Good. What is good? How does one classify something as good?
What are the characteristics of a good dog? It obeys commands. It shows affection to its owner. It refrains from taking actions which are not allowed (not quite the same as obeying commands).
Does every dog always act in compliance with the characteristics of “good?” Does any dog always act in compliance? Of course not!
When your dog (who is, of course, a good dog) disobeys a command, expresses anger as opposed to affection, and/or acts in a manner that he knows is not allowed, is he a good dog? Do you call him a good dog when he does such things? At that point in time, is he being a good dog? Of course not!
Now, if all dogs at all times complied with the standard characteristics of “good dog,” how would you identify a good dog? Could you identify a good dog? If you say that all of those dogs are good dogs, what is your basis for saying so? Good dogs compared to what?
A good dog is a good dog because he conforms to the expectations of “good dog” even though he could very well choose to be a bad dog.
A thing is good because it conforms to the characteristics of good in spite of its ability to not be good. This is not the same as saying that good is only good because it’s good in comparison to bad.
When God created, He called it good. He does not lie. He never has nor ever will lie. He’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Those are two facts against which all accusations of “divine hypocrisy” must be diligently scrutinized.
When he created, did he say all things would always be good? No. He created it, and it was good. Good compared to what? Did he create all these things, along with some green smog type substance called “evil?” No. At no point did God say, “I created evil so that good things will be known to be good.” In fact, when we sin, we separate ourselves from God. If God, who sent Jesus to do for us, allows us to separate ourselves from Him because we wish to engage in evil, doesn’t it then follow that even in those times which he would most like dwell with evil he cannot (for a kingdom that wars with itself cannot stand)?
So, if good existed before evil, how could God have called it good? God created, and it was good.
Aha! God created creation (that is, God willed to be the physical manifestation of the concept we refer to as creation). Outside of that event (for I cannot say “before” that event, since God is not bound or relative to time, but created it) God was, is, and always will be independent of anything we are able to perceive or comprehend. Otherwise, He would not be God. If we were able to define the limits in which God is confined, God would cease to be God, and in place of Him would be those limits (which, in turn, we would try to define the limits of…and those limits would then become God).
You see, God is the only perfect. God is the only eternal good. God is the good by which all things are measured. When God created, and it was good, the creation was good. However, it was created. In being created, it was brought to existence in the confines of creation. The moment a thing is created, it is (by nature) bound to time, for as creation was created, so was the moment of creation. As soon as a thing’s existence is dependent on time (which all things created are), that thing is bound by the nature of being a creation created within creation. It is, by its nature, not eternally good. Otherwise, would it not just be God, being a was, is, and will be regardless of the act of creation?
When God defines a thing as good, He is not lying; but he is also not saying “this is good in comparison with that evil thing.” He is saying “it is good.” Period. That’s it. No qualifiers.
Where the does evil come in?
Where does evil come from?
Here it is: evil is in comparison to good, not the other way around. Evil is the corrosion of good.
All things started out good. But not all things are God. Otherwise, there would be nothing but God! Again, all things started out good. However, all things (since we are speaking of any thing that is not God) are subject to the nature of creation. To have a beginning (which all things which are created must have), that thing must therefore exist in relation to time. Also, a thing which is created (that is, those created things which we can perceive: trees, mountains, stars, cats, rocks, etc.) is bound by all those “laws of nature” which relate to things which exist tangibly (physically, according to the confines of space and distance). Those things which God created to live (that is, created with the ability to interact in relation to the macro-creation [time and space]), would thus now have the opportunity to change states.
If the original state of a thing is “good,” but that thing was created in the dimension of time and space, with the potential to interact with time and space, is there not the possibility that it will not always remain good?
God created, and it was good. It was created, thereby being susceptible to corrosion. God loves His creation, and therefore wants it to prosper (to do well, to be good). However, God did not create Himself. He created these things, and they were good.
So, what? He created a bunch of stuff and just let it all fall apart?
