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Philosophical/theological problem: evil in the Church

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by InnTee, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    Of course he still has free will. He can comply, or struggle, or plead, or just let himself get shot, etc. The man with the gun can't control that.

    Besides that, it's missing the point that the will is internal in the consciousness. No matter what the man does, he can still will otherwise in his mind.
     
  2. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    None of which is his own desired act, so he has not acted freely at all.

    "Free" is an absolute term, like "unique." Nothing is "almost unique"--it's either unique or it's not.

    Christians never really mean "free will"--we always mean "limited choices." If we're only speaking among ourselves, it makes little difference. But when speaking among people who understand the term secularly, it's important to know that they mean something other than we mean by the term.
     
  3. jsimms615

    jsimms615 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maybe this is why there are so many warnings of false prophets and teachers in the New Testament. So that we won't be surprised when people who claim to be believers act in ways contrary to God's known will. The fact is, that people have used the Bible and christianity for all sorts of evil purposes and self serving purposes since it began because people are self serving and evil at their core. It is the definition of having a sinful nature that the sinful nature distorts what is good
     
  4. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    That doesn't matter. You remember a movie titled "The Man Who Would Be King"? The word "would" indicates the man's will, whether or not he becomes king.
    Well that's debatable. "Free" certainly isn't an absolute term in business advertising. :D But I say "free will" is redundant anyway. If you have a will at all, it is free. To say "this is my will, but someone or something else is completely causing it", would be a contradiction.
     
  5. InnTee

    InnTee Earnest Explorer

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    Interesting discussion. But back to the original question, if anyone's interested: why would God ever allow his church to be debased, and his name dragged in the mud?
     
  6. -V-

    -V- Well-Known Member

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    It's already been answered multiple times: God allows free will.
     
  7. InnTee

    InnTee Earnest Explorer

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    That's not why, it's how.
     
  8. -V-

    -V- Well-Known Member

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    No, it IS why.You're changing the question to why does God allow free will.

    God allows free will because things like love, obedience, and loyalty are meaningless if there's simply no other option.
     
  9. InnTee

    InnTee Earnest Explorer

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    I am not looking for an argument; I actually want to understand the question I posed (see #1...).

    So, does anyone else have any insights to share?
     
  10. -V-

    -V- Well-Known Member

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    And I'm answering your question.
     
  11. InnTee

    InnTee Earnest Explorer

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  12. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    The question of "evil in the Church" is the same as "evil in the world."

    For whatever reason God would allow evil people in the world at large, He would also allow those evil people to sit in church building pews.

    We can (and I have) debate what "free will" means in this context, but God apparently has a reason why He allowed mankind to make evil choices in the first place, and given that He did, the same reason would apply in why He allows men who make evil choices to sit in church building pews.

    Notice my wording here. "Church" means "those who are called out," that is, "the elect," the Body of Christ. Not everyone who sits in church building pews are of the Church. I would argue that these people doing evil in the name of Jesus are not members of the Body of Christ...they're just sitting in church building pews.
     
  13. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Just noticed your post:
    did you happen to read Corinthians ,
    and Revelation ,
    and Galatians... ?

    The 'evil' we are surrounded by is getting worse, but is not new by any means.
     
  14. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Not of any importance.

    When YHWH says "Choose"...

    it is time to choose.
     
  15. InnTee

    InnTee Earnest Explorer

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    Thanks RD. I guess the question of evil in the Church -- specifically by Church leadership -- feels different to me than the question of evil in the world generally.

    The way it feels different to me is that the Church is supposedly, in some sense, God's body here on earth. This is what sets it apart from the world. So when the Church (through its leaders) acts, those actions have a putatively divine purpose that we would not necessarily ascribe to anyone else acting in the rest of the world. When the Church acts in an evil way and harms people, it tends to drive those people away from God.

    Does that distinction make sense, or do you think I'm off target?
     
  16. -V-

    -V- Well-Known Member

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    They are SUPPOSED to act for God, sure, but that doesn't in any way mean they always will. Being a Christian doesn't mean we suddenly become sin-free or that God removes our ability to make free will decisions.
     
  17. jsimms615

    jsimms615 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Having worked in the church before, I have had similar thoughts. In many cases, those who rise in the ranks of the church don't appear to be the most spiritually mature, but perhaps the ones who are better at manipulating the system and getting what they want. Many smaller churches are like that especially when two or three families take over a church and all of its programs and it isn't how spiritually mature you are but who you know that matters. It can be very disappointing to see.
     
  18. InnTee

    InnTee Earnest Explorer

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    Yep, that sort of situation troubles me. I understand that, human nature being what it is, these things will happen. But I have trouble reconciling this reality with the faith I feel I am supposed to have, in an omnipotent caring God who acts in this world primarily through the church.
     
  19. Chriliman

    Chriliman Well-Known Member

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    This is an interesting article on the subject: Please Stop Saying "God Allows" Evil and Suffering - Mark Gregory Karris

    I believe it's in God's loving nature to allow us to disobey him and go our own way(which is evil). It's also in His loving nature to pursue us and heal us from our evil ways that cause death.
     
  20. jsimms615

    jsimms615 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It has troubled me also at times. It is amazing though when you think about it that God can use us at all. As humans we have such a bent towards being selfish and wandering away from Him it is a wonder that God can do much of anything with us at all. He sure couldn't without his indwelling Spirit guiding us along the way.
     
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