Author Topic: good and evil  (Read 1456 times)

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Amie

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good and evil
« on: August 16, 2007, 02:25:08 AM »
What is your opinion of good and evil? What is good? What is evil? How do you know?

Seeker

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2007, 03:33:43 AM »
Amie,

I have a Lutheran Bible for now and it defines evil on page 1564 as "wicked; doing things against God's will".  Of course this implies that we are men of our own free will to choose, which is a whole different thread.

So if this definition were to be accurate...then we would have to investigate and list what actions or characteristics are against (and in line with) God's will and then we could use them as a measuring tool.

I realize this isn't the deepest answer, but it's a start!

SeekerRuth


Hennessey

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2007, 04:39:28 AM »
What is your opinion of good and evil? What is good? What is evil? How do you know?

Amie I believe for the believer measuring between good and evil is almost irrelevant. I shared this saying today which sums up an excerpt I have copied below it. This well represents my own thoughts  on "good and evil" Please let me know your thoughts after reading this.

"Even's God's worst evil is good, while man's best good is evil"

 
.............The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, on the other hand, is not life, but death.  The truth of this can be seen in the very ingredients of the fall!  When Adam sinned, of which tree did he eat?  Why, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Hear this!  The elements of that tree were not only the element of evil; they were the elements producing a knowledge of both good and evil!  The tree ministered to man a knowledge of good as truly as it ministered to him a knowledge of evil.  Thus, the fall of man introduced him into a realm of duality, of admixture: good and evil.  The fallen man is both good and evil!  How prone we have been to declare the unregenerated man only evil!  It is true that the element of evil in some men predominates, but it is also true that the element of good in other men predominates.  The good in man has not been corrupted to the point of non-existence.  It is for this reason that the philosophers and psychologists have discovered that within man are some "illustrious virtues" and "innate goodness" and have reached the mistaken conclusion that the nature of man is good.  They have merely discovered that within fallen man there is still the principle of good which naturally causes us to want to do good.

 

            The problem is that when man came into the knowledge of good and evil he did not come into a better condition.  Man came to know "good and evil" but he didn't come to KNOW GOD!  He now possesses a knowledge of the good and of the evil, but he does not possess the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!  Man passed into the knowing of good and evil but he did not BECOME HOLY!  He merely added evil to his good producing a mixture of the two, but in so doing he forfeited THE LIFE AND GLORY AVAILABLE TO HIM IN THE TREE OF LIFE!  He chose good and evil " but missed Life!

 

            The knowledge of good and evil concerns itself only with external behavior, judging all things on the basis of whether they are "good" or "evil."  Man, as long as he walks in this consciousness of the fall, the knowledge of good and evil, can understand and judge only within this framework: is a thing good or is it evil?  He then presumes that if a thing is "good" it must be acceptable and godly.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  If "good" was acceptable with God then man could surely be justified by "the works of the law."  The law is good!  But the "good" of man is the good of the creature " not the good of the Creator!  It is the good of the soul, but not the good of the Spirit!

 

            In the garden of Eden we have two revelations from two kinds of trees.  First, life is the nature of God, whereas good is the nature of man.  Second, life is good, but not all good is life!  The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil show us that on the highest level life and good are definitely different; life is neither good nor evil.  Life, good, and evil ARE THREE DIFFERENT AND INDEPENDENT THINGS.  The good of God can only be experienced through participation in the life of God.  Evil mingled with good produced death.  And even before man fell, all of his good, of itself, could not give him life.  There was no life in good, just as there was no life in evil.  Only the tree of life possessed the power of life!  If man had been partaking of the tree of life he could not have fallen.  Can we not see by this that "good" and "life" are things which pertain to two different worlds!

