The Truth about Evil

By Patricia kenney

According to Ron Rhodes, in a simple way, the problem with Evil is this: One of two things: Either God wants to abolish evil and cannot; or He can, but does not want to; or else, He cannot or He wants not. If He wants to, but cannot, He is impotent. If He can, but does not want to, then He is perverse. However, if God wants to, and can abolish evil, then how evil takes place in the world? From my recent reading of Rhodes’ book: “Why Bad Things Happen, if God is Good,” I have benefited from a lot of good things, of which I had not thought yet. According to the author, evil is the absence or privation of some good thing; of something good that should be there, but is not. Thus, for example, health, which is inherent to God, and is good, should be always be present. But when it is absent, there comes a disease, which is evil. Then, Evil is absence of the Good; Death is absence of life; disease is absence of health; anger is absence of understanding; and so on… Good and Evil seem to be the source of all things and evil, the absence of the good that should be there. Evil is the result from one’s state of separation from God. The author also cites William Dembski, an important theoretician who defends an intelligent project and explains evil like this: Evil is always a parasite from Good. Actually, all our words to define evil presuppose that some good was perverted. Impurity presupposes purity; improbity presupposes probity; a detour presupposes a route (i.e., a way) from where we left; a sin […] presupposes a wrong target, and so on… Evil that comes for the Good This defined; there is another point to be considered: To distinguish evil from good and make a full evaluation would only be possible if one were beyond all factors of reference. That is: only from God’s point of view it is possible to make an unequivocal evaluation. This point of reference is important, because there are innumerous “evils” that have resulted from producing goodness and all of us have already had experiences like that. To demonstrate this, I have selected a passage from Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s “Warriors of Peace”. “God uses loneliness to teach us about co-existence. Sometimes, He uses anger for us to understand the infinite value of peace. Other times he uses boredom, when he wishes to show the importance of an adventure or letting things go. God often uses silence for teaching us about the responsibility for what we say. Sometimes He uses tiredness for us to understand the value of waking up. In other occasions, He uses disease to show us the importance of health. God uses fire to teach about water. Sometimes He uses earth for us to be able to understand the value of air. And sometimes He uses death, when He wants to show us the value of life.”

The scope of Evil
Our actions may have infinite repercussion, like a circle of undulations over a lake and these effects can affect us and others for an indeterminate length of time. Decisions from “authorities” can affect their population and the world, for good and for bad, for centuries ahead. Thus, like a snow ball, a lot of evil that exists today in the humanity, may be a factor that comes from actions of the whole humanity along its history. Its reach can be infinite, as, our actions affect other people’s actions, and so on. Evil, lie, rage, anguish, doubt, contempt, all one can produce to harm someone else, can have a devastating effect on humanity. It is like the story of the man who got fired; quarreled with his wife; who shouted at the boy; who kicked the dog; who bit the postman… Both, good and evil, are contagious. Thence, the question: it would not have been easier if God had created a man incapable of sinning? In answer to this, Ron cites a good example: Gordon R. Lews and Bruce A. Demarest, theologians, offer us an illustration of this point of view in the person of Henry Ford: “Henry Ford is the final cause of all Ford-make cars, due to the fact that none of them would exist, if he had not invented it with the purpose of providing transport for people. However, he, who could very well have foreseen the bad uses for his invention, apparently, after a sort of analysis on the pros-and-cons, decided that it was wiser to do it than not do it”. However, when someone, who has had one or two drinks too many, gets his car and ends up by causing a collision, killing innocents, Henry Ford does not become guilty of having committed a crime. By analogy, we cannot put the blame on God for all the evil of the world, just because He has granted free will to the human-being, as, it was the misuse of this gift that has caused such harm. Free-will is a gift. In my view, God does not make mistakes and He has full confidence on the perfection of His creation, as it was created to the image and similitude of its Creator, who - its is good to remember – cannot create differently. God knows that His children, as infants and apprentices of God require time to reach His perfection. And that’s why He gave us: Time. Today, in spite of the horrific things that still take place, we cannot deny that humanity has improved as a whole. Today we find slavery revolting, which was seen as some natural thing a few decades ago. We have also started to query domestic violence and lack of respect to democracy; prejudice against personal, racial, social, regional differences and a lot more. We have a lot to be thankful for God’s eternal patience. Ron says: Suppose that God, simply, cannot do certain things. For example: God cannot make square circles. And neither can He make round squares. For God, it is impossible to lie, as this act would violate His divine nature. It is also impossible for God to eliminate all evil without suppressing free will. Due to the fact that that free-will is necessary for the existence of a universe with morality –

