EVIL’S PRIMAL ORIGIN
BY JOHN R. GAVAZZONI
JANUARY 17, 2009
Some thoughts on what I’ll call Evil’s Primal Origin, to pick up on a thread from some of our recent discussions: I doubt that there are many subjects – or possibly any for that matter – that have more “bewitched, bothered and bewildered” the theologically and philosophically inclined mind more than this subject.
It certainly seems from my perspective, that whether it be in the case of the formally trained theologian, or the average Christian, this subject, as much as any I’m aware of, exposes a maddening double-mindedness that has been around for centuries, and most certainly is presently extant in forms of rationale typical of the general dumbing down of the world’s religious culture.
Over and over again, from all kinds of sources, we hear the strong affirmation of God’s sovereignty in the popular expression, “God is in control.” Yet when the subject of the nature and origin of evil comes up, Christians, and religious folk in general, rush to excuse God from any integral involvement. With some strange mix of grandiosity and guilt-perverted logic, we lay the whole matter of the existence of evil to “the free will of man.”
Now, if you are of this persuasion, before I get in your face, let me say that I’ve had many occasions when the Spirit of Truth got in my face directly or through one of God’s prophets for the sake of much needed correction by the renewing of my mind, so I’m just acting in good company when I get in your face and say, “That’s just plain stupid.” Here’s the terribly violated principle: You can’t produce evil by the exercise of a free will. Dear ones, that belongs to the ABC’s of enlightened theology.
The result of the excercise of free will, or – to put in another way – any choice made out from, and by a will that is free, always leads the one so exercising, so choosing, into an enlargement of that freedom, as in: “To him that hath, more shall be given.” Sin is bondage; evil is bondage, and we don’t get ourselves into bondage by the exercise of freedom. The idea is dumb; just plain dumb, and the spirit behind such reasoning is a spirit which magnifies human independence and autonomy above divine sovereignty.
Of course we make choices every hour of every day. But where did we ever get the idea, that on the basis of choices being part of the human condition, it necessarily means that we have a free will? When the consequence of a choice belongs to the category of bondage, then the choice was one made, not from freedom, but from bondage. When the will is in bondage, its choices lead to greater bondage, and when the will is free, its choices lead to greater freedom, AND we don’t make ourselves free, Jesus does, as He mediates to us and in us, the freedom of God.
I hope that we are somewhat clear about the two dimensions of our creature–hood. On one hand, in Christ, we have been raised up with Him to sit at the right hand of the Majesty on High, and there we are GLORIOUSLY free. But that in-Christ reality, is presently, in the eonian dimension of our creature–hood, subjected to eonian contrariety.
This introduces a process which involves Christ – in whom we are already gloriously free – increasingly infusing us with eonian life from within, so that the existential mix becomes less and less of bondage, and more and more of freedom, until our son–ship is revealed in all the liberty of its glory, with all creation joining us.
So let’s quit trying to whitewash God. Evil exists by God freely choosing to withhold His freedom from His creation with the resulting bondage of evil, in whatever measure, and for whatever interim time His wisdom dictates, BUT for the ultimate purpose of freedom. In a word, evil‘s primal origin lies with God.
As part of the principle that there can be no increase without the seed falling into the ground and dying, so there can be no increase in creation’s enjoyment of the freedom of God, without both Creator and creature first suffering the eonian susceptibility to evil and bondage that are integral to eonian limitation. Nothing of God, or relationship with Him can be static. God is all about increase, and the increase of all that is God, and is of God is thus quite evidently ontological, even in respect to evil’s origin.
That fact is at the heart of all that pertains to all that is eonian. God, as the transcendent God, is above and beyond all limitation; yet, He is also the immanent God – immanent in respect to the creation… He brought forth out of His own substance.
He endures with us that limitation which is intrinsic to the ages which He formed, yet while abiding incorruptible in His transcendence. Limitation is intrinsic to eonian space/time/materiality. He who was, and is ALL, required of Himself another all – in order to be ALL in all; so as brother J. Preston Eby has said, “God projected Himself out of Himself, that He might be Himself in another dimension, and He did this by His Word.”
Great is the paradox, that the increase of God is facilitated by and in the dimension of limitation. The limitless God subjects Himself with His creation to space-time’s confinement. But, oh how great will be the magnification of His glory, when He breaks forth out from His own self-imposed confinement, and we, with Him, sharing the glory He had before the world began.
I must labor the point. It was not enough for God to simply be all. For the purpose of the increase of His fullness, He created another ‘all’ so that He could be ‘all in all.’ There’s two ‘alls’ there folks. God is an investor, and unreservedly so. He has committed all of Himself into His Son, into this world, for a return on His investment. And, to borrow from the parlance of gambling (though there certainly is no element of chance with God), He has not hedged His bet.
EVIL’s PRIMAL ORIGIN [John R. Gavazzoni] 1-17-09 1