Necessary Evil 3
I have been arguing that the Fall, Adam and Eve’s sin, does not explain the origin evil at all. I want to take it one stage further. A more challenging development of this argument is that it was inherent to the plan and even foreseen by God.
Firstly, Mankind was probably not created perfect ; he had the inclination to act independently and therefore potentially sinfully, even before the first wrong moral act actually happened. That freedom of choice was inherent to the nature of the relationship God desired with mankind, and so it was genuine – it contained the capacity to sin. That which flowed from man to God by way of worship and friendship needed to come from genuine choice, for that is God’s own nature, and the point of making us. For it to be genuine choice, the capacity to do otherwise, to commit evil, had to be present as well, otherwise it isn;t genuine. My fellow blog writer Bob Eckhard has also tackled the issue of “Free Will” in his other blogs on this site, look them up.
Secondly the world we live in was probably never a trouble free playground to start with. The word Eden, or “paradise”, only refers to a certain part of the world, even if it ever was an actual geographical place. It is just as likely to represent not a place at all, but a state of relationship with God,. It was a time when the relationship God intended actually prevailed, represented in Genesis 2 and 3. Man’s sin meant that relationship needed to be not ended, but carried out in a different way, so he was ejected from the garden, and exposed to the inherent challenges of the created world (which had already existed for billions of years before him).
As soon as that happened, mankind need to contend with the world at large, and the world as we see it today. It contains things that are both beautiful and dangerous at the same time. Subduing it to mankind’s purposes is a long and difficult labour, but is nevertheless the root “engine” of mankind’s development. Subduing the Earth is partly what defines us, the question is, do we do as stewards, or exploiters., do we do it with God, or without him.
Yet, through that very struggle mankind develops. This is the sense in which I see “evil” , or imperfection, as necessary, and why I would argue that because of the presence of genuine free choice, the way mankind developed was more or less inevitable. To that end God always knew what the price of creation was going to be and pre-destined that Christ would come to redeem it. God knew that mankind would choose independence, and that it would take the form not just of fruitful self-governance but outright rebellion. That was not the way God created man to be, but was the result of sin gaining more and more ground in human affairs, and in the human psyche and makeup.
However, God’s commitment to mankind both outlasted the emergence of sin, and even preceded it. God predestined Christ to come and deal with the speed of sin, and that is what we witnessed 2000 years ago. But millennia ago, when the initial phase of man’s development was over and the garden a distant memory, God did not abandon man. The Bible is the story of that ongoing involvement of the creator God with his free, rebellious children.