Who created evil?greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
Hello my Internet Church Family,
I was having a conversation the other day with a Christian lady in the office about the origin of evil. She said something that was really interesting to me about evil. I have two questions for the members of the board.
Question #1 What is evil?
Question #2 Who created evil?
Question #3 When did evil begin?
Question #4 Where did evil begin?
Question #5 Why did evil begin?
Question #6 How did evil begin?
Thank you very much for your time.
-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003
This looks more like six questions.
-- Anonymous, May 23, 2003
Yes, Rev. Stocker you are quite correct. Brother Jazzman's profound discussion about "evil" has expanded to 6 questions. It is clear to me that both Jazzman and his co-worker are applying the basic principles of journalistic inquiry by shaping the topic with the six key questions. It's an intelligent and rational method to use and I applaud him for sharing it in this forum. Let me attempt to tackle each question in the above order.
Question #1 - What is evil? Evil is the antithesis of good. See Genesis 2:17.
Question #2 - Who created evil? According to Isaiah 45:7, Jehovah God Himself is the creator of evil.
Question #3 - When did evil begin? Since Jehovah God is the creator of evil it would only be logical to conclude that evil began in the "Beginning". See St. John 1:1-3.
Question #4 - Where did evil begin? The Garden of Eden is the origin of evil. See Genesis 2:9.
Question #5 - Why did evil begin? Mankind's desire for moral autonomy and a concomitant pursuit to obtain god-like or theosophic qualiities is the fundamental reason for why evil originates. See Genesis 3:5.
Question #6 - How did evil begin? The instruments used to introduce evil were deception and Satanic chicannery. See II Corinthians 11:3.
Now before my name is "burned in effigy" for ascribing Jehovah God as the creator of evil, let me emphasize that the manifestation and manipulator of evil is Satan not God. As Christians we believe that "God is Love". But the personality of God is complex, particularly as He is described in the O.T. That's why Isaiah states that "My ways are not your ways, nor my thoughts your thoughts", Isa. 55:9. One way to gain a better understanding of God in the O.T. is to approach eviel as God's alter-ego. Consider the story in I Samuel chapter 16 & I Samuel 18:10 describing Saul's schizophrenic relationship with young David. This story makes clear that the evil Saul is inflicting on David is originating from God Himself. Now scholars and apologists can exegete the term evil used in this story until they are "blue in the face" but the outcome remains unchanged - David was the object of violence not benevolence by Saul. Many thanks to Jazzman for introducing a very mature but important topic. It merits serious thought and discussion and not simple and superficial reactions. QED
-- Anonymous, May 24, 2003
Evil can only exist when an Authority exists and exercises his will over the entities under his authority. The will of the Authority is good and opposition to that Authority is evil. Now, for a believer in God, God is that Authority. For a non-believer in any god, that authority would be himself. If we believe in God and the Bible, perhaps the following helps. Isaiah 14:12, Rev. 12:7-9 seem to describe the beginning of evil and its entry into the world. The Angel Lucifer rebelled against God and brought one-third of the angels (created intelligences) with him when he was cast down to earth. Evil began with Lucifer's rebellion. This would have been prior to the Fall of Man in the Garden and perhaps before the creation of Adam. Now this is only the understanding of a poor non-seminary trained pastor. Feel free to disagree.
-- Anonymous, May 24, 2003
You are quite right Rev. Stocker but I got carried away after the second question and was just curious as to how analytical people on this board could be and proceeded to six questions.
Thank you Professor Dickens and Rev. Paris for your response. I was shocked by my fellow Christian co-worker when she said that God created evil. The next question that popped in my mind was how could God create evil without being evil Himself. I then came to the conclusion that Rev. Paris stated about evil is defined in relation to the Authority. It seems quite logical that God created evil because He created everything. Therefore, although the word evil connotes egregious acts, evil is now re-defined as any action, word, thought or deed which is against God. Therefore, although God created evil just like He created Satan and all that exists. It is illogical for Him to be evil because it is illogical for one to exist in opposition to oneself.
Professor Dickens and Rev. Paris, you guys are so brillant!!! Thank you once again for your response.
-- Anonymous, May 27, 2003
I am curious. Would you please share the conclusions you and your co- workers reached? Thanks.
-- Anonymous, May 28, 2003
I think we may be using a rather loose definition of "created". I would not say that "good" or "evil" can be created. Rather "good" is defined by Authority (God for us). Once we have defined "good" the opposite "evil" or "not good" is also defined. You may remember that the Apostle Paul said that if no law existed, he would not know what sin (evil) was. A law cannot exist without a lawgiver, hence authority, God. Perhaps that is why the Bible begins with, "In the beginning, God. . .", for if one does not believe that phrase, there is no need to read further.
-- Anonymous, May 28, 2003
This is a question, which I have often heard before. In my childhood it often arose. Akin to it was the questions of which came first the chicken or the egg and God creating a stone too large for Him to lift.
These questions really arise out of us not tracing the story back far enough or from our failure to comprehend the true nature of God--as historians say, "The Primary Source." The chicken came first and God created ONLY good.
The nature of God is that He is the Ultimate example of GOOD. Thus all He created as He said was "very good." But, God gave his higher beings the ability to think and choose. Not being automatons, puppets or robots they have free will to choose to worship Him.
Thus, as the Bible records one of God's creations, Lucifer, the Angel of Light, got full of his glory and beauty and thought he could pull something over on God. Like all that God created Lucifer was good. But he was given the ability to choose and think. So he chose power, confusion, corruption and deceit. This was not born of God but of Lucifer's own design.
The result was that he was kicked out of heaven along with one-third of the heavenly hosts who followed him. Thus, Lucifer, the Angel of Light, became Satan, the Prince of Darkness by his choosing own design.
Tradition has it that where he fell was to another of God's creation, EARTH, as a principality on earth. When God created LIGHT he thought he was getting his glory back. When he found out he was not he chose to corrupt God's creation on earth.
Lest we think that Satan is afraid to attack us in God's Church, let us be reminded that the oldest book in Bible, Job, tells us that when the angels have an audience with God, Satan is one in their midst. He is walking to and fro in the earth like a lion seeing whom he may devour. But we have an advocate whose name is Jesus who died and robbed Satan of his power. As the Book of Job reminds us, Satan in boldness and deceit is not even afraid to have an audience with or behold the face of God or the angels in God's midst. Only at he Name of Jesus does he quiver, shake and bow.
Satan knows he is defeated by Jesus but he wants us to think he is not. So sill being a deceitful liar, if we allow he will convince us he still has power.
More specifically to answer your question as evil began so long ago, it still begin with the false notion and security of any of God's free thinking creatures that God does not notice what we do and that we, being intelligent thinking beings can pull something over on God. So we need to only remember Lucifer and know we may NOT.
-- Anonymous, May 29, 2003