsible for the evil in creation.

That creates the question: if God knows all things, then He knew that His creation would lapse into imperfection and that evil would result. This means that God was willing to allow the existence of evil. Why, then, did God allow the existence of evil, even if He is not to be blamed for evil? The answer is this: God allowed the existence of evil in order to accomplish a greater good: for the glory of His Son. 1 Colossians 1:16 states that all creation was done according to the will of God the Father for God the Son. For God the Father to glorify, honor and please God the Son was the greater good that was accomplished by suffering the existence of evil. This can be put into better perspective when one realizes that though evil will only exist for a time, the exaltation of God’s Son that came as a result of creation will last forever!

It is easy to doubt and mock and say “God was willing to allow the existence of evil because it cost Him and His Son nothing; that His creation that He claims to love – including sentient human beings – had to bear all the negative costs and effects.” Now be not deceived: even were this so, it would be perfectly appropriate and within God’s rights, being that He is the sole Owner and Master of whatever He chooses to create for whatever purposes He chooses to create it. However, it should be said that this is not so! Again, it is not so that creation alone must bear the negative effects of evil; that God kept Himself unaffected and unscathed by such horrible events as what Mike McQueary saw being done to a juvenile boy by Jerry Sandusky yet refused to intervene to save the juvenile, though being a 27 year old former football player he certainly had the ability to. Instead, though He was by no means obligated or required to, God demonstrated the legitimacy and the extent of His love for creation by giving up the very Son for whose glory creation was accomplished in the first place to die on a cross!

You see, the existence of evil in creation was no mere set of bad facts. Instead, it was a situation that required a remedy. It created a debt that had to be paid. It was a crime for which something had to be punished. God could have remedied the situation by simply destroying creation, all of it, forever. But instead, God chose to have His Son, totally innocent and blameless of all imperfection and evil, provide the remedy by paying the debt, by taking on all the punishment upon Himself. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, did this by dying on a cross in place of creation. By paying this debt, this allowed creation – or some part of it anyway – to remain forever for the joy and happiness of God’s Son – who was resurrected from the dead – and as this same Son of God is forever the joy and happiness of His Father, this state of affairs is certainly appropriate. Thus, the logic of the greater good of allowing evil to exist for a time for the joy of God the Son and God the Father for an eternity becomes explicit, apparent and utterly reasonable. Suffering the existence of evil was a great price, but one that God was willing to pay with the blood of His own Son. Far from being the “cosmic child abuse” that some doubters propose, the truth is that God’s Son – also divine and one with His Father and with His Father’s Spirit – is a willing participant, is manifestly pleased with the arrangement, and benefit to Him (and His Father) far outlasts and exceeds (in value and duration) the very real and significant loss.

So whenever you learn of – or experience – any great evil, though you may and should mourn it, always remember: the occurrence of this evil does manage to powerfully demonstrate that God exists. So, remember that the God who does exists has already paid the price of evil – through His own Son on a cross – and will one day put an end to all evil forever. God’s creation will endure, but the evil will not. This does leave one final pressing issue: your fate. Will you be part of the creation that endures forever, providing joy and delight to God’s Son while receiving great benefits from this existence (and absent any and all negative effects or considerations) yourself? Or will you be included in the portion of creation that is destroyed when all evil is destroyed? The answer to this is simple: if you renounce and turn away from all of the evil that you have done and thereby represent and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died to pay the debt incurred by your evil and was resurrected from the dead, then you will be among the portion of creation that remains. Otherwise, you will be among the portion of creation that is destroyed. (As time will no longer exists – for time is part of creation – the process of your destruction will take place in eternity and last for an eternity.)

