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    Christian Theology - Thread: Why Does Evil Exist?

    1. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by meluckycharms View Post
      Where did evil come from? If God is a perfect being, wouldn't it be impossible for Him to create anything with imperfections. Yet humans are imperfect creatures who cause evil. Does this mean that no such God exists?

      Note: this question is intended to drive the conversation and encourage a thought. I am not suggesting that God does not exist.

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      He created Lucifer perfect and he still sinned. Perfect were you the day you were created, it says.
      He got proud. He had free will to worship God or not.
      Perfect is not: no free will and no possibility to sin. Other angels never sinned. It's a choice.
      I think it's because people and angels are someone themselves. Then He can't control them or He has to force them against their will.
      Man was created good, not perfect. Becoming perfect is when you obey Him, like Jesus became perfect.
      Can God create a human at once who like Jesus wants to only do His will? Apparantly not. Love is a choice. I think He doesn't want to marry a bride who just follows Him cuz she has to.
      Last edited by Imalive; 01-04-2018 at 05:33 AM.

    2. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Imalive View Post
      He created Lucifer perfect and he still sinned. Perfect were you the day you were created, it says.
      He got proud. He had free will to worship God or not.
      Perfect is not: no free will and no possibility to sin. Other angels never sinned. It's a choice.
      I think it's because people and angels are someone themselves. Then He can't control them or He has to force them against their will.
      Man was created good, not perfect. Becoming perfect is when you obey Him, like Jesus became perfect.
      Can God create a human at once who like Jesus wants to only do His will? Appareantly not. Love is a choice. I think He doesn't want to marry a bride who just follows Him cuz she has to.
      I agree. Forced love is not love at all. It is rape. God is not a divine rapist. We agree that it is possible for perfect creations to create evil. But why does evil persist? If God is both willing and able to stop evil, why doesn't He?

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      Quote Originally Posted by meluckycharms View Post
      I agree. Forced love is not love at all. It is rape. God is not a divine rapist. We agree that it is possible for perfect creations to create evil. But why does evil persist? If God is both willing and able to stop evil, why doesn't He?

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      He will in the end. Now He is long suffering cause He wants everyone to get saved. He could have destroyed the whole world 2000 years ago.

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      Quote Originally Posted by meluckycharms View Post
      The problem of evil is not just simply that evil exists. Rather, it is the compatibility between both God and evil that drives the conundrum. Many theologians have variations to the problem of evil. However, simply stated, "If God is able (omnipotent), He could stop evil. If God is willing (onmibenevolent), He will desire to stop evil. Furthermore, if God is all knowing (omniscient), He would have been aware that evil would exist and could have prevented it. Thus, if God is both willing and able to stop and prevent evil, why does evil exist?

      I am bringing up this issue to encourage conversation. I have my own conclusion. However, I would like to hear other points of view. Particularly that of the Reformed "Calvinist" variety.

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      I think this is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for some people in coming to Christ. They can't accept that God is love, but then also see the evil that exists in the world. God clearly gave man a choice in the garden and man sinned. The wages of sin is death the Bibe says. And we are seeing that death and despair that sin has created in the world around us now.

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    7. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      I think this is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for some people in coming to Christ. They can't accept that God is love, but then also see the evil that exists in the world. God clearly gave man a choice in the garden and man sinned. The wages of sin is death the Bibe says. And we are seeing that death and despair that sin has created in the world around us now.
      Yes but it's how I got saved and came back. I didnt believe He existed anymore, but the evil in the world proved a devil, so then He existed too.

    8. #16
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      I tried to attach my research paper on the topic to share what I have learned but for some reason I cannot. I will provide a series of posts. They may be long but I will break my paper in smaller chunks. It is 8 pages in length.

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    9. #17
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      1. THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
      What is “The Problem of Evil”? The problem of evil is not just simply that evil exists. Rather, it is the compatibility between both God and evil that drives the conundrum. Many theologians such as Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, and C.S. Lewis have had variations to the problem of evil. However, simply stated, "If God is able (omnipotent), He could stop evil. If God is willing (omnibenevolent), He will desire to stop evil. Furthermore, if God is omniscient, He would have been aware that evil would exist and could have prevented it. Thus, if God is both willing and able to stop and prevent evil, why does evil exist? (Keeft and Tacelli 1994, 128).

      Removal of one aspect seems to solve the issue. Accepting evil and denying God leaves atheism. Pantheism is the product of accepting God and denying evil. Theism, more specifically monotheism which is centered on an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient God, are uniquely left struggling to reconcile the compatibility with the all-powerful and evil.

      The Bible does not remain silent on this issue. Examples may be found in Job, Habakkuk (Hab. 1:2-4), Ecclesiastes (Eccl.4:1-3), and Psalms (Pss. 10; 22;83). Many attempts to address the issue seem to require a reduction or removal of least one of God's qualities making it "perhaps the most severe of all the intellectual problems facing theism" (Erickson 1998, 386). Examples include the removal of God’s omnipotence (Finitism), modification of God’s omnibenevolence (determinism), or denial of evil’s existence (pantheism)(Erickson 1998, 386-394). To address this issue, we must first understand what evil is and where it originates.
      Last edited by meluckycharms; 01-05-2018 at 09:54 PM.

    10. #18
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      2. WHAT IS EVIL?
      If God is omnibenevolent, evil cannot be within Him nor can it be emanated or created by Him. As the supremely sovereign creator, what then is "evil"? The skeptic will argue that if God is the creator of everything in existence and all things were created through Him (Gen. 1:1; John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11) and evil is something that exists, God must have created evil too. After all, it is written, “…I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things” (Isa. 45:6-7). It seems as though that scripture confirms the skeptic’s claim. Furthermore, denying either God or evil leads to dualism or pantheism.

