What would you say if you died today and found yourself standing before God? Recently, British comedian Stephen Fry was asked that same question, despite his self-proclaimed disbelief in God. Reportedly, his response was to accuse God of being an “evil, capricious, monstrous maniac.”
You can watch his response to the question on video here:
As reported on the Guardian, Fry said he would say the following to God:
How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain? . . . Because the God who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac. Totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him?! What kind of god would do that?Since Fry’s comments, many people have responded to Fry, which led him to reportedly say, “I don’t think I mentioned once any particular religion and I certainly didn’t intend to say anything offensive towards any particular religion.”
Even though he did not name Christianity specifically, Fry’s view of God is typical of those who look around the world and see all the death and suffering in the world. They then wonder what kind of God would make a world with so much beauty, but so much pain and suffering as well. One of the most-asked questions we receive at Answers in Genesis is to explain how we can believe in a loving God when we see so much death and suffering around us. This is why we do more than just tell people there is a Creator! Certain groups, like the Intelligent Design movement, argue for a creator but don’t necessarily point out who that Creator is. But Stephen Fry is right. If someone simply looks around the world, without understanding the history that has been revealed to us in the Bible, they might wonder what kind of creator made all this. That’s why we need to start our thinking on God’s Word and present the Bible’s history from the very beginning.
You see, those Christians who compromise with God’s Word and claim that God used evolution to create have no good response for claims like those of Stephen Fry. If God did use millions of years of evolutionary processes, then He is responsible for all the death, suffering, disease, extinction, pain, cancer, and other evils in this world. And not only is God responsible for all of this, but He also looked at all of this and called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31)! I echo the words of Stephen Fry, “What kind of god would do that?” That would mean the death and suffering would be God’s fault!
But Scripture gives an entirely different answer to the question of death and suffering. Death and suffering were not originally part of God’s creation. Rather, God’s original creation was “very good” and free from all of these evils. It wasn’t until Adam and Eve sinned and rebelled against God that death and suffering came into creation (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12). Death is the result of sin! Contrary to what Stephen Fry says, the misery in the world is indeed our fault because of sin—we sinned in Adam. We can’t blame God for death and suffering.
Thankfully, death and suffering are not permanent. Jesus defeated the power of death on the Cross, and someday death and suffering will be completely done away with forever (Revelation 21:4). Because of Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross, and His victorious Resurrection from the grave, we can have hope and comfort knowing that someday we will enjoy God forever in a perfect, new creation.
Now, Stephen Fry will indeed stand before God one day, and unless he repents and trusts in Jesus Christ as his Savior, he will be the one accused by the righteous, holy Judge of the universe (2 Corinthians 5:10). We need to pray that people like Stephen Fry, who have been led astray and who are leading others astray, will repent and put their faith and trust in Jesus and what He did for them on the Cross.
For more information on the question of death and suffering, please read Dr. Tommy Mitchell’s article, “Why Does God’s Creation Include Death and Suffering?”
Also, after the death of one of my younger brothers, I wrote a book about how we as a family coped with this situation. In the book, I share our struggles from my heart and the solution found in the foundation of God’s Word—the sad fact that this world is marred by sin and under the judgment of death. You can find out more about this book here.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.