For make no mistake, even if you had no part in this incident, we have all committed evil, if not according to our own standards, according to God’s standards. Though the debt incurred by your evil actions has already been paid for by Jesus Christ, the Bible makes it clear that only those who renounce their evil actions and ways and believe in Jesus Christ will have their paid debt applied. It is the same as having won a contest, but having to go present yourself and your ticket to those running the contest to claim your prize. Though your debt has been paid, one has to renounce his evil actions and tendencies and believe in the Sonship, Lordship, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to have that paid debt “applied to their accounts.” In order to further explain and assist you in this process, please click on “The Three Step Salvation Plan” link below, which contains information presented in both written and video form. I entreat and implore you to do so – to heed and believe – immediately. Thank you.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

4 Responses to “How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God”

  1. Unsanitary Jesus said

    Interesting response. Most commentators for the last 200 years at least have used evil in the reverse sense as the greatest problem for the existence of God. The line of logic would be that Sandusky is evil. If God was really good, really powerful, and really existed then He would have intervened and stopped the action. He didn’t so either He is not really good, really powerful, or does not really exist. As a line of logic it seems rather convincing. I, of course, would argue (as you hinted at) that God has intervened through the person of Son. That the cross of Christ represents Christ’s solidarity with the victims of Sandusky, as well as, his offer of healing to both victim and victimizer. Mix that with classical free will theory and I feel that the question has been answered; perhaps not superbly but answered nonetheless. You have sort of managed to argue that as well and one cannot argue with you on those grounds.

    I do, however, have some concerns with the reverse logic, you used (if it had worked I would have loved you for it). You once stated that you enjoyed boiling down arguments to the logical extreme, and that is where pointing from evil to God fails. At it’s extreme it allows for no differentiation between evil and God. One might state that if evil has a positive outcome such as pointing to God; then committing evil cannot be entirely wrong (as it creates some good outcome). Therefore committing an evil act cannot be considered wrong and cannot then be evil. On another level it also implicates God in evil; because it seems to make God a participant in the evil action. Therefore one might question the goodness of God.

    I prefer the Biblical account which simply claims that God is the good God who overcomes evil. He is the one that thwarts evil, and instead works good in the life of the believer where the evil one had sought to sow destruction. Evil, then, remains evil; and God remains good. It is not the evil action that points to God; but rather His action in turning away the evil and establishing his redemption in its wake. The redemption points to God.

    One last point if evil has some positive function in our world then the ultimate destruction of it would in essence be destroying it, and with it destroying an important way of knowing God. Yet our God promises to end evil once and for all. That is our hope that on a day in the hopefully not-too-distant future He will return to bring into completion or fullness the reality of His Kingdom that he established in His previous visit. The cross is the seal of payment, and the spirit is his down payment asserting His intentions to return. Evil will be no more and His people will be entirely free to serve Him in eternity. We will then celebrate His victory, not His battle.

  2. […] How the Penn State Case Reveals the Existence of God […]

  3. Job said

    Matt:

    First: sorry that it took me so long! Let us get down to business.

    “Mix that with classical free will theory and I feel that the question has been answered; perhaps not superbly but answered nonetheless.”

    Alas, you are of the Remonstrants, I am of the Synod of Dort! (Actually I am Particular Baptist after the manner of Charles Spurgeon, William Carey and Paul Bunyan and you are not classical Arminian or Wesleyan as you to not believe that one can lose his salvation, but otherwise you get the picture.)

    “You once stated that you enjoyed boiling down arguments to the logical extreme”

    Well, my love of reductio ad absurdum was in my angry, immature phase. (In what many might consider to be an irony, it was becoming a “5 point Calvinist” – or again more accurately a Particular Baptist – that helped me get past my anger, which I ultimately discovered was truthfully coming from within and was directed inwardly also.) I now rarely employ this debate tactic, though I hear that it is a very good tool for computer scientists and mathematicians.

    “and that is where pointing from evil to God fails. At it’s extreme it allows for no differentiation between evil and God.””

