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Who Created Evil? November 20, 2006

Posted by rattazzimedia in Christianity, Church, God, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Overview, Spiritual Study, Spirituality, Theology.

I’ve heard people say things like: “If God created everything then God created evil”.  Let’s investigate this idea and see if the Scriptures shed any light on the question: Who created evil?  Going back to Genesis we can see how evil got it’s foothold in this world that we live in.  We see in Genesis chapter one that God created everything and it was “very good”.  We also see that mankind is unique in God’s creation in that man was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).  What that precisely means at the moment we first read it is not clear, events have to unfold for us to begin to understand this concept.  In the very next verse we begin to understand our unique place in God’s creation, mankind is given the responsibility to rule over God’s creation.  In other words in the beginning, just under God, man is in charge.  This is very important.  So Genesis chapter one ends with everything very good and man, being created in God’s image, is mow a participant in the creative process.

Then in Gensesis chapter two we see in the garden of Eden, right in the middle of the garden is the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the unique thing about this tree is the instruction from God not to eat from it.  Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is contrary to God’s instruction and we also see in Genesis two that the result of departing from God’s instruction is death.  A picture is beginning to develop here, in the beginning, everything good, everything in agreement with God.  Man, in God’s image is given a responsibility and authority to rule over creation.  What happens in Genesis chapter three?  Mankind decides to depart from God’s instruction and partake of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  The consequences for the world that man is in charge of are disastrous.  Death and trouble and woe enter this world because mankind has departed from God’s instruction.  This disobedience prevents mankind from eating from the tree of life.

This other creature (the serpent) that suggested an opposing point of view is not responsible because the serpent is not in charge, man is.  Evil has it’s prominent place in this world and death as a consequence because mankind has turned this creation over to it by departing from God’s instruction.  So as far as this creation, this natural world is concerned mankind is the creator of evil.  We each of us are co-creators with God, we each of us have to choose between good and evil.  Good is what God does, evil is anything that departs from God’s way, from God’s instruction.  Mankind has by and large turned God’s creation over to evil and that makes it difficult to see what is good.  Careful examination of God’s instruction is necessary from each of us each day to understand and then be in agreement with what is good.  

Did God create evil?  No.  Evil is created when we depart from God.  I have often heard it said, and sometimes from people who should know better: “How can God stand by and let all these awful things happen?”  God is not the one who is just standing by and permitting all this evil to occur.  We are.  We are responsible because we have departed form God.  We need to work together to get back to God and then we will all clearly understand the true answer to the question:  Who created evil?



1. bonnieq - November 20, 2006

I believe everyone will agree that Satan is pure evil. What most people don’t know is that he has many names in the Bible. The following is one: “I [God] have created the waster to destroy” (Isaiah 54:16). Lucifer is known as the Destroyer, the Waster, the Liar, an Evil Rod, and by many, many other monikers.

However, the above scripture does verify that God created evil for a specific purpose within His greater plan for humanity. Nevertheless, Isaiah 45:7 says it quite succinctly, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

God created evil; and, if we depart from God, we’ve only one other place to go: to evil. There are no other forces in the world or in the universe. All man has is the power to choose which force with whom he will align himself.

Had God not created evil, we would not have needed the power of choice. Had God not created evil, we would not learn what it is He “hates with a perfect hate.” And, had He not created good, we would not understand how to please God.

Indeed, God created evil; then man does with it as he chooses. I pay heed to God’s offer, “I set before you life and death. Choose life,” and choose life, avoiding all evil.

Much love and hugs,

2. nicholi - November 20, 2006

Who should I believe, you or God?
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

3. rattazzimedia - November 20, 2006

Thank you for your comments, it gives me the opportunity to make a comment on translations. I am always saying that careful study is required to accurately understand God’s word this is an example. You quoted from the King James and the Hebrew word “raa” is indeed translated evil but newer translations translate this word as disaster or calamity which are better translations of the meaning of the word as it is used here. Look in Strong’s (OT:7451) and you’ll see what I mean. Jesus said: “No one is good — except God alone.” and James said: “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” The idea that is a major theme of the Bible that man is responsible for for the evil in this world is the point I am trying to bring out and this point is often missed by the majority of people today. I’m glad my hook sparked some response. It is good for us to think about these things and help each other come to agreement among us and God. Thank you again for your contributions to this discussion.

4. Kellen - November 20, 2006

Found your post via tag surfing.

It does depend a lot on your definition of “evil” – I guess evil can be defined as sin and sinfulness, or it could be defined as unhelpful or destructive events. God is a creator and a destroyer; neither of these are “evil” in the first sense, but they are in the second sense (as nicholi brought up). God also cannot act against his character, cannot commit sin, and thus He is not the author of “evil” in either sense.

I read somewhere that “evil,” taken in the meaning of sinfulness, is not a “thing” – it does not exist as an entity, so it is not a created thing at all. It is a perversion of that which is created. I think it makes a bit more sense.

5. rattazzimedia - November 21, 2006

I like that Kellen, I’m getting a lot of disapproval of the sentence but perhaps not the sentiment, I’m going to put more study into this. Look at some of my previous posts for my definition of “evil”. For example the one titled “Good And Evil. Thanks for your input.

6. A hudson - December 2, 2006

We must all remember that God is omnipresent and that there is nothing new to him nor is there anything to sutprise him. He knew from the foundation of the world that man would choose and fall, by the beguiling spirit of evil found in Satan.

God knew everything that would take place here in this world and as creator gave man the right to choose. This is the one this that the rest of creation was not permitted to obtain. The right to choose to serve the holy God of heaven or to choose to serve darkenss is given to humanity and not to beast.

God created it all yet his stand is in righteousness and Satan is angry with all that is holy because he knows that heaven will never be a place he will enjoy and that his destination is final!

7. jay tee - December 4, 2006

I think the question of who created evil is a less interesting question than, how do we respond to evil? I agree that G-d created everything and that the notion of evil emanates from G-d also. There is only one creator. Man, in this sense, merely discovers what has already been created. But for us as a society the most important thing is correcting the evil we see in the world. And that occurs when we remove ourselves from the equation. The more we dwell on other’s needs the faster the world will be healed. This concept is embodied in the Jewish principle, “love your neighbor as yourself” and is the basis for the “love” that is mentioned in the Christian bible.

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