Is anything inherently good or evil?
I have read many places the statement that nothing in the world
is inherently good or evil. Why is such an idea so prevalent? To me,
that's obviously wrong, just as wrong as the statement that there
are no absolutes in the world. What am I missing here?
The answer to your question lies in the first few chapters of the book of
Genesis. In chapter one we see that God made everything and that "God saw
all that He had made, and behold, it was very good" (Gen 1:31a). So,
inherently, everything is originally good. Of course, we look around and
see that things are not so good. For instance, we observe that a bite from
a mosquito can cause suffering and death, a genetic defect can be crippling,
and a flood, fire, or earthquake can be devastating. These problems have
all arisen, not because there was inherent evil in some things and not
others, but because of man's fall. We see this in the second and third
chapters of Genesis. God incorporated into His creation of men the ability
for free choice (see Gen 2:16-17). Since the first man chose evil over good
all of his descendants have had to live with the consequences. These
consequences include death, shame, pain, frustration, and the decay of the
original order of things that were placed under man's management (see Gen
2:17, 3:10,16-19). A book you may want to look at that goes into this
somewhat is C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain.
I hope that this has been helpful. Don't hesitate to write us at the
Paraclete Forum if you have any further questions.
P.S. An example of something in modern day culture that I consider to be
inherently evil is the website
Which, as I'm sure you are aware, has attacked not only you, but many other
men of God. I'm not saying this man is THE antichrist, but he certainly is
anti Christ. I pray the Spirit of God will bring him to repentance.
That's a good answer, but I guess what I meant to emphasize is that this
statement is being made by people whom you think would know better
(ministers of The Word). The fact is that there IS inherent evil in the
world and it originates and is sustained by the father of evil, Satan. To
believe that there is no inherent evil in the world can lead one into all
kinds of error such as new age religion ("all is good"), the belief that we
don't need salvation beyond our selves, and so on, leading ultimately to
destruction. Yes of course God made everything good originally (as you
pointed out), and yes everything began to decay from that perfection when
original man listened to and acted on the beguiling of the evil one (again,
as you pointed out), and that decay is continuing to this very day and hour.
To not recognize that, and to teach otherwise, is a grave error I believe
and as it is written, those who teach error will be judged harshly.