 

            Just as evil is something other than life, so also is good something other than life.  Just as evil is not life, so also good is not life.  Evil and good, though different in nature, are really of the same world for they come from the same tree.  Neither one contains life or is life!  Thus in the scriptures, good and evil are not two trees, but one tree.  Life is in another tree, being something of another realm, from another world, pertaining to another kingdom.  This is how it is that a man, by his own determination and effort, can improve considerably in his character and actions and yet still be entirely VOID OF THE LIFE OF GOD!  He can be upright, honest, truthful, caring, compassionate, influential for good in the world and yet have no more spiritual understanding or life than a dog or cat.  This is because his goodness is completely apart from life!  It is of his own good human effort, and not a product of indwelling life ............ Eby

blessings,

Jack

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.  Luk 18:19

 

Offline Tony N

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2007, 05:04:49 AM »
Amie, God planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil right smack in the middle of the garden. He didn't tuck it away in some far off corner hoping they would not eat of its fruit.

He created Satan as Satan and sent him to the garden for the sole purpose of deceiving Eve. If He didn't then He is out of control of His creation.

The reason was twofold. It was so a curse could be met out and they could learn from both the good and the evil, and Adam's progeny would be dying (Romans 5:12). This was so mankind could be saved from sin and death (Romans 5:18,19).

Isa 45:7 Former of light and Creator of darkness, Maker of good and Creator of evil. I, Yahweh Elohim, made all of these things."
Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

Hennessey

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2007, 06:03:34 AM »
The walk of a believer has everything to do with to learning to move and make decisions by the Spirit. I read this below last week while doing a study on prayer and thought it would serve well here as an example of how choosing between "good and evil" can be far from choosing the "Good" of God.

In the famous Classic Star Trek episode, "The City of the Edge of Forever," McCoy goes back in time and changes history for the worse by saving a street missionary named Edith Keeler from a violent death.  She goes on and forms a peace movement that prevents the United States from entering World War II soon enough, so Germany invents the nuclear bomb first and wins the war. She was right about "peace being the way, but she was right at the wrong time." Kirk and Spock have to go back in time and prevent McCoy from saving Edith Keeler's life in order to set history straight again. Captain Kirk has to stop McCoy from saving her life even though he is deeply and profoundly in love with  her. So Kirk grabs McCoy just as he is about to push Edith Keeler out of the way of a speeding automobile. Then he has to watch tearfully as she is impacted and thrown into the muddy street. Surely there must be times when God feels like Captain Kirk.  He has to stand by and let the good die, and the evil live, and close his ears to the poignant prayers of the sick and suffering! We question  God's love and integrity when He refuses to help the innocent and the sick and dying but He sees the alternate futures. We do not. Nevertheless it must be so hard to just stand by and do nothing, or even worse, to deliberately stop the McCoys of this world from saving the Edith Keelers of this world. I would not want to be God! L Hensley

Blessings,

Jack

Seeker

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2007, 06:11:44 AM »
Jack,

Your StarTrek example is amazing.  I hadn't thought of this topic in that way.   :thumbsup:

Thank you!

SeekerRuth

Hennessey

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2007, 06:33:43 AM »
Thank you for your enthusiastic response Ruth.

That made the frustrating half hour I spent searching for that piece of writing worthwhile. LOL

Bless you,

Jack

Amie

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2007, 07:23:24 AM »
Jack,

Wow,  it's a similar view that inspired my questions to begin with!

Everyone else too --

According to the story which many of us learned in childhood, God told Adam/Eve to stay away from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil - that equals death!

The minute that they ate the fruit, they made a determination.  That determination caused them to hide in fear and shame.  They saw God as someone to fear - not having faith in his unconditional love or their worthiness of it, and they saw themselves as shameful beings. 

Yet, as Tony touches on, it was the command itself which caused the sin.  It was the command that they were determining "good and evil" with.  They broke the command, therefore..

That was the "lens of Adam" I'm thinking.  That humanity saw things in a very flesh and blood way.  Evidence of God's favor were riches and power for example.  Prosperity was weighed by the things that they saw and touched in the world that they saw with their eyes.. "eyes of flesh".

So, I also agree with the whole idea of learning to discern with the spirit.  We can understand now that prosperity is peace, joy, longsuffering, etc..

However, is that determining what is "good" or what is "bad" anymore?  Or is it just an ability to recognize what profits us and what does not?

God accepts everyone as "perfect".  We are just as we should be.  So, are we able to choose that lens as well as opposed to the lens of Adam?

