A Divided House

To those who acknowledge God as the one supreme creator, the following proposition will be self-evident: God is the author of evil, or He is not. If God is the author of evil, then evil is an essential part of His creation and is indestructible. If God is the author of evil, it would be irreverent and sinful in man to attempt its destruction. If God creates sickness, man should not attempt to remove it, either by prayer or drugs. If God sends affliction to make us better, then the thing we should pray for is more affliction, inasmuch as spiritual development is what we should desire at any cost. If some cases of affliction are sent to reprove and make us better, how are we to determine these specific cases? If we pray for the sick in any case where God has sent the affliction, we are manifestly intruding our finite sense of things within the Holy of Holies, and what possible faith can we have in our prayers, if we are always conscious that what we ask may not be God's will? To say "Thy will be done" means that the finite human sense yields to the infinite, spiritual sense, that the human will is lost in the divine. This is in nowise a passive resignation to sickness or sin or death, but it is a submission to God's will that these very things may be overcome. Men do not glory in tribulations to which they are passively submissive, but they do glory in them when conscious of that God-given power which enables them to overcome and make these tribulations "stepping-stones of their dead selves to higher things."

If God, the only creator, did not create evil, then evil does not exist. All that evil ever is, is a false sense opposing the true sense, and when the true sense is discerned, the false sense disappears. It should be clear that God cannot be the author of good and evil any more than the same fountain can send forth both bitter and sweet waters. Omnipotent good cannot be opposed by any degree of evil whatsoever, else omnipotent good becomes less than omnipotent. Omnipresent Love cannot be opposed by any degree of hate whatsoever, else omnipresent Love becomes less than omnipresence. The admission of any power opposed to God would deprive God of His power over all and make Him less than All in all.

Lesson from the New Church Building
February 11, 1905

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