Did God create evil?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Trust in the Lord, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. Trust in the Lord

    Trust in the Lord
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    Just want to hear what your thoughts are on this question....Did God create evil?
     
  2. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
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    Isaiah 45:7
    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
     
  3. Carson Weber

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    According to the mind of St. Augustine, evil isn't a part of creation. In fact, it really doesn't exist, per say. Evil is the privation of the good. It is, essentially, a lesser good. Whatsoever is, is good. Evil has no substance at all. When a thing is corrupted, it is privation of good. Where there is no privation of good, there is no evil.

    St. Thomas Aquinas in the Prima Pars of his Summa Theologiae, 48:1, has this to say:

    "One opposite is known through the other, as darkness is known through light. Hence also what evil is must be known from the nature of good. Now, we have said above that good is everything appetible; and thus, since every nature desires its own being and its own perfection, it must be said also that the being and the perfection of any nature is good. Hence it cannot be that evil signifies being, or any form or nature. Therefore it must be that by the name of evil is signified the absence of good. And this is what is meant by saying that 'evil is neither a being nor a good' (Dionysius; Div. Nom. iv). For since being, as such, is good, the absence of one implies the absence of the other."

    The late Fr. John Hardon, S.J. addresses this issue well in a particular periodical published a while back:

    Q. How can evil exist if God did not create it?

    A. Evil in general is the privation of a good that should be present. It is the lack of a good that essentially belongs or is due to a being. Evil is therefore the absence of what ought to be there.

    Physical evil is the privation of a natural good desired by a human being. It is the absence of some satisfaction desired by a human appetite, whether spiritual or bodily. In general, it may be equated with pain. It is the loss or deprivation of what a person wants.

    Moral evil is sin, as distinct from physical evil, which is some form of suffering. It is evil because it is contrary to the will of God; it is moral evil because it is caused by a free, created will acting against the law of God, who does not want moral evil as an end or as a means. The Council of Trent condemned the contrary doctrine. God simply permits moral evil because of consideration of human freedom, and because He has the wisdom and power to cause good to arise from evil. In the end, moral evil will serve the supreme purpose of the universe, the glorification of God, since it reveals both His mercy in forgiving and His justice in punishing.
     
  4. BobRyan

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    God did not create Evil - however it is error to think that Evil is simply "a smaller amount of God".

    Rebellion is not "less obedience".

    If I tell a child to clean their room and they fail to do so - they are in rebellion they are "less obedient". But if they spray paint the walls of the house they are going into active rebellion BEYOND simply failing to participate in active obedience - they are instigating active rebellion.

    God created free will. By so doing He creates a "machine" that can not only actively contribute to good - it can also be turned to evil and actively imagine, create, instigate, degenerated into ever increasing evil.

    Satan is not simply "good but less good than Gabriel".

    It is one thing to fail to support the coallition working for the liberation of Iraq - it is quite another to strap on a bomb vest and blow yourself up along with some women and children.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. Trust in the Lord

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    If God did not create evil where did it come from?
     
  6. Doubting Thomas

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    Through Lucifer's rebellion, followed by Adam's sin.
     
  7. Kathryn

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    I will agree with Carson. Evil is a privation like blindness. God did not create evil. It was through the disobedience of Adam and Eve that brought evil to the human race. It was through man's sin that death came to man. The angels had already introduced evil into the universe by revolting against God.

    [ April 28, 2003, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: Kathryn ]
     
  8. Kathryn

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    I will agree with Carson. Evil is a privation like blindness. God did not create evil. It was through the disobedience of Adam and Eve that brought evil to the human race. It was through man's sin that death came to man. The angels had already introduced evil into the universe by revolting against God.
     
  9. Don

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    Silly people; Colorado FB answered your question with post #2 of this thread.

    Doesn't matter what Aquinas thinks, or Augustine, or Carson Weber; what matters is what scripture says.

    bara' (shape, create, form) ra' (evil, wickedness, mischief).
     
  10. Kathryn

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    No need to call us silly people. "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His deeds." (Psalm 145:17)

    “We can see that the Bible teaches that God is pure and does not approve of evil, that the word "rah" (evil) in Hebrew can mean many things, and that contextually, the verse is speaking calamity and distress. Therefore, God does not create evil in the moral sense, but in the sense of disaster, of calamity.”

    http://www.carm.org/diff/Isa_45_7.htm
     
  11. Rakka Rage

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    no, he created free will. good or evil, life or death, wheat of chaff, 1 or 0
     
  12. Kamoroso

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    "If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose,
    Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than themselves;
    do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also the interests of others.
    Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of man. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil. 2:1-8)

    These verses contain the heart of the gospel to mankind. If there is any encouragement, or consolation of love, or fellowship of the Spirit, or affection, or compassion in Christ, then we should have the same mind and the same love being united in spirit and having only one purpose. What is this purpose? What is the purpose of the gospel? The purpose is that we should have the mind or attitude of Christ in this one thing, that even though He was God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. In other words He did not regard equality with God a thing to be clutched and held on to. He did not strive to be equal with God but instead He humbled Himself and became obedient even to the death.
    This is the gospel, that man should humble himself before God and become His servant. To reflect His image and glory and not their own, this is how it was in the beginning. Then God said.

