On God and Evil . . . Yet Another Go-Around

June 30, 2013

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary

Part I

     After having undergone a rather strenuous evolution through the hands of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin writers down through the ages, the terms “Lucifer,” “the devil,” and “Satan” have come to symbolize a beguiling supernatural creature who Christians believe to be the very embodiment of “evil“.

Lucifero 3

     One tradition holds that this creature was originally an angel esteemed highly by
God who somehow transformed himself into a megalomaniac intent on usurping
his Lord and Creator as Lord of the Heavens.

     Although this angel’s given Latin name  is “lucifer” (or “morning star”), his much older Hebrew title  is ha Satan. After undergoing a Christian character make-over and a shortened title change, “Satan,” eventually replaced “Lucifer” as the dark angel’s most familiar moniker―while he  was simultaneously being transformed into the very embodiment of evil.

Note: It is important to remember that Orthodox Jews do not  share a belief in the Christian “Satan” or “fallen angels,” just as they do not share a belief in the Christian triune God.  “Ha Satan ” in Hebrew is translated, ‘the Accuser” or “the Opposer.” He has been historically viewed more as Yahweh’s “sounding board” or a modern-day “devil’s advocate” rather than the very embodiment of evil. The modern-day “Satan” is purely a Christian invention.

Satan’s “Evil” Nature

     Satan, as we have already remarked, is thought to have been an angel highly favored by God who somehow became wholly gripped by wicked, power-grabbing ambition. He sought to possess God’s power and authority and rule the Heavens himself. What is more, he is said to have persuaded countless other  angels to rebel against God, as well.

But how valid can this claim really be? What could these renegade angels possibly  hope to gain from such a move? What real  incentive was there to follow Lucifer rather than God when these angels were already  filled with unimaginable joy and happiness? Or are we to believe Heaven was filled with vast numbers of angelic beings absolutely wallowing in deep discontent and misery instead? Could they possibly have been so  unhappy with their lot in heaven that they would mindlessly toss their unimaginable joy and happiness aside just to follow  Satan?

Really?

In any event, we are told that Satan and his minions were cast out of Heaven and doomed to eternal agony, anguish, torment, and suffering.

Angels01

     But the question now becomes: How was it even possible  for an angel, let alone an army of angels, created by a “perfect” being in the ultimate place of perfection—Heavento become so “evil”? Where could the “urge” to think and to do evil have possibly originated?

The answer, Christian apologists tell us, is that God bestowed all of His angels with the “gift” of free-will. This freedom of thought gave the angels the ability to choose between (A) thinking and acting in a “Godly” manner, or (B) thinking and behaving in ways opposed  to God. God simply created the “urge” that pushed all his angels to think and behave in one way or the other based on their inclination.

(Christian apologists claim God did this to prevent both angels and man from becoming mere robots or mindless puppets.)

     Unfortunately for human-kind, Satan and his minions freely chose to become “opposed” to God; in other words, to become evil.

But this presupposes the preexistence  of “evil” itself, does it not? Satan had the free-will to choose between either “A” (GOOD) or “B,” (EVIL) with ”B” having already  been created! Otherwise it would be impossible to  choose “B”. So now we must probe deeper and ask where evil and wickedness itself  originated. And the answer to that—according to scripture—lies with God himself. For we read:

     “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Colossians 1:16; AKJV bible; see also John 1:3; emphasis mine)

And John 1:3 states that the God Jesus created *everything* that exists. It even goes so far as to declare that there is NOTHING that was created that the God Jesus *DIDN’T* create:

All things came into being through Him [the God Jesus], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (NASB; emphasis added.)

As we can see, evil could not have been brought into existence by any other being but  God. As the creator of everything that exists, it naturally follows that God created― in fact,  invented  evil―along with every  conceivable ill that has plagued humanity. And here is the fly-in-the-ointment: God had the free-will not  to create evil. In fact, Christians are taught that at some future date God will eradicate all  evil once and for all (cf. Revelation 21:4); that it will, in fact, vanish from existence completely.

(And so up in smoke goes the Christian claim that God wanted neither angels or man to become mere robots or mindless puppets!)

     If there’s to be no evil in the future, why create it in the past? Why create even the urge  (or thought) to disobey in the first  place?

A further point: In thinking-up the concept of evil, God had to draw on some notion, some idea, that was inherently evil. Since there is no other place God could have conceivably “summoned up” the notion of evil―other than from within Himself―it logically follows that God is possessed of an “inner evil nature” of some sort; an area from within his own psyche from where He could  draw upon the concept of evil, as well as suffering , death, and *eternal* punishment; an area of his psyche devoid of “goodness.” Otherwise, from where else would  God have derived the idea of EVIL from?

And here is another  unsettling question or two for Christians to ponder: Why is God continuing  to “supply” Satan with his evil powers instead of “pulling the plug” on him and, thus, prevent yet another human from spending all of eternity in God’s “Hell”?

Helpless to do so, is He?

See also my, “On God and Evil . . .God’s Evil Power” (here)

Next in Part II: We ask the question: Did Eve really  possess “free-will”? (here)

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