Felix Culpa and the Problem of Evil

Felix culpa: fortunate fault — used especially of original sin, which is redeemed by the coming of Christ (Merriam Webster)

It would seem that if it weren’t for the fall, Jesus would have never become a man to save humanity. If Jesus never became a man, the connection thus created between God and man would never have happened. Jesus, being both fully God and fully man, is a bridge between God and man which connects the Creator with the created and the Infinite with the finite. If Jesus never became a man, that connection would never have been made, and forever there would be an infinite separation between God and His creation. The theodicy here is that evil was necessary as it caused the man Jesus to come and save humanity.

Of course, there was nothing stopping the second person of the Trinity from becoming a man if there never was a fall. It’s perfectly reasonable to believe that it was always God’s intention to unite with His creation by entering that creation as a man. The fall is not necessary for that to happen. So, the theodicy breaks down, as all theodicies do.

Was evil necessary for God to get what He wants out of His creation? The Calvinist would say yes, as God created the universe to display the full range of His perfections, which includes wrath, mercy, and justice (a la John Piper). If there were no evil, how could God display His wrath? Who was God displaying His wrath onto before creation? No one of course. Therefore God had to create the universe in order to fulfill that unmet desire. Here is where the Calvinist theodicy breaks down since it insists that God had to create the universe in order to complete Himself, which cannot be true for a perfectly complete God. God did not create the universe to complete Himself or to fulfill some unmet desire. The universe is an outpouring of God’s perfect completeness–ex nihilo, or better ex deo.

Some believe evil is necessary for the act of “soul building”. The evil we experience builds our character, builds our humanity, and shapes us into the beings God ultimately wants us to be. But this theodicy confuses hardship with evil. If you wanted to run a marathon, and I were your trainer, I would tell you to get up at 5 am each morning to run for an hour. This would be hard for you, but it would not be evil. If I decided that your family was distracting you too much from your training, and thus killed your family to keep you focused, that would be evil. The hardship builds you up, but the evil tears you down. Evil never creates, it only destroys.

Others would say that evil is necessary in order for us to have free will, which is necessary for true love. They argue that love can’t be real unless it is chosen. People have to have the option of rejecting God in order for their acceptance of God to be real. It’s a bad argument. Think of all those you love. Did you have to choose to love them? (Don’t confuse loyalty or obedience with love here.) Does a mother have to choose to love her newly born child? Does a child choose to love his parents? Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” I don’t think Jesus is suggesting we prove our love by obeying, but rather, we obey because we love Him first. (Obedience might lead to stronger love, but it is love which initiates obedience.) At any time in eternity past, did Jesus have to choose to love the Father? Is it even an option for Jesus to reject the Father? Think about what that would mean. God is not suicidal. There is no darkness in God. Could God create a universe in which we had free will and yet there would be no evil? Yes, this is exactly what will happen in the next age, post-resurrection.

Evil creates nothing, it only destroys. Evil is not a positive force, it is a negative parasite. Evil is the privation of good and it has no substance of its own. Evil is not non-being, but rather anti-being — it seeks to kill and destroy. There is no good reason why evil exists in our universe, but yet it is here. Why? God did not need evil to get what He wants out of His creation, but yet He allowed evil to happen. Why?

Perhaps we are asking the wrong question: “What does God want?” Maybe we should be asking the question: “What do we want?” Perhaps the solution to the problem of evil is to stop asking what God wants and start asking what we want. God did create the universe wholly apart from Himself after all. Christians are not pantheists or panentheists, or we shouldn’t be. The terrifying truth is that God created us to rule this creation. The responsibility of doing that is immense. Are we going to kill the evil infecting our universe? Or will we join ourselves with the evil?

So, what is evil? Evil is not non-being, but anti-being. Evil is a side effect of the supremacy of Freedom in Becoming (Being), and it is Being turned against itself. Evil has no substance of its own, but it is parasitic on the very substance which it is intent to destroy. If Creation is Good, then Evil is destruction, both the refusal of the acceptance of the Gift of Being, and the active opposition to Being-itself and Becoming. Evil is freedom, but it is freedom misused. Not as some Gnostic ignorance (As David B. Hart seems to suggest), but indeed a genuine hatred. Since human nature is founded on freedom, humanity can choose evil and oppose the inherent Goodness of his/her nature. Evil is a very real psychological and spiritual reality, and cannot be brushed away by a magic wave of the metaphysical finger. It may not be a substance, but it is very tangible. Evil is not cured by knowledge alone, but by Love.