    "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
    "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Gen. 1:26 & 27)

    This is what the gospel is to bring us back to. Selfishness is not to rule in mans heart. All should be done for the glory of God first, for the benefit of those around us second, and last of all for ourselves. Selfishness is the uplifting of one's desires and purposes above that of God's. The very act of doing so is an attempt to put one's self in God's place, for only God is and can be first in everything. He created everything and sustains everything and without Him there is nothing. God's rightful place is first in everything.
    This is what separates man from God. It is the mystery of iniquity. The act of selfishness, that is putting one's self first, or in God's place, separates man from God and any understanding of His purposes or leading in our lives, for God is selfless. We naturally end up doing that which is opposed to God because selfishness and selflessness are opposites. Christ came to change this situation. By following Him and His example instead of ourselves, we can be restored to our rightful place as those who reflect God's image. Once again we may become sons and daughters of God.
    When Christ came to earth as a man, He emptied Himself, He set aside His divinity and His humanity. He humbled Himself and became a servant of God and of man. Jesus said that He could do nothing of Himself, (Jn. 8:38). If He had lived and acted according to His own will, then He would have put Himself in God's position, making Himself God. This would not have been emptying Himself for He was God. His whole purpose was to empty self, and as a man, one of us, serve God only and not Himself. Thereby leaving us an example of how to be servants of the true God. So then, Christ never acted from His own divine will nor from His own human will, for to do so would be to put Himself in God's place and this is what He emptied Himself of.
    Evidently Christ struggled with the same human impulse to sin that you and I do, for He was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. (Heb. 4:14) For it could not be His divinity that was tempted for God cannot be tempted with evil. (James 1:13) It was not His divinity that struggled with the idea of the cross for this was the divine purpose. (Matt. 26:38-42) It was the humanity of Christ that did not want to face the humiliation and death of the cross. The natural tendency of the flesh is to put self first, to protect and to fulfill the desires of that which is most important, self. However Christ, as a man, one of us, went through with it. He followed His heavenly Father's will instead of that of the flesh. By the power of God the Father He died to self, first spiritually, and then literally, that is physically, and both were examples to us. Moreover they are our salvation, when this process is reproduced in our lives then it is that we are born again. When our own wills are set aside spiritually and we follow God's will literally, that is by fulfilling it in our actions, then it is, that we are following Christ. This is what Christ did in every aspect of His life, all of His life until it led Him to the cross.

    42 "He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." (Matt. 26:42)

    Christ revealed to man a truth that cannot be refuted, that if man so chooses he can die to self, and become once again a servant of God, reflecting His character and image. This is the mystery of godliness in us, that man, being a sinner and fallen in nature can die to self and yet still have life, and not only have life but have it more abundantly. (Jn. 10:9-11) Thus fulfilling God's will and never fearing death again.
    Now this is the controversy, that we ought to have this mind within us, as Christ did, that is, we ought not to desire to be God. There is only one who originally desired to be God, "12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Isa. 14:13-14) Satan is the father of this mind set. He was the first to love self more than God. When man was tempted in the garden of Eden, what was Satan's claim?

    "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:5)

