Ask Aniu Kevichusa (Nov. 2-6, 2020)

Hello once again @Interested_In_Ask_RZIM fam!

This week, we’re super excited to have @aniukevichusa joining us on the Q&A forum from Nagaland, India.

Kethoser (Aniu) Kevichusa is a speaker and trainer with RZIM Life Focus Society. Following his undergraduate degree in English literature, Aniu studied theology, earning a BD from Union Biblical Seminary and an MTh from the University of Oxford. As a Langham Scholar, Aniu earned a PhD from Oxford Centre for Mission Studies and Middlesex University, London.

Aniu is the author of the award-winning monograph Forgiveness and Politics: A Critical Appraisal . Aniu’s general areas of interest are theology, Biblical studies, apologetics, politics, peace studies, and ethics.

As always, reply below with your questions! :arrow_down:

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Dear Aniu Kevichusa

My question is in regard to original sin.
How was sin created in the Garden of Eden were lucifer was perfect and blameless as we can see:“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. 14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. 17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” how can sin be found in lucifer if he was perfect and blameless , also even tough he had free will he was a created being, created by God so how can he create sin and ultimately it poses the question did originate from God. I cannot fully understand how can God be the author of sin and be good is a question that has challenged me and I hope to find a revelation of this.

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Thank you for the question. Your question has to do with the perennial question of “original sin” and the so-called “problem of evil.” Let me try to briefly and tentatively answer your question by addressing the various assumptions and aspects of your question.

First, in your question, you have quoted Ezekiel 28:12-17, and assume that it refers to the Satan (“Lucifer”). Now while it is common for many Christians to interpret this passage in that way, we must remember that the passage itself does not explicitly do that and the passage itself does not directly bear that out. In the larger passage, of which these verses are a part, the prophecy is directed towards the then King of Tyre (Ethbaal II). And the prophet Ezekiel uses creative and colorful poetic and metaphorical language from the creation stories of Genesis to express the great fall of the King of Tyre. The language is poetic and metaphorical and must neither be taken literally nor pressed beyond its intended meaning.

Second, you ask how God could create sin, because “Lucifer” was “a created being created by God.” There is a long and venerable philosophical and theological tradition that understands evil, as such, not as “being” or “thing” but as “non-being” or “no-thing.” Evil, according to this traditional understanding is “privation.” “Privation” is the absence and negation of a good that ought to be there. So the response to your question from this traditional perspective would go something like this:

(1) God is the creator of everything in the universe.
(2) But sin or evil is not “something” in the universe; it is privation in being and things; it is “non-being” and “no-thing.”
(3) “No-thing” needs no creator.
(4) Therefore, God did not create sin or evil.

Third, you ask whether sin or evil “originate from God.” Two things can be said in response. (a) All things in the universe are “from God,” but not “of God.” This is what St. Augustine said: “For from Him are heaven and earth, because He made them; but not of Him because they are not of His substance.” In other words, creation is ex nihilo, not ex Deo. But again, sin or evil, one must remember, is not a created entity. It is privation. Evil is “no-thing” and thus does not need a “creator.”
(b) Privation is caused, as you also mention, by “free will.” Evil arises when creatures turn away from the ultimate good of the Creator to the lesser good of the creatures themselves. But one my remember again that “free will” in creatures is itself a good.

I would just conclude by saying that, as interesting as the question of the problem of evil and original sin is, and as inquisitive as we humans are about it, a curious feature of the Bible is this: The Bible itself does not attempt to “explain” evil, whether its origin or its rationale. I have come to conclude that this is for good reason. Sin or evil is ultimately an absurdity, a non-sense. Whether you take “Lucifer” or “Adam” or “the King of Tyre” or “us,” when God has bestowed on us so much and loved us so much, we turn away from Him, rebel against Him, “wish He were dead,” and, indeed, even crucify Him when He comes to us on earth to show His love for us. How do we explain that? How do we make sense of that? And the paradox is this: Once we “make sense” of evil, we have only made sense of something that does not make sense; and once we “explain” it, we only explain it away.

God bless!

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