If everything comes from God, doesn’t that mean that evil comes from God as well? Thanks


Yes and no, but more no than yes.  Let me explain.  God created everything, and it was all good.  In fact, it was very good (Genesis 1:31).  At creation, everything God made was good and there was no evil there.  However, not all of God’s creation obeys him.  Because of his love, and God is defined by love, God created persons who had what we call free will.  Love gives a choice.  Without choice, there is no love.  So we human beings–the highest of God’s physical creation, who were created with the ability to choose whether to love and obey God or not. That is why the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in the garden.  We chose to rebel and to reject the good that God had in mind for us, as is described in Genesis 3-11.  Because of our rebellion against our Creator, evil came into the world.

Does this mean that evil comes from God?  Like I said, yes and no, but mainly no.  Evil comes from God’s created beings who choose to do evil against God’s will.  Is God ultimately responsible?  On some level, the answer has to be yes. If he had not created us with free will, then evil would not have entered the world.  But I say that it is a good thing that God created us with freedom of choice, and that we, not God are responsible for the evil in the world.

Let me use an imperfect analogy.  My wife and I have three children. We also have two grandchildren.  Let us imagine that twenty-five years from now one of my grandchildren robs a store.  Am I responsible?  Am I to “blame” for the store being robbed?  Well, if my wife and I had not had children, then the crime would not have been committed.  In a very indirect sense, I am the cause of the robbery, but no one would blame me.  They probably would not even blame my daughter and son-in-law, unless they were terrible parents (which they are not!).  The grandchild, and only the grandchild will be help responsible for the behavior.

The reason there is evil in the world is that God created us in order to love us and for us to love him and one another.  To that end, we were given free will. We rebelled and did evil.  Does this mean that evil comes from God?  I give a qualified no.

John Oakes

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