This is Part 3 of 4 parts answering the question, “Could God have created a place where there was no suffering?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.
God Did Create a Place Where There Was No Suffering
Could God have created a place where there was no suffering? The answer is a simple, “Yes, He did.” We know that the world was made perfect, because six times, after each day of creation, God said “it was good.” (Gen. 1:4,10,12,18,21,25) And as God looked at all He had created at the end of the sixth day, He said that “it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31). God rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2; Ex. 20:10). Stephen Bramer highlighted,
When God created everything (Genesis 1-2), there was no emotional distress, no suffering, and no death, though the possibility of death is mentioned as a consequence of disobedience. God created a perfect creation. If there was anything that we might call pain, it was a beneficial discomfort that would alert humankind to limitations of the human body. This pain was something short of suffering associated with a fallen humanity.1
If Adam and Even had continued in their unfallen state, any pain they would have felt would have been an alert signal to their own limitations. For example, if Adam tripped over a tree root and bumped his knee, he would have felt pain, but it would have healed and he would have learned to “watch where he was walking.” God created a perfect place where there was no suffering as we see today. Andy McIntosh and Bodie Hodge wrote,
A perfect God would make nothing less than perfect. In fact, Moses, who also penned Genesis, declared in Deuteronomy 32:4 that all of God’s works are perfect. The original creation was perfect. However, we can see by looking at the world around us that there has been a drastic change. The change was a result of the Fall of man – an event which fundamentally altered the world.2
The Fall Altered the Perfect World
Yes, the fall altered the world and allowed for suffering. Bramer made the point,
Often the question is asked, “Why did God create suffering in the world?” However, this is an invalid question because God created a perfect world without suffering and death. God created man with free will that God allowed to reject His perfect plan and thus allow for the entrance of sin and the consequence of suffering. Evolutionists face a problem here because they say that in the fossil record death existed even before the creation of man!3
Those who believe the world began with a big bang and over millions of years of time, chance, and death based on natural selection and mutations we “evolved” into what we are today. Unfortunately, it was suffering that caused Charles Darwin to reject God. Darwin could not understand how a loving God could allow his little girl, Annie, to die a cruel death. Tommy Mitchell quoted, “Annies’ cruel death destroyed Charles’s tatters of beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity…Charles now took his stand as an unbeliever.”4 Darwin himself knew there were flaws in his own system,
The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduate organic chain: and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.5
Those who hold to a “millions of years” theory of the world believe that the world was founded on suffering (subject to death, chance and survival of the fittest). It is true that suffering exists today, but not for the reason that evolutionists claim. They believe that suffering has been, and will always be a part of the world. Therefore, the evolutionist will argue that if God is good, there would be no suffering, but suffering exists, so God must not exist.
1Bramer, Stephen, “Suffering in the Pentateuch” Why, O God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), p. 87
2 McIntosh, Andy and Hodge, Bodie, “How did Defense/Attack Structures Come About?” The New Answers Book 1 (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2006), p. 263.
3Bramer, p. 87.
4A. Desmond and J. Moore, Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionis, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1991, 387 quoted in Mitchell, Tommy, “Why Does God’s Creation Include Death & Suffering” The New Answers Book 1 (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2006), p. 326
5http://infidels.org/library/historical/charles_darwin/origin_of_species/Chapter10.html accessed on Feb. 19, 2014
Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.