God and the Causation of Evil (Biblical Angle)

*Isa 45:7 - I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

”Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and evil come?”
(Lam. 3:38).

”…that I may repent of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings” (Jer. 26:3).

”…all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin” (Jer. 36:3).

”I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. And I polluted them in their own gifts…” (Ezek. 20:25-26).

”For thus saith the Lord; as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them” (Jer. 32:42).

”…shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6).

See also: Jer. 11:11, 14:16, 18:11, 19:3, 19:15, 23:12, 26:13, 26:19, 35:17, 36:31, 40:2, 42:10, 42:17, 44:2, 45:5, 49:37, 51:64, Ezek. 6:10, Micah 2:3, 1 Kings 21:29, 2 Chron. 34:24, and 2 Chron. 34:28*

Does God create evil? If so, I’ll need to think about this quite a lot more! :wink: If not, how does a Catholic respond to these passages?

Thank you.


**God is a “God of faithfulness and without iniquity”. Deut 32:4

“For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with you.” Ps 5:4

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Gen 1:31

“God is love”. 1 John 1:48**

The CC in her role of authoritatively receiving and proclaiming the gospel understands God’s nature as its been revealed, knowing that He allows evil, for His purposes, without causing it. But if a person, going by a handful of scripture verses alone, prefers to believe that God authors evil, as per Calvinism, for example, it can be difficult to persuade them otherwise. They excuse God by deferring to His sovereignty, unknowableness, and infinite superiority to man, and to verses such as Rom 9:20,
"On the contrary, O man, who are you who answers back to God? Will what is molded say to the one who molded [it], “Why did you make me like this”?

But this is a cop-out and a misuse of scripture. Would the God who made man in His own image and instilled in him a strong sense of justice then go on to trample all over that same virtue? However, for me the best argument is a simple one: if God really is the author of evil, then what difference would salvation make? What would make heaven any better than hell? Certainly not the presence of a petty little evil god.

Evil is probably the wrong word to use in this context. It really just means bad things. If I stub my toe that is a bad thing but it is not what I would consider evil.

The evil God does is judgment, much like disciplining a child. “Go to your room” is certainly going to be bad from the child’s eyes but from the parent it is “teaching from love” and it certainly does not classify as evil in the sense we understand the word.

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