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Tuto
Sep 24th 2008, 09:32 PM
I often wonder about the ultimate evil. I am just wondering whats the Christian perspective to it? Also can you see ultimate evil in todays world or in history? If so, can you give me a few examples?

Thanks.

Sold Out
Sep 24th 2008, 10:30 PM
I often wonder about the ultimate evil. I am just wondering whats the Christian perspective to it? Also can you see ultimate evil in todays world or in history? If so, can you give me a few examples?

Thanks.

Can you define 'ultimate evil'?

Scruffy Kid
Sep 25th 2008, 12:18 AM
Hi Tuto!
Welcome to Bibleforums! :hug:
It's very nice to have you here with us! :pp :pp :pp

I'd like to take a try at your question about "ultimate evil" but to do so I need to start from the opposite direction, and talk about absolute good.


The Basic Christian Teaching

(1) The basic teaching of the Bible is that God is good, and in fact is the source of all existence, of life, of joy, of love and of peace, of truth and all good things. This is axiomatic -- the starting place -- for Judeo Christian religious life.

Thus, God is the ultimate good.

(2) However, our world is one in which there are a lot of things wrong. These things include outward problems -- sickness or other such troubles -- but above all these are problems that come from the messed-up condition of the human heart.

So a second main teaching of the Bible is that we human beings are all rather messed up -- selfish, arrogant, materialistic, dishonest, hypocritical, fearful, getting obsessed with things, sometimes captured by bitterness or anger, and so on. This condition of the human heart is expressed in individuals getting in trouble (drugs, suicide, empty-hearted lives, etc.) families and societies getting in trouble (racism, poverty, etc.), and in calamities like war and genocide. The terrible things of human history show how messed-up the human heart is.

(3) The third major teaching of the Bible is that God's main goal in history is to help us out of our messed-up condition of heart, so that we can start to live differently -- a life based on integrity, courage, love of others, appreciation of life's beauty, ability to acknowledge our faults and change, and love of God, and so on. This happens in our lives not so much by our own doing -- although we do have an essential part to play -- as by God reaching out to us in love, and helping us to change.

(4) Finally, the bible teaches that as the culminating act of God's goodness, God himself took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, and came to rescue us from our sin and messed-up-ness by taking all our hatefulness into himself, as we crucified him. Because He is God, he rose from the dead, and in his rising brings those who trust in Him to new life -- a life that overcomes our sin and death, and sets us free to live good lives, and ultimately brings us eternal life.


The Ultimate Evil

Now I'm in a position to answer your original question.

For Christians, the ultimate evil is separation from God.

In our view, what made us messed-up in the first place, what led human beings to become self-centered and obsessive and mean, was that we cut ourselves off from God (rebelled against Him). Because God is the source of love and goodness, in rebelling against him, we start cutting ourselves off from what is good in life, and becoming messed-up people.

Christ Jesus, the Eternal Word and Son of God, has come to us to set us free from all that, and to bring us eternal life!

But if we reject God's efforts to help us, we will stay cut off from him, and in the end will, after our death, be stuck in a state of self-centeredness and bitterness and anger and messed-up attitudes and lack of love. That is, we would be living, permanently, separated from God, and we would find that to be unbearably awful -- in a word, Hell. So for that would be the ultimate evil in a sense.

In friendship,
Scruffy Kid

Saved7
Sep 25th 2008, 12:21 AM
I often wonder about the ultimate evil. I am just wondering whats the Christian perspective to it? Also can you see ultimate evil in todays world or in history? If so, can you give me a few examples?

Thanks.

Ultimate evil....the epitomy of evil is none other than satan himself. If you've ever felt his wicked and filthy, dark, violent, vile, and hate filled presence, you'd know what the ultimate evil is.;)

Tanya~
Sep 25th 2008, 06:58 PM
The ultimate in evil began with Satan's ambition to become like God.

Isa 14:13-14
3 For you have said in your heart:
'I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.'
NKJV
This unholy ambition was translated from Satan to mankind thusly:

Gen 3:1-5
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
NKJV
Satan pursued this evil to the extreme when he attempted to get Jesus to worship him:

Matt 4:8-10
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."

