There is a clear dichotomy between what is of God (good) and what isn’t (evil)–there are no gray areas (which I’ll post about later).
BUT, unlike ‘natural world’ dichotomies, good cannot be defined by its absence of evil–it just IS (just as God Himself is, was, and will be!).
You see, God exists as the pure paradigm of good, regardless of whether evil does or doesn’t exist. And evil exists because, in being purely good, God allows for free will. From the point He began to create, both in the heavens (angels) and on the earth (humans), His creations had (and have) the freedom to become any kind of vessel.
2 thoughts on “The relationship of good and evil”
Why is free will or freedom good?
And granting that we have free will, why would we choose to do evil? If we use the excuse that we are born into sin, then what about the devil? Why would he choose to do do something that had never been done before? If he is as smart as he’s supposed to be, how could he mess up so bad and WHY would he want to if everything was good at that point? Are we even speaking in linear terms?
Is evil defined as the absence of goodness or God? How do you define goodness? Is it things that please God? Is He honestly either pleased or displeased by everything? Like the popcorn that’s stuck in my teeth right now? Is that really either good or evil? Looking forward to your post about gray areas (:
Lots of great questions!
Free will/freedom is good because without it there would be no life—we wouldn’t really like being ‘robots’ after all, and with the creativity and knowledge that God blesses each of us with comes the ability to make our own decisions. To have freedom AND everything worked out for us is the paradox of what it means to choose the Christian God. 🙂
Why we would choose to do evil is a tougher question to answer; it doesn’t seem logical that anyone would leave what is good, yet the Bible reveals that Satan did (and other angels with him), that Adam and Eve did, that Judas did, and that there are/will be other believers who experience the intimacy, knowledge and goodness of God who will leave it for fleshly lusts. In my own life, I know that I have definitely had this temptation, and even made an agreement with the devil at one point in High School. Why? For me it was because I wanted power, and I saw that the devil could use my God-given gifts in an exciting and charming way. And though I knew in my heart that I what I was doing and feeling was wrong, it felt very ‘awesome’ to think I could be ‘on top of the world’ like that. There is ‘temptation’ from being born into sin as well, but the way I see it, sin creates a separation from God (from finding Him, hearing Him, or having deeper intimacy with Him), while, if God is already found, heard, and a relationship cultivated, the choice then becomes, “Will we be obedient (submit under Him by giving up ourselves), or do we want the blessings of God without His leadership?” Judas, is a great Biblical example, because, although he had an intimate relationship with Jesus and was casting out demons and healing people just like the rest of the disciples, he was interested in God for what God could do for him rather than what he could do for God (ending in him betraying Jesus and, rather than repenting at that point, killing himself). Those who choose the Christian God for His blessings alone put themselves in a similarly dangerous position.
Moving on to definitions, I would say that, the nature of God is ‘good’, and things that express or represent His nature embody ‘goodness’. Since good exists before evil (which I would argue is the Biblical perspective, though many Christians would disagree), then evil can be defined by good (it’s the absence of good or the absence of God), but good cannot be defined by evil because if evil were destroyed, good would still exist. There is a lot more to address regarding this, so I’ll definitely post on it at some point.
Also, I want to encourage you that God Loves all people—including you!—no matter what (it’s called unconditional love: in the Greek expressed with its own word, ‘agape’). BUT, because He loves people so deeply, and because His nature is physically not compatible with evil, He will discipline those who are in sin until they fully come (or return) to Him. God loves us SO much, that he’d rather we experience suffering that pushes us to Him in this age, then to live blissfully now, but spend eternity being tormented in Hell. (I’ll talk more about all this as well.)
And about the gray areas… I could have said that more clearly. In the spiritual world there are no gray areas, though unfortunately, the spiritual world manifests itself in the physical realm more than most people realize and even leaves lasting consequences. So, the world as it is (having a downward spiral), is not the way God intended it, and in the next age (where the promise is an upward spiral from glory to glory), I doubt anyone will get popcorn stuck in their teeth. 🙂
Comments are closed.