God vs. Satan......


#1

A question that came up during a discussion…

In discussing heaven and hell, and the existance of both, or either,
if one believes that God is all powerful…and capable of anything that he deems…

Why does God allow Satan to exist? Why hasn’t God removed Satan from the picture?

Various possible reasons that were given during the talk:

  1. God and Satan are equal in power, neither can “eliminate” the other

  2. God and Satan cannot exist WITHOUT each other

  3. God WANTS Satan around as his “stick” to keep people believing and leading life as he would like.

  4. Neither heaven nor hell really exists

  5. Satan wants people to think that he has been controlled by God, but he is actually more powerful

I’m curious as to what possible answers to this question could be…why does Satan exist if God could eliminate him from existance?

Thanks for your thoughts.


#2

Hi Elg,

The statements you relate are mostly wrong. Certainly, there is no comparison between God, the Creator and Satan, the creature. And the Church strongly rejects any theory that speaks of two equal powers, one for good and one for evil. God **permits **evil for his own good purposes, but evil will ultimately disappear to give place to a New Heaven and a New Earth, as stated in the book of Revelation.

Here is the teaching of the Catholic Church, as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church :

**II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS **

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”. The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.”

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably *rejected *God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: “You will be like God.” The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a liar and the father of lies”.

393 It is the *irrevocable *character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.”

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”

The Catechism can be consulted at

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p7.htm#395

Verbum


#3

The statements were observations and ideas that were discussed.

I’m not questioning the teachings of the church, because the church will teach it’s members as it wants to…But…the question remains…

If God is all powerful, why not do away with Satan? From what I can see, getting rid of Satan, and any temptations that he might have for people, would solve God’s problem with people, would it not?

Church teachings don’t seem to answer this. And, permitting evil does not seem to be the logical answer.

Thanks,

Elg


#4

Umm, What is God’s problem with people.

And the question that your list does not contain is what if God still loves Satan.
Satan is evil, but Satan was created good, and God loves His creation.

Also, if there was no Satan, there would never have been temptation, and we could never actually choose to Love God, it would just be doing the only thing we could.

A lone Raven


#5

Greetings,
Although you can consider evil the opposite of good and hell the opposite of heaven we must remember that God has no opposite, satan is a created being and so cannot be compaired to God. God is soverign and omnipotent and because He sees the beginning and the end in regards to created beings, what He chooses to do is always the right thing.

respectfully,


#6

If God is all powerful, why create beings with free will at all who can ‘choose’ to reject him, is more the point, isn’t it? Once He created a being who could choose to reject him, and did, then your question relates more to ‘damage control’ than to the central issue.

The ‘problems’ with choosing evil would certainly stop if evil were never a choice. But a free person cannot be KEPT from choosing evil. If good exists–and it does–there can and must be a non-good, IOW, a rejection of good, otherwise there IS no choice. I choose good-or I choose good–that is no choice at all. I choose good–or I choose NOT to do good–that is choice.

And there must be something that is worth “MORE” to God to have beings exist who CAN and DO choose ‘not-good’ than it would be to have robot slave beings who can ONLY choose ‘good.’

As a human with limited power and reason, I can’t figure it out. But I don’t have to. My responsibility /right as a human being is to make MY choice. In choosing to do ‘good’ not only do I choose it for myself but for others as well whom I impact with my choice; just as those who choose "not good’ choose not just for themselves but for others. Those others in turn choose either to accept my ‘good’ or to accept others ‘non good’ and so on, etc.

I trust in God and I have His word, as well as His WORD, Jesus Christ, to assure me that He loves me. I have His word and His WORD to tell me what my purpose in life is–to know Him, love Him, and to serve Him, to be happy with Him in this world and the next. I have his word and His WORD to guide me in making the ‘good’ choices that will help to prepare me, NOT because I then ‘earn’ or ‘deserve’ reward but because He has redeemed me and I have cooperated with that redemption. Notice that NONE of the good relies on ME but only in that it is THROUGH HIM.


#7

Elg26,

God has not removed Satan from the picture because God wants people (and other beings) to serve Him out of love and not out of fear. God is letting Satan hang around so that people (and other beings) can see exactly what the consequences are of rebellion against Him–and I mean the natural consequences, not the consequences that God will hand out. If God just removed Satan from the picture, everybody would say “Well, Satan might have had a good thing going but God doesn’t like the competition.” The way things are, everybody is going to see just how ugly and destructive Satan and his ways are.

Of the reasons that were given in the talk, …

  1. This is hogwash; God created Satan and not the other way around. There is no parity between them.
  2. This is also hogwash. God exists by Himself; everybody else exists because God created them.
  3. This is perhaps the closest to the truth of any answer that you have given.
  4. This also is complete rot.
  5. This is completely backwards. Satan, being a proud creature, wants people to think he is more powerful, but in reality he’s not.
  • Liberian

#8

“Sounds like censorship to me”.

I think God, by allowing Satan to exist is enabling us to make a choice.

This brings to mind a sermon form my pastor one Sunday who quoