The Evil in this World: People Have Freewill to Do Good or Evil
Editor’s Note: FāVS has launched a new series on The Evil in this World. We see it every day in the murder and mayhem that trouble our lives. The world’s great religions have an explanation for this and different ways to describe the battle between good and evil. Those who do not subscribe to a religious tradition have their own perceptions of evil and good. How does your belief system describe both forces and how does it help you cope with the notion that evil exists in this world? Has your faith ever been shaken by the evil around you?
Commentary by Nicholas Damascus
The ever-existent Almighty Christian God is the God who is good (Matthew 19:17) and is love (1 John 4:8) and in His goodness and lovingkindness freely chose to create all things out of nothing.
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good….”(Genesis 1:31).
The essence of God is good, and there was nothing that was made or created that was not good. Since man is created in God’s image and His likeness (Genesis 1:26), man’s human nature is also good, for we are an icon of the Christian God.
God, who loves us unconditionally, gave us freewill, the option to do good or to do the opposite of good (evil). The choice of practicing evil results in a condition known as sin. Evil is the action, and sin is the result of that action (separation from good).
When we live in a world of sin as a result of our evil intentions/desires, our perception of reality becomes distorted. We end up conspiring with ourselves to confirm our own myths, and, in turn, we become self-destructive and dysfunctional through addiction or self-medicating. If a car is designed to run at optimum performance with gasoline (the good), why would anyone put diesel or alcohol in the gas tank? It may or may not run, however, if it does run, it will do so with much less efficiency.
In this earthly medium of existence, which can be said to be Satan’s domain, there are demonic spiritual beings that subtly attempt to deceive, mislead and corrupt us. They wish to destroy good by enticing us with evil worldly thoughts. However, the devil and his minions have no power over any of us unless it is given by us. If one can control their thoughts, then one can control and determine their lives, and hopefully for the good, which is life itself.
Join FāVS for a Coffee Talk discussion on “The Evil in the World” at 10 a.m., Jan. 14 at the downtown Spokane Public Library.
As an infant, I was baptized as an Eastern Orthodox Christian. However, I would say that becoming a Christian is a work in progress, and I often wonder would there be enough evidence to convict me of becoming a Christian. The Orthodox Church is the ancient Church that Christ and the Apostles established. It is not a religion but rather a way of life. It is not about rules and regulations but rather guide posts to make choices to transition to what we were designed to become. Becoming Orthodox is not a conversion but more so a transformation of self. It’s not about being right: it is about “right being.” In John 14:6, Christ says I am the Way (to love and serve one another), the Truth (there is only one reality), and the Life (that life source is love). I invite you to submit any topics or questions to “Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian” on the website. Join me in finding our way back home to the original teachings of the Church. When you change the way you look at things, things change the way they look.