Some guy online called Oskar

Thankfully we have Jesus, God as man, and the Holy Spirit to guide us in this great responsibility God has given to us.

Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.

Mark 6:45-51 NKJV

When Strong Men Disappear, Mom Takes Over…

“Bad behaviour!”

Men are created by God to lead. Women are created to come along side men to help them lead. If you get that confused, everyone suffers.

If you think, “But the women in my team are better at catching my vision. They’re better followers. Therefore they will make good leaders and vision casters,” you’re wrong. Women are usually more subservient and want everyone to get along and not make trouble for the leader. Take those same women and make them leaders, and you’ll end up with tyrants.

Men won’t follow you as closely as you want. They have their own goals, vision, and passion. Let them have at it. To suppress them crushes their souls.

A Pre-Christian Prophet

Jordan Peterson is very popular these days. He has a lot of wise things to say. I particularity like his opinions on helping people get their lives in order, and on politics. I don’t much like his take on the bible and Christianity. Peterson is heavily influenced by Carl Jung, and he uses those Jungian ideas when interpreting scripture.

I call Peterson a pre-Christian prophet. Pre-Christian because I believe he is on his way to becoming a genuine believer (which he is not yet), and prophet because he does speak truth to the masses and warns of a future which we are headed toward if we ignore that truth.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot (if any) Christian men who are recognized and listened to like Peterson. Christian leaders are often preoccupied with their own fame and egos. Christian leaders are caught up in childish fantasy doom and gloom visions of the future in which the Church falls under the power of some comic book villain. Christian leaders offer no real solutions for the future’s problems, other than waiting to escape this world. Why would anybody listen to men like that?

There are no Christian prophets left, only pre-Christian ones.

Related… The Wrath of Man

The God of Government

All people have a right to make a living for themselves, to have a place to live, to have clothes, and to have food. No one, except an evil dictator, would disagree with this. Who ensures these rights? God does. God not only gave us these rights, He has also provided the way for us to live out these rights, and abundantly.

Some in Canada are pushing for a Universal Basic Income program (UBI). This is a program in which the government guarantees a basic income for everybody. It is not wrong to want every person to have their basic needs met, especially when they are unable to meet their own needs. Poor people are all around us, and we are commanded by Jesus to care for the poor.

But when the government wants to take on the role of being everyone’s provider, is it doing so out of charity and love? Or out of a desire to be god?

Beware of any corporation or government wanting to give you free money, free food, free social media apps, free this, free that…. It is a way for them to control you, and to be your god.

Related reading: Wealth Inequality & Guaranteed Income

For the Time Being, 2+2=4, 5, & 6

The homosexuals say, “I was born this way. I can’t change.” The transgenders say, “I was born this way. I can change.” Apparently these two groups of people are on the same side.

Even normally compliant feminists get in trouble when they agree they don’t want trans-women (men who want to be women) in women’s sports, women’s prisons, or women’s change rooms. I’ve yet to hear of any man feel threatened by trans-men wanting to be in those same male spaces. Interesting how manhood is not really under threat from the transgender movement, but womanhood very much is.

The west is in its decadence phase, but there is hope. No society can exist on illogical foundations. Imagine if the mathematics world decided that 2+2=4, 5, and 6, depending on what feels best at the time. How long could that last? Mathematics would stall and no one would agree on anything. The west can’t survive long on these new rules, with which anyone can change reality when ever they feel like it. It doesn’t matter how hard people push for it to work, it simply won’t work.

It’s easy for feminists to be feminists, homosexuals to be homosexuals, and transgenders to be transgenders in a safe, controlled world like the west. But if that safety goes away, we will soon see things go back to the simple “men are men and women are women” ways very quickly.

There are tough times ahead for the west, but things can and probably will get better. Lessons will be learned, and people will repent and turn back to God.