Evil is not inevitable
So often we read or hear about the certainty of something evil occurring in our lives, caused by factors such as heredity, age, food, the economy, etc. The word evil also tends to loom large, dark, and threatening in our thoughts about the world. War, a pandemic, climate change, natural disasters, and hate conjure up something that appears prevalent, powerful, and unavoidable, against which we may seem powerless.
But Christ Jesus cast a different light on the nature of evil. His numerous healings show that it is not inevitable. And he explained why. Referring to the devil—a word representing the personification of evil—Jesus says: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
By whatever name evil is called—Satan, Lucifer, serpent, dragon—and in whatever way it may manifest, one thing we can be sure of is that it doesn’t abide in the truth. Is this assertion naïve, or even dangerous? Not if we understand that Truth is God, all-powerful and always present. This actually makes evil’s destruction inevitable. Revelation 12 uses imagery to depict this, describing evil as a dramatic-looking but old dragon. It is cast out by Christ, God’s true spiritual idea.
The dragon then sends out a flood to try and destroy the Christ-idea, but it can’t. It’s already been defeated. Seeing the certainty of evil’s end, and expounding on this Bible narrative, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, asks, “What if the old dragon should send forth a new flood to drown the Christ-idea?” Then she reassuringly answers, “The waters will be pacified, and Christ will command the wave” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 570). By whatever new guise evil is presented, be it subtle or aggressive, it’s still the same old lie, already cast out by Christ.
Understanding that evil is powerless begins to sap evil at its root, reducing the fear of its threats and preparing us to gain victory over it.
However, if we’re to see the inevitability of the ultimate destruction of evil, we must be willing to accept what Jesus says about it and start from the basis that God is Truth. Jesus says evil doesn’t abide in the truth. In other words, it’s a lie. In every aspect of human existence, truth invariably destroys a lie. Jesus repeatedly proved this, destroying the lies of sin, sickness, and death—the fruits of evil—with the understanding that God, Truth, is All-in-all.
Yet, personal and world events suggest that evil has the power to wreak havoc and harm. Can we today prove the powerlessness of evil and witness its certain destruction as Jesus did? Turning to the authority of the Bible, we read, “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God” (Psalms 62:11). It’s important to understand what God’s omnipotence means, since God is good, and what a growing spiritual understanding enables us to accomplish.
We read in Science and Health, “We lose the high signification of omnipotence, when after admitting that God, or good, is omnipresent and has all-power, we still believe there is another power, named evil” (p. 469). Understanding even somewhat that evil is powerless begins to sap evil at its root, reducing the fear of the threats it appears to pose and preparing us to gain victory over it. Mrs. Eddy discovered that whatever parades as evil is really a mistaken belief regarding truth, or what God knows. Truth corrects mistakes and destroys lies.
Evil, represented as a mythical hydra-headed dragon in Revelation, is destroyed by Christ, the true idea of God. We can begin to prove the powerlessness of evil when we confront it in our own lives—not willfully, ignorantly, or carelessly but understandingly, armed and armored with Truth, with the conviction that comes from knowing God, good, as the only power. Then we see evil for what Jesus says it is: a liar and a lie, which we don’t need to believe. God, Truth, destroys evil by exposing its falsity, its contrariness to truth.
As we consistently prove this for ourselves, we can begin to see lurking sin, simmering hatred, frightening physical symptoms—even war, disaster, or a pandemic—from a new and healing perspective: They have no divine Principle or law establishing or backing them. This is the truth. To see a lie and see through it, we must be willing to start and stay with the truth, as Jesus instructs. God is Truth, so the better acquainted we are with God, the better equipped we are to recognize a lie and contribute to the demonstration of its ultimate destruction.
The starting point of Christian Science is that God, good, is All-in-all, always. Evil is the opposite of good, God. In truth, God has no opposite. Evil is neither old nor new. It is unreal, powerless. Starting from this premise, we are well positioned to see the end of evil. Whenever we are tempted to fear or accept the supposed inevitability of any evil, we can ponder this question: “How can there be more than all?” (Science and Health, p. 287).
Moji George, Associate Editor