God does not create, commit, or allow evil!


#1

" 1 John 3:8.*
God doesn’t create evil:

During The Creation Week, we read in Genesis 1:10-31 the phrase, “And God saw that it was good,” six times. I argue that EVERYTHING that was created, was created good during that First Week—which would include the archangel Lucifer. However, we know that by the beginning of chapter 3 he had fallen, because there we read how he tempted Eve to sin; Lucifer was the first sinner.

And we know that Satan, the accuser, became the author of death, NOT GOD. Hebrews 2:14. Death is God’s stated enemy, which will be completely eradicated in the future. 1 Cor. 15:26. (And that eradication must also include the “second death,” the lake of fire.)

God doesn’t commit evil:

In another discussion, I argued that God does not commit evil. The writers of Scripture were mediators of God’s communications, and they, like us, ‘saw through a glass, darkly.’ 1 Cor. 13:12. The Bible is only part of a never-ending, progressive revelation of the goodness of God. The Scriptures must be read through the lens of love; any passage that indicates God approved or ordered evil must be properly discerned by the Spirit, who gives life, and not the letter, which kills. 2 Cor. 3:6. God always, only, overcomes evil with good. He commands us to love our enemies, and to likewise overcome evil with good. Rom. 12:21; Mat. 5:44, Luke 6:25, 35.

God doesn’t allow evil:

But many say,* "God may not commit evil, but He certainly allows it.”* God is assuredly omnipotent, but only within the context of His nature. He is not all-powerfully coercive or violent or cruel. He is unipolar in nature: agape love.

God is always an active “disallower" and disabler of evil. God’s only posture toward evil is to disallow it on every level.

The Bible teaches that “the life is in the blood.” Leviticus 17:11. Reading the Exodus story allegorically, the blood of the Passover lamb (a symbol of the blood/life of Christ) had to be APPLIED to their doors to keep the death angel from entering their households and oppressing their lives with destructions. As Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313 – 386 AD) indicated, just as Moses was sent by God into Egypt to lead out the persecuted Jews to the promised land—through the blood of lambs on the doorposts and lintels, so the Blood of Jesus, the spotless lamb, is our sanctuary from evil.

The cross is God’s complete disallowance of all evil, for all time—past, present, and future.

The life is in the blood. Jesus came that we might have life, abundant life, His very own divine life transfused into all our beings, all in all.

To Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:24.
Righteous ABEL’S blood cried out, “Vengeance! Vengeance!” after his brother Cain murdered him (Genesis 4:8–11). BUT the eternal blood of Jesus speaks better things. JESUS’ blood cries out “forgiveness, peace, protection, provision, success, righteousness, healing,” and much more! His blood will never lose its power.

Beloved,* “see that you do not refuse Him who speaks.”* Hebrews 12:25. See that you keep hearing the voice of grace. (Adapted from Joseph Prince.)

In conclusion, we must proclaim and apply the blood of Jesus both individually and corporately, as His body and bride. We Christians are the firstfruits of all that God created (James 1:8), but we’re not the only fruits! All creation will follow us, sooner or later—as we see God’s nature, and our mission, more clearly, and take authority to proclaim and command Christ’s life. Step by step, the lesser reality of the principles of this world must be submitted to the greater reality of the finished work of Jesus.

Our words have power. Isaac prophetically blessed Jacob (disguised as Esau) this way:

*May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.

May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed. Gen. 27:28.*
How much more should we, post-cross, who know that God is ONLY love, be using the keys of the kingdom to bind and cast out death, and to imperatively proclaim and loose life? Let’s not allow the enemy to victimize and defraud us, or our neighbors, of our blood-bought inheritance, with his seductive lies. Let us not neglect so great a salvation.”

(I adapted my discussion above from things I have written previously; from Joseph Prince; and most especially from Richard Murray–from whom I freely lifted :smiley:.)

Blessings


#2

On a related note, Prince writes:

And, I might add, Jesus is the brains of the operation, and lives inside us:
*

we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16*


#3

A lot to think about, Hermano, I’ll try to get my mind around it.


#4

Looking forward to hear where all of you land on this.

Peace
Chad


#5

I would like to blame Satan for the evil or at least killing attributed to God but Jesus doesn’t seem to suggest this in any of his OT references.


#6

I would have to respectfully disagree:

“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.” John 8:44.

Please consider, SATAN: Old Testament Servant Angel or New Testament Cosmic Rebel? by Richard Murray, and my earlier post, Is God Violent, Or Nonviolent? for more examples.

Blessings.


#7

Hermano, have you read Brad Jersak’s A More Christlike God? I haven’t read it yet, but I’m pretty sure he makes a similar argument to what you are making.


#8

Just a note here. Hermano’s main thesis is that “God does not create, commit, or allow evil!”. The Protestant site Got Questions (which is really based upon Calvinism), does not agree with the **not **allow part:

Did God create evil?

First this sentence, from their longer answer:

And I believe that answer would apply, to most (if not all) mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches :exclamation:

And the answer at Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering? (**not **a Got Questions site), does distinguish between physical and moral evil.

