Pondering the source of evil

This morning in class we were discussing the Beelzebul controversy in Matt 12:15–32. The question came up as to whether or not we believe that there is such a personification of evil, or is such belief a product of another time, other cultures? 
I don't think it's an easy question to answer, and I would hope to be open to the different spiritual awareness of other other times, places, people in my understanding of the mysterious movement of the Spirit in the world. 
However, the difficulty I have with such a personification of evil as 'Satan' or 'the Devil' is with the origins of evil. For me evil is the result of the choice of humanity to turn away from God. If evil is a 'person' what is it's origin? Did God create this person, did it exist with God in the beginning, is it the flip side of the character of God, is it a fallen angel? I won't even start with the assumption that the evil character is male ... 
I do wonder, though, if evil is the result of choice, is a turning our back on God as the human race, I'm not talking about individual choice here, do we personify evil in an attempt to distance ourselves from the consequences of that choice? Is it an act of diminishing our responsibility for having rejected our Creator? 


Heather said…
How could we be sure?.. - but I reckon "The Devil made me do it" is a bit too handy as a way of abdicating responsibility. We have a saying: you choose the behaviour, you choose the consequences. -or maybe you just understand that you are gonna get some kind of consequences...

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