Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by jmdewey60
Great response. I think you're right about the difficulty caused by the question of evil. Your post made me look at it in a different way than I
usually do. What happens if we look at it from a sequential point of view? By that I mean, can we put these key events on a timeline?
I would think the key events would be:
God coming into existence. (G)
Evil coming into existence. (E)
The Universe coming into existence. (U)
Man coming into existence. (M)
May I respectfully suggest that your timeline proceeds from a false assumption, at least as regards your first variable, (G)od. Christian scripture,
Theology and Tradition teach that God did not "come into existance' but has always existed and always will exist. To prove otherwise is impossible
and begs the question, "Who created God', which muddies the whole debate, As far as the origin of evil on your timeline, Christian Theology is quite
clear and has not, to my knowledge, been a source of contention among those who hold and believe in a traditional Christian ethic: Evil came into
existance at the time the Archangel Lucifer challenged God's authority and declared that he would be like God and even supplant God as the supreme
diety, for which he was ejected from Heaven and renamed Satan. Satan and the angels that followed him and were cast out of heaven along with him are
the main source of all evil in the world.
God created the universe after Satan's fall from grace and obviously man was created by God after the birth of the universe. Again, this is from a
traditional, orthodox (small "o") Christian theology. So, on the question of evil in the world, I would put it this way, Satan became the original
instigator of evil when he decieved Eve and subsequently Adam into disobeying God which resulted in man's fall from grace and the origin of sin.
Since that time man has had no problem in following Satan's example and performing and participating in evil with enthusiasm and gusto. The Bible
says that, "the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desparately wicked"(Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus said in Mark 7:21-23, that , “What comes
out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
So if you are going to try to reconcile yourself and your worldview with that of Christianity you will have to admit that "evil" is not something
that effects our world from outside but that evil comes from inside the heart and mind of man... and that leads right back to what Jesus' birth,
death and resurrection were and are still all about; the overcoming of sin and evil which could only be accomplished by God Himself, in the person of
His Son, Jesus, becoming flesh and living a sinless, holy life and then dying a sinners death; a criminals death, in our place. Anyone who sincerely
wishes to know the truth and seeks the truth about Who God is will find that truth but no one will find the truth by using the old chestnut, "well.
if God was a good God He wouldn't allow so much evil to happen." The truth is that God does not create evil or do evil things to us; we do a
terriffic enough job of that, ourselves.
Please understand that I am not directing all of these arguments solely to you and I hope you will not take it as a personal rebuke of yourself but
will receive it in the spirit in which it was intended, Blessings,