There are those who use evil as an argument that the Christian faith is a myth. They claim that if God created everything and if evil exists, then God is the creator of evil. Thus they conclude, if there is evil either God himself is also evil or, more likely, there simply is no God.
We know evil exists; this world is filled with it. We see it every day. Evil is all around us – in the news; our video games; the television shows and movies that entertain us; our politicians; the raging battles for regional and world dominance; and most prominently in man’s inhumanity to man. However, God is not evil’s creator.
The Scriptures tell us loudly and clearly that “. . . God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16 KJV). After creation, “. . . God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good . . .” (Genesis 1:31 KJV).
Evil exists simply because God has granted man “free-will,” the capacity to make his own choices. Man made the choice in the Garden of Eden to defy his Creator and take from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil — evil did not arise from the will of God; it springs up out of the hearts of men! For, “It is not God’s will that any should perish” (2Peter 3:9).
There is a strong analogy between light and darkness, heat and cold, and good and evil:
Actually, darkness does not exist. Darkness is, in reality, the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact, we can use a prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light that is present. The light from a single candle can be detected by the human eye from over a mile away. Darkness is the term we use to describe what happens when we turn off the light.
Similarly, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics what we consider as cold is in reality simply the absence of energy, the absence of heat. We do not measure cold. What we actually measure is the decreasing amount of heat. When all heat is removed, an object becomes inert. Cold is the word we use to describe what we feel as we lose heat.
And so it is with evil. We see it every day. It is in the daily examples of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the attitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing but evil. Our argument that is that evil is just like light & dark, hot & cold. Evil does not exist, at least not in itself.
Have you ever wondered why it is that of all the creatures on planet Earth, none of the animals, not one of them, is inherently evil? If God had created evil, wouldn’t it also manifest itself throughout all of nature? Instead, it is only present in the actions of mankind. Why is that?
The Apostle Paul warns us of the roots of evil. He says, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 KJV).
Evil is the word we use to describe what manifests itself when man rejects his creator and does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s just like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light—
Evil exists in a world where men turn God off.
Evil is simply the absence of God!
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8 NASB).
Exploring Scripture ~ because it matters—it truly does!