Thursday, October 25, 2012

What About Evil?

Could be the heaviest theological question ever. There are as many ideas on the origin of evil as there are people pondering the question. The general consensus: We don't know!

It is said that "Fools rush in where angels (or wise men) fear to tread." That being said, I hope at least to be a "fool for Christ."

Please bear with me while I define my terms. I'll get to the point, I promise. Will you agree with my point? No promises.

We are created in God's image. We model some of his character traits: creativity, ability to express love, desire for relationships, self-knowledge or awareness. There are others, but you get the idea.

This self-awareness (God's covenant name is I AM) in humanity is something that has been on my mind.

Here in the Reformed neck of the woods, we hold to God's sovereignty. God is autonomous; self-existent.

In man's case, it would seem that self-realization ("I think, therefore I am"), carries with it a drive toward autonomy ("you will be like God"-Gen 3:5b).

Autonomy is from the Greek (autos self; nomos law). Here is a definition from the redneck dictionary: auto-no-my or "No! My Self!

Were Adam and Eve created "very good?" Yes. Did God foresee the fall? Yes. Is God the author of evil? No.

It would seem that self-awareness carries with it the desire for self-rule (Lucifer, right?). I've seen it described as a vacuum. Or maybe a law of moral physics (every action has an equal and opposite reaction). In other words, the very existence of good (God) may explain the existence of evil.

Like I said, heavy stuff. Here's what I do know: as far as personal evil is concerned, I don't have to look far to place the blame. It would be comforting to say, as Eve and Geraldine did, "The devil made me do it!"

But I am aware of a "desperately wicked and deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9) and like David, "my sin is ever before me (Psalm 51:3b).

Where DID evil come from? Here is a better question: "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24b) Paul's answer: "Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:25)

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