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empty The Black Corner Article    empty[Posted 9.04]

Rev. Robert Ash Rev. Robert Ash
Who Created Sin?
by Rev. Robert Ash
Euphrates Missionary Baptist Church

Oakland, California
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He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4)

This question burns in the hearts of many who believe in the goodness of God but who long for answers in a world where wrong appears so often to triumph and is so often the rule of the day. As always, the Bible has the answer – an answer that is simple, clear and consistent with both the teachings of scripture and with the unchangeable nature of God Himself.

Satan alone created moral evil / wickedness:

John 8:44 ...He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

God did not -- and could not -- create moral evil because creating wickedness is itself an act of wickedness: 1Samuel 24:13 As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked....

God can only create things that express His own nature. He could only create wickedness if He Himself were wicked. But God has no sin in Him, so He cannot do or create sin either, or even conceive of sins on His own:

Jeremiah 19:5 burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Jeremiah 32:35 cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

God did not create rape, nor is He in any way responsible for it. Or sexual perversion of any other kind. Or murder. Or drug-dealing. Or abortion. Or race prejudice. Or any other sin. People create their own sins solely from their own wicked natures, of their own free, sinful choice.

Just like Satan did, who made the conscious, deliberate decision to change his God-created good nature into the wicked, depraved, lying nature he has today. Then and today he blames God for his wicked choice and slanders God by saying God created sin.

But what about the following verse?

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

The King James Version is the most honest translation ever done in the English language. It still has no equals today. Still, to understand certain passages and word usage in it, it helps to have some background in 17th century English word usage (Note: this is not a Greek and Hebrew issue, it's merely an English language issue).

The words "evil" and "bad" are two examples of words in the King James Version which were used differently in the 1600s and 1700s than we use them today. 300-400 years ago both words were sometimes used to mean "trouble", "calamity", or "in bad condition", not necessarily wickedness or sin. Here is another example of such usage:

Jeremiah 24:1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
3 Then said the LORD unto me, what seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

Obviously there are no wicked figs. Or noble figs. Or kind figs. Or mean figs. Or sassy figs. Or obedient figs. There are just figs. But they can be in such a spoiled condition that they will do the same damage if eaten that moral evil can do if done to you. Here is yet another example:

Genesis 41:19 And, behold, seven other cattle came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:

Again, here "poor" means "in poor shape" not money-poor (also known as being "pod" ;) and "badness" means "in bad condition", not morally bad.

Likewise the word "evil" in Isaiah 45:7 means “evil” in the sense of trouble or calamity, not moral evil / sin / wickedness. Outside of knowing 17th century English one way to notice this is by noticing that God is talking about opposites -- physical darkness is the opposite of physical light (“I form the light, and create darkness”), and trouble is the opposite of peace. But amoral trouble (job loss, famine, etc.) sure feels like moral evil sometimes, and that’s the whole point! That is why those words were used that way 300-400 years ago in King James’ day.

Likewise when scripture says God created all things:

Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

This does not -- in fact, it cannot -- mean that God created wickedness and sin. Scripture teaches why:

1) When God created all things, He created them morally perfect -- Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

2) Revelation 4:11 says God made them for His pleasure -- and God has absolutely no pleasure in sin. Deuteronomy 12:31 ... for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, ....

God created all things very good and for His pleasure. Certain of those creations (Satan, demons, man) chose to create moral wickedness in themselves, of themselves, by themselves.

Satan created sin, not God. Adam chose to become a sinner, we by nature all follow his choice. Jesus Christ came, died and rose from the dead to fulfill the sacred scriptures and to set us free from bondage to that choice, and to bring us the only Way to God's forgiveness for it – faith in Him, the resurrected Savior, the one and only sinless lamb of God, the blessed Jesus Christ.

Copyright 2004, Robert Ash. This article used by permission.
Rev. Robert Ash is co-pastor and youth minister of Euphrates Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, California. He has 18 years of preaching, teaching, evangelism and apologetics experience in church, prison, college campus, and street ministry. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree from Stanford University.
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