What is Good and Evil?
Good: something that is morally right, virtuous or honourable. It promotes the welfare of everybody
Evil: something that is morally wrong, wicked or extremely bad. It intentionally causes suffering.
God is the source of all goodness
- Humans are created in His image and should try to live like Him
- They should follow the 10 commandments
They should avoid evil & obey God. If they do this, they will go to Heaven and be with Him for eternity after death.
To do this they...
- Read the Bible and follow its teachings either literally or non-literally. Especially parables as they are stories for how they should live.
- Listen to their conscience which they believe God gave them. It is improved by Christian upbringing and regularly going to Church. (some say conscience is just upbringing)
- Have faith in God.
Christian beliefs-the Devil & Evil
The Devil: an evil supernatural being who opposes God and tries to lead humans astray. He is the source of all evil
- some blame him for suffering
- non-literal believers might believe he is symbol for someone's fight between good and evil.
- Bible describes him as a real figure "I saw Satan fall like lightening from Heaven"
The Our Father says "lead us not in to temptation and deliver us from all evil"
- Evil is the result of not following God
- Christians must avoid evil as well as do good "Evil persists where good men do nothing"
The Fall: when Adam and Eva ate the forbidden fruit and rebelled against God. This cause separation between God and humankind.
- There was a state of innocence before the fall.
- Now, humans are born in to a broken relationship with God.
- Christians need Salvation( being saved from sin and Hell to be with God)
Original Sin: The state of sin in which all humans are born with a natural tendency to choose evil instead of good.
- without Redemption (through Christ's death our forgiveness and salvation have been bought) there is no hope of eternal life with God.
- Christians believe redemption is God's plan for restoring the relationship.
- people ask for forgiveness to restore the relationship. In the Our Father "forgive us our trespasses"
Evil and Suffering
Moral Evil: evil caused by humans
Natural Evil: evil caused by nature
Why Christians believe there is evil and suffering...
- necessary part of life- a challenge
- the people who suffer the most now have the most to look forward to in Heaven.
- Light and Hope came from Jesus' suffering- we will get the same
- we suffer because of sin like how Adam and Eve were punished at the fall.
- God gave free will so its people own behaviour as the cause
- God suffered too in losing His son.
- As a test of faith like Jesus being tested in the desert and the story of Job.
They believe God is loving and omniscient- He knows when His people are suffering
"cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you"
Following Jesus' example
Christians believe they should follow Jesus' example for moral behaviour (living in a way which is right and good and upholds moral rules). He...
- made perfect decisions.
- was kind and patient even when people weren't in return
- spent time praying and asking God for help
- was always honest
- put God before material things
- sacrificed His life.
Summary of all His teaching:
The Golden Rule: "treat others as you would like to be treated."