The other aspect of ‘evil’ is the actions of the ‘Evil One’ as depicted in the scriptures. It is not a great leap in interpretation to equate ‘Evil One’ with ‘Satan’, ‘Devil’, ‘Snake’ or ‘Dragon’. Thus we see the Evil One in Eden tempting Adam and Eve. Though we understand that through Adam ‘Sin’ entered the world, what we generally fail to recognise is the nature of Satan in this event. It is not Satan who sinned, but rather, he tempted Adam with the lie that denigrated the true natures of God and Adam. Indeed, all of the scriptures referring to the Evil One are connected with temptation, specifically in the ‘Lord’s Prayer’. The temptations of the Evil One are always directed to self-aggrandizement and the rejection of God and His love.
So, how can we say people like Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot are evil in this ‘temptation’ concept? It should be noted that these people did not act alone; they enlisted minions.
Having accepted the temptation of ‘god-ship’, they would then have ‘tempted’ others with similar. Then comes the ‘evil’ discussed earlier: selfishness. Not all failures to reject temptations will result in a World War, but can result in a war of conscience or of marital harmony. All of which veils our sense of our true relationship with God. The Good News is that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).