    I agree with you to a point, as a multitude of false religions (as I understand them) have deities that are dualistic, amoral or even malevolent. But that extreme is precluded by the holy scriptures. Though I do dabble in classical and evidential apologetics from time to time – to the extent that I am able – for the most part I adhere to the presuppositional apologetics school of Cornelius Van Til and similar, which takes the truth and authority of the Bible to be a non-negotiable starting point and proceeds from there. (I further build on that school by presuming a basic “rule of faith”, or a normative interpretation of the Bible, belief in its inerrancy/inspiration/authority, and application of its doctrines to the church).

    So, inasmuch as the Bible differentiates between evil and God, I presume this to be true also. My purpose for authoring the above piece was intended not to much to be an exercise in philosophy, ethics or similar, but for evangelism and encouragement. Thus, it presumes some degree of faith – and please recall that faith is not produced by man but is given by God – and is not intended for the purposes of debating the likes of Sam Harris, Charles Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens.

    “One might state that if evil has a positive outcome such as pointing to God; then committing evil cannot be entirely wrong (as it creates some good outcome). Therefore committing an evil act cannot be considered wrong and cannot then be evil.”

    What you speak of is outcome-based religion. The problem with such religions is that man, lacking perfect knowledge and morality, is incapable of properly evaluating outcomes. Only God can do so. What we perceive to be a “good” outcome according to our perspective might actually be evil according to God, and the converse is also true. Consider an example: a small leak in a dam. A person might make an improper repair to the leak that for a time stops the water from running, but makes the dam weaker, or at minimum ignores the root cause of the leak. Now though the fix is flawed, it might last a long time – during the duration of that person’s life. And for that time, that person will be considered to have done a great good in fixing the leak, and will go to his grave with such estimation.

    But suppose that the dam ultimately breaks and catastrophically floods the town. Was this a good deed? No, because in the most extreme case, where the leak would have been at most a minor annoyance but remained, the fix made the dam weaker and caused it to suddenly burst where it would not have had the fix not been applied. In even the most favorable possible case, the fix caused everyone to BELIEVE that the problem was solved, and hindered them from seeking a real solution, or from evacuating the town if no solution was possible or practical.

    Such is the result of false religion: it creates self-righteousness and blinds the sinner from his need for God. And false doctrines in Christianity can similar impede the spiritual growth of a Christian. So, the measure of “good acts” are not by their outcomes (“the ends justify the means”) or their intentions (“he meant well/his heart was in the right place”) but rather the fidelity of these acts to the commandments of Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Scriptures regardless of their apparent outcomes. God and His Word are the standard, not the outcome or our perception of it, and by the definition of God as determined by His special revelation to us in the Bible, fidelity to God and His Word cannot be evil.

    That is why the people who obeyed the commandments of God to commit genocide and fratricide in the Old Testament were not evil, and those who committed what might have been considered good in sparing, say, a Canaanite baby out of what seemed to be mercy upon the innocent who posed no threat when when God commanded to utterly destroy all the Canaanites would have been evil. Where of course we would say that killing a Canaanite baby is evil, and sparing the baby and raising it up according to the Jewish religion would have been good according to our own understanding, we have to accept by faith God’s statements when He says that His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and obey God according to that same faith.

    If we do otherwise, and obey God when it conforms to our own sense of good and evil and abandon God’s commandments when they contradict them, we are following our own religion and morality and not God’s, and we have made ourselves into gods in the place of God.

    “On another level it also implicates God in evil; because it seems to make God a participant in the evil action. Therefore one might question the goodness of God.”

    Well, the psalmists and prophets seemed to regularly question the goodness of God, no? Yet they remained faithful. It is not blind faith, but faith in God’s self-revelation to us through His Son. The role of the Holy Spirit is not to answer all of our questions, but to reassure us, comfort us and keep us in the faith despite them. Or to save us from our faithless condition despite them. The Bible declares oft that we cannot understand God and His ways, and that we are not to even try to. We are to merely – as the old hymn says – trust and obey Him.

    But let it be said that God does certainly use evil to accomplish His ends. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, and this includes evil things. And God most certainly does use evil events. When a sinner commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto salvation. When a Christian commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto restoration. The Holy Spirit does not cause this evil, but He certainly uses it.

    But as touching God and evil actions: consider when God sent a lying spirit to the false prophets in order to provoke wicked king Ahab into going into battle so that Ahab could be slain as a punishment for his (Ahab’s) wickedness. Consider also when God made pharaoh ruler of Egypt and hardened his heart so that pharaoh would oppress the children of Israel mightily, as God wanted an occasion to judge the Egyptians for their wickedness, to save Israel and make them a nation, and to display evidence of His existence and power to the world. Consider when God used the wicked pagan Assyrian and Babylonian empires to judge Israel and Judah for their infidelity to the Sinai covenant (and this required allowing Assyria and Babylon to conquer other nations and otherwise rise to power). And consider when Jesus Christ chose the non-elect Judas Iscariot as one of His apostles so that Judas Iscariot could betray Him and otherwise fulfill the prophecies.

    It is very fair to say that God participated in these evil actions, if you rely on the common human definition of participation. In the Bible, God does asserts His right to do evil, at least according to man’s perspective of evil (when God did so, He was condescending to the limited understanding capacity of man in that He allowed them to regard His actions as evil).

    Just because we see something as evil does not make it evil. God is the standard, the Self-existing Self-defined one who is goodness and righteousness within Himself. Evil, then, is by definition that which is contrary to God, and God by definition cannot be contrary to Himself. Any other definition of evil makes man a judge of not only himself, but of God. This is something than an unbeliever – especially an atheist or rationalist – will never accept but that Christians are called to accept, believe and submit ourselves to through faith.

    The unwillingness to accept the fact that God Himself is the definition of good and that evil is defined by its being in opposition to God is the source of so many of these logical games, tricks and constructions on the behalf of many apologists. This fact also solves the apparent problem of God telling one person to do one thing at one time and another person to do something else (i.e. when God commanded Ezekiel and Hosea to break the Mosaic law by eating bread defiled with excrement and marrying a cult prostitute): we are simply to believe that God can do so without Himself being contradictory.

    “I prefer the Biblical account which simply claims that God is the good God who overcomes evil. He is the one that thwarts evil, and instead works good in the life of the believer where the evil one had sought to sow destruction. Evil, then, remains evil; and God remains good. It is not the evil action that points to God; but rather His action in turning away the evil and establishing his redemption in its wake. The redemption points to God.”

    The problem with that is that it relies on an incomplete portion of the Holy Scriptures, excluding bad facts. Consider, well, the book of Job (which has been as much a source of fascination and meditation for me as I certainly hope the Gospel of Matthew has been for you)! Let’s face it: God delivered Job into the hands of Satan for Satan to do whatever he wished with Job and all that he had save taking Job’s life. And please recall: the Bible is clear that the calamities that came upon Job were not due to any sin that Job had committed. Job’s CHILDREN died, not because of any sin of Job or the children, and despite Job’s daily sacrificing for his children in case they sinned. (Of course, their deaths would have occurred due to their original sin, as did Job’s death, but let us focus on their untimely deaths, which was considered to be an evil occurrence in OT times and still is to this day.)

    We have to come up with a theodicy that is faithful to the entirety of the Bible. Not only must we do this in order to be faithful to God through His Word, but this is also the only way to construct a theodicy that encompasses the range of the facts of life that we have to confront, such things as wars, plagues, horrific crimes, miscarriages, birth defects etc. God does overcome evil by eliminating all that which is contrary to Himself. Keep in mind: this process will not be completely finished until the eschaton, when this creation is destroyed by fire, the wicked are cast into eternal flame, and a new heaven and a new earth is created.

