Does God Create Evil?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

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    There seems to be, in some circles a basic misunderstanding of what evil is. What is often referred to in conversations about evil and its cause is the moral evil. There are a number of contexts in which the word evil is used and the meaning of evil depends on its context like most any word. This also true of scripture and we need to be sure to obtain the proper context when using such words to prop up our favorite doctrines. The word evil can also be used in other contexts like misery, affliction, or calamity. There is a distinct difference between moral evil and affliction or misery people suffer. When discussing this subject we need to make clear which context we are discussing. Scripture is clear that God has not nor does He create moral evil nor is He responsible in any way for it. The Apostle James wrote that God cannot be tempted with evil nor does He tempt anyone with evil (James 1:13). The context here is moral evil.

    The Isaiah 45:7 passage is often misused as a proof text to show that God does create evil. This is often made in defending an errant view of the Sovereignty of God. This we will address further in a moment. For now we need to also understand that the evil in this Isaiah passage is not speaking of moral evil but calamity of disaster. These types of things God has admitted to being the author and instigator of. God denies being the author of moral evil while showing He creates calamity on His disobedient children.

    Even while God is not the author of moral evil He most certainly remains sovereign over it. His primary source of control and sovereignty over evil is the cross of Jesus Christ. While God has given man the opportunity to choose the holiness of God or the moral evil of Satan (John 1:12) this alone shows God is not the author of moral evil and still remains sovereign over it. The ultimate control over evil is when Jesus died on the cross. Sin, Satan, and evil were defeated that day. Sin and moral evil cannot overcome the creator of the universe and all that is. God does not author moral evil and He is still in control.
     
    #1 Revmitchell, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  2. preachinjesus

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    That's a good post there.

    It should be noted, evil isn't a thing. It isn't a substance. It doesn't require a creative event to be perpetuated.

    Particularly if you're Augustinian in your approach, evil is the absence of good. Just a couple of add-on thoughts.
     
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  3. Alcott

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    "Evil" is being used as a noun here. A noun is a person, a place, or a thing. Which is it?
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    I agree. I started to post those thoughts but every time, in the past, I have made posts to long I get little to no replies.
     
  5. Zaac

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    Amen!!!
     
  6. salzer mtn

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    Rev. Mitchell I wished I had thought of James 1:13 the other week when I was confronted with this doctrine ( double predestination) at a church I was attending.
     
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  7. Calypsis4

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  8. Calypsis4

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    Quote: Proverbs 16:4 ¶ "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil."

    "That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath."
    Job 21:30
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Proof texting is not an response to the op.
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    I would add further that God is good and cannot create moral evil. Evil must create moral evil and God is not both good and evil. In Genesis 1 when God created man and all of creation He said it was good not evil. Psalm 5:4 says that God does not delight in wickedness and there is no evil in Him. So it is impossible that God creates moral evil for His glory. In fact the book of Habakuk tells us that God cannot look upon moral evil or wickedness. In fact there is no darkness in God that He would ever create moral evil. It is because God is holy that it is impossible that He would create moral evil or author it in any fashion.
     
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  11. robustheologian

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    You know what...this IS actually a good discussion (at least for now).

    The problem with saying evil is a thing of negation is verses like Isaiah 45:7 or even Lamentations 3:38 that declare that evil comes from God and is the creation of God.

    To address the claim that Isaiah 45:7 isn't talking about evil, to say so ignores the meaning of the Hebrew רַע which means 'evil' and is translated plenty of times as 'evil'.

    Then there's the claim that only evil can create evil...which there's no scriptural proof of. If only evil can create evil, how did creatures that God created as good do evil? If they got it from Satan, how did Satan do evil? For God created Satan too.

    Speaking of רַע, the mere fact that God created a Tree of Knowledge of Good AND Evil proves the statements that evil is just a negation false for if it were, the tree would have been the Tree of Knowledge of Good...and the creation of such a tree would make the statement that God didn't create evil false.

    So if you prefer to refer to evil as the absence of good, then the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is in fact the Tree of Knowledge of Good and the Absence of Good and Isaiah 45:7 reads "God...creates the absence of good". How do you create an absence of something? Or even Lamentations 3:38 should read "Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and the absence of good come?" Maybe you all would advocate an ATV bible (Augustinian Theology Version).

    Then verses such as James 1:13 would sound like nonsense. "God cannot be tempted with the absence of good nor does He tempt anyone with the absence of good." ?!?!?

    The importance of believing that evil is an actual substance like good is and that God had something to do with the creation of it is that you know He can control it. How do you control something that doesn't exist but is only a negation of something that does?
     
    #11 robustheologian, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
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  12. Calypsis4

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    Correct, but I only wish to see what kind of response there is to these passages before I make any kind of statement.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Those verses do not, in fact say that moral evil is a creation of God. They say that calamity can come from God. Two entirely different things.
     
  14. robustheologian

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    The word used for evil in Isaiah 45:7 is the same word used to refer to the Tree of Knowledge of Good Evil....and the evil of men in Genesis 6:5.
     
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  15. Revmitchell

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    It is absolutely. That however does not prove your point. I suggest you actually take time to read the op. It addresses this already.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    Hmmm may you could read the op and then respond to it rather than trying to create your own op within mine and thereby starting your own discussion. If that is your desire beginning new threads are absolutely free.
     
  17. robustheologian

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    I suggest you read my first post. It already addressed the op.
     
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  18. Revmitchell

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    By the way you keep taking the word translated evil in Isaiah 45:7 out of context. In fact the ESV does not translate it as evil the translation there is in fact calamity.

    There is a stark difference between calamity and moral evil. Failure to recognize those will mess up your theology.

    Your first response in fact ignored the different contexts the Hebrew word that sometimes gets translated evil is used in. Hard to tell what you were responding too.
     
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  19. Calypsis4

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    Why don't you just be kind enough to give your understanding of the two passages directly related to what your position is. Please.
     
  20. robustheologian

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    It in fact is in context of the whole book of Isaiah. In fact, in 59:7 the word used for evil in 45:7 is translated evil...in the same book. And you haven't even addressed Lamentations 3:38.
     

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