Appendix I: COLD, DARK AND EVIL
The following story is one that helps to illustrate how negative values are simply the absence of positive ones.
A university professor at a well-known institution of higher learning challenged his students with this question:
“Did God create everything that exists?” A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”
“God created everything?” the professor asked. “Yes, sir, he certainly did,” the student replied.
The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil. Since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil.”
The student became quiet and did not respond to the professor’s hypothetical definition. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith is a myth.
Another student raised his hand and said, “May I ask you a question, professor?”
“Of course,” replied the professor.
The student stood up and asked, “Professor does cold exist?”
“What kind of question is that? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?”
The young man replied, “In fact, sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every object is measurable when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-273 C, -460 F) is the total absence of heat, and all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”
The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?” The professor responded, “Of course, it does.”
The student replied, “Once again you are wrong, sir; darkness does not exist either. Darkness is, in reality, the absence of light. Light we can study but not darkness. In fact, we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”
Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”
Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course, as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily examples of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”
To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold—words that man has created to describe the absence of light and heat. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It is like the cold that is felt when there is no heat or the darkness that looms when there is no light.”
This is an urban legend that is sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein. Whatever the source, the information presented is correct.
We tend to think of cold, dark, and evil as anti-forces, as forces that fight heat, light, and good. In reality, they are not. When God created light, darkness was an indirect result, as evidence of the absence of visible light.
“The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.” Isaiah 45:7
Cold, dark, and evil are features that occupy the void when there is a lack of heat, light, and good. The negative characteristics have no power of their own. A change always results when heat enters a cold region, when light invades darkness, and when God approaches evil. Our closeness to heat, light, and good is what keeps us from various degrees of cold, dark, and evil.
Two Realms Sustain Us
Years ago Mac was in a meeting where he had an extraordinary experience. Please be aware that by this time he was a trained minister/teacher and God had blessed many through his ministry. The following is his story:
This was before air conditioning became the norm. Listening to the minister speak about the Fatherhood of God, I found myself a bit hot and bored, so I dozed off a few times. As the message concluded, we were instructed to close our eyes and imagine ourselves in heaven. We were to visualize walking up to the throne of God and getting up on God’s lap, as a child would with their father. I thought this was a bit silly, but began to do as instructed.
I saw myself approach the throne. When I got to the throne I climbed up and sat on God’s right leg. Soon I began to realize I was on the wrong side. Without knowing why, I jumped down and as I climbed upon the left side I began to realize this was not just my imagination. As I got comfortable His arm held me close and I dozed off. As I awoke I noticed the other hand was almost clenched into a fist and I dozed again. Then I heard the minister say, “OK we are done,” and I returned to my conscious self.
Immediately someone jumped up and told about their experience. Then another followed suit, then another. I realized everyone was relating their experience and that I would be expected to do the same. In a panic I began recalling what had happened to me.
All of a sudden insight burst upon me. God had held me close to His heart and I was so comforted that I dozed off. The other hand was poised to deal with anyone who would dare interrupt our close time together. In that instant my heart broke as I realized God was even better than my natural father. God deeply cared for me. Since that day, I have relished the fact that God is my heavenly Father. He is even better than I could have imagined.
— Richard B. McDaniel Sr. (Mac)
David was king in Israel from 1018 to 968 B.C. Although he was an imperfect man, Scripture records he had a heart after God (1 Samuel 13:14). David composed most of the Psalms of the Bible. When he thought about the majesty of God, he asked the question:
- What is man that You [God] take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? (Psalms 8:4; 144:3)
Even David wondered about God’s nature. Honest questions are healthy because they are simply our requests for more insight. They can prepare us to more fully comprehend and develop better understanding. So we ask with David: Who is God and what has He created in man that He should have any caring thought for us?
In the Beginning—God
There was a time when nothing existed but God alone. In fact, time as we know it did not even exist. There were no galaxies, stars, or planets—not even one! There was just God! Close your eyes and let that sink in for a minute. God! Are you feeling His awesomeness?
The One who identified Himself as “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14) apparently has always existed, and as the Eternal One, He always will. His existence transcends the realm of time and space He created. Also notice He says, “WHO I AM.” God is a who—a person.
Scripture also identifies God as our heavenly Father, the One who created us. In our beginnings, God perceived of us as offspring He would birth into existence and parent us as children into His image and likeness.
We trust you’ve enjoyed the preview for this chapter. We hope you’ll purchase a copy of the book and join us on this exciting faith journey. Created to Relate is available from this website or Amazon.com