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Get the Scriptural Point(s) on a Thorny Issue: the Unreality of Evil

In this week’s Responsive Reading, Jesus tries to spare Paul (and us) the pain of “kick(ing) against the pricks” (Acts 26:14) and of being “disobedient to the heavenly vision.” (Acts 2:19) Have you caught the heavenly vision of God’s allness where “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying . . and . . . no night there?” (Rev.21:4 & 25, Sections 4 & 6) If you’re still in the dark about this heavenly vision of the allness of good, you may be unwittingly kicking against the pricks and suffering the sharp experiences of belief in the reality of evil.

1. Wouldn’t being obedient to “the heavenly vision” include seeing as God sees? The inspired word of the Bible according to Habakkuk is that “God is of purer eyes than to behold evil.” (Hab. 1:13) and according to Genesis that “God saw everything that he had made and behold it was very good.” (Gen. 1: 31) Whenever I am tempted to see evil as a “person, place (n)or thing,” I know that a quick re-vision is needed. (See S&H 71:2 for how to properly process the horrible images so prevalent today.)

2. Maintaining the unfortunately-common world-view that evil is real springs from one of two false premises: Either a) that God creates, sees, permits and even sends evil and so is not all good; or, b) that a power apart from God creates evil and sends it, but that God is powerless to stop it, making God not all powerful.

3. Christian Science is unique in presenting the only scenario and consistent system of thought in which God remains both all good and all powerful. By classifying all evil as unreal, Mary Baker Eddy shows man how to awaken from the illusion of evil’s reality to the underlying radiant reality of God’s allness and man’s perfection as His “image and likeness.” (Gen. 1:27) Jesus’ healings of sin, disease and death prove the ultimate unreality of evil. Jesus’ own resurrection above the crown of thorns he wore at the cruxifiction fulfills Paul’s inspired scriptural promise that “all things (not just some things) work together for good to them that love God.” (Rom. 8:28)

4. So why do bad things sometimes happen to good people? To the thorny question in Luke 13 of why innocent people are killed, Jesus answers: “repent” or “think differently” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance,63) or you will end up just like them. (Luke 13:3,5) Let’s think differently from the typical world-view by actively acknowledging the omnipotent govenment of God, good, in absolutely everything. At the same time let’s deal compassionately with those who are convinced of the reality of evil, as Jesus’ does when comforting Lazarus’ family at the tomb. First “Jesus wept” (John 11:35), then he raised Lazarus from the dead. As you see and are obedient to this heavenly vision of no more death, why not identify and overcome “kicking against” all the dead-ends and deadlines that face you this week ? With a heavenly vision of the all presence of good, each “evil” deadline will become a lifeline to God, good!

Thanks to Barry Huff for researching most of the scriptural quotes for a paper at Eden Theological Seminary.

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