a universe that includes the free expression of love – God cannot eliminate evil without also finish off this good and moral universe. However, free choice, as said above, has always the possibility of being a wrong choice. He cannot give free will to human beings in some occasions and not in others. He cannot create agents with moral freedom and afterwards, whenever they deviate from His wishes, to hold their fingers, making them robots. God cannot create beings with free-will and then force them to make correct choices. We can say that God’s plan, since the beginning, brought in itself a potential for evil, even if transitory. The intention of the creator is to expand Himself and He does it by multiplying himself in individual consciences that will have to wake themselves up, God would be admitting that He has created incapable, weak beings, without the potential to reach His perfection. From the moment that He has granted freedom of choice to the human-being, He admitted the risk of separation, of good and evil, from individuation, but, He already previewed the outcome too, with the awakening of men, through the Holly Spirit. The true origin of evil is the result from man having diverted his wish away from God, complying with the needs of his EGO, but, I believe that even that was already expected, as a learning process pre-supposes the consciousness transition from the primary SELF to the DIVINE SELF. The human ego is always trying to make the world become what he wants. All that he constructs tells the ego about his own self. The ego establishes his identity by what he creates around him. His successive experiences, either on this life or in several others, allow the ego to reach a degree of search and evolution in order to AWAKE his DEVINE BEING. The ego, then, ceases to exist as identity, becoming just a temporal tool of the AWAKEN SELF. The Awaken Self, illuminated, manifests the world of God on Earth, and evil succumbs. Again, I cite Ron: “God is not caught by surprise by the fact that human beings use their free choice, which He, himself, has conceded. God, in His omniscience, knew that this could happen. In His wisdom, God knew that the temporary permission for the existence of evil in the world, at the end, would be worthwhile. C. S. Lewis explains that God, in His omniscience, “saw that He, with a world of free creatures, in spite of having fallen, they could reach […] a much deeper happiness and a fuller splendor than any automat world [of robots] would allow. “As things stand now, we certainly can say that our present world is not the best of possible worlds. However, in agreement with the sovereign plans of God, this is the best way towards the best possible world.” The only way to overcome evil is to encounter God. That, which appears as an error, is a mistaken creed on the existence of a separate life without God. It is the result from the limited capacity of the human being in creating from the substance of God. Separate from God, a human being reflects its own limitation.

Mistake exists, because it is given to man access to the grace of God. To him, it was given the right and intelligence to create as Good does, but the result is not satisfactory. It is necessary to know what to do with this Divine substance which manifests itself in all the things and circumstances surrounding us. I could make here an analogy with a child to whom we ask to draw a man. The child will probably draw a ball, a deformed body and some sticks representing legs, arms and hands. This child, one day, will grow up and learn how to draw a lot better and, eventually, if he/she learns art, they can become a professional. However, being small, the child will only be able to draw according to his/her limited capacity. That is how we are, on trying to create God’s world. We are children of God learning to create in God’s world. We are children playing God and our production testifies that there is a lot to learn yet. When we are awake in God, it is not possible to create a bad world, but, as only few of us are conscious full time, we still experiment a world of scarcity, calamities, power disputes, hunger, etc. This eternal search for the peace of God demands constant vigilance. Joel Goldsmith reminds us that, when we meditate, we reach the Divine in us and we dive into the wholesome peace of God. This keeps our vision pure and helps us to influence the world in a beneficial way, under God’s point of view, so that we are capable of relating ourselves with the world, without belonging to it. However, this lasts some hours and we soon need to silence our minds again, and, through another meditation pause, reencounter God, because the density of this material world is so great, that we easily forget who we really are. When we recognize our limitations, as spiritual children that we are, and we open our hearts and minds to the Master’s tutorship, we allow Him to manifest Himself and present, then, a demonstration of HIS perfect world. Jesus knew this and always said: “I, by myself, can do nothing”. He was capable of curing, because he did not see the error, did not see the disease, did not see the evil, or the sin. He was capable of seeing God manifest beyond the human and limited world that surrounded him. As all he could see was perfection, he could tell the cripple to get up and to the moribund to get out of the sepulcher. Jesus is the proof that good superposes evil. Miracle is the proof that our world is not real and that the power of God can manifest itself in our world whenever we manage to connect with Him. And, that, contrary to what it seems, God has absolute power to end all evil.

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