A preacher and an atheistic barber were once walking through the city slums.
Said the barber to the preacher: "This is why I cannot believe in a God of
love. If God was as kind as you say, He would not permit all this poverty,
disease, and squalor. He would not allow these poor bums to be addicted to
dope and other character-destroying habits. No, I cannot believe in a God
who permits these things."
The minister was silent until they met a man who was especially unkempt and
filthy. His hair was hanging down his neck and he had a half-inch of stubble
on his face. Said the minister: "You must not be a very good barber because
you wouldn't permit a man like that to continue living in this neighborhood
without a haircut and shave." Indignantly the barber answered: "Why blame
me for that man's condition? I can't help it that he is like that. He has
never come in my shop; I could fix him up and make him look like a gentleman!"
Giving the barber a penetrating look, the minister said: "Then don't blame
God for allowing the people to continue in their evil ways, when He is
constantly inviting them to come and be saved."
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.