"He chose good and evil " but missed Life!"
Can we change our spots?

Amie  :HeartThrob:




Hennessey

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2007, 09:08:47 AM »
I believe you can only go so far with the intellect on the path to the state of "Christ as "All in All" within us," which is the culmination of God's purpose for you and me.

Quote
However, is that determining what is "good" or what is "bad" anymore?  Or is it just an ability to recognize what profits us and what does not?

Amie, using the Star Trek allegory we catch a glimpse of seeing the end from the beginning but that is in terms of a time frame which has an end and a beginning. The great eternal realm of God has no beginning and no end and we cannot comprehend such a state with our finite minds. 

I read a lot of the writings of the old mystics such as Guyon, St John of the Cross and Fenelon. I also believe they come close to the truth of the matter with such adages as these two quoted below in purple.

This is one of my favorites but I have yet to find anyone that seems to understand the significance of truth in it. It usually gets a scoff and a hoot. Let me say beforehand that  I believe our flesh and our intellect has to come to naught before it is resurrected in Newness of Life.

"Reason should not undertake to comprehend the last destructions; they are ordained expressly to destroy our reason."

another one along the same line.

"One goes out from oneself through self-forgetfulness."

I believe walking  and making decissions while deep in the Spirit is much like a translation where one is carried to the other side of an event, occurrence or period of time with little or no comprehension of their actions.  I know I experience a little taste of this from time to time and these experiences seems to be growing in frequency and duration. I believe some others here have probably experienced this "translation" type of state also.

Those are a few of my thoughts which I hope projects the direction I am going. I spend much time in prayer as this world becomes more and more disdainful.

Well so much for "stinking thinking." LOL

Jack


« Last Edit: August 16, 2007, 09:21:29 AM by Hennessey »

Offline AbbasChild

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2007, 11:15:24 AM »
When our Heavenly Father started creating, He said everything was very Good (perfect, complete, there was no lack of anything). The first thing He said that was not Good was: "Its not Good(so its evil, or lack of Good) that man(kind) be alone (or on its/his own)" I understand evil as the lack of Goodness, because Jesus said that only One is (only) Good, which is our Heavenly Father (evil will disappear one day when He Who is all Good becomes All in All). From this I suggest that the Tree of Life represented pure Goodness and Divine Live. All Blessings came from that Tree. The Tree of the knowledge of Good and evil (in this case the lack of Good) stands for the carnal mind (without the Holy Spirit. Remember, its not Good for man to be on his own) which is death. Adam started to live independent of the Holy Spirit and begann to know (experience) not only Good, but also its/His lack, namely evil. Adam and Eve (whatever they represent) lost their place in the garden of eden (a delightfull place, harmony) and they could no longer live from the Tree of Divine Life (Christ)- which used to be the source of their existence-  until their carnal mind (self-life which had brought forth death) had been taken care of by Jesus Christ on the Tree of Crucifixion. Until this day the fiery sword and the cherubim had kept the 'way of the Tree of Life', not from man but for man. The law of Moses was added so that it became obvious that there would be no Good for man on its own apart from his Creator and Father and so the legal mentality that we all inherited in Adam (which brings forth death) was frustrated.'Free Will' failed, one could say.  Its interesting that 'to eat dust' can mean 'to be frustrated', also man's flesh was formed of dust, and wasn't the serpent (as I see it, the spirit that is at work in the children of disobedience, to which all have been commited) condemned to eat dust from the 'fall' onwards? Jesus came to deliver us from the curse, not only of the law, but also from our legal mentality (carnal mind) and independece, in which we judge others after the flesh. He brought the Good News the message that our Heavenly Father is Good. Isn't it interesting that Jesus said that we need to become like little children to enter the Kingdom of God and that the scriptures speak about "the young children that didn't know yet Good and evil"? Children shouldn't think about Good and evil, but just live our of the Goodness that their parents give to them. Sadly this doesn't work anymore, because the parents now know (experience) Good and evil (the lack of Goodness or its perversion) and so hand it down to their children and their children's children. Praise be to our Heavenly Father, that Jesus came in sinful (failing) flesh and swallowed up death (carnal mind and its consequences) in His Life. Now we have access again to the Tree of Life and can enjoy the Divine Life within again, without needing to depend on our self-life. That's what it means to be a son unto our Heavenly Dad. Sorry, if I didn't put verse and chapter to it all, it would have become to long and to much work for the short time I had.
It is much more possible for the sun to give out darkness than for God to do or be, or give out anything but Blessing and Goodness.- William Law

