The Devil and God


I believe that everything that exists was created or made by God. This includes the spirit world which includes the Devil, that is what the Word declares.

Colossians 1:16–17 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

As I read C.S. Lewis, I was struck with the following conclusion:

There is the religious doctrine that the universe contains opposed powers of good and evil, especially seen as balanced equals.

The two powers, or spirits, gods-the good one, and the lousy one-are supposed to be entirely independent.  They both existed from all eternity.  Neither of them made the other, neither of them has any more right than the other to call itself God.  Each presumably thinks it is good and thinks the other bad.  One of them likes hatred and cruelty, the other likes love and mercy, and each back its view.

What do we mean when we call one of them the Good Power and the other the Bad Power?  Either we are merely saying that we happen to prefer the one to the other-like preferring, apples to oranges-or else we are saying that whatever the two powers think about it and whichever we humans, at the moment, happen to like, one of them is actually wrong, actually mistaken, it regards itself as good.

If we mean really that we happen to prefer the first, then we must give up talking about good and evil at all.  For good means what you ought to prefer right regardless of what you happen to like at any given moment.

If “being good” meant simply joining the side you happen to like, for no real reason, then good would not deserve to be called good.  So we must expect that one of the two powers is wrong and the other right.

The moment you say that you’re putting into the universe a third thing in addition to the two Powers: some law or standard or rule of good which one of the powers conforms to and the others fails to adapt.  But since the two powers are judged by this standard, then this standard, or the Being who made the standard, is higher up than either of them.  He will be the real God.  What we meant by calling them good and bad turns out to be that one of them is in the right relationship to the real ultimate God and the other in a wrong relation to him.

The same point.  If Dualism is true, then the Bad Power must be a being who likes badness for its own sake.

In reality, we have no experience of anyone liking badness just because it is terrible.  The nearest we can get to it is in cruelty.  But in real life people are cruel for one of two reasons-either because they are sadists, that is because they have a sexual perversion which makes cruelty a cause of sensual pleasure in them, or else for the sake of something they are going to get out of it-money, or power, or safety.  But fun, money, energy, and security are all, as far as they go, good things.  The lousy list consists of pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much.  I do not mean, of course, that people who do this are not desperately wicked.  I do say that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of something good in the wrong way.  You can be good for the sake of goodness: you cannot be bad for the mere sake of badness.

You can do a kind action when you are not feeling kind and when it gives you no pleasure, just because kindness is right; but no one ever did a cruel action simply because cruelty is wrong-only because cruelty was pleasant or useful to him.

In other words, badness cannot succeed even in being wrong in the same way in which goodness is good. Virtue is good because it is good; badness is only spoiled goodness. And there must be something good first before it can be ruined.

We call sadism a sexual perversion; but you must first have the idea of normal sexuality before you can talk of perversion, and you can see which is the perversion because you can explain the perverted from the normal and cannot tell the normal from the perverted. Like the gospel is the good news, but it can be perverted.

It follows that this Bad Power, who is supposed to be on an equal footing with the Good Power and to love badness in the same way as the Good Power loves goodness, is foolish.  To be evil, he must have good things to want and then to pursue it in the wrong way: he must have impulses which were initially good to be able to pervert them.

If he is wrong he cannot supply himself either with good things to desire or with good impulses to pervert.  He must be getting both from the Good Power.

If that is true, he is not independent.  He is part of the Good Powers world; he was made either by the Good Power or by some power above them both.

Put more simply still. To be evil, Satan must exist and have intelligence and will.  But existence, intellect and will are in themselves good.  Therefore he must be getting them from the Good Power; even to be wrong he must borrow or steal from his opponent.

This is why I believe that the devil rebelled against God.

This is a real recognition of the fact that evil is a parasite, not an original thing — the powers which enable crime to carry on are powers given it by good. The Bible God! The Creator of all things.