I was fascinated to learn recently that communism very possibly has it’s roots in a few medieval sects based in Gnosticism. These sects (like the Cathars/Albigensians, and even the Rosicrucians, who travel on “secret” knowledge). Although Socialists/Communists would not likely recognize these religious roots at all, there is a definite attraction with the idea that the Creator God of the Old Testament was fundamentally evil, and that evil was based in materialism.
These medieval sects (or cults) believed that because God was evil, His creation was also evil, and that only man could save it. In a sense it is a form of reverse salvation, seeing man as the savior and creation as the one in need of salvation. They also believed in a form of “survival of the fittest”, with the idea that it was good to pit one group against another in order to make the human race stronger in the end. Therefore the only way to bring reform was actually to cause dissension. Sound familiar? This became the underpinnings of socialism/communism, which spawned the things we are seeing now such as The Great Reset, The Green New Deal, and are currently ushering in a one world order for “the good of the masses”.
Ironically even though those who firmly buy into these things may not recognize the religious roots, at the same time the way they uphold their beliefs is a religion in itself, with its own set of morals and values based not in Judaeo-Christian beliefs of the Old and New testaments, but that any means justifies the end as long as creation is “cleansed” of what they define as evil.
Before I go further…
Allow me to point to a few reassuring verses. The Lord our God is ONE God (Mark 12:29-31), He created the heavens and the earth and called it good (Genesis 1), and sent His one and only begotten Son, Jesus, to bring redemption and reconciliation after the fall of man (John 3:16). Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Evil is not found in God (Psalm 5:4, James 1:13, 1 John 1:5). God is steadfast and unchanging (James 1:16-17).
To think that God has evil within Himself
… or that He would intentionally visit evil upon His redeemed children, is to see Him as flawed. It’s debatable that evil is a thing that can be created, but it boils down to the fact that God wanted to give us the choice to love Him, to choose Him, and the consequences of that choice included the knowledge of both good and evil. I believe Lucifer (or Satan) was also created with a choice. He wasn’t created as evil, but by his choice became evil.
In case your mind is already wandering to verses that you are certain would conclude otherwise, I would like to borrow for a moment from a book called “Good God”, by Lucas Miles, to introduce a few new thoughts.
Miles points out that some of the most ill perceived translations of scripture come through the book of Job. The enemy has used them for centuries to point a finger at God’s “flaws” by getting us to believe that God actually throws Job in Satan’s direction with the thought of taking all Job has but just not hurting him personally. It’s no surprise then, when we make God out to be one who would acquiesce to Satan by allowing him to test us, that people don’t want anything to do with God because they cannot trust that He will not intentionally hurt them. And it does not bother us at all when that concept doesn’t align with the rest of scripture… or at least not that we’re willing to admit.
The passage I’m referring to is Job 1:7-8
7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” 8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Job 1:7-8
Does verse 7 sound familiar? If yes, could it be because it reminds us of 1 Peter 5:8, which says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Another verse which might go along with that on is John 10:10, which says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
From Job 1:7, we know that Satan was roaming around to consider who he could devour – steal from, kill, or destroy. That’s disturbing in itself but to think that God actually partners with Satan in order to make this happen, to me, is even more disturbing. When I searched to understand verse 8 of Job 1 more intently, I discovered Hebrew words like “al”, meaning “upon or over”; and ki, meaning “when or that”; and sum (or sim), translated here as “considered”, can also be translated as “to set”. This is when I agreed with Lucas Miles that we have been reading the inflection of God’s voice in this passage incorrectly. To show you what I mean, allow me if I may to loosely translate verses 7 and 8 to read this way instead:
The Lord said to Satan, “You look like you’re up to no good. Where have you come from? ” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming around to see whose life I can destroy.” 8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “You haven’t been fixing your gaze on Job, setting your desires on him, have you? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears me and shuns evil. Do not lay a finger on him!“
Wow, what a difference an inflection can make!
And in refute to Job stating about God that “He gives and takes away” (Job 1:21), or that “He injures but His hands also heal” (Job 5:18), it is important to remember that God himself rebukes Job and his friends for their lack of understanding (which went on for chapters at a time and some passages are still mistakenly taken out of context and upheld to this day as descriptive of the character of God). God, in the midst of a lengthy rebuke, actually refutes those thoughts at the end of the book, such as we see in Job 40:8:
“Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Job 40:8
In conclusion of the book of Job, we are led to acknowledge that God is not the solemn perpetrator of all our circumstances, and in the end we see Job repent of his misperceptions in chapter 42:3-6:
"...Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know... My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you... Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
The whole notion of how most Christians interpret the book of Job these days, in essence, is that in spite of the evil God allows upon us, we are more faithful than God Himself (“I will still trust Him, I will still serve Him, I will still believe”). This brings us back full circle to the idea that God is flawed and that creation is in need of man to save it. It’s all related to the very slippery slope that Satan himself fell down, as reflected in Isaiah 14:12-15:
12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.
In closing I leave you with James 1:16-17:
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:16-17