Man can certainly flee from God... but he cannot escape him. He can certainly hate God and be hateful to God, but he cannot change into its opposite the eternal love of God which triumphs even in his hate. --Karl Barth

Offline Cardinal

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2007, 04:34:08 PM »
 :cloud9:  You know, Star Trek came out when I was in 5th grade, and it soon became my favorite show of my early years. There was a lot of God hidden in there, wasn't there? Hadn't thought about it in years.........
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Casstranquility

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2007, 06:54:12 PM »
What is your opinion of good and evil? What is good? What is evil? How do you know?

My opinion of good and evil is that they don't exist. They are labels, judgments, concepts...not realities. For the sake of discussion, though, to me, good is love, and evil is non-love. Well, I think this way because it makes sense to me. :)

Amie

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2007, 09:39:35 PM »
Jack,

Quote
"One goes out from oneself through self-forgetfulness."

Luk 17:33  Whoever seeks to save his life, he will lose it. And whoever will lose it, he will preserve it.

I think that the removal of the old system as established under the mosaic law, removed any validation of the "old man" by God.  Such a one can claim righteousness, but there is no law to evidence it.  The haughty have been torn down.

"Old man" sought to define himself.  Certainly that type of thinking exists today, it just isn't validated by law like I said.  The command in the garden validated Adam/Eve's self definition.  Without it, they have no support for their thinking. 

True freedom means vulnerability -- to deny one's self.

Amie



Amie

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2007, 09:40:29 PM »
What is your opinion of good and evil? What is good? What is evil? How do you know?

My opinion of good and evil is that they don't exist. They are labels, judgments, concepts...not realities. For the sake of discussion, though, to me, good is love, and evil is non-love. Well, I think this way because it makes sense to me. :)

Beautiful!   :thumbsup:

Offline Taffy

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2007, 09:43:44 PM »
Jack,

Quote
"One goes out from oneself through self-forgetfulness."

Luk 17:33  Whoever seeks to save his life, he will lose it. And whoever will lose it, he will preserve it.

I think that the removal of the old system as established under the mosaic law, removed any validation of the "old man" by God.  Such a one can claim righteousness, but there is no law to evidence it.  The haughty have been torn down.

"Old man" sought to define himself.  Certainly that type of thinking exists today, it just isn't validated by law like I said.  The command in the garden validated Adam/Eve's self definition.  Without it, they have no support for their thinking. 

True freedom means vulnerability -- to deny one's self.

Amie



Nicely worded Amie :thumbsup:

Taffy
Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Amie

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 08:24:59 PM »
Taffy,

I do what I can, lol  :mblush:

Amie

GG

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Re: good and evil
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2007, 07:33:52 AM »
 Interesting posts.

Jack..You said something that resonated....and I offer this:-

WES:    11:6 Secrets - The unsearchable depths of God's wisdom in dealing with his creatures. Double - That they are far greater (the word double being used indefinitely for manifold, or plentiful) than that which is manifested. The secret wisdom of God is infinitely greater than that which is revealed to us by his word or works: the greatest part of what is known of God, is the least part of those perfections that are in him. And therefore thou dost rashly in judging so harshly of his proceedings with thee, because thou dost not comprehend the reasons of them, and in judging thyself innocent, because thou dost not see thy sins; whereas the all - knowing God sees innumerable sins in thee, for which he may utterly destroy thee.

The tree of knowledge is not necessarily tree of Wisdom.

there is an earthly wisdom and a heavenly wisdom.

Christ has been made unto us Wisdom.....

    But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (KJV) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of ...

so I can say.. I don't know.....

 :icon_flower: