Did God create sin and evil?

Did God create sin and evil?

A homeschooled teenage girl asked me this question last week:  she basically said, “I would never want to say that God is at fault for all of the sin and evil in the world, yet as the Creator of this world, why isn’t He the One to blame?” 

I was the substitute teacher in her Government class (part of a large homeschool co-op.)  I wanted to begin the class with a discussion before I played the DVD that the teacher had provided for me.  I began by asking the teens…

“What is government?”  “And why do we need to be governed?”  “What is wrong with us humans anyway?  Animals don’t need to be governed!”

We never got to the DVD.  Instead, we spent the hour in discussion.  Teenagers have a lot of questions!  And, I have found that with a correct understanding of the gospel, all of our questions can be answered.

Why is God doing things this way?  Simply put, He is doing things this way, because the end result will be an eternity of love and communion spent with His dearly beloved children.  He is doing things this way, because He has made us so much greater than the animals and even all of the angelic host; He will know us and we will know Him.  What He has done is that He has made us his FRIENDS.

– – –  and just pause for a minute to consider being best friends with the One who made 150 billion galaxies –  –  –

The discussion I had with those teenagers that day kept returning to the question of evil.  They want to know why — WHY! — is there sin and evil in this world?  First, you must consider the unique design of Adam and Eve.  God made them alive.  He breathed life into them.   He gave them “the breath of life.”  He created the animals to also contain the “breath of life,” but it is a totally different set of Hebrew words compared with the Genesis 2:7 “breath of life” that the first man and woman received.

Second, you must acknowledge that the life that was contained within the breast of Adam and Eve was the very life of God Himself.  Since Adam and Eve were created to contain the Spirit of God within their body (Genesis 2:7), they had the capacity to have a close, personal, deep friendship with their God.

And, third, you must realize that ‘the law of sin and death’ caused Adam and Eve to die when they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  When they died, when their life was lost – through their sin and unbelief – they were no longer able to live according to their unique design.  From then on, mankind became capable of committing tremendous evil.

Think about it, Cain murdered his brother Able.  Yikes!  Talk about starting things off on the wrong foot.

That first murder reveals that humanity was no longer able to function in the way that we were designed.  By Genesis chapter 6, about a 1,000 years after creation….

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  Genesis 6:5

Because after Adam and Eve sinned and died, every child of theirs was born in the image of Adam:  sinful and dead (Genesis 5:3).  Unlike Adam and Eve, humans are no longer born “in the image of God.”  We are born in the image of death, of emptiness, of sinfulness.

Why did God allow this to happen?  Why did He create a world where evil could exist?

Could He not have done things differently?

Well, yeah, but that would require us to be made like the animals.

Animals are perfect because they are governed by instinct.  God wanted us to be His friends; animals, however, do not have the capacity to be friends with a holy God who dwells in unapproachable light.  He wants to be with us, to be near us, to be as close to us as our very breath.

Since the day of Pentecost – since the day that the Holy Spirit was given back to believers – we do have the capacity to fellowship and interact with the holy God who dwells in unapproachable light . . . because when we believe in the gospel, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of us.  Born sinful, dead and empty, we become forgiven, alive and filled!

And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. Colossians 2:13 (NET Bible)

He has made His home within our bodies.  We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  We are the Bride of Christ.  We are His beloved.

Sin, suffering and evil exist because men refuse to trust God; they rely on themselves instead.  Men refuse to believe in the gospel; they would rather believe in lies and fantasies.  Sin, suffering and evil exist because, without the Spirit of God dwelling inside of us, we are all dysfunctional.

To explore this topic more and learn why humans are so inclined towards sin and evil, check out these 27-minute audio messages by Aaron Budjen: The Lamp of God and The Image of God.

 

September 21, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

My #1 Parenting Mistake

Self-portrait painted by my first-born for a college Figure Drawing class:

IMG_0574-1

Pictured above is my daughter, Justine, who went a bit ‘wild’ after graduating high school.  She got herself into some dangerous situations, and learned the hard way that there are many pits and snares in this world; after a year, she decided to move back home.

As I type, she and her brother and sister are bouldering at a climbing gym together.  Their friendship has solidified during this time, and Justine likes to tell them, “Be smart.  Don’t be stupid like I was.”

However, recently, my husband and I had reason to believe that she was being stupid again.  In our despair, we asked ourselves, “How could this be happening!?  What did we do wrong!?  Where did we mess up as parents?”

Turns out, it was a false alarm — phew! — and we had nothing to worry about.

But it led me to ask Justine, “In your opinion, what was it that we did wrong?  How did we fail you?  What made you do the things you did?”

She told me, “Mom, it had nothing to do with you; as an artist, I simply wanted to experience everything that’s out there.”  (She IS quite the artist, huh!?)

But THEN, she remembered something.

She said, “Well, there was one thing:  I’m always apologizing for things that are not my fault.  Remember how you always made me go to my room so I could ask God to forgive me?  I was never sure what I did wrong, but you always forced me to apologize to God.  So now, I constantly say “I’m sorry” for things that are not my fault.”

Oh. My. Gosh!  No.  I didn’t remember that.  It seems so long ago.  I do remember that used to live by 1 John 1:9 myself, and I have a distinct memory of an incident surrounding 1 John 1:9 with my son, but — ouch! —  I would send her to her room so she could ask God to forgive her!?  Gross!

My #1 mistake as a parent was to make my kids think that God still held their sins against them.  I made them apologize to God after they sinned.  THIS is where I messed up.

I completely misunderstood 1 John 1:9.  I totally took it out of context.

In that verse, John is speaking to an unbeliever!  That is proven by reading 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

Jesus is the truth.  If the truth is not in you, then Jesus is not in you.  If Jesus is not in you, then you are an unbeliever.

Verses 8 and 9 directed to unbelievers.  In his epistle, John was addressing people who held to the Gnostic belief system, and who needed to be saved by the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

We are living in the days of the New Covenant.  And in these days it is not necessary to ask God to forgive you for your sins.  God forgave the sin of the world when He died on the cross as the propitiation for our sins.  That is only half the gospel though.  He then rose again to offer His life — His very life.  The life that had been breathed into Adam and Eve.  THAT is what saves a person.

Thank Him for the forgiveness that you have.  Receive the eternal life that He is offering to you and be saved.  Salvation sets you FREE, and it is for freedom that Christ set us free!

However . . .

I wasn’t always a Mom for Freedom.  I used to be a Mom for Obedience.

When they were little, I forced my kids to perform good works for God.  When they exhibited some bad behavior or bad attitude, I would tell them, “If you confess your sin, God is faithful and just to forgive you of your sin.”

And even if it is one little ‘work,’ one tiny ‘law,’ just one small ‘requirement’ . . . well, that ruins the entire New Covenant.

A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough.”  (Gal 5:9)

One “rule” acts like yeast and leavens the entire batch of dough; it spreads throughout the entire gospel of grace and turns the good news into bad news.

The one ‘work’ that Justine remembers being forced to perform was confessing her sins to God.

That evening that Justine told me about my #1 mistake, I got down on my knees, clasped my hands together, and begged her to forgive me!  Think of the contrast.  I am the one who needs HER to forgive ME.

* For more on the topic of forgiveness, check out this blog.

 

June 7, 2017