      Thomas Aquinas responds the Summa Theologica, on question XLVIII. Aquinas proposes that "evil" is not a substance but an absence or corruption of substance. More specifically, Aquinas states that "evil is signified as the absence of good." It is not enough to say that evil is merely an "absence." Rather, it is a privation or absence of something that should be present. This definition by no means implies that evil does not exist, or we fall into a pantheistic conclusion. Rather, as Norman Geisler explains, "Evil is a real lack, privation, or corruption of a good thing. That is, evil does not exist in itself: evil exists only in a thing or substance – and all things God made are good" (Geisler 2011, 18). Therefore, God is the creator of everything in existence. However, since evil is not a thing but a privation of good, God did not create evil.
      Instead, good must exist to make evil possible. Furthermore, by comparing evil to moth holes, Geisler concludes that nothing can be entirely evil. Moth holes can corrupt a sweater, but a wholly moth-eater garment is just a hangar in the closet (Geisler 2011, 19). Satan, who by his nature, is utterly evil in a moral sense (John 8:44) is still good in a metaphysical sense because Lucifer was an angel of God. Morally, it is possible for a mere human to be utterly depraved, yet metaphysically still be good in that they are still image bearers of God.

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      Last edited by meluckycharms; 01-05-2018 at 09:57 PM.

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      3. WHERE DID EVIL COME?
      The problem associated with the origin of evil stems from God's perfect nature. The skeptic would argue that if God is a perfect being, it would be impossible for Him to create anything with imperfections. Because human beings are imperfect creatures who cause evil, no such God exists. After all, it is also written: "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit" (Matt. 7:18). Citing the moral argument, I would immediately respond to the skeptic is that to admit evil’s existence is to imply an objective moral law exists. If such law exists, there must be an objective moral lawgiver who is otherwise known as God (Craig 2008, 25). This argument in itself should be enough to de-fang the skeptical position. However, it fails to address the issue for the theist. Thomas Aquinas has more to say about the issue.

      Again in the Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas responds in question XLIX titled "The Cause of Evil" by incorporating "free will" into the equation. Referencing Matthew 7:18, Aquinas proposes that God, who is a perfect being, cannot be the direct cause of evil and can only create perfect creatures. Free will is one of the perfections that He gave to humans. Free will is a good quality in itself. However, one of the byproducts of free will is the possibility of using it for evil. As a result, God would, therefore, be the cause for making the existence of evil a possibility. This suggestion, of course, does not absolve humanity's responsibility for evil as suggested by determinism. Humans endowed with free will are responsible for the actuality of evil's existence. As a privation of good, evil is the product of using free will to choose separation from God who is the source of goodness. Thus, it is possible for God's perfect creations to create evil.


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      Last edited by meluckycharms; 01-05-2018 at 10:39 PM.

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      4. WHY DOES EVIL STILL PERSIST?
      We now understand that evil is a privation of goodness and that this privation is a product of free will. We also know that God is responsible for making evil a possibility. However, as a result of their abuse of free will, humans are responsible for making the existence of evil reality.
      Now, we can address the issue of evil's persistence. If God is all powerful and all good, He would have both the capability and desire to stop evil. So why does evil still exist? How do we answer this question without reverting to finitism? Many theologians seem to suggest that even an omnipotent God has limitations. "By [God's omnipotence] we mean that God is able to do all things that are proper objects of his power" (Erickson 1998, 247). There seem to be two types of limitations to God's omnipotence. First, God has natural limitations. He cannot do what is contradictory to His nature. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), sin (James 1:13), deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:11-13) or force willful obedience (Matt. 23:37). In this case, the omnipotence of God does not mean that He can do anything. God’s omnipotence means that He can do anything that is possible (Geisler 2011, 37). As long as we have free will, God cannot remove evil by forcing us to choose goodness. This coercion would be a contradiction that goes against his nature. C. S. Lewis states, "I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully, ‘All will be saved.' But my reason retorts, ‘Without their will, or with it?' If I say ‘without their will' I at once perceive a contradiction; how can the supreme voluntary act of self-surrender be involuntary? If I say ‘With their will,’ my reason replies, ‘How if they will not give in?’” (Lewis 2001, 106-7).
      Second, God can put limitations on himself by His choosing. The most notable of His self-imposed restrictions can be found in the incarnation. For it is written, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:6-8).
      In light of these limitations, we can conclude that the destruction of evil would be an action which is contradictory to free will. It is possible for God to destroy evil by destroying free will. However, this will result in a world void of any moral value. It is comparable to a wind-up doll. By pulling the string, the toy robotically says, "I love you." However, this is merely a pre-programmed response which renders any value to be insignificant. Unlike the wind-up doll, when a spouse looks you in the eyes and says "I love you," the value lay in the fact they are willingly choosing to love. God is love, and it is God's desire that He is loved in return (1 John 4:8). However, one of the self-imposed limitations of God is that by giving humans free will, He cannot force us to return that love freely. C.S. Lewis states, “Merely to over-ride a human will…would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo” (Lewis 1976, 12). Evil cannot be destroyed without the collateral destruction of free will. However, evil will be overcome (Rom. 8:18-21; Rev. 21:1-4) by separating the good from the evil (Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:11-15) and that this separation will be based on the individual’s choosing (Matt. 23:37; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).

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      Last edited by meluckycharms; 01-06-2018 at 02:04 AM.

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