This is the first of a series that I will be writing on this blog, now and then. It is an attempt to bust some of the most popular myths often (albeit inadvertently) taught and nuanced in Christian teachings. My hope, in doing this, is to remove some of the haziness and MISTery that often clouds our knowledge of God. Of course, God will always be mysterious to us in some extent, but I believe that there are some things about God that He has clearly revealed to us. These are what I intend to clarify in this series. I hope and pray that you will be edified…
I will begin by dispelling the popular myth that evil and good are equal and opposite forces. This myth has mostly been emphasized in films depicting the fight between the forces of good and evil. It is often made to look as if good and evil are equal and opposite powers. That both have an equal chance at defeating one another. That both are able to inflict equal and lasting pain upon each other. However, this is not what the Bible teaches.
The devil is subordinate to God. He is God’s creation. As a matter of fact, the devil can do no harm without the permission of God (Job 2:6-7). Furthermore, God, through the evil intents and purposes of subordinate human beings, mysteriously orchestrates the same events to achieve His good ends and purposes (Gen 50:20). So, in a sense, in the divine and sovereign purposes of God that we cannot fathom, evil is actually a servant to good. However, make no mistake, evil is neither a substitute nor a necessary means to good. I am therefore not implying, in any way that God is the cause of evil. Correlation does not imply causality. As a matter of fact, causality is a philosophical problem that has never been sufficiently resolved – a mystery that I am perfectly comfortable living with.
Therefore, to say that evil and good are equal and opposite forces is to say that God and Satan are equal and opposite entities or beings. Lucifer was an angel created by and subordinate to God. The devil’s insubordination was not an usurpation of God’s Power, Sovereignty or Throne. God still remained on the throne. Even logic easily shows this inequality. God is good and God is eternal. This means that good is eternal. On the other hand, evil had a beginning and is therefore not eternal. This alone is enough to show that evil is not equal to good. Actually, this shows that good is not just a little superior, but infinitely superior to evil!
Sadly, many Christian teachers and apologists often like to assume that evil and good are equal and opposite because this will help them explain the fact that God is not responsible for evil. But to take that approach is to distort the very nature of God – His omnipotence and omniscience. But this is a topic for another myth buster 🙂
So, there you go. Good and evil are neither equal nor opposite forces. This should be an encouragement to you in your battle against sin. Your victory in Christ is not just assured, it is already eternally secured!
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:37-39]