Friday, July 27, 2007

Random Musings: On the Existence of Evil

Evil, in a very fundamental way, does not exist, because existence is an attribute of God.

Please do not misinterpret this in any way: I am fully aware of the evil in the world, I am simply attempting to redefine the nature of existence.

God declares Himself to be the "I AM", the Eternally existent God. He Is Infinite, and He created all that is "ex nihilo", out of nothing, so "In Him all things consist". That includes evil, which is merely a perversion of some good thing. So, evil exists Only in ultimate and fundamental submission to God (see Job).

To put another way: God is ultimate Good, and ultimate Being. All that deviates from one of these (and all deviations from God, the ultimate standard, are devolutions) necessarily deviates from the other. Why? Because 1). If God is good, and 2). God exists, then 3). Existence is good, and good exists. Existence and Goodness are inseparably entwined: you cannot have one without the other (this is a paraphrase of Augustine with a dash of Athanasius).

The ramifications of this are two-fold.

First is an abstract note: when we complain that we cannot "feel" God or some such rot (which occurs daily in my life; the rot is that we pay it any mind), we have to understand that it is not because He Is ethereal, but rather because we are. He Is the mountain, and we are infinitely less than the mist that breaks upon it. Only In Him do we have hope ever to leave these "shadowlands" and grow into His Image. Apart from Him we drift back into the nothingness "from whence we sprung", to paraphrase Scott.

Second, and more practically relevant (blehh! Practical is so boring...) is the weight that this lends to the Sovereignty of God: all that is (as He Is), is In Him. All that exists exists by His express permission (Amos 3:6). All that we receive, we receive from the Hand of God, and we have no right to be angry about it or even to view it as aught else than a great gift for which we must give thanks (Rom. 1).

Yes, I understand that this is a point upon which I tend to harp, but only because it is essential; it is the foundation of any joy or understanding in the Christian life. Take joy in His Glory, for it is the reason that all things exist. If we take joy in this, we will ever be joyful.

Has it happened to you? Then thank Him for it, trusting that it is another way in which He may be glorified. And yes, that is all that matters.

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