Where does evil come from?

Questions about evil’s origins are age-old, and Christian Science offers unique and healing answers.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
Loading the player...

By way of answering the headline’s question let’s look at an analogy. When we enter a room that is dark, we don’t try to figure out why it’s dark. We find the light switch and turn on the light. Nor do we concern ourselves with where the darkness went, because we understand that it didn’t “go” anywhere. It was merely the absence of light.

This analogy works pretty well as a starting point for addressing the question of how Christian Science explains the nature of evil. Instead of trying to figure out where evil came from, Christian Science focuses on understanding the nature of the source of all that is, which is God. Because God is solely good, goodness has a source, but its opposite, evil, lacks a true source or substance – just like the darkness. In the light of Truth, a Bible-based name Christian Science uses for God, the darkness of evil dissolves.

And as we’re receptive to that light, we realize that evil doesn’t have any basis in spiritual reality. We come to understand the nature of Truth as supremely powerful, omnipresent, and entirely good. Therefore its opposite is without legitimacy, without intelligence – a lie. This is captured in one of the ways Jesus described the devil, or evil. He said, “There is no truth in him ... he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).

This is a startling conclusion if we’re used to relying on the physical senses to tell us what is real and true. But what the material senses do is testify to matter, which is no part of God, infinite Spirit.

It is through spiritual sense (which innately belongs to all of us, as the children of God) that we are able to see and understand the spiritual reality, where all is held in the infinite allness and goodness of God’s being. Referring to God, the Bible puts it this way: “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1:13, New King James Version). Here the absolute purity of God’s nature as conscious of good and good alone is revealed. God, Truth, alone is ever present.

Christ Jesus lived to present this wonderful light of Truth. He once said: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Indeed, throughout his ministry those who were sick were healed, many entangled in sin were reformed, several people who had died were restored to life, and multitudes who were ignorant of God’s ever present goodness had the gospel – the good news of God’s allness – preached to them.

For instance, there’s an account in Matthew of a person with the skin disease called leprosy who said that Jesus could make him clean if he was willing to do so. The Bible says, “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (8:3). It was truly remarkable that Jesus touched the man, because in Jesus’ time leprosy was viewed as extremely contagious.

But through the light of Truth, Jesus understood that God, good, alone is in control of His children, made in God’s own image and likeness. He saw the evil called leprosy as the false belief it was: a lie about spiritual reality that could not and did not have the ability to touch or hurt one’s true, spiritual wholeness in any way.

Mary Baker Eddy’s textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” describes how such healing took place. It says: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick” (pp. 476-477).

Today, too, each of us can glimpse the spiritual fact of evil’s unreality, whether in the form of sickness or other obstacles to harmony, and experience healing. That’s what happened to me when I was faced with a frightening urinary blockage (see “Our changeless source of health,” The Christian Science Journal, September 2020).

In this way we are demonstrating what Jesus showed us we could do – we can prove the ever presence and all-power of Truth, whose light is forever shining, dispelling the darkness of evil.

Some more great ideas! To read or listen to an article explaining that one Mind, one God, is the only governing power, please click through to a recent article on www.JSH-Online.com titled, “A prayer for unity.” There is no paywall for this content.

Give us your feedback

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

 
of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.