Did God create evil?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by npetreley, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    A friend of mine sent this story to me via email. It has an indirect relationship to the C/A debate, but IMO it is an important one.

     
  2. Pastor J.R. Hampton

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    Good post Npetreley!

    God is not the creator of evil but the creator of good. The absense of good is evil. How would we know what was good without also knowing what was evil. The only way we can have an appreciation for what good is by experienceing an absense of goodness, which is why I believe God allowed evil by introducing the law and allowing man to make a choice.
     
  3. npetreley

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    If there was supposed to be a logical connection in there somewhere, I didn't see it.
     
  4. Pastor J.R. Hampton

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    I'm sorry, I thought that was the point you were making.

    Adam was given a choice in the garden so as to introduce the concept of evil, or the absense of God, so that man could know and fully appreciate the goodness of God. Now, Calvinist would argue that the choice was made by Adam for all of creation and no one else has that free will choice as a result of the fall, correct?

    Maybe I missed the point you were attempting to point out. :confused: Sorry
     
  5. npetreley

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    I'm still not following any of this. Without being more specific, you seem to be jumping around from topic to topic without making any connections between them.
     
  6. Pastor J.R. Hampton

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    I'm still not following any of this. Without being more specific, you seem to be jumping around from topic to topic without making any connections between them. </font>[/QUOTE]Sorry, I guess I'm not very clear with my posts, this message board stuff is new to me so please be patient. [​IMG]

    Your post was about evil being the absence of God, so in reality God didn't create evil. Correct?

    He did however create the law. He told Adam not to eat of the tree which gave Adam the choice to commit evil, which means to act outside the will of God, or to act in the "absense of God." The law was an opportunity for man to obey or disobey God thus allowing death and the seperation of God to enter the world.

    So the connection I was making was that God allowed for evil by creating the law, but He did so without being the creator of evil because He did not cause Adam to make that evil choice for He was absent from that choice. He allowed man to choose to act outside of his desire for them thus creating a world that knew both good and evil.

    Apparently, it was not the point of your post, sorry. Could you forget what I've said and just tell me what was your original point? Thanks.
     
  7. npetreley

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    My post demonstrates that evil is just a word for the absence of God, but evil itself is not something that exists.

    Yes, and Romans tells us why He created the law. By the law is the knowledge of sin. In other words, the law makes us aware of the absence of God in us.

    At this point you either do not understand the original post, or you have departed from all rational argument. You can't commit something that doesn't exist. After having made that mistake, you go on to redefine "evil" from the original definition ("the absence of God") to a new one ("to act in the absence of God"). But that's not evil. That's sin. Sin is the result of evil, which is the absence of God. The distinction is important for several reasons. One revealing fact is that if God were entirely present within Adam as He was in Jesus, Adam could not have sinned.

    That's not what the Bible says. The Bible says God created the law to make us aware of sin, which, in turn, makes us aware of our lack of God.
     
  8. ScottEmerson

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    So would you say that the absence of God exists? This brings an interesting question about God's omnipresence. If God is truly omnipresent - the way that omnipresence is classically defined - how is it possible to be absent of God?

    We say that Hell is the absence of God. How is this possible if God is omnipresent?

    Just some questions off the top of my head - one that I don't necessarily have an answer to... yet.

    And evil does exist. Deuteronomy 17:2 If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant.

    Deuteronomy 19:19b
    You must purge the evil from among you.

    This also leads to other questions. Did God create pain? Did God create sin? Did God create hatred?
     
  9. Ray Berrian

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    You have discussed light and darkness. The prophet Isaiah in chapter forty five verse seven says, 'I form light, and create darkness . . . ' The word create in the Hebrew {bara} comes from a primitive word meaning select, choose, create in the sense of a Creator, dispatch, or to do or make.

    God speaking through the prophet goes on by saying, 'I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.' I learned this verse in a Calvinistic seminary in Philadelphia called at the time, Reformed Episcopal Seminary.

    Personally, I believe that God providentially moved the pagan nations against Israel so God's people could destroy and punish these nations because of the pagans sins, plus He made a way for creating a homeland for the Israelites, namely the land mass of Israel. I think God sovereignly plans these kinds of happenings, creating these reprisals against the enemies of God as we read in the Old Testament Scripture.

    Does anyone else think that God has allowed us to liberate Iraq so as to lessen human suffering and open the doors of that nation and surrounding ones to His Gospel and Jesus plan of salvation?

    These kinds of ethereal questions about God creating evil are difficult to fully comprehend.
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    The New International Version and the New Century Version suggest the same similar idea.

    'I form light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I the Lord do all these things.' {N.I V}

    'I made the light and the darkness. I bring peace and I create troubles. I the Lord do all thse things. '{N.C.V.}
     
  11. npetreley

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    The same similar idea? Are you sure it's not the identical, exact same similar idea, except for the differences?

