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Evil: A Closer Look Part 1

I would like to offer some Biblical facts that may help in answering the age old question(s) surrounding evil. The question of evil in my humble opinion is one of the strongest and most difficult arguments that have been posed against the existence of God, especially His goodness.

It has been said that if you want to learn about evil all you need to look to is the first four chapters of Genesis and the last four chapters of Revelation. So let us start by looking at Genesis. Upon careful examination I am sure you will agree that:

  1. It was not something created by God.
    1. Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that He had made and it was very good.”
    2. Genesis 1 uses the word “good” seven times to describe the world God made.
  2. Evil is a description of what happened when man refused God’s leadership.
    1. Evil is a condition that resulted from man’s choice to disobey God.
      1. Genesis 2:15-17 “You must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
      2. Genesis 3:17 “Because you…ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you.”
    2. Man’s choice resulted in an aberration, a “genetic” perversion of the created order.
    3. This influenced everything: man’s relationship with God, other people, and the created order
  3. We live in a world that we crippled, and a crippled world produces crippled people and crippled circumstances.
    1. Rejection of God’s rulership is at the heart of the problem of evil. This is what the Bible calls sin.
      1. Romans 5:12 “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”
      2. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
    2. You might ask, “Why should I suffer for what someone else did?”
      1. Because that’s the way it is.
      2. Sin is very destructive, reaching far beyond those involved in the behavior.
      3. “Do your own thing as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody”? (This is called the “minimalist ethic.”)
        1. Sin has devastating consequences, reaching far beyond the perpetrator.
        2. We are naive if we think we can restrict the impact of our evil actions to ourselves.
        3. The reality is that innocent children suffer for the sins of their parents.
    3. Sin is the mutation that has twisted and distorted man from his original beauty resulting in conflicting aspects of man’s nature (Francis Schaeffer):
      1. Man’s nobility/dignity: by virtue of being created in the image of God
      2. Man’s cruelty: by virtue of his fall from goodness into evil
    4. Common question: “Didn’t God know this would happen?” Yes.
      1. Then why did God allow it? We don’t know for sure.
      2. Apparently He felt it was worth the risk.
      3. The important thing is that evil didn’t catch God by surprise.