Hey .. you true believers out there – will one of you please explain why your group always seems to run away from the tough questions? It’s not like you can’t see them .. or maybe you can’t, but when they are pointed out to you – why don’t you answer? Please, try and prove me wrong. I don’t want to believe that the ‘one’ God in the bible is evil – but the facts seem to speak for themselves. What do I mean? How can I possibly say that? Well, to start with, I don’t believe there’s only one God .. so let’s be a little specific and look only at the OT one, for now.
Is God evil?
First let’s define evil.
1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.
1. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
2. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction: a leader’s power to do both good and evil.
3. An evil force, power, or personification.
4. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction: the social evils of poverty and injustice.
In an evil manner.
TheFreeDictionary – evil That is a fascinating page. I am grateful to the creator of the page for all the information on it.
Here’s a simply hypothesis – did God create all things? Let’s look in Genesis. The first two chapters are very specific – he created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. Paul in Colossians (or whomever actually wrote it, since the author is under dispute) 1:16 certainly thinks so. So says Revelation 4:11, 10:6, Isaiah 42:5, 45:12 and, creation through Jesus is stressed in Colossians 1:15-18, John 1:1-3,10, Ephesians 3:9. That’s pretty clear.
Since God created everything, where did evil come from? It can’t have come from some outside source if God IS everything, and it must have God within it since God is IN everything. So where does that leave us with this very brief question? Yes, God ‘is’ evil, just in the same way he/IT ‘is’ good. Back to Genesis 1:27 “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” Now we know where we get it from.
Not enough, hey? Ok, let’s look at the concept of ‘morally wrong acts’.
Is it morally wrong to give a bomb to a child and ask it not pull the pin? Or a loaded gun and ask it not to point and shoot? Yes, I’m talking about Adam and Eve. Why put them into a garden of perfection, and then deliberately point out the only tree they were not allowed to touch? And how did the serpent get in there in the first place, to ‘tempt’ them to their own destruction? Don’t tell me the all knowing God didn’t know Satan (for want of a more accurate name) was there? Doesn’t that remove the whole concept of ‘all knowing’? Did God expect too much of it’s innocent (childlike) creations? And on that thought, why did God create beings that couldn’t change? Because hanging around in a beautiful garden, without having to do a thing ever, is not going to teach anyone anything .. but pop in a bit of temptation, and suddenly the humans had to fend for themselves in an unknown wilderness .. that’s a great way to learn to survive, or perish.
Now let’s step out of the garden and into Lot’s life. Is one act of evil mitigated by another act of evil? Is it morally wrong to destroy two entire communities of people who are acting in morally wrong ways? How does anyone get a chance to learn and change if you take away their lives .. and where did they go when they were dead – because hell was not really an OT topic? But that’s another story. And why kill Lot’s wife for looking over her shoulder, and not kill her daughters for acts of incest, that God later decided were not good behaviour? What changed his mind?
Then we’ll look at Abraham. Is it morally wrong to ask a man to kill his son to prove his faith? Is lying wrong too, because God obviously had no intention of allowing the boy to die, so why put Abraham through that psychological torture (and it had to be torture, unless the man was a nut), when God thought Abraham was a true believer?
And talking about true believers, how about Job. He’s a conundrum all to himself. I really should go back to Saul, another of my favourites .. one of God’s favourites for a while, until he disobeyed the order to ‘murder an entire tribe of people’ (shades of Sodom and Gomorrah?) just because God didn’t like them at the time. God sent ‘an evil angel from the Lord’ to torment him into insanity. Is that a moral act? After all, he murdered hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people, and only spared one and some food.
Is the OT God evil? Well, how would those people feel about it? And why should we love such a God, if IT cannot be trusted to speak first before pulling the trigger? If a person like that breaks into your home what would you do?
And then we have the NT God who teaches “love one another as I have loved you”. The most evil act IT did seems to have been to ask Jesus to sacrifice himself for love of us. I think I’ll stick with EL.
Love & Peace