Are People Evil?

Rapists, pedophiles, murderers, child abusers, wife-beaters and others seem to embody evil.

Is it possible that people are evil? Are they born that way or do they become that way?

My simple answer is I do not think there are evil people. Here is why:

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”

Since God is good or and all He created was good how could people be evil?

See what 1 Timothy 4:4 says: “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,”

Since everything God created is good people cannot be evil.

So how do I explain evil…First let me say that God’s ways are higher than mine. I do not have all the answers…

God tells us apart from Him all our good deeds are like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). So compared to God even the good things we do are disgusting and nasty. We humans have all sinned (Romans 3:23). Sin separates us from God and earns us death (Romans 6:23).

These facts set up the building blocks of what I think about evil. I cannot do anything remotely “good” apart from God. That does not make me evil, but that does make me capable of evil. It makes me susceptible to do evil things.

When confronted with evil, I think that the person who perpetrates the evil is deceived into thinking that they get something beneficial out of these evil deeds. I also think at some point a person gets so comfortable with evil that he or she begins to resemble evil. But I do not think they are evil and thus too far away from God to be saved.

Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Those verses don’t mention any conditions. If you do it and really believe it, you are saved. So it is with men who choose evil.

What do you think? Evil people or evil actions?

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8 Responses to Are People Evil?

  1. Brandee says:

    Angela, I found your blog through the She Speaks list 🙂  This post was a really good thought to ponder on.  I have to agree with what you said about evil.  Are people evil?  No, I think they are separated from Jesus and being separated makes them follow the ways of the world, their own desires and passions.  Satan knows he can control these people because they do not know our Savior. 

    Just from my own experiences in life, so often the people who do these things do them because they had terrible things happen to them.  Not always, but so often, child abusers abuse children because they themselves were abused.  I have been through this.  I was abused by my step-grandfather who also was hurt as a child.  If we do not turn to God and let Him heal all those broken places we are so much more likely to repeat the cycle.  It can even be other cycles of sin that as humans we do not think is as “evil” as these things mentioned.  I have to be diligent to work on my own failings and strongholds so that my son will not carry on and be burdened by those same things and that only comes through Jesus’ strength working in me. 

    What people need more than anything is prayer, what our world needs is people who will fall on their knees and pray for what is going on.  As long as Satan is in charge there is going to be evil.  And as the last days approach it is going to just get even more so.  Praise the Lord Jesus is coming back and everything will be made right!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Brandee, I almost addressed this same issue. That those who have had evil perpetrated upon them especially as a child are more likely to perpetrate evil on others. There is a recent article about this in a counseling journal. Anyway, thank you for jumping in. I am interested in what others think too. I hope this discussion really gets going.


  2. Jan says:

    The human race has an evil bent we are born into sin. The fall brought about spiritual death. God said, “You shall surely die.” I think the unregenerate person can do good, but their motives are self-serving. It is only by the Grace of God and the leading of His Holy Spiriy that His good purposes are accomplished.

    The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give Life and to give us abundant life…This is Good, Our words are a powerful force and they either build up or tear down, they either bless or hurt, they either give life or death.

    My conclusion is CHOICE…we all have to choose. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

    Be blessed,

  3. Craig S. says:

    I read all of this – and I read it intently – thank you for the time it took to put these thoughts together. It’s a complicated subject. I appreciate your approach. The one thought that I did have though is that God created the Evil One.  I’m sure when he was created he was not evil – what makes us  evil, if not our choices – and he chose his path – as we choose ours. Theologians have discussed this for thousands of years – and they differ – diversity in unity! God bless you for this – thank you – I’m smiling – smiles are good.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true Craig. I love the diversity of the body. Thanks for taking the time to read my poor attempt at addressing this subject. Blessings brother.

  4. Kathryn Champion says:


    I just read this post (Thursday, 06-23) and I have to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed it. I deal with this on almost a daily basis because of where I work – the State Probation & Parole Office! I really have to keep myself in check and remember that these people were created by God just like I was and that His Son died for them the same as me! I even have a yellow sticky on my ‘window’ to remind me that “EVERY person I talk to is a unique, incredible creation of God”. I read that in a book I was reading and I immediately wrote it down so I could put it right in front of me!

    Just because someone made a wrong or bad choice or was with the wrong people does not make that person any less than me but I have to admit that sometimes it is REALLY hard to remember this when one of them being all arrogant and trying to ‘get in your face’ – LOL That is when I have to REALLY pray and try my best to not REACT but to RESPOND in His love.

    Thank you for this post – and thank you for following my blog, too. I look forward to meeting you at She Speaks 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Kathryn. I cannot imagine having to remember that like you do on a daily basis. I can’t wait to meet you in person! Blessings.

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