10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"
NKJV
And in the time of the end, Satan will succeed in getting the godless world to worship him, and he will persecute those who refuse.

Rev 13:11-17

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
NKJV
In the end though, this evil will be no more. :)

2 Thess 2:7-8
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
NKJV

2 Peter 3:10-13
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
NKJV
There will be a new creation, and there will be no more of this ultimate evil.

Rev 21:1-8
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them , and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

5 Then He who sat on the throne said,"Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

6 And He said to me,"It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
NKJV
I hope that gives you something to think about, and may the Lord reveal His great love to you through His Son.

Tuto
Sep 25th 2008, 07:50 PM
Thanks for your answers. Let me ask you another questions that has to do with current events. Do you for example consider the boy who killed 10 of his class mates in Finland evil? Or do you see him more as a by product of society, fueled by mental illness?

Ayala
Sep 25th 2008, 07:51 PM
He is no more or less deserving of Hell than I.

Scruffy Kid
Sep 25th 2008, 08:15 PM
Hi Tuto!
Thanks for checking back on the thread!!


Thanks for your answers. Let me ask you another questions that has to do with current events. Do you for example consider the boy who killed 10 of his class mates in Finland evil? Or do you see him more as a by product of society, fueled by mental illness?This next question you ask is one that very much depends on what you mean by it. Is this boy "evil", you ask. It seems that you have a concept of someone being evil, and want to know if this particular kid fits into that.

The main word in the Bible which gets translated "evil" really just means "bad". It could be applied to bad weather, or a bad wheel on a wagon, or to people doing bad things, or to very bad people. And the English word "evil" was often used like that back in the 16th and 17th century when that word made it into the translations that have influenced Bible translation ever since. But the English word "evil" has taken on different connotations since -- of monstrous wickedness, or of a kind of deep devotion to things not only bad, but pointlessly cruel and destructive and hating, etc.

What seems certain to me about this kid is that he was pretty thoroughly messed-up. Generally, I think we human beings have a large measure of free will, so I don't think that when people do wrong things (or, very good things) what they are doing is just the product of their biology, society, experiences, and so on. We have choices to make. The psychologist Victor Frankl, in an awesome book called Man's Search for Meaning, wrote about his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp. He concluded that even under these extreme conditions, prisoners made important decisions about how to live, and think, and whether to respond to their terrible conditions in a good and courageous way or not. (I recommend the book highly! And it's pretty short, and cheap, and widely available in bookstores.) So I don't think what the guy did, killing his classmates, is excusable, on the grounds of the stresses he may have been under.

But of course those things played a part. I think our society, increasingly, leads people to think that if they are unhappy or upset it's OK to act out, and that there are no binding rules on their conduct. My guess would be that this idea leads to lots of the school shootings -- because people who feel upset feel justified in letting themselves go. And certainly, other troubles must have entered into this fellow's heart.

I'm not the judge of this person. What he did is very wrong, and very destructive. But I also sometimes do wrong things. God knows each of our hearts, and why each of us messes up in the ways we do. Even when what we do is very very bad, God seeks to help us change, and be sorry, and start to live our lives in the right way again. God's love and patience are great. But the seriousness of our wrong ways is also pretty great -- even if it doesn't lead to spectacularly destructive wrong-doing such as this guy did.

So this sad disaster leads me to want to make my life one which is more full of good deeds and love, and to learn more how to reach out to people in trouble, and to learn how to protect innocent people as well.

In friendship,
Scruffy Kid

Tuto
Sep 25th 2008, 09:17 PM
Hi Tuto!
Thanks for checking back on the thread!!

This next question you ask is one that very much depends on what you mean by it. Is this boy "evil", you ask. It seems that you have a concept of someone being evil, and want to know if this particular kid fits into that.

The main word in the Bible which gets translated "evil" really just means "bad". It could be applied to bad weather, or a bad wheel on a wagon, or to people doing bad things, or to very bad people. And the English word "evil" was often used like that back in the 16th and 17th century when that word made it into the translations that have influenced Bible translation ever since. But the English word "evil" has taken on different connotations since -- of monstrous wickedness, or of a kind of deep devotion to things not only bad, but pointlessly cruel and destructive and hating, etc.

