Tonight’s discussion got intense as we tackled the question, “Why do bad things happen?” There were more opinions than people in the room tonight. It was great! The teens were asking so many questions and wrestling through some opinions they held, but weren’t quite sure they believed them. The discussion was so great and we began to chase down several other sub-questions that we didn’t even get through half of the curriculum, so we extended this same session into next week. We plan on watching the episode again with the teens and then picking up the questions and scripture passages where we left off.
One of the views that was shared tonight that was held by a few of the teens in the rooms was that God created evil. Their rational being that God is the created of all things and new that sin would result from humans so he created evil. It was a legitimate thought, but we were able to get after it pretty conclusively. I challenged them to think that evil is not a creation of God but rather the result of the absence of God in any given situation. To help illustrate my point we turned all the lights out in the room and I asked the kids to be silent for 15 seconds. We then turned the lights on and I asked them, “Did we create darkness or was darkness the result of an absence of light?” I then asked, “Did we create silence or was the silence the result of an absence of sound?” So I came back to the point we were discussing and asked, “Was evil created by God or is evil the result of an absence of God?” You should have seen the lightbulbs go off as the kids got it. It was a great illustration to support that evil doesn’t come from God but is rather the result of an absence of Him.
It’s amazing to see week after week how these kids are getting it!