RS/RE Revision Notes - Good and Evil

RE/RS Good and evil revision notes

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Different beliefs about God and the Devil
Some Christians believe that there is evil in the world because of the
Devil, sometimes known as Satan. The Devil is believed to be the
enemy of God, who rules in hell and who tries to make humanity turn
away from goodness. According to early Christian doctrine, the
Devil was created good, but was jealous of God and decided to fight
against God instead of being obedient.
In the creation story in Genesis, Adam and Eve were tempted to do
wrong by a serpent, and some people believe that this was the Devil in
disguise. In the book of Job, the Devil causes Job all sorts of suffering,
as a way of trying to make him turn against God, but Job does not give
up his faith. Jesus, too before he began his teaching, was tempted by
the Devil, but refused to listen:
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant
all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, 'I will give you
all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me, and
I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be
yours.' Jesus answered, ' it is written: "Worship the Lord your
God and serve him only." (Luke 4:8)
Why is there evil in the world?
The existence of evil and suffering in the world has always presented
great problems for Christianity. Christians believe that God is perfectly
good and perfectly loving they also believe that God has the power to
do anything (omnipotence). But there are all kinds of bad things in the
world that cause people to suffer. Sometimes people are deliberately
cruel, or dishonest, or uncaring this is often called moral evil, which is
the kind of wrong that happens because of human wickedness. At other
times, suffering is caused because of natural evil such as floods,
disease, hurricanes, fires and earthquakes. These events can
cause a lot of suffering, but they do not seem to be because of any
human fault. Life often seems very unfair. Terrible tragedies sometimes
happen to good and innocent people, while there are no others who
seem to care about noone except themselves and yet they live long
and prosperous lives. How can Christians continue to believe in an
allloving, allpowerful God, if there is so much wrong in the world? Why
does God apparently do nothing to prevent cruelty to children, or
cancer, or tidal waves? Did God make evil when the world was created,
and can God be blamed for all that goes wrong? Or did something else
create evil, and is God unable to prevent it.

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Some Christian responses to the problem
of evil
Christians usually find it very difficult to explain the existence of evil.
Sometimes, they say that it is the result of the Fall of Adam and Eve:
because the first people rebelled against God, they brought evil and
suffering into a world that was made perfect, and they spoilt the world
that God had made. But this does not answer all the questions.…read more

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How can Christians tell right from wrong?
Christians believe that, as part of their response to God, they should try
to avoid evil and to do good, because they believe that God is perfectly
good and that they should try to become like God as much as they can.
But how are they to know what is right and what is wrong?
There are several different ways in which Christians can try to discover
the right way to behave.…read more

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How can Christians tell right from wrong?
The Bible
The Bible, as the holy book of Christianity, is often used as a source of
moral guidance. Christians study the teachings of the Bible, and try to
work out how to apply it to their own lives and situations. Some of the
Bible's teachings, such as the Ten Commandments, are considered
by many people, whether Christian or not, to contain essential truths
about right and wrong.…read more

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Why do Christians try to follow a moral
Christians believe that God is perfectly good, and that humanity was
made 'in the image of God' (Genesis 1:27), with the capability to share
in God's goodness. Christians, like Jews, are ethical monotheists
they believe in one God, who is the source of all goodness and who is
interested in the way that people behave, particularly in the ways in
which they treat one another.…read more

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The example of Christ
Sometimes, Christians try to work out the right thing to do by imagining
what Jesus would do in the same circumstances. Because Christians
believe that Jesus was the Son of God, they believe that he always
acted and spoke in the right way. They try to copy him for example, they
might read in the Gospels about the ways, in which Jesus helped
outcasts, and try to copy his by working in a shelter for the homeless.…read more


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