Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Tricks of Satan

In the last episode, I addressed Satan's main line of attack -- doubting God's Word.

It's hard to rate the second most (this may be the third most, for example). In the same account (Genesis 3), we see another common trick.
"God doesn't want you to enjoy life."
We see this in Genesis 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

See! That mean, old God, He doesn't want you to have good stuff!

Of course, Satan is again with the half-truths and double talk. Adam and Eve already knew good and evil. Good is to do what God has said. Evil is to not do it. Eating from the tree is evil.

It's interesting that the Hebrew word for "know" (yada) is also used for the relations between a husband and wife ("And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain").

After eating from the tree, Adam and Eve (and all humanity) come to "know" evil very intimately indeed.

The truth is that God knows good and evil. He knows what will harm us, and what is for the best. To follow God's law is not salvation, but it is a good idea. It's not keeping you from "the good life", it's keeping you from evil.

Monday, February 4, 2008

What is Evil?

One of the reasons I started this blog, was to help myself deal with the problems of my everyday life. Of course, it doesn't always show very clearly. My first posts try to approach the subject at an angle, but generally veer off.

The question is "What is Evil?" Not Hitler/Pol Pot/Darfur big, sweeping kind of evil -- I mean the little things that happen everyday to make life miserable.

From a Biblical point of view, we are all evil. None is good but God, all have fallen short. Ok, but other people lying and lusting and other things doesn't really bother me (personally) that much. I'm upset that people live in sin, and I desire for them to repent and be saved, but they aren't hurting me.

It's your family that can really hurt you. What they say has a way of getting around your defenses. It sticks in your mind, and makes you dwell on it. You want them to be caring and supportive.

Ok, but, ultimately, you can't rely on what other people think about you for your happiness.

But things can go a step further, I'm going to take a huge leap and propose a definition for evil:
Evil is making other people pay the price for your free choice.
I think I've got something here. It's probably not perfect.

For example, a president declares war, the young men of the country will pay with their lives. Is the president evil?

I would say "no", as long as it is a "just" war. In that case, though, is the president really making a "free" choice? To some extent, he (or she) has a duty to engage in a just war. So, maybe the definition is ok.

And this has a Biblical implication. We are evil, because we make God pay the price for our sins. All the more so, if we continue in sin. And to expand on "What is love" (I think), love is to pay this price anyway (within reason).