Now for the Got Questions full answer:

Got Questions continues to answer the question at:

Why does God allow evil?


#9

This contradicts the Bible and undercuts the hope it’s trying to create. In Job when Satan gets permission to destroy Jobs family and make Job sick Job declares:

To which the writer explains:

Ultimately God is responsible in that he permitted evil to destroy. But Satan did the destroying. God doesn’t directly cause evil but permits it for morally justifiable reasons. One act two intentions. God’s holy intentions are good man’s intentions are evil. We also see this at the cross. According to Greg Boyd:

Nonetheless God is in control. He promises to work everything together for my good because I love Him. And I love Him because He first loved me in Christ’s suffering death and resurrection. The past is wiped out and my future is secure. I’m free to live in the present moment. I have hope. And hope is the same as union. And it’s not only Romans 8 that tells us God is in control. It’s the Testimony of scripture:

The paradox of faith means holding these two things in tension: the infinite, holy love and wisdom of God and circumstances that seem to be calling Him evil. At times it doesn’t seem possible that God could allow bad things to happen. This is where I lean into His holiness and trust in His infinite love and wisdom. An infinitely wise and holy God always has justifiable reasons for permitting suffering. I can rest assured that He works all things together for my good in my life because I love Him. In bad times I can trust that He is in control and therefore He will bring good out of the evil situation. If an unbeliever starts with the facts of suffering then they will carry a lot of weight. But for those of us who have tasted the holy love of God through experience or Biblical revelation, we will know that God must have justifiable reasons for permitting evil and suffering even if we can’t say at the moment what they are. We don’t see into the future or all of reality like God does. We don’t have infinite wisdom and knowledge like God does. We don’t know God’s sovereign will until it come to pass. I can affirm with certainty that God knows the justifiable reasons for suffering and evil though. God is holy, infinite in wisdom, infinite in knowledge and sees all of reality in the past, present and future. Such a God ALWAYS has justifiable reasons for ALL suffering even if we do not know it. We do not always know why because we are finite and limited in our knowledge. Relationships are about trust and God wants us to trust Him and do mercy and justice. I can trust Him even when I don’t know why because I know He does. I don’t try to read the infinitely complex mind of God when evil and suffering come. I am moved to help.


#10

There are ways we are like God and ways we are not. We cannot be like God in every way. Knowing the Creator creature distinctions should produce a measure of humility in us.

God is all-powerful - I am not

God is in control of the universe - I am not

God is self-sufficient - I am not

God is infinite in wisdom and knowledge - I am not

God is perfect - I am not

God is all knowing - I am not

God in infinitely glorious and beautiful - I am not

I trust and rely on God. His glory is the beauty of His infinite perfections. The more I glorify God like Jesus did the more glorious I become. The glory of the creature is in humility. God is all powerful. I’m powerless and depend on Him.


#11

If this is a reference to moral evil and moral good, the statement is nonsense and easy to refute.

On the planet Mars, there is a complete absence of moral good. So according to the above quote, there must be moral evil on Mars. But in fact, there is neither moral good nor moral evil on Mars. There has to be people in order for moral good or moral evil to exist.

No—moral good and moral evil have independent existences.

Joe sees a hungry man. Here are three possible actions that Joe may take:

  1. Joe buys a meal for the hungry man. This is a moral good.
  2. Joe does nothing for the hungry man. He just walks on by. That would be an absence of moral good, but it wouldn’t be moral evil.
  3. Joe forces the hungry man to take off his shoes. Then Joe grabs the shoes and goes home. This would be theft—a moral evil, not merely an absence of doing good to the man.

#12

Well, Paidion, it also shows that Calvinists are not always in agreement (just like universalists, etc.) - as I shall demonstrate.

In fact, this first cartoon, illustrates a universal truth. If you put 2 folks, from a particular group (i.e. theologians, philosophers, universalists, etc.), into a room - guess what? You have 3.7528 opinions and growing. :exclamation: :laughing:

Let’s look at what Calvinist, Matt Slick (as contrasted to the Calvinist, Got Questions response), has to say at:

Is evil the absence of love or good?


#13

Randy, how do you post a video? I once knew this, but have forgotten.


#14

If it’s a YouTube video, you use this format, Paidion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Youtube Video

Just be sure it’s HTTP and not HTTPS format.


#15

Thank you, Randy.


#16

As Paidion has pointed out here, in Joe’s perverted mind, he is doing a “good” thing. He gets a pair of shoes for himself without having to work and pay for them.


#17

I think God is an unchanging Daddy of love. I realize that not everyone shares this perception of Him; but I think that anything else is either ignorance, or deception. God in Three Persons is only, ever, kind and good.

Anytime the sacred Scriptures seem to assign anything less than perfect goodness to our Creator Daddy, the human mediator was, in that instance, ‘seeing through a glass, darkly.’ The Bible is only part of a progressive revelation of the goodness of God in Christ; this revelation continues and increases forever.

I have come out of Arminianism, which believes that, through poor performance, a genuine Christian can lose his salvation, and go to a never-ending hell of torture. (And I don’t buy trying to dress it up, and saying that the people who are in hell will choose to reject God forever;* that with clear understanding* they will simply prefer to stay there…for eternity.)