    Satan's claim as usual was partially true and partially false. To be sure, Adam and Eve would come to a knowledge of good and evil, but only because they took part in evil. The very act of listening to Satan and choosing a course contrary to that which God had commanded them was to set themselves up as God. They chose to follow the father of lies and at that point they became his children. They put themselves first and did that which God had forbade them to do, and at that moment they became self serving sinners and took on the mind of Satan as opposed to the mind of Christ, which they had, happily serving God and fulfilling His purposes for their lives.
    It is evident from Gen. 3:9-13 that Adam and Eve had become lovers of self more than lovers of God. When confronted by God they would not accept responsibility for what they had done, but each attempted to transfer their guilt to another. Immediately after the fall they were blinded to God's purposes and entangled in Satan's, that is self justification and protection, taking care of number one, themselves. What a contrast this is to Christ. He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21)
    How completely opposed to the principles of God man became when he put his own ideas and interests above God's. Man would do everything possible to transfer his guilt to another and protect himself, denying that he had done anything wrong. On the other hand, God would take the guilt of the sinner upon Himself and suffer the consequences in order to save the sinner. Sin is to put one's self in God's place, that is first, which of itself is opposed to all that God stands for, that is love, which is selfless. It is more than just one incorrect action. It is to put one's self in opposition to God, by turning ones' thoughts to self and uplift self instead of God. This act in and of itself is antichrist in as much as it turns the thoughts to one's self above others, which is the opposite of what God does. This is why the sinner can not see or understand the things of God. They are foolishness to him.
    So we see that a created being can not be like God in any other way than to be totally in submission to God and His purposes. For when a created being attempts to be first, as God is, his thoughts and desires must turn from God to himself, creating a condition of existence that is contrary to God's existence, the one who created and sustains him. God is, the Lord says, I AM, He is, He has been, and He always will be, He is the self existing one. God is love (1 Jn. 4:7-11). The crucifixion of Christ was the divine expression, selflessness. God the self existing one, eternal, omnipotent one, dying for the created being who had rebelled against Him and desired to take His place, which is impossible. To desire to be in God's place requires the removal of God, which is ridiculous. To remove God, or shall we say kill Him, would cause the death or non existence of everything including the one who wished to take His place, nonsense.
    However, this is exactly what God allowed man and Satan to do, that is kill Him. This allows us to see the difference between the mystery of iniquity, which began in Lucifer, and the mystery of godliness, which has always been and is always being better understood by creation. To bring it down to its simplest form, the problem with Satan, and humanity since the fall, is that we want to kill God. To desire to be in God's place necessarily demands that God not be there, out of the way, dead. As stated before, this is ridiculous. Nevertheless, this is exactly what God allowed in Christ Jesus, so that all created beings could see where the mystery of iniquity really leads and just how absurd it is altogether. At the same time, God's character was revealed at the cross and draws all who desire to be like Him to worship Him.

    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (Jn. 12:32)

    Praise God! So we see the struggle that each individual experiences, whether to live unto self, that is to have the mind of Satan, or to live unto God, that is to have the mind of Christ. This struggle effects all the living, both individually and corporately, for there is the church which is the body of Christ, and there is the world who are the servants of Satan, or self.

    "What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?
    You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
    You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your own pleasures.
    You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:1-4)

    The principles of the world are not to govern the church. There are many organizations and kingdoms of the world, but there is only one body of Christ, the church. These two are at war continually. The scriptures are filled with this struggle, both in individuals and between kingdoms. The kingdoms of this world are always at odds with the kingdom of God in His people here on earth.
     
  13. Kathryn

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    Kamoroso: The question of this thread is "Did God create evil?" "If God did not create evil where did it come from?"

    God Bless
     
  14. Frank

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    Isaiah 45:7 is often times used to credit God with the origin of evil. However, one of the rules of interpretation of any document is to read the passages before and after the one in question. If one does this, in the case of Isaiah 45:7, he will find that God is claiming sovereign right and control over all things. He alone is omnipotent. It is God who regulates both good and evil in our world. He alone is in control. Notice verses 4-6, Isaiah says of God, "For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
    5  ¶I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
    6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else." Notice God alone is the one who saves, who names, there is NO ONE LIKE ME. In verse 9 Isaiah speaks of the futility of striving with God. "Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?"
    Why is it useless to strive with God? See verse 11,12 and the omnipotence of the El Shaddai or the Almighty. The Bible says in verses 11,12, " ¶Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.
    12  I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. In verse 13 God claims control over his people. " I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts."
    As for the question of the origin of sin, I will ask about the old serpent when I get to heaven.
    In Deut. 29: 29, the Bible says,The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
     
  15. HankD

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    From Satan.

    HankD
     
  16. Trust in the Lord

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    Was Satan created before the world or after?
     
  17. HankD

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    Which world?

    Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (plural);

    Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds (plural) were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    HankD
     
  18. Carson Weber

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    Was Satan created before the world or after?

    If I understand your question, the answer St. Thomas Aquinas would give is "Before." God created the heavens before he created the earth.

    At least, that's the order he uses in the Summa, which is structured around Salvation History, and since Genesis says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," Aquinas begins with an exposition on the one God as Blessed Trinity. He follows this with Creation: subdivided into The Angels (Spirit) and The Six Days (Matter). Then, he delves on man (Spirit and Matter), which is then followed by the Government of Creatures.
     
  19. Trust in the Lord

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    HankD: Our world ;)

    God created Lucifer before our world was created so what was God's purpose for creating Lucifer and all the other angels in heaven?
     
  20. Smaug067

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    God, being good, righteous and holy could not;by His very nature; create evil. However, He allows evil to exist because there would be no free will without the existence of evil. If the only choice we had was good, then there would really be no choice. Lee Strobel covers this topic very intelligently in his book "The Case for Faith".

    In Christ,
    Smaug
     

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