Share this story

Where does evil come from?

Did God create it?

Where does evil come from? To answer that question we have to go back to the beginning of things. In the Book of Genesis, we find two significant facts:  

God created the world incomplete.

God created men and women with the power of free will. What we speak of as 'evil' comes from these two sources.

The world is yet incomplete. God gave humanity the task to 'fill the earth and conquer it.' (Gen. 1:29) We have not conquered it. Instead of employing our talents and resources to make the world a better place, we build weapons and consume the earth's resources.

Some complain that God didn't make everything perfect in the first place. Why didn't he? I think it was because he wanted to give us the dignity of being like him. It is God-like to bring order out of chaos, meaning out of absurdity; to bring love where there is hatred; and to bring goodness where there is an absence of goodness. God wants to be loved by people who do what he does. It is God-like to join with him in bringing an incomplete world into completion.

Then there are our own freely made choices in our relationships with others. God made us to belong " to belong with each other in love and to belong to him in love. If you have experienced rejection, abuse, the loss of your good name, or the loss of love, it is because of the decisions of others, not God.

Too many people want to make God responsible for everything that happens. The truth is this: He is not. Many things happen that God never intends to happen. God wants only what is good; he wills only what is good. Evil comes from choices made by God's creatures " Satan and his angels, as well as human beings.

Our physical world is incomplete because God made it that way in order to give us the dignity of working with him to bring it to fulfillment. Our spiritual world is dislocated, out of joint and broken as a result of our choices. This is nowhere more evident than in the way we treat other people, not in the way God treats them.

In order to be truly loved, God was obliged to create us with freedom of choice. Who wants to be loved by someone who is pre-programmed to love him? Forced love is no love at all.

But to be free to say 'yes' to God meant we had to be free to say 'no' to him. Our free will is God's great risk " the risk that we will choose not to love him, that we will choose evil instead. Let us make God's risk a risk worth taking.