    That's right. The word translated "evil" in the KJV actually means disaster, etc. At the time the KJV was first translated, "evil" had a different meaning than it does today. For example, it would be perfectly normal for someone to say, "it was an evil odor" meaning a "distasteful smell."

    But the wording wouldn't bother me either way (I create evil, I create darkness, etc.) Language - no matter who is using it - often expresses concepts this way even though darkness doesn't actually exist. But it would not help this particular debate to use these expressions (at least not without explanation), since the whole thread was based on acknowledging that evil, darkness, cold are not actually "things" but the absences of things.
     
  12. romanbear

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    Hi Npetreley; [​IMG]
    A quote from you;
    --------------------------------------------
    That's not what the Bible says. The Bible says God created the law to make us aware of sin, which, in turn, makes us aware of our lack of God.
    --------------------------------------------
    So what possible purpose would this have on us?. Could it be that He wants us to be aware of our lack of God, so that we might seek to have God in our lives?.
    If we have a lack of God in our lives what can we do about it? If we can do nothing, because we are either elected, or predestined to Hell. Then what would be the point of us knowing what sin is in the first place? If we have no choice and we are all predestined to life eternal, or eternal damnation. Knowing one way or the other wouldn't make any difference,,,, would it?
    Romanbear
     
  13. Frogman

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    God also separated the darkness from the light :eek:

    In the scripture you discuss at Is. 45; I believe the reference is to that God creates the knowledge of evil in man; thus causing man to see himself as the sinful, and detestable creature he is in the sight of God, then enabling, through a Godly sorrow, a true repentance for this nature as well as for the personal sin(s) {personal to themselves}. This then is the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, and results in the repentance of the sinner and the ability to believe, though once lost, now I am found.

    Further, an absence of God does not mean an absence from the presence of God. Acts 17 will elaborate and explain this to a greater extent than I can.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. npetreley

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    A bookmark for future reference.
     
  15. npetreley

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    Yes, absolutely.

    Nothing.

    Let's rephrase that and leave out the presumptions - it's easier to address. "If we can do nothing, then what is the point of us knowing sin and that we are without God?"

    That depends. If God enables a person to respond the way described above (to seek God) then it plays a part in accomplishing that purpose. If God wants to use it as a testimony against that person when he is condemned, then it plays a part in accomplishing that purpose. There may be other reasons, too.

    It would accomplish God's purpose according to His good pleasure. Who are we to say that's not good enough because it doesn't do what you want it to do?
     
  16. npetreley

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    Obviously these are questions for which we have no precise answer given our limited knowledge. But the key to the apparent contradiction is probably in the words "classically defined".

    As I pointed out in another post, language expresses concepts, not necessarily precise descriptions of something (or nothing). If I say "I went into the darkness", that might be perfectly true, yet it implies that darkness is something that exists apart from light. But darkness is simply the absence of light.

    I've said it before, and I stand by it. It is, IMO, undeniable that God is the ultimate cause of all things. Anything beyond that -- such as God's motivation for doing this or that, or what was active and what was permissive -- is speculation, unless God has made it known in His word.
     
  17. Frogman

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    That a person comes to Christ is the greatest and strongest sign of the fact that this does make a difference. If, as Spurgeon said, you did not go to the dinner table because you did not know whether God had decreed the meal to choke you or to nourish you, then you would be considered an idiot. {I paraphrased this, so do not attribute it word for word to Spurgeon, if you want it, I can find it, I believe it is his sermon 'A Defense of Calvinism'}.

    The point is a man does not eat if he is not hungry, by revealing our nature and our need for God, we have that hunger.

    God Bless.
    Bro. dallas
     
  18. Ray Berrian

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    I think God wants us to view light, darkness, peace and evil as real entities of fact in our world and within the historical expression of real people referred to in the Bible, which is the Word of God. The Lord is not into philosophically dealing with these words in Isaiah 45:7. He makes His point that the Lord does all of these things. The Apostle Paul in writing to the Colossians said, 'Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world {system of thinking} and not after Christ.' [Colossians 2:8] While evil is not a close cousin to good, evil is a reality because it comes from unsaved men and women and hopefully not committed among the saints.
     
  19. Frogman

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    Do not such statements seem inconsistent with the idea that we are not born spiritually dead?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Dallas,

    We agree with you that men and women are born spiritually dead. This is God's way of telling sinners of their need for Christ. We reject the idea that sinners cannot respond to the prompting of the Spirit when He makes the truths of Scripture meaningful to their hearts. We are still left with the 'the image of God in man' and therefore, are viable toward Him as to the matter of faith and trust in Him. We believe the drawing of the Spirit is toward all human sinners. [Rev. 22:17]
     

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