God and the Devil
For Christians God is the beginning of everything
everything God creates is good.
If there is evil in the world there must be a power behind it. Most people call this power the Devil.
Some people say there is no Devil and people just choose to be evil
No story of orgin of the Devil in bible but in Apocrypha .
Very few references to the Devil in the bible.
The Fall, orginal sin and redemption
Problem of Evil?
2 kinds of Evil :
Moral Evil - the evil as a result of people's actions e.g. Holocaust
Natural Evil - evil is not caused by humans and they have no control over it e.g volcanoes , floods
some people say that some events can be both moral and natural evil
climate change is an example of this , because human actions have caused global warming but is considered natural evil.
Some people might say that a good God would not allow suffering/evil in the world but some might say God has a purpose for evil/suffering.
Responses to the problem of Evil
Some might argue that a good god would not allow evil/suffering in the world. this might mean:
- God doesnt exist
- God is not all-powerful
- God is actually responsible for everything including evil and suffering.
An argument to explain existence of pain/suffering is that Adam and Eve disobeyed God. But why did God allow them to disobey and choose evil if they were created perfect.
Irennaeus said that people need to suffer and need to choose between good/evil because god wants them to choose to worship him and choose to be good.
St Augustine evil is a lack of good. Evil happens when people dont choose good. Evil isnt a thing but what is left when there is no good present.
Story of Job = Job is a good man who worships God. The devil asks God permission to test Job's faith. God gives permission. Job loses his wife,children and all his wealth but doesnt loose his faith in God and is rewarded by God.
Coping with suffering
At the time of the new testament many people believed illness /suffering were punishments for sins. Also being blamed for original sin of Adam+Eve.
God took human form as Jesus
Jesus gave his life by dying on cross and because he was innocent of any sins the sins of humans were forgiven
Because of Jesus, humans believe that God shares in human suffering
When people are suffering pray to God to help give them strength
Christians accept that God doesn't always answer prayers in the way they like, but God chooses the best for them.
"your sins are forgiven"
Sources and reasons for moral behaviour
Jesus gave his life up willingly to atone the sins of humanity and that so humans could reach heaven
2 Great Commandments:
- Hear O Israel, The lord out God , the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind /strength
- Love your neighbour as yourself
- So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you for this sums up the Law and the Prophets
Christians have faith in Jesus as their saviour and the Son of God the example of his life is a role-model for Christians.
People "know" what to because of their conscience. Cant do something because they conscience wont let them
conscience = the "voice of god" telling them what to do .