As a Christian, there is a tension between the idea of an all-powerful, all-knowing God, and the fact that there is unspeakable evil in this world.
If God is so good and powerful, why does He let this happen? Why wasn't Stalin drowned as a child?
The most satisfactory answer to this for me is Free Will.
The Free Will Idea
God did not want to create robots that would automatically "love" him. In this line of thinking, this kind of "love" is no different than programming your computer to pop a message saying "I love you!" every few minutes - would you feel loved? Or just annoyed after a while? A very short while.
True love cannot exist without Free Will, and Free Will cannot exist without all possible options. If God had created a perfect, blemish-free, problem-free world for us, how would this be different than the above programmed computer?
So the reason Stalin was not drowned as a child is that Stalin was a being who of his own Free Will chose to commit unspeakable evil, and God will not interfere with any being's exercise of Free Will. Note, will not, not cannot.
Problems with the Free Will idea
There are a few problems with this idea:
- We were created in God's image, yet as soon as we (in the form of Adam and Eve) had the chance, we committed evil. So, God = Us = Evil?
- An expansion of the above idea, the Angels also had Free Will, yet as soon as they had the chance, God's own chosen right-hand man betrayed him and took 1/3 of the host with him. Again, God = Angels = Evil?
- And my biggest problem with the Free Will idea; if Heaven is a place with no fear and no evil, is it also a place without Free Will?
I believe the Free Will idea is partially correct, but because of the problems with it, I felt the need to expand it. Hence:
The Diamonds Hypothesis
Diamonds are created from that most humble and common of materials, carbon.
Carbon that is subjected to tremendous pressures over very long spans of time.
And that provides an answer to this conundrum. We live in a diamond mine. We are the carbon. And every now and then, a Diamond emerges from all the pressures and mayhem and heat: A Leonardo DaVinci, a Valentino Rossi, a Maya Angelou.
A being that is able to express beauty in a way that pleases God. And to Him, it's all worth it.
How do I know? We were created in his image. And we'll go to great lengths for Diamonds...