Did God Create Evil?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

©2015 by George Yazigi (inspired by Augustinian Syllogism)

Did God create evil?

Does God cause evil things to happen?

In order to answer the above 2 questions it would be important to understand the following main concepts about God:

Among other things, God cannot and will never:

  1. Contradict himself as shown in [2 Timothy 2:13], and [1 Cor. 14:33]
  2. Lie as shown [Hebrews 6:18], [Numbers 23:19], [1 Samuel 15:29], [Romans 3:4], [Titus 1:2], [1 John 1:10], and [1 John 5:10]
  3. Break a promise as shown in [Psalms 89:34], [Leviticus 26:44], [Jeremiah 14:21], and [Jeremiah 33:20–22]
  4. Change as shown in [Malachi 3:6], [Psalms 102:27], [Hebrews 13:8], [James 1:17], and [Revelation 1:8]
  5. Be tempted by evil as shown in [James 1:13-14]

(Cannot doesn’t mean lack of power or ability, however it denotes that it is impossible to find such attribute in God’s pure character)

Among other things, God has always been and will always be:

  1. Just as shown in [Job 34:12], [Deuteronomy 32:4], [Psalms 9:7-8], [Psalms 99:4], [Psalms 140:12], [Acts 10:34-35], and [Romans 3:26]
  2. Executing judgement as shown in [Psalms 9:7-8], [Colossians 3:25], [Isaiah 66:24], [2 Thessalonians 1:8-9], [Deuteronomy 10:18], [1 Samuel 24:15], and [Romans 12:19]
  3. Loving as shown in [Psalms 86:15], [Job 34:19], [Zephaniah 3:17], [John 3:16], [Romans 5:8], [Galatians 2:20], [Ephesians 2:4-5], [1 John 4:9-11], [1 John 4:7-8], [1 Peter 5:6-7], and [1 John 3:1]

When we say that God created everything, we have to be careful not to be attracted into a logical contradiction and fallacy and deduce that God also created evil!

Evil is not something that exists by its own, you cannot go to the supermarket and ask for a kilo of evil or buy a bottle of evil!!!

Evil is a reality the same way holes are, holes cannot exist stand alone, they must belong to something, you say a hole in a pocket to indicate the absence or deterioration of fabric in a pocket, a hole in a basket, to indicate the absence of material in a certain area of the basket; A hole in the wall to indicate the absence of concrete or plasterboard in that wall; A hole in the Ozone layer, to indicate absence of O3 in parts of the atmosphere surrounding the earth.

The same thing applies to cold and darkness: cold is the absence of heat, and darkness is the absence of light. God did not create the darkness, the Bible teaches us that:

God initially created the light as shown in [Genesis 1:3] “Let there be light” and the absence of light was darkness it was initially present by default without any creation due to the absence of light as shown in [Genesis 1:2].

Evil therefore could be thought of as the absence of goodness, thus when God created everything the Bible teaches us in [Genesis 1:31] that: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day”.

From the above we can understand that God when He created the world, everything was perfect, in order for something to be very good in God’s eyes this means it was really perfect, and Evil and/or bad things were not even mentioned and were not even there.

Among the very good things that God made, were creatures with a will to do good, and to perfect these creatures He gave them the freedom of selection between good and any other alternative options, one of which was evil!

So evil is always the result of a process, which starts with:

1- Free will to select

2- Idea (thinking)

3- Imagination or plan

4- Action (execution)

5- Result

As shown in [James 1:15], [Job 15:35], [Isaiah 59:4], [Psalms 7:14]

The pre-requisite for the above mentioned process is having a free and independent will, because God is always interested in accountability for administering judgement, one cannot be held accountable if (s)he has no free will. That’s why in international law any confession, which is obtained by torture, is void, because the individual will not be deciding of his/her own free will. Another example, superpowers such as the USA, UK, … will not accept to negotiate with terrorists, because this takes away the government free will and its ability to make proper decisions without being subject to both material and moral threat.

From the above one can conclude that without a free will, accountability cannot be maintained and therefore judgement cannot be administered.

And therefore God did not create or generate evil, however God allows evil because he respects our freedom. Besides, if God had not allowed evil as one of the possible options a free thinking creature has, He would have rendered His creatures into executing robots serving Him out of obligation or design not out of free choice or freedom! Creatures would be programmed to worship God without any desire to learn about the Truths of their Creator, very similar to a computer program, which executes the desire of the programmer without any desire to understand what is being achieved. This would be conflicting with God’s moral character which respects and honors the freedom and independence of His creatures as shown in [Deuteronomy 30:15-20], [Galatians 5:13], [John 8:32], [1 Peter 2:16-17], [Psalms 91:14-15], and [Psalms 118:5].

By allowing evil to happen, God is unequivocally preserving our freedom of choice and respecting our decision to follow the path that we deem appropriate to our way of life. This should not be seen as contradicting God’s sovereignty as the ultimate ruler of the universe. If God allows evil to happen this doesn’t mean that He initiates or Has created evil in the first place. God the LORD of LOVE and GOODNESS will never contradict Himself and create evil, simply because these attributes are not in God’s pure moral character. God also being all knowing, omnipotent, and omnipresent has the full knowledge about how things are going to happen.

For example the Godhead has foreseen that Adam and Eve were going to disobey His commandments and fall, however the Godhead had already prepared a salvation plan since the beginning, and did not interfere in Adam and Eve decisions because He respected their free will. Imagine God’s Love, God was ready to sacrifice the SON (second person of the Godhead) rather than to interfere in Adam’s decision. He could have sent an Angel to prevent Adam and Eve from disobeying Him, but He wanted to preserve their freedom.

He allowed evil to happen but a plan was ready for salvation as shown in [1 Peter 1:18-20]. Besides, God is faithful and He will never allow any temptation beyond what we can sustain as shown in [1 Corinthians 10:13].

Finally Jesus was very clear in His words in [Matthew 12:25-27]: “25And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?”

By analogy from this verse we can safely conclude that: if God created evil and or He causes evil to happen, He would be divided against Himself, because how can God be so loving and in the same time causing evil, so His kingdom will not stand!! Because the Bible teaches us that God’s kingdom stays for ever as shown in [2 Samuel 7:16], [Psalms 45:6], [Luke 1:33], [2 Peter 1:11], and [Revelation 1:6].

Therefore the idea that God had created evil or He causes evil to happen should be overruled. And the only logical explanation to the above 2 questions would be that God has never created evil because this contradicts His pure moral character, however evil exists as an absence of good or absence of God, and that God would never cause evil, however He would allow evil to happen in order to preserve our freedom of choice.