The Origin of Evil

Salma Gundi's picture

When did evil and sin enter the world? In the Garden of Eden? And who created evil? Some blame God for temptation and evil by default since he created everything. But let’s rewind. In a galaxy far far away, God created all the angels all at once. And they lived in the stellar places amongst the stars. (Since this is just a blog post and not a seminary paper, I’ll let you verify those gems on your own. A good Systematic Theology text should suffice.)  

Now because God only creates “good” and “very good,” he made each angel good, or what some would call “holy.” But Jude 1:6 says, "The angels kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation." Sin started with one angel in heaven (Lucifer or Satan), and a multitude fell after him. And God spit out his holy water because he did not see the angelic rebellion coming. Just kidding. Nothing surprises God. Keep in mind that Lucifer and the angels that followed after him fell prior to the creation of the world. It seems sin has been around a long time. And although God foreknew their defection, he never intended it. A mother can know in advance that if she takes her toddler to Walmart at naptime, Walmart patrons will get to witness a toddler tantrum. But this does not mean that she intended the tantrum. Knowledge does not have to imply malevolence.  

OK, quick review. God made the angels holy. Satan (a former angel) fell and took some angels (now called demons) with him. Since the angels fell before God even made the earth, this must mean that angels (and demons) predate humans. And since we know human sin first occurred in the Garden of Eden—a place on earth (I think you’re smelling what I’m stepping in)—we can conclude sin predates human depravity. When evil trespassed the perfect Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, depravity entered the human race. But evil and sin existed prior to Adam and Eve partaking of the tree. God created the forbidden fruit. The serpent distorted it into a temptation.  

Evil and sin entered the world when a once holy angel defied God. It seems evil has come about as an anomaly of God’s creation. No created being can create. So Satan cannot create evil. But he can misconstrue what God has made. But humanity's inability to comprehend God's ways and purposes does not cancel God's sovereignty and goodness in all things. I believe it was Randy Alcorn who said that God hates evil; people hate the outcome.

 

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