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Bible Study: God, why does evil and suffering exist?

Bible verse to Think About This Week:


"God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day."


Genesis 1: 31


If God looked out at all that he created and saw that it was good, why is their so much evil in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? This is a very complicated question. Every Christian at some point comes face to face with this problem. It is important for us to remember that God is not the creator of evil. God merely allows evil to exist. To understand why he would do that we need to first understand what evil is. Evil is not the opposite of good. It is the lack of good. Think of good like water, then think of a cup. Empty is not a substance opposite to water. It is merely a state of lacking water. This is the same as the relationship of good and evil. Every Sunday during Life Teen we say, “God is Good!”, and God truly is good. Therefore evil is simply a lack of God. Evil acts are empty of that goodness which is God. Now we are forced to ask another question; Why would God allow acts that are empty of himself, and thus allow evil? (read C.C.C. 310 - 312) So if you actually stopped to read those Catechism references then you read the bit about freewill. We were given the amazing gift of free will. We have the ability to choose what we believe, and to choose our own actions. God could have created us like slaves, but he wants us to be able to choose him. Hand in hand with that we also must realize that our world is in a state of journeying. This means that it is ever changing and evolving, and headed towards ultimate perfection at the end of time when evil will be wiped away. The existence of Moral evil in the world is always a direct result of our expression of the freewill God gave to us and to the angels. God allows this moral evil because it brings about our ultimate decision to follow or deny God himself. So through the free expression of our will we can make decisions that fill our souls (the cup), actions in accordance with the will of God, or we can make decisions that empty our souls, actions that empty us of God. Then at the end of our journey God will examine our cup, and through a lifetime of decisions we will have either filled our selves with God or left ourselves empty. So to go back to our original question; Why does God allow Evil in the world? He doesn’t. You do. And I do. God left good and evil up to us. God could eliminate evil in the world but he has chosen to allow it for the good that he can bring from it. (C.C.C. 313) Without our ability to choose evil we would never be able to choose good, and we would cease to be made in the image and likeness of God. Evil comes from our abuse of God’s gifts, it is not a creation of God. Free will only remains intact if you can freely choose to do evil.


"God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day."


Genesis 1: 31

Challenge:

Alright here is the challenge you need to do this on Saturday. Hopefully you have developed a habit of praying before bed, but if you don’t take some time this Saturday and quiet your mind. Before praying examine your week in your mind. Imagine every action through out your week as adding or removing a drip of goodness from a cup. When your mind finds its way back to Saturday night examine your cup for a moment in your mind. From this point… pray the way your heart tells you to.



God Bless!!!


Your Brother in the Holy Mother,

Apr 6

Bible Study: Even the Devil Believes in God

Verse of the week:
"as it is written: ‘There is no one just, not one,there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.All have gone astray; all alike are worthless; there is not one who does good, (there is not) even one.Their throats are open graves; they deceive with their tongues; the venom of asps is on their lips;their mouths are full of bitter cursing.Their feet are quick to shed blood;ruin and misery are in their ways,and the way of peace they know not.There is no fear of God before their eyes’.” -Romans 3:10-18

I was only going to take a portion of that verse, but the whole quote is so good.  It’s a pretty humbling statement, and it is meant for all of us.  I was going to take this time to mention something about “The Golden Compass” a movie coming out this week, but in looking for a bible verse to shed light on the subject I found this.  What St. Paul is trying to tell us here is that we are all sinners.  From the most radical Traditionalist to the most liberal “atheist” we have one thing in common, and that is our sinfulness.  Paul spends 7 chapters in the book of Romans telling us that humanity is completely lost to evil, but saved through Christ Jesus.  That humility is an important thing to hold on to.  You would do well to keep it close.  In the eye’s of Christ we are all sinners redeemed by his blood.  We’re all in the same boat.  

Speaking of boats I’ve got a little beef with a certain compass, “The Golden Compass” to be exact.  I would recommend that nobody go to see this movie.  I pointed out last week that we should vote with our dollar on movies with morals such as Bella.  This movie is the exact opposite.  Based on a best selling novel championing “atheist” ideals this story is quite literally the anti-Narnia.  Like Narnia by C.S. Lewis this story line depicts a small girl, and a wardrobe, and sentient animal creatures, but there is one very important distinction between the two.  In Narnia the lion Azlan takes on a Christ like role, and models the Sacrifice, and resurrection of our Lord.  However  “The Golden  Compass” is an open challenge to faith, and most especially to the Catholic Church.  The evil antagonist entity in this movie is called the Magisterium.  Sound familiar?  It should that is the name of the ruling body of our Church.  The most horrid thing about this story line remains in the book, but has been removed for the movie do solely to marketing research.  In the book the children kill God, and this is depicted as salvation for humanity. 

If you want to find proof of St. Paul’s point in our Bible verse this week look no further than “Atheism” as expressed in this abhorrent movie.  This is exactly what all of us would be like without the salvation of Christ.  “Atheism” can be tempting championing free will above all other things, but what makes our free will so special is our ability to restrain our selves from our desires.  If you use your free will to always do what you desire then you have really just given up your free will.  When we choose God’s plan over our own desires we are truly freed from the enslavement of our sinful human instincts, and desires.  Only through God can we see that what our media, our culture, and our atheist neighbors call freedom is truly the worst kind of mindless slavery. 

You may have noticed and been curious why I keep putting “atheist” in quotes.  The reason is that a true atheist does not exist.  Every human being is imprinted with a desire for God if you want some proof of that read the first third of the Summa Theologica.  The whole first third outlines the relationship between God and Man.  In a nut shell when we were created God imprinted on us, out of his great love, the desire to seek him, and to know him.  For this reason every nation every tribe of humans on the planet has some form of religious expression.  Every one is seeking God.  The truth about an “atheist” is that he is angry at God, angry at his lot in life or angry that he must follow morals to be a good person.  These people lash out against God, but to lash out at God, one must first believe in him.  There is another word for these people that is more fitting that word is agnostic, meaning that they believe the truth about God to be unknown, or unknowable.  Nobody believes in nothing.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, “Even the Devil believes in God.” 


Challenge:
Every one who didn’t go see Bella yet really should, and read the reviews for both Bella and The Golden Compass @ Lifeteen.com.  But most importantly don’t go see The Golden Compass, and incourage your friends and family not to as well.

God Bless!!

Your Brother in the Holy Mother,