He created man! In His image! At no point did He ever say that He made anything else in His image. He created man in His image. Wait! There’s more! Not only did He create man in His image, God also walked and talked with man! God blessed man with the ability to exercise its own will, formed relative to its nature (as perceived by itself [remember, a creature made in the image of God]).
Man was created, and it was good.
Man was created in the image of God. God walked and talked with man.
Man was created.
So, man was created (thus existing in the realm of creation) in the image of God. So we have a creation (again, a thing existing in the realm of that which is created), made in the likeness of the creator (a thing that was, is, and always will be regardless of what was, is, or ever will be).
We were created (thereby being subject to the “natural laws” which follow things that are created [that is, things which exist in time and space].
Since we are subject to time and space, we are susceptible to corrosion.
God created, and it was good. It was good, but exists in time and space. It therefore is susceptible to corrosion. What was created good is susceptible to corrosion. When good corrodes, we are left with evil.
Anything that was, is, or ever will be created by God is not God. It also follows, that it is not the creator, but created, thus being placed into the dimension of time and space (again, otherwise it would not be created, but will always have been and always will be [which, in turn, defines that thing as God]). There can only be one God, since in order for multiple things to exist, they must exist in relation to each other. In order for two things to exist in relation to each other, there must be that which divides them. In order for there to be a thing which divides them, there must be something outside of them. Once you’ve admitted that there is something by which they are bound, you’ve disqualified them from the title of God.
The Creator Created Creation. A by-product of creation is time and space (for a thing cannot be said to be if it is not). Anything created must have been created or else it was not. Nothing that is created can become greater than that which created it. All things created are subject to time and space, thereby being subject to decay. The only thing which is not subject to decay, is that which created creation.
God created and it was good. Therefore, the potential for evil became. Lucifer fell. He employed time and space to change his state from good to evil. He chose to embrace decay. He was created with the ability to choose whether or not to obey the Creator (the One who exists regardless of time and space, thus unaffected by decay [therefore, not susceptible to evil]). Over time, he employed his decision-making ability to manifest the idea that the Creator was not the only eternal perfect good who’s not susceptible to time, space, decay, and evil. The moment one believes that God is not who He is, is the moment that person declares themselves higher than God (thereby, exalting himself as God).
The moment Lucifer employed time and space as a means to manifest such an idea, that is the time at which his state corroded from good to evil. Since the very nature of his corrosion was disbelief in the nature of his Creator, he could not recognize that the Creator who created creation (which was good) could create in him a good anew. The nature of his evil was that evil was above good (thereby literally swapping all I’ve said about the relation between good and evil).
Decay (evil) is cumulative. The only thing which can restore good is that which is not bound by decay. Only the Creator can create from that which is not (for He is the only one that was before anything that ever has been, is, or will be).
Thankfully, though we are all subject to and fall into decay (evil), he’s granted us the miracle of re-creation.
He made me, and I was good. He made me in his image. He made me that I would be susceptible to decay, yet outside of decay, should I decide to recognize that He is the Creator. He created me, not as an extension of Himself, but as a creature who has the potential for good and evil. He created me as a creature blessed with the ability to perceive and interact in relation to my environment (that is, created me with a body), along with the ability to recognize that there is something beyond this environment (that is, created me with recognition of the spiritual [thereby, the potential to be blessed by the awareness and ability to interact with regards to God’s spiritual dimension]), and the ability to gravitate towards either nature (that is, towards a destiny of decay, or a destiny of everlasting life in God’s nature). He made me in His image; He made me with body, spirit, and soul.
To open our eyes to His existence outside of the laws of creation, He gave us the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. To let us know that He is good, that He created good, and that He didn’t just create us to decay, He gave us the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. To show us that we did not have to be destined for decay, but could look forward to eternal life in the nature of the One true perfect Creator, He gave us the ability to choose between life and death (good and evil).
He granted us this ability through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
This is not some man-made religion. This is not some code to live by.
This is the Creator investing in reconciliation with that which He created. The Creator created creation in order to create us, so that we (the creation) could choose between good and decay. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus gives us the ability to choose either one at any time until the day we die.
God is love.