Why does GOD allow evil and refuse to reveal HIMSELF?
The following is a commonsense approach based on an allegorical interpretation of Scripture that reveals GOD's Purpose and the aspects needed to accomplish it.
Many of the atheists, with whom I have had a discussion, use all the evil seen in the world as a rationality for not believing in GOD. They believe that if there was a GOD HE would not allow all the evil we see and just reveal HIMSELF. On the surface, the latter would appear to be a reasonable assumption.
If we believe in GOD, though, the obvious reason for not revealing HIMSELF is because to do so would not accomplish HIS Purpose. Our problem is to understand why.
The nature of Love is such that it can never be externally influenced--even in the smallest of ways to be correct. Man is a very important part of GOD's Purpose, in that Man's spiritual heart is Christ's spiritual body. What is in Man's spiritual heart is what he loves. Until Man achieves a level of spirituality that surpasses the point where the motives directing his outer actions come only from the unselfish love (agape) in his heart, GOD will not provide what Man would consider proof of HIS Being.
If we really look at all the evil we see in the world, we should recognize that it comes through the actions of individuals pursuing self-serving outcomes. Yes, there are natural disasters which may or may not be related to Man's current level of spirituality; but, in general, most, if not all, of the evil comes from Man pursuing self-serving outcomes. Therefore, Man is like a very disobedient child.
There are a few ways parents deal with disobedient children:
Direct punishment that hopefully guides them to desire and love what is right.
Allow them to receive the consequences of non-life threatening mistakes to learn to love what is right.
Allow them to observe what happens to others making mistakes to learn to love what is right.
Use history to learn what happened to others in the past and learn to love what is right.
I believe Man is experiencing all the ways listed above and probably others also.
Understanding the way Love is given birth in a spiritual heart, we can be certain that the only reason Jesus revealed himself to Paul before blinding him was because Paul had the correct motives with a false understanding of where and how they should be directed.
Man must love what is eternal; but Man is infected with the self-serving nature. Man must overcome that nature individually without external influences that restrict free choices. Only when Man freely choses to love what is eternal is GOD's Purpose accomplished. Whether it takes a few thousand years or several million years, perfection will be obtained.
What are Man's Treasures in Heaven?
Matt 6:20 - But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Chapter 6 of Matthew gives several examples of unacceptable and acceptable motives as revealed by our actions. We can infer from this Chapter that the way we manifest an action will be determined by what we really love. What we love determines the motive producing the action.
As each individual lives, they encounter life situations that require them to develop a lifestyle that provides them the life situation outcome they desire. Over time, more and more lifestyles are developed that work together to provide the desired outcomes. All such lifestyles are born and mature in our spiritual heart and represent what we love. If these lifestyles express eternal motives, then they become our treasures in heaven.
Commonsense tells us that GOD has created a reality that reveals the eternal value of any lifestyle by the way it contributes to society. If the lifestyle strengthens society, it has eternal value. If, on the other hand, a lifestyle weakens or adds nothing to society in and of itself, it has no eternal value. It is worthless or worse.
It should be everyone's goal to minimize worthless lifestyles within themselves and maximize those with eternal value. All of us are a blend of both in varying degrees. Once we are aware of any worthless lifestyle we have, we should immediately quit feeding it until it vanishes. A lifestyle is fed when it is manifested by way of an outer action that gives us the desired outcome.
The Atheist's problem with the word "Random"
I recently posted the following statement on CARM to illustrate the blindness of those who consider themselves atheists.
"An atheist is someone who believes a spoon is intelligently designed and created; but a myriad of complicated, interdependent living organisms, with 1000s of synergistic internal systems that only function properly when complete, resulted through some unthinking random process called evolution."
Atheists who responded to the statement had the most trouble with the word "random". One even stated that the mutation beginning the change may be random, but everything following the change was not random. Therefore, the evolution of any entity is not random because it is determined by the law of the survival of the fittest.
Assume I set up a set of dominoes in a way that the domino on the end of the string will only fall forward if the domino at the beginning falls in a forward direction. Eventually, some external force randomly caused it to fall forward.
Was the domino on the end's fall forward random or not? Couldn't the set of dominoes following the first domino be representative of the so called law of the survival of the fittest?
What is a Truth Seeker's greatest obstacle?
How can two or more individuals see the same facts or situations and come to opposite opinions about them? This kind of result occurs daily in religion, politics, and society in general. We can see it in the news, and CARM is far from immune.
The answer is Man's self-serving nature. Man's self-serving nature blinds, deceives, and creates division in all it has infected--which is everyone. It masquerades as who we are, but it and the lifestyles to which it gives birth have no eternal value.
To overcome the self-serving nature all emotional attachments must be suppressed, and Reality must be viewed intellectually until the Truth being sought is found. This is much easier said than done because the self-serving nature is a false part of who we are. It lives in us as lifestyles to which it gave birth. Those lifestyles are then expressed by us when situations arise that feed them by stimulating them emotionally--either by confirmation or the appearance of threatening them.
It is essentially impossible to reason with anyone who is blinded by the self-serving nature. They must choose to suppress their emotional attachment and seek the Truth intellectually.
With the divisive voices shouting so loud, it is tempting to find a way to oppose them. Unfortunately, it is difficult to do without increasing the divisiveness. Therefore, the majority remain silent as the minority rant away. The answer is unifying leadership. Something our nation has lacked for many years--probably decades.