August 30, 2015

Did God Create Evil When He Created Lucifer?

Subtitle: Why Did Satan Fall? Is Satan to Blame for His Own Wickedness

I guess the question needs to be asked. Was the Devil evil and wicked by the responsibility of his own will or did God make the Devil that way at the very point of his creation? Well, whatever applies to created man applies to a created angelic being like Lucifer on this topic. This is almost an exact parallel to the fallacy of the “God made me this way” arguments of homosexuality and transgenderism. God by his very holy nature would not be able to create something evil or wicked. He might allow evil or wickedness in patience because God wishes that none perish in sin but He would never deliberately create it. This is a misunderstanding of God and His will.

If God could He would therefore go against His own attributes and Word doing so. He would therefore be contradictory. If an omniscient God was in contradiction to His attributes and His word, this would be illogical. He would also end up being unjust because divine justice demands that evil be punished in the face of a perfect God. 

So to answer immediately in a theological manner, God did not create Lucifer (nor mankind) evil. They were originally created holy. It isn’t until they begin making volitional choices, specifically volitional bad choices that they fall away from God. Apostasy/αποστασία literally means to leave from a previous place of standing or desertion. There is a conscious decision taking place here.

Some will cite Jesus' own words in John 8:44 saying that, "He was a murderer from the beginning." Based on this citation they will then claim that Satan was indeed evil since the beginning or since his creation. The person that would say this appears to be confusing different concepts or types of “beginnings”. This is not a beginning in the sense of a chronological start point in history. John is saying that since the Devil’s first sin the first time…he has been sinning ever since then and has not stopped. Since the first murder until now…he is still killing.

The reality of the situation is that Lucifer is unrepentant and the historical track record shows that he never will repent. It is now ingrained in his very nature. He has been totally given over to his sin. You see, unrestrained sin is not going against God more so much as it is God totally removing Himself from the actions of the sinner. The restraining hand of God is removed so that the one sinning is free to pursue their sin with reckless abandon. That is why unrestrained human sinner is so akin to the Devil and so distant from God. There is a direct correlation of proximity to God and level of sin. Evil being the a parasite of holiness cannot occupy the same place. Just as cold is an absence of heat, so too sin and evil is an absence of holiness.

Those that say the Devil and rebel angels were evil from the exact point of their creation have an incorrect view and contrary to Scripture. Satan’s original nature was not a proclivity to sin and evil (nor was man's). The form of Gnosticism known as Manicheanism is wrong (as if being under the subheading of Gnosticism didn't clue you in). The Devil’s nature was not evil itself. The prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 14:12 is clear when it states:

"How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!" 

This is clearly spoken to Day Star or Lucifer and the verbiage specifically says he fell from a given position at a given time. It would probably be better understood as fell away from God both in physical proximity and spiritual proximity. That is literally a description of apostasy. Lucifer’s sin was a willful act subsequent to his creation. 

That is the argument of Scripture.So here is the much wordier logic of this argument for the person that prefers a more naturalistic or reasoned argument. 

We must go back to the idea of motion and cause, cause and effect. Movement must be measured not only in distance, but also in time. You need both for it to have full relevance to Creation-bound reality (space-time continuum). It stands to reason therefore that for actions in time must be measured in a sequence or successively. If God by His holy nature can logically have nothing to do directly with evil other than to judge it because of His just and holy nature He could not be the impetus or origin of said evil from a logical standpoint. 

It must therefore be reasoned that there was a gap in not only spiritual/physical proximity…but also chronological time. There needs to have been complete separation in both the being created and Creator (which there was) but also a separation in time, will and being (ontology).

Therefore, logically, there had to have been self-will (choice) in the created being (Lucifer/Man) to make a decision (to sin) independent of the Creator. In a society that is never willing to take accountability for their own actions and blame everyone else, I can see how this is a tough concept to accept and process. If there are two successive acts one followed by another and the second does not have the same source of will as the first…this constitutes a change. The original impetus (of holiness from God) is then terminated and a new line of effect from a different cause ensues: Evil (in Satan and men). That change…was/is volitional choice of a sentient created being given the ability to choose and cannot be attributed to God. If this ability to choose is not given, then the creature or creation is nothing more than a proxy of the creator like a limb is to a paraplegic. I am sorry to use this analogy but it is apropos in relation to my next thoughts. 

Imperfection like (evil) cannot be attributed to a perfect, omniscient, omnipotent God and still be logically tenable. That God would then have to be less than perfect, all-knowing and all-powerful…and that is not God. So we end up with a completely separate being created holy by God but given the will to choose. Being given the will to chose is the ability to also choose wrongly. This appears to be the case with Lucifer and mankind. God cannot be blamed for the evil because it is caused by a sentient being distinct from God with its own will. 

Please pay close attention here and try to understand this next paragraph (it was tough to word). Make no mistake about this…that is exactly why Jesus used the image of Him being the Vine and man being the branches. There is a hard physical connection with no break or separation in this imagery. Please note that to be able to maintain our holiness/righteous one must maintain a grafted in a solidified connection to God. To sever said connection yet still try to maintain close contact (but no direct contact to Jesus) allows for sin and evil to creep back into our lives through the "spaces in-between".

Some would say this is a duplicitous double-standard or a contradiction to what I just said about evil until one realizes that holiness…is unidirectional or can only flow top down from God to the creation. Evil on the other hand is a negative or a parasite of holiness which I said earlier. It cannot exist unless holiness already did. The absence of holiness is the only place evil can exist. To say evil is a two-way street back and forth to God from man or is like trying to get a lesser power/current of electricity to push upstream against the greater electrical power/current of holiness coming down from God. This image shows how God can maintain his holiness and man remains in His ignorant sin unless God chooses to reach down and pull him out of it.

Evil and sin in the original scheme of things just didn't belong. Sin and evil are quite literally a deliberate attempt through volitional rebellion against God to short-circuit God's intended sticking a knife in the outlet socket. Yet the rebellion that would allow that to happen is overridden in the Gospel of Christ because God foreknew that sin would take place and always had a plan in place to override the short-circuit attempted by errant angels and errant men.  

Please note also that angels and men that would attempt to intentionally stick that metaphysical / metaphorical fork into God's intended planned circuit by sinning always ended up paying a heavy price by getting the shock of their life through God's wrath. Just ask Lucifer or a sinner reaping the payoff of their sins. Ashley Madison anyone? Abortion anyone? Sexually transmitted diseases because of immoral sexual practices?

It therefore follows that if God’s full holiness and righteousness through Christ flows downward through a repentant sinner…it will eventually push out all evil and unrighteousness. That is why when we observe Jesus’ ministry and the righteousness He brought, the evil of the world in the 1st century appears to have been pushed back and held at bay. Until Christ and the Kingdom comes in full sin will still hold sway and be the state of the world under influence of Satan. It is also why John said the following in 1 John 3:9:

"No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God."

Literally, the seed of God remains within the believer to gestate to become a full-blown image of Christ. Through an act of faith we assent to what Jesus Christ did on the Cross and is then are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Spirit pushes evil out of our hearts. The Spirit is the power that pushes unrighteousness out. the inverse or opposite of his is what happens with man and it is most likely what happened to Lucifer. We/he became so puffed up with his own sin and depravity (like a balloon) that the sin pushed out all truth about God. If I follow the logic of an earlier statement, God actually withdrew is restraining hand from Lucifer once he willfully chose to rebel.

So to conclude, Lucifer (or man) was not created evil, nor, in any way could he have “inherited” or “derived” an anomaly or defective cause from the Creator directly or indirectly. This important distinction needs to be made because further arguments are often made that perhaps God, didn’t create the Devil evil but instead created him with a defect. Freewill is not to be viewed as a defect. Freewill needs to be viewed as a necessary start-up condition of a volitional/sentient creature. 

Otherwise it is not a creature distinct and separate from that which created it. If it was we would become locked in a circular logic trap that would again implicate God and make Him complicit in evil acts. This is logically untenable and it is also an unbiblical position. To have a distinct volitional creature make freewill decisions requires that they be independent to do so both in being and will. To blame God for their actions is therefore logically incorrect. To assert as much would be the same as blaming the law-abiding father for the criminal acts of the child when the child is a murder. That would be non-sequitur and does not follow.

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