THEOLOGY & APOLOGETICS
Did God create sin?
By Rhonda Maydwell
Wrestling with the mysteries of God can drive a person crazy at times — at least it does me! My finite mind can only comprehend so much about an infinite God. My faith and understanding of the Bible leads me to believe that one day I will have perfect understanding — and I eagerly anticipate that day! In the meantime, God through the Holy Spirit, refines me through relationships and circumstances that give me better understanding than I had before. I count this as proof that my trust in Him is well placed. Ultimately my faith and understanding are strengthened through these experiences. I was reminded of these truths when I was recently asked if God created sin. My immediate answer was, "No!" I knew I needed to dig in deeper, however, not only to give a sound, Biblical answer, but to grow my own faith and understanding as well. As a "steward of the mysteries of God...it is required [I] be found faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:1-2), and I desire nothing less than that.
God did not create sin. God and His ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30). In fact, God and sin cannot even coexist. Think of it like this — can a room be both brightly lit and pitch dark at the same time? Of course not. So it is with God and sin. God is absolute perfection and goodness. Sin, by definition, is rebellion against that which is good. Darkness cannot create light any more than light can create darkness. Some sort of mechanism or choice must act upon one to bring about the other (i.e. a flashlight in a dark closet). Sin entered the world through an act of rebellion — all because God gives His creation (people and angels) the freedom to choose. This act of rebellion plunged God's perfect Creation into darkness. Jesus said He was the light of the world, and whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness again but will have a life filled with light (John 8:12). Jesus chose to come to earth fully man and fully God so that He could shed His light into a dark world (like that flashlight in a dark closet). You and I have free will and must choose to accept His light or to remain in darkness.
Free will is another complex subject. Wouldn't it be easier if all I knew was to follow God? It seems that way, but it is a pretty meaningless existence when you think about it. Think about someone who loves you — maybe your mom, husband, grandmother, or a close friend. If they were programmed to love you and that program could not be altered, would it mean anything to you? When I was a child I had a baby doll that spoke when I pulled a string from her back. She said 4-5 phrases, and one of them was "I love you." I never felt actual love from the doll, although the words were the same ones I heard every day from my parents. I never doubted the love from my mom and dad; I never believed the words from my doll. The same is true with God. He wasn't interested in creating robots. He created beings in His own image — free.
As humans, we didn't fare so well in the sinless contest. One walk in God's Garden of Eden and all we wanted was the one fruit we were forbidden to have. God did not create the sin, or the temptation. He had a standard, and we chose not to follow it. We all do it every day. God could have erected a high fence to keep us separated from the Tree of Knowledge, but it's a lot like a baby doll that spouts phrases it doesn't mean. How is it obedience and a choice to follow God and His way if He interferes with our choices? I understand through my experiences as a parent that I prefer (on most days) to see my children grow and learn from my teaching and molding, than if I had children who never misbehaved because I kept them in a bubble where trouble was impossible. God's desire is for all of us to choose to follow Him, to love Him, to worship Him, to obey Him, but He is never going to force or coerce us into doing so. And the stakes are high! "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
It is not that God desires to send anyone to eternal Hell, but for all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Maybe this illustration will help us understand this concept. When I was young, if I went close to a street, someone steered me to a safer place to play. As I grew older, I had less supervision, and I had to take responsibility for my own choices. A couple months ago, a college student in my hometown was struck by a car while crossing the street and not paying attention to her surroundings. Luckily, she was not seriously hurt (although she did get a ticket for jaywalking). The point is, her parents did not send her into the middle of the street. In fact, they had most likely taught her from a young age to be careful around traffic, to look both ways before crossing, and to cross at a crosswalk. Despite their best wishes for her safety, however, this girl went her own way and suffered the consequences. In her case those consequences were of the natural (pain) and enforced (legal) varieties. God's desire is for none to perish (2 Peter 3:9). Unfortunately, some of us will choose differently than the good He wants for and teaches us through His word and the example of Jesus. Despite being told that only God will save us; some will choose to defy Him. While that makes God sad, it is not His way to force others to choose Him.
God and sin cannot coexist, so God did not create sin. Sin entered the world through rebellion against God. You and I (and everyone) are sinful creatures. Without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, we are all headed towards death. When we acknowledge our sinful state, repent (turn away from sin), ask forgiveness for our sins, and accept the washing of our sins by the blood of Jesus — only then can we be assured that we have eternal life with the Father. Every day we face many opportunities to make choices. Some of the choices we make are for our benefit. Some of our choices lead to unfortunate consequences and we end up struck down in the middle of the street wondering what hit us. Although the implications are eternally more significant, our choice to follow God or not to follow God is our own to make.
Image Credit: Patrick Fore; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | God-Father | Sin-Evil
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