What seems certain to me about this kid is that he was pretty thoroughly messed-up. Generally, I think we human beings have a large measure of free will, so I don't think that when people do wrong things (or, very good things) what they are doing is just the product of their biology, society, experiences, and so on. We have choices to make. The psychologist Victor Frankl, in an awesome book called Man's Search for Meaning, wrote about his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp. He concluded that even under these extreme conditions, prisoners made important decisions about how to live, and think, and whether to respond to their terrible conditions in a good and courageous way or not. (I recommend the book highly! And it's pretty short, and cheap, and widely available in bookstores.) So I don't think what the guy did, killing his classmates, is excusable, on the grounds of the stresses he may have been under.

But of course those things played a part. I think our society, increasingly, leads people to think that if they are unhappy or upset it's OK to act out, and that there are no binding rules on their conduct. My guess would be that this idea leads to lots of the school shootings -- because people who feel upset feel justified in letting themselves go. And certainly, other troubles must have entered into this fellow's heart.

I'm not the judge of this person. What he did is very wrong, and very destructive. But I also sometimes do wrong things. God knows each of our hearts, and why each of us messes up in the ways we do. Even when what we do is very very bad, God seeks to help us change, and be sorry, and start to live our lives in the right way again. God's love and patience are great. But the seriousness of our wrong ways is also pretty great -- even if it doesn't lead to spectacularly destructive wrong-doing such as this guy did.

So this sad disaster leads me to want to make my life one which is more full of good deeds and love, and to learn more how to reach out to people in trouble, and to learn how to protect innocent people as well.

In friendship,
Scruffy Kid


Psychology has always fascinated me. I find anti social personality disorders like psychopathy and sociopathy very interesting, even though they are extremely dark subjects. Basically a person with this kind of personality disorder cannot feel any form of sympathy. Studies have shown that the signs of this kind of disorder starts in early childhood. In away if we accept the diagnosis we can say that a this kind of person doesn't really have control over what kind of person he becomes or his actions. Society should always condemn these kinds of people and their actions because they are a threat to the society, but in the eyes of god and what the bible says about him can this kind of people be judged over the things they do? How can sin apply when you have no choice of right or wrong? Are these kinds of people simply evil?

I will have to check out the book by the way.

dljc
Sep 26th 2008, 01:00 AM
1) Society should always condemn these kinds of people and their actions because they are a threat to the society,

2)but in the eyes of god and what the bible says about him can this kind of people be judged over the things they do?

3)How can sin apply when you have no choice of right or wrong?

4) Are these kinds of people simply evil?
Hi Tuto,

You have some good questions and comments here about the person/individual. I broke them down and numbered them for easier reference.

Look at #1 and #3 and then #2, you are saying they don't realize they are doing right or wrong so how could God judge justly them? Yet society should have the authority to, even though the person doesn't realize right from wrong. Who is the more just judge, man or God? Man has prejudices, God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34) God looks at the heart of the person.

(Don't get me wrong, I do believe something needs to be done with this person. But for the sake of the discussion lets "just" look at what you've said).

Now to answer #4 These kinds of people are being influenced by their own lusts. Whatever that may be, whether it's power, control, sexual, hatred, anger, etc etc., you name it. At some point arrogance or pride comes into the picture because they are thinking they can't be caught. Do you always know when you are being deceived? Generally speaking we only know when we've been deceived. We don't always know when we are being deceived.

My point is the person is only following evil influence, the person (the individual) is not evil in this scenario. They are only exhibiting evil. A good example of this can be seen in a movie called "Fallen" with Denzel Washington.

Now let me show you what the Bible says in the book of Romans.

1.) 3:10, "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one...'"

2.) 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

3.) 5:12, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned."

4.) 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

5.) 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Although we may not feel it is fair if this person were to repent and accept Jesus while sitting in the electric chair or gas chamber, for murders they have committed. God still loves that person up to the last breath in their body, giving them every opportunity to repent and accept the free gift He's offered.

Revinius
Sep 26th 2008, 01:49 AM
Ultimate evil is me doing what i shouldnt, and not doing what i should.

