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Posted on Sat. Dec. 22, 2012 - 12:01 am EDT

PEOPLE OF PRAISE

Fallen mankind puts its free will to evil uses

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Why does God allow evil? I heard this question posed to two theologians on “Fox News Live” on TV, and neither one of them answered the question.

I would like to attempt to give you the theological or biblical perspective concerning this question. The question arose in response to the massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.

First of all, from a scriptural perspective, God gave mankind free will to choose and to make choices or decisions. The will of man, which is a part of the soul of man, is where man has the ability to discern between what’s right and wrong, to make judgments or discretions, to discriminate, to give vigilant thought and attention to, to give insight, to make resolutions and determinations. It is the place where your purposes and intentions and inclinations come from within the mind and consciousness of mankind.

When mankind sinned in the Garden of Eden or chose to take of the tree of good and evil, he exercised his free will, which was given to him by God. God will never overrule or stop a man from choosing or making a decision. Why? Because man’s will is eternal and God-like or sovereign. Though God can stop the individual’s choice or decision from being carried out, he will not stop the decision or choice from being made in its originality.

The Bible says that man was made in the image and likeness of God. When mankind sinned in the Garden of Eden, he immediately acquired a fallen depraved nature. A fallen depraved nature is equal to or composed of human nature and human spirit. It is a nature that is void of Holy Spirit and the influences and impact of the Holy Spirit.

Human nature is that part of you that constantly seeks to satisfy and appease the cravings, appetites, longings, pinings, yearnings and lust that are in your flesh and mind. The mind of man is synonymous with the will or consciousness or spirit of man. Human spirit seeks for self-gratification, exultation, status, influence, power and authority.

Also, human spirit gives you insight on who you think you are, what you can do, what your purposes are and what your abilities and capabilities or potentials are in life. It is the place of innovation and creativity and originality.

The Bible says that because a man has a fallen, depraved nature, he is born in sin, or is born with the ability to sin, or a nature that is bent toward sinning. The Bible says in the book of Jeremiah that the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately evil. The Bible says in Genesis that right after man sinned in the Garden of Eden, “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Because of this, the Bible further says in Genesis that “The earth also was corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence. And God said unto Noah, ‘The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them.’ ” Jesus said in the gospel of Mark, “For from within, out of the heart (soul, mind, spirit) of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness, all these evil things come from within and defile the man.” Finally, in 2 Timothy 3:13 it states, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

Folks, according to scripture, the Adam Lanzas of the world are going to get worse because God has given mankind a will, which is the ability to make choices with a fallen, depraved nature.

Yes, there are Satanic or demonic influences on the earth, but the bottom line as to why God allows evil on this earth is because mankind has the ability to make choices, which God will never overrule or violate. But God will make sure that mankind reaps the consequences of his choices.


The Rev. Arsben Dennis Jennings attends Come As You Are Community Church in Fort Wayne. If you are interested in submitting a column (750 words or less), send it to Terri Richardson, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email trich@jg.net. Include your name, religious organization and a phone number where you can be reached. For more information, call 461-8304.


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