This past week the Lord brought me to a place where I had to answer some questions about God’s relationship to evil: Where did evil come from? Did God create it? So this blog entry is a bit of a digression from what I usually write about. I do care deeply that people see God as good, holy, morally perfect and with the highest virtue. If the Almighty, All-powerful God is not good and holy then we could never feel safe with Him.
Did God create evil?
If God is the Sovereign Creator and we have evil in the world then did God create Evil? We know that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all and we know that God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one. This means that there is no hook in the soul of God onto which evil can latch. God is good and He is neither evil’s creator nor evil’s author. God created everyTHING, and He created EveryTHING Good. Evil is exempt from the creation because evil is NOT a thing, nor is evil a being. Evil was not created and is not a created thing.
What is evil?
Evil digs a hole in goodness and spoils the GOOD that God created. All which is corrupted is a deprivation of good. Evil is A SPOILED GOODNESS. It is like a moral hole, a nothingness that results when goodness is removed. Just as a shadow is no more than a “hole” in light, evil is a hole in goodness. Evil is not something present but something missing. Evil is not something to turn toward but the TURNING itself away from Good and away from God.
God created a world of moral perfection but that does not necessitate the attribute of immutability or unchangeablenes in the morally perfect creation just as a perfectly beautiful vase is capable of being chipped or broken. In the creation, God’s goals were to create free creatures and the greatest good possible but His Creation, being free, turned away from Him, His goodness and generosity. God is neither the author of evil, nor its helpless victim. For a time, God chooses to co-exist with evil and allow it. During this season, the presence of evil illustrates by stark contrast the goodness of God. And a day will come when God’s people will no longer be able to turn away from Him again and the possibility of evil will cease.
Much of my writing here today is based on Augustine’s theory of evil and this wonderful article: Augustine on Evil by Greg Koukl