Tuto
Sep 28th 2008, 01:54 PM
Hi Tuto,

You have some good questions and comments here about the person/individual. I broke them down and numbered them for easier reference.

Look at #1 and #3 and then #2, you are saying they don't realize they are doing right or wrong so how could God judge justly them? Yet society should have the authority to, even though the person doesn't realize right from wrong. Who is the more just judge, man or God? Man has prejudices, God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34) God looks at the heart of the person.

(Don't get me wrong, I do believe something needs to be done with this person. But for the sake of the discussion lets "just" look at what you've said).

Now to answer #4 These kinds of people are being influenced by their own lusts. Whatever that may be, whether it's power, control, sexual, hatred, anger, etc etc., you name it. At some point arrogance or pride comes into the picture because they are thinking they can't be caught. Do you always know when you are being deceived? Generally speaking we only know when we've been deceived. We don't always know when we are being deceived.

My point is the person is only following evil influence, the person (the individual) is not evil in this scenario. They are only exhibiting evil. A good example of this can be seen in a movie called "Fallen" with Denzel Washington.

Now let me show you what the Bible says in the book of Romans.

1.) 3:10, "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one...'"

2.) 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

3.) 5:12, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned."

4.) 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

5.) 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Although we may not feel it is fair if this person were to repent and accept Jesus while sitting in the electric chair or gas chamber, for murders they have committed. God still loves that person up to the last breath in their body, giving them every opportunity to repent and accept the free gift He's offered.

Societies have the right to judge these people because every society is build upon laws that keep the society in tact. If a member of the society breaks these laws its naturally the right and the responsibility of the society to punish him. Without this right societies couldn't excist. I probably should have used the word punish instead of condemn.

I think your way of saying that they simply follow bad influences isn't really correct. They aren't following something, they are something. Because of genetics and environment etc. their mind has developed in a certain way which led them to become people with antisocial personality disorder. Their mind simply works differently than that of a normal individual.

In away this points out the dilemma that i think every religion has. Their teachings and rules don't seem to apply with the advances in science and the development of modern societies. I have met people who claim to be Christians but don't accept every single thing the bible teaches. This is naturally because they want to be religious and at the same time keep up with the constantly developing society. I don't really know what to think of this.

dan
Oct 5th 2008, 11:56 AM
I often wonder about the ultimate evil. I am just wondering whats the Christian perspective to it? Also can you see ultimate evil in todays world or in history? If so, can you give me a few examples?

Thanks.

...The ultimate evil is the subtlety and seeming innocence of the anti-violence groups in the world.
If you didn't know that people prevent murders, or at least, scare away the criminals 2.5 million times a year by the use of guns (violence) just in the US, you would believe that it would be nice to outlaw private ownership of firearms everywhere.

Millions have been murdered all over the world, because of the inability to possess the means to fight back.

Remember that even Jesus wants you to own a weapon:

LK 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take [it], and likewise [his] scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

...So you can be at peace...

LK 11:21 When a strong man ARMED keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth.

...And defend your home...

MT 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

...and be able to stop murderers...

REV 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Revinius
Oct 5th 2008, 01:28 PM
It's important to note that noone goes to Hell because of Satan, he doesnt have that kind of power. It's our own sin inside ourselves that sends us to Hell.... remember that when deciding what 'ultimate' evil is (whatever ultimate means).

*Hope*
Oct 5th 2008, 09:14 PM
Thanks for your answers. Let me ask you another questions that has to do with current events. Do you for example consider the boy who killed 10 of his class mates in Finland evil? Or do you see him more as a by product of society, fueled by mental illness?

Everyone is culpable. Everyone is guilty. There is none righteous, not one. There is no such thing as "ultimate evil" because there are no varying degrees of evil. There are varying consequences, but evil is evil. We can try to place blame and say it's all satan's fault but that would be disingenuous. The truth of the matter is we choose to sin. Because of the Fall, sin entered the world and everything evil that exists today is the result of sin.

Sold Out
Oct 5th 2008, 11:41 PM
Psychology has always fascinated me.



Did you know that the word psychology comes from the greek word 'psuche', which means 'soul'? Psychology is the study of the human soul.