Equally egregious to me is Calvinism, with its idea of limited atonement, and that God has predestined some people for (again) a never-ending torture chamber.

These, to me (finally) are evil misunderstandings about God’s true nature; people are sometimes confusing their friend, God, with their enemy, Satan. To quote Thomas Talbott:

God doesn’t deceive, or perpetuate any evil. Satan does.

I disagree with charismatic Calvinist John Piper, in the “comfort” he gives his young daughter. After a terrible bridge collapse in Minneapolis, here is his bedtime discussion concerning this “decision” of God, with Talitha (11):

Again, where is Satan in this discussion? Where is the exhortation to resist and fight him, with spiritual weapons? Should we use our influence to set up people to be victimized and defrauded by the destroyer? Should we continue to perpetuate the idea that God actually wants bad things to happen? I say, NO! God has disallowed all evil in Christ; we must receive and apply the victory of that finished work.

Christ was fully obedient. We take thoughts captive to his obedience; to his finished work of victory over darkness and death.

God doesn’t bless us because of our obedience, but because of Christ’s obedience. We can’t earn or deserve these blessings, only freely receive, and gratefully share. But that strikes against religiosity and performance, and the “lesser reality” law of sowing and reaping.

But the “greater reality” of grace and mercy trumps the law of sowing and reaping.

Grace: getting for free what you don’t deserve, and didn’t earn.
Mercy: not getting the bad consequences of what you do deserve, and did earn.

As to the question of morality (good vs. evil), I identify morality with subjective religion, more than with God. There were two trees in the Garden:

-The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—which represented the exit sign from depending on God, and following taskmaster and legalist Satan, and,
-The Tree of Life—who is Jesus, who has everything we need for life and godliness, for free.

We must each choose which tree we will live in.


Qaz, I haven’t read that book by Brad Jersak, but I know he believes in a nonviolent God like me–although he and I may disagree about the ontology of Satan. I think he’s great. After all, he published my all-time favorite article, SATAN: Old Testament Servant Angel or New Testament Cosmic Rebel? by Richard Murray, on his Clarion Journal :bulb:

And I really enjoyed him in Kevin Miller XI’s excellent Hellbound?, which also stars our own Robin Parry:

Christmas Blessings.


#18

Hermano, I have been reading Richard Murray’s book. I’m not very far in it, but he has given the first real solution that I have encountered to “the problem of pain” (which has been argued philosophically for ages). I have believed that God’s essence is LOVE (Heb 1:3) for a long time and "in Him is no darkness at all) (1 John 1:5). But my problem was “the problem of pain.” Here’s the way I looked at it prior to reading Murray:
In this world that have been horrific acts that have been perpetrated for ages: mental and physical torture, extremely painful forms of rape, murder, and poisoning, and many other cruelties. God usually does nothing to stop these atrocities. Since He has the power to stop them, and usually doesn’t then doesn’t this mean God is responsible for them?

Richard Murray first states there are some things God cannot do. For example, He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). So is God not omnipotent after all since He cannot lie. It depends upon how you define “omnipotent.” He cannot lie since lying is contrary to God’s character. God CANNOT do anything that is not in keeping with His character. God’s character contrary to using force to cause people to do what He wants. Therefore He cannot stop the evil acts in this world. Thus God does not ALLOW evil in any sense of the word “allow.”

I am still reading Murray’s book, and my inclination is toward this way of solving “the problem of pain” as far as human action goes. Of course, it does not solve the problem of pain that results from natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, attacks by animals, etc.


#19

How do you know this? What morally justifiable reason does God “allow” little girls to be tortured, raped, and murdered? Could God not bring about his intentions in any other way?

He usually doesn’t stop the billions of atrocities constantly occurring in the world. So in what sense is He “in control”?

As I see it, the “everything” in this passage does not refer to every event. Look at the context of Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.For those whom he foreknew he also pre-appointed to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he pre-appointed he also called, and those whom he called he also made righteous, and those whom he made righteous, he also glorified. (Rom 8:28-30)

Paul is talking about God working together for good everything He does within the called ones—and there is a sequence to this working:

  1. They are foreknown
  2. They are pre-appointed
    And if they respond positively to this appointment then
  3. They are made righteous.
    The result of being righteous is
  4. They are glorified.

Step 4 has not yet occurred, but in God’s economy it will surely happen, and so you might as well say it has already happened.

Here is another example of this. God has put everything in subjection to man , but at present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to man"

It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. (Heb 2:6-8)


#20

Hermano:

I have to ask about the trailer you shared for Hellbound. I assume it’s the 2012 movie. From the Wiki description at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellbound%3F it says this:

And I look at IMDB, whom I use for ratings, as to whether to see a movie or not. They only rate it 6.2 out of 10 (based upon user ratings) at imdb.com/title/tt2325719/.

So here are my questions:

Have you seen the film? If so, what do you think?
Do they cover other viewpoints besides ECT, like exile, P-Zombie (Rev N.T. Wright), metaphorical, annihilation, and universalism’s purifying fire?