Is evil a something or the absence of a something?

If evil is a something
and God created everything
then did God create what is now known as evil?

If so, of what is evil the distortion?

If evil is an absence of something,
then of what is it the absence?


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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”


  1. All evil, in origin, is spawned from lovelessness.

    Father God did not create Evil as such - He did not set His Mind to opposing Himself - verily, Evil is no equal opponent to Love, but rather, it is the premature offspring which is as yet so underdeveloped as to be capable of living Love's reality.
    And it must, in part, be loved also, for should it not be, it should not survive. Although wicked and self-despised, corruptive, decadent, malicious, destructive and treacherous, Evil and all of its cohorts is pitiable, redeemable and entitled to a proper development. This is high doctrine, for it is essential to our presumptions about ourselves.


    There is a helpful explanation as to the existence of evil in Tomberg's "Meditations on the Tarot". It is based on a Cabbalistic doctrine that God had created a space by withdrawing Himself in order that Creation could take place.

    Valentin Tomberg explains:
    "the idea of tsimtsum - the 'withdrawal of God' - of the Lurianic school of Cabala.....the existence of the universe is rendered possible by the act of contraction of God within Himself. God made a 'place' for the world in abandoning a region interior to Himself."

    "In other words, in order to create the world ex nihilo, God had first to bring the void itself into existence. He had to withdraw within in order to create a mystical space, a space without his presence - the void. And it is in thinking this thought that we assist the birth of freedom."

    If the Will of God permeated the world there would be no evil- or freedom for that matter. So we pray "Thy Will be done."

    As the Brother's say: in the creation of the Earth, Father God "overextended Himself". And this is a quite exciting opportunity. Not all on Earth is obedient to God.

    "What part of the echo does not return?
    Not all of the projection
    so thrown comes back ...
    not all is obedient
    to its first issue -

    For the echo can surely never encompass
    the full sum in total;
    it shall never resound
    a complete and uttered capacity of
    that voice, which was lent to it
    from the first.

    And, from that which idled behind
    and stayed
    became the earth element
    thus now remarkable
    unto itself."

  2. Bruce,
    Actually, the Bible teaches that evil is spawned from rebellion -the rebellion of Lucifer and the fallen angels brought evil into existence, the rebellion of Adam and Eve in the Garden brought evil into humanity's world. So if you want to equate rebellion with lovelessness, fine, but realize that lovelessness expressed it- self as a choice against God. Personally, I think Lucifer and Adam and Eve weren't truly "loveless", but rather lovers of self over lovers of God.

    As to your idea of tsimtsum, that God "had to withdraw, in order to create a void...", this contradicts the description from Genesis 1:31 "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good."
    A space that was missing God's presence would not be described as being "very good". It does not follow that if the Will of God permeated the world there would be no freedom. Adam and Eve were perfectly free to obey God or rebel; had they obeyed Him, they would have remained within God's will. They instead substituted their own will for His and became slaves to sin and death. As a Christian, I am set free from sin's bondage by Christ's death on the cross, I am free to become the person He created me to be by His Spirit -this is in complete accordance with His Will for me. The more we allow Jesus Christ to reign in our lives and work through us as we impact the world, His kingdom comes (or expands),His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Ultimately, all the Universe will again be in perfect obedience to Him.

  3. Dear Ann,
    A book in the Bible talks about the rebellion of Lucifer and the fallen angels. When do you think that occurred?
    And why was it "evil"? What did they do that was evil?

    The evils which thwart Man were not from the Earthly domain but rather
    from the spiritual worlds:-

    Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against Principalities, against the Powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
    Ephesians 6:11-12

    >So if you want to equate rebellion >with lovelessness, fine, but realize >that lovelessness expressed
    "God is Love", turning away from God is then logically lovelessness.
    >but rather lovers of self

    That is not living out the reality of Love.

    >As to your idea of tsimtsum,

    That is a Chaldean word, probably picked up by the Hebrews during the Babylonian captivity. And a very good explanation.

    >Genesis 1:31 "Then God saw >everything that He had made, and >indeed it was very good."

    Well you can't have it both ways. The above doesn't explain the existence of evil.

    >A space that was missing God's >presence would not be described as >being "very good".

    His Will is the Greater Will. All lesser wills conform the Greater. Lucifer could not have rebelled unless Father God tolerated it. Father God is omnipotent and all perfection. Imperfection cannot dwell in Father God, hence His withdrawl- there is no evil in Father God. He still permeates all life through the Holy Spirit but His Will is withdrawn- and now we must petition it. What is the point of petitioning if the "Will of God" is already here?

    >It does not follow that if the Will >of God permeated the world there >would be no freedom.

    All wills conform to the greater will.
    In fact, true love only occurs in an atmosphere of freedom.

    We are given this freedom under the aegis of Christ. If we move away from Christ we lose that freedom, and come under the slavery of what forces there are about.

  4. Bruce,
    I think I'll chime in here and respond to some of the issues you have raised and try to bring the discussion back to the original question.

    You said, "A book in the Bible talks about the rebellion of Lucifer and the fallen angels. When do you think that occurred? And why was it "evil"? What did they do that was evil?"

    Lucifer and the fallen angels decided to follow themselves rather than follow God. While it is true that Lucifer tempted Eve, she and Adam exercised their free will and chose to follow their own desires rather than God's desires. What we call "evil" entered at this point.

    If God is good and he is the Creator, then he has already defined good as that which is in accordance with his own nature. If evil is the absence of good, then evil is doing anything not in accordance with God's nature. Lucifer, the fallen angels, Adam and Eve, and all humanity have chosen evil.

    As to the question of whether evil is a substance or an absence, it makes more sense to consider evil as an absence of good. If God is Creator and he only creates in accorance with his will, then he did not create evil. Therefore, evil is not a substance because substances are created things.

    You said, "His Will is the Greater Will. All lesser wills conform the Greater."

    While this is true to a degree, it neglects an important piece of God's will. god created humanity in his own image. He created persons, not automotons, and an important piece of his will is that we would exercise our will. If it is the Father's will that humanity would have free will, then his will is not withdrawn.

    This leaves open the problem of evil and the need to petition he will of God. I will need to ponder these issues a bit more.