    As to why God did not make the original creation after the same manner of the new heaven and new earth, we just have to accept that God did all things according to a manner that pleased Him. The idea that God was obligated to prevent the existence of evil in order to not Himself be evil is man’s thinking, not our own. And it is thinking that is centered on man and his own interests, as we accuse God for not acting to avoid our own misery and suffering. We want to be able to say that God is not good if the result of His original creation was humans – most of whom never encountered with the gospel of Jesus Christ to either accept or reject – being punished in the lake of fire for an eternity. As mentioned earlier, our duty is to accept these facts because they are how God revealed Himself and His actions in the Bible, and not to generate contrivances to avoid the fulness of God’s self-revelation and its implications. Make no mistake: unbelievers are fully aware of these things! Have you ever perused skepticsannotatedbible.org and similar counter-apologetics efforts? It is far better to directly confront these things in scripture, meditate on them, accept them through faith, and work them into our systematic theologies than to simply pretend that they do not exist, or to come up with human-centered (if not necessarily humanistic) evasions.

    One last point if evil has some positive function in our world then the ultimate destruction of it would in essence be destroying it, and with it destroying an important way of knowing God. Yet our God promises to end evil once and for all. That is our hope that on a day in the hopefully not-too-distant future He will return to bring into completion or fullness the reality of His Kingdom that he established in His previous visit. The cross is the seal of payment, and the spirit is his down payment asserting His intentions to return. Evil will be no more and His people will be entirely free to serve Him in eternity. We will then celebrate His victory, not His battle.

    There is a difference between saying that evil has an absolute positive function in the world, and merely stating that God uses evil to accomplish His purposes. However, even if God did so as you speak, it would be well within His right to terminate it. Does God still feed His people with manna? Of course, God did a great thing by feeding His people with manna. Does the fact that you no longer eat manna destroy an important way of knowing God? Does the fact that you are not a Jew living in Jerusalem under the Mosaic law destroy an important way of knowing God? God forbid! So, if God can discontinue good things, then how much more so can He discontinue evil that He uses for good purposes? We know God only by God’s revelation.

    Whether God’s revelation consists of His use of evil to accomplish His goals or not, the knowledge of God is the same. Why? Because God – the one providing the revelation – is the same. Even if you were to say that it is not “the same”, inasmuch as those in Old Testament times did not have the same knowledge as do we in light of the cross and the current ministrations of the Holy Spirit, their knowledge of God based on the revelation that they had was nonetheless sufficient to suit God’s purposes and that is what counts. God is only bound by Himself to reveal to us what He chooses for us to know of Him. He is not bound by us to reveal to us what we desire to know of him.

    Further, God reveals Himself to us through the way that He chooses, not the way that we desire. Part of the error of some in the Pentecostal movement that I was once in is their demand that God reveal Himself to us in these ways in the same way that He revealed Himself to the early church, and also to Old Testament Israel. God’s actions and revelations are according to His will, not our desires. And the nature and character of God’s revelation are suitable to fulfill our needs. Not our wants, but our needs. Keep in mind in Romans 1 when Paul states that even the order and nature of creation should have been enough of God’s self-disclosure to live righteously and thereby be saved, and therefore those who do not – including those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ – are without excuse and therefore subject to condemnation on judgment day.

    And of course we celebrate His battle. Are not the Psalms filled with the Jews’ praise of God’s battles on their behalf, physical and spiritual? Concerning Jesus Christ, do we not celebrate His trial in the desert, Gethsemane and the cross, and not merely the resurrection? Jesus Christ specifically instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper so that we would remember His passion. This knowledge of God that you speak of includes God’s battles for our behalf, because through these we know that God has both the power to save us and the love to forgive us. God’s destruction of Egypt and Israel’s other enemies is evidence of the former, and His restoration of the remnant after they broke His covenant is evidence of the latter. This is evidence of the very hope of which you speak!

    Well, I am done! I thank this opportunity to dialogue with my old friend and brother in the faith. As always, I hope that I did not offend or mistreat you, and if I did, it was not my intent. Thank you, and I look forward to your response.

  4. […] Comments Job on How The Penn State University …Job on Isaiah 5:11 Should Christians …Job on Did Jesus Christ Die For Judas…Adiza […]

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