- Moral evil- actions done by humans which cause suffering
- Natural evil- things which cause suffering but have nothing to do with humans, e.g. earthquakes
Christians believe God is all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing so evil should not exist. Because evil does exist it leads to a number of possibilities
- 1) God is simply not powerful enough to stop evil;
- 2) God does not know that it is happening;
- 3) God simply does not love us enough to want to stop the evil.
Christians tell us that he can do all of these things SO God does not exist otherwise he would stop evil!
How Christians Respond to Evil and Suffering
Christians have different viewpoints about the causes of evil and suffering:
- God created people with free will and because people are not programmed like computers, they can choose whether to do good or evil. When they choose evil, suffering happens.
- To some Christian’s life is a test. The way people react to suffering and evil determines whether they go to heaven or hell in the afterlife. E.g. Job
- Others say that ‘God works in mysterious ways’ and He has reasons for letting evil and suffering happen, but humans will never be able to understand the mind of God.
How do Christians respond to evil and suffering?
In responding to the problems of evil and suffering, Christians follow the teachings and actions of Jesus, who taught his followers to:
- Prayer: (asking God to help those who are suffering - this type of prayer is called intercession and is found in nearly all types of Christian worship).
- Service: (Actively helping those who suffer) many Christians help in hospitals and hospices, organise food and clothing for homeless in the UK, raise many to help less developed countries, etc. Some set up charities such as the ‘Children’s Society’ to help children from broken homes.
A short history of evil
This video looks at What is evil? Where does it come from? How can it be reduced? How do some religions personify evil? What connection is there between evil and judgement? If God is good and full of power, why is the world so full of evil? Will evil win in the end, or does good triumph?