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The photo is of Freud, not Archibald MacLeish – but you get the idea

Some believe God is unjust

Archibald MacLeish wrote in a play,

“If God is God He is not good, if God is good He is not God…”

If I understood what is being said by Mr. MacLeish, he means that if God is really God, and he created both good and evil, then God is the creator of evil also, and is not good.  However, if God did not create evil, then He is not omnipotent and is, therefore, not God.

However, I think that Mr. MacLeish misses the point by constructing a set of parameters that does not allow for the necessary breadth of perspective to answer the question. 

Is God unjust?

Fundamentally, many people believe God is unjust.  People take issue with the notion that God created man perfect, but then temped him with evil.  It is like we were set up to fail.  Furthermore, if God is truly all powerful, why doesn’t He just prevent evil from happening and solve the world’s problems?  It is almost like we believe He has a responsibility to do so, simply because He can. 

There are two foundational misconceptions about God in what MacLeish is saying:

  1. That God created evil.
  2. Free will.

First, as I see it anyway, God did not create evil, Lucifer did.  Sin came into being through the errant actions of a perfect being who decided to go against God.  The person did not go against God for a valid reason, but only because they became full of themselves and wanted to usurp His throne.  Therefore, sin is not created by God, but by someone else who decided to disobey.  Moreover, sin had to be brought into the Garden of Eden from outside that system in order to tempt Eve and then Adam.  Chances are, tat without someone who was already corrupt actively trying to corrupt Eve, she would not have eaten the forbidden fruit.

We all have a choice

Secondly, God created free will and gave man a choice.  This is not a limitation of ability, but a decision God, Himself, set forth.  When you give someone the right to choose, you cannot suddenly take that right away and still say they have free will.  Being omnipotent does not mean that you can violate your own rules.  The fact that Adam chose to enter Eve’s sin does not obviate God’s omnipotence, it only shows that the first man and woman erred.  Thus, God did not create evil, He simply allows people to choose it if they insist. 

Lastly, the true test of omnipotence is if things work out, against impossible odds, the way you say they will.  This is precisely what is taking place right now. 

God says,

“God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Revelation 21:3-5

So, with all the sin and terrible things that mankind has done, is doing, and will do, God still wins in the end. He takes His people out of this sinful creation, creates a New Heavens and New Earth, and lives with His perfected Bride forever. 

If that’s not omnipotence, I don’t know what is.


Michael King