Christians' Beliefs on Good and Evil
Christians may believe many different things about the power of good
and the power of evil. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that God is
all good and perfect. They teach that God perfectly loves; they also
teach that God has the power to do anything (omnipotence).
But there are all kinds of evil things in the world that cause people
to suffer. These include moral evil, natural evil; such as floods,
disease, hurricanes, fires and earthquakes. Some Christians believe
many causes for this but one main opinion and belief is that there is
evil in the world because of the Devil. The devil is believed to be
the enemy of God and 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. For example in the creation story in Genesis, Adam and Eve
were tempted to do wrong by a serpent, some people believe that this
was the Devil in disguise.
Despite the evilness of the Devil, Christians and the Roman Catholic
Church believe that God and Good is more powerful and mightier than
Devil and Evil.
They believe that Jesus was also all good. The Roman Catholic Church
teaches that the power of good if far more than the power of evil.
Furthermore Christians believe that evil creatures are fallen,
originally good creatures created by God. Satan (or the devil) is the
embodiment or 'personification' of evil, the great enemy of God, the
opposser of all that is good and the promoter of all that is evil
(Matthew 5:37). Satan is wicked, a liar, deceitful, arrogant, cruel
and a murderer who exists only to destroy what is good. Satan is the
author of evil but is distinctly unoriginal. Satan simply corrupts
what is good. So, love is corrupted into lust, determination into
selfish ambition, leadership into tyranny, discernment into judgement
and so on. Philosophical dualism has no place in Christianity. God has
no equal. Goodness and evil are not equally powerful. Satan and all
the powers of evil are subject to God, not only ultimately but also in
the here and now.
In addition Evil has already been defeated in the life, death,
resurrection and ascension of Jesus, although the effects of it are
still seen and experienced. In the book of Revelation, the stage is
set for a climactic confrontation between the forces of good and evil.
In the event, the war turns out to be a distinctly low-key event for
the battle has already been won. Our world, however, is in an 'in
between' phase. Evil has been defeated but its ultimate destruction is
still to take place. Satan's life span is limited, his days are
numbered and he knows it. God's promise is that Satan's power, already
under his divine control, will be eradicated in the end...