Christian Beliefs about Good and Evil
- God is perfect and is the creator of everything good
- The Devil works against God in some form
- Christian try to avoid evil and follow God, if they do, they will go to heaven when they die.
- Christians follow the ten commandments to live a good life
- Humans were made in the likeness of God with free will.
- Quote - St Augustine - "Evil is the act of turning away from the ultimate goodness"
In order to go to heaven, Christians:
- Follow the bible
- Try and live like Jesus
- Listen to thier conscience
- Live for justice - do good works
- Trust and have faith in God in difficult situations e.g. suffering
Evil and The Devil
- Some people blame the devil for all evil and suffering in the world. He tries to tempt people into evil.
- Some believe that he was good angel, cast out by God for seeking to be greater than Him.
- Others believe that he is just a symbol for the struggle between right and wrong - evil is just a force, not a real being
- Quote - "I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven" (Luke)
Types of Evil:
- Natural - e.g. earthquakes, tornados - not caused by man
- Moral - e.g. murder, jealosy, adultery - caused by man's free will
Original Sin and Redemption
- In Genesis, Adam and Eve were in a perfect relationship with God and wern't alowed to eat from the tree of knowledge, but the devil tempted them and they broke God's trust and the relationship with him was ruined.
- Christians believe that we have to earn salvation and redemption to have that perfect relationship with God and have eternal life in heaven
- People who seek forgiveness and repent will be saved by God
- Christ's death on the cross was the substitute for the punishment we will get for original sin - He saved us.
Christian beliefs about why there is evil and suffering in the world
- Some christians believe evil is part of the process towards becoming good. it teaches us about justice.
- Some believe suffering is a test from God to see if we remain faithful and do the right thing under pressure.
- Christians believe there is moral evil in the world because of human free will, therefore God is not causing the evil.
- INCONSISTANT TRIAD - Others find it hard to understand that a God who is omnibenevelant, omnipotent and omniscient allows suffering to happen in the world.
- Christians would argue that suffering brings people closer to God.
- Suffering allows others to help and show love to those suffering
- God showed that he can relate to our suffering when Jesus died on the cross - so by suffering, we share Christs pain.
- Christians believe the pain we suffer on earh will paid back by God in heaven - also heaven will seem an even better place.
- Quote - "not my will but thy will be done" (Luke)
- Quote - "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans)
Reasons for Moral behaviour and Conscience
Christians believe that God gave us free will and we can make the right decisions by:
- reading the bible - the gospels and parables
- following thier conscience - using the gift of free will
- attending church - on sundays, the holy day
- praying - communicating, asking for help and thanking God
- having faith in God - trusting that he is always with us
- following the ten commandments - mostly loving God and your neighbour
- knowing that life is sacred - making the most of each day, not choosing to abort a child, commiting suicide etc.
- A sense of right and wrong - feeling guilty when you've done something wrong
- Ignoring your conscience can lead to not knowing the difference between right and wrong
- Sometimes is is difficult to know the right thing to do, so christians pray to God for help.
- Others believe God didn't give us conscience - it is just the way we are brought up.
Following Jesus' Example
Christians believe that following Jesus' example, lifestyle and attitudes will lead them a good life that will be rewarded in heaven:
- Jesus made all the right decisions, so Christians live thier lives asking what Jesus would do.
- He was patient and kind, even if others were cruel to him.
- He always prayed to God for help and always had faith in him
- He was prepared to give his life for us on the cross