What Is Evil?

Many of the problems in theology derive from the questions similar to “Why is there evil?”

I think the answer needs to be made in two parts. First, I accept as fact that there is evil. There are many places in the bible that speak of it, but I will use 3 John 1:11 as my example because it also furthers my first part of the answer.

I believe that evil is the result of man’s free will. I wrote in The Laboratory about our choices in freewill. In order for God to give us true freewill, we have to be able to choose evil as well as good.

I do not think good and evil are a binary choice. There are degrees of both. For the choice to be legitimate, the zero point has to be near the center of the spectrum. If there was only a small fraction left for evil, the choice would not be nearly as hard.

Take as a given that there is a wide spectrum between good and evil, and that zero is near the center. If God wanted there to be room for His infinite love, kindness and grace, He must have then created near infinite potential for evil.

The second part is more directed at the question of “Why did God allow this evil?” Where this is any event that someone deems too awful for a loving God to allow.

If God is omniscient and omnipotent, He could have not allowed it to happen. He saw it coming (omniscience), and He could have stopped it (omnipotent). In this sense, God is at least complicit in every act committed in creation. However, before we try to drag Him before a judge and jury, we need to look back at part one of the answer above, it is because He loves us that He allows us to screw it, and each other, up.

We also need to look at, “Who is the judge of what is evil?” The answer is obviously, God. He is the judge, not you. Look back at God is good, all the time.

I think whenever we ask God, “Why did you let that happen?” His loving answer is, “I had to do it.” We never know the full story, we never know all the details. We cannot keep track of all the butterflies. But He does know.

Has anyone ever told you, “Those are things best left to people who understand it better?” Well, I suggest we take their advice when it comes to questioning God’s actions. He knows.

4 thoughts on “What Is Evil?

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  2. Through a random search on the internet I found this post of yours. I preface my comment by saying I don’t know everything, neither do I know you or the totality of your belief system. However, I thought I would share my perspective.

    I have given much thought to the following questions ““Why did God allow evil?” and “Why didn’t God just destroy Satan or Lucifer and thereby remove the possibility of evil?”

    Although God is Omnipotent it seems that there are some things that God cannot do without contradicting Himself. Example: God cannot lie.

    It is my perspective that God could not have destroyed Satan prior to the infection of our world. Let me set the stage as I see it. At some point in history Lucifer becomes jealous of Jesus. He becomes prideful of himself, because of his beauty, and claims he should be in charge instead of Jesus and maybe even asserts that God and Jesus rule unjustly. Lucifer pleads his case with the angels persuading one third of them.

    What would happen if God wiped out Lucifer at this point? It would do atleast 2 very bad things. First, it would cause the angels to doubt the justice of God. In a sense they would have been given evidence that would give stronger root to the accusations of Lucifer.
    Secondly, it would cause them to serve God out of fear and not Love. They would fear for their own survival. They would do as God asks out of selfishness and self preservation rather than out a living desire to serve and honor Him.

    I see it as if God is actually on trial. God has been accused of being unjust and if he destroys His accuser without first allowing his true character to come to light then He will just prove the accuser to be right.

    It is an interesting dilemma. In order to prove that His government IS just he must allow Satan’s plan to fully play out so that it may be seen for the evil plot that it is.
    By allowing evil to take its course it proves the fact that God is Love and He IS just and that He IS worthy of our praise and worship. And it proves that Satan is selfish, a liar, is unjust, is a deceiver and would even go as far as murdering the Son of God in order to acquire rulership over this world.

    Once God’s actions have been vindicated then He can destroy Satan and his angels without the misunderstanding of motive that would have been present if Satan’s plan had not been fully exposed.

    I hope my thoughts are a benefit to you, even if they only cause you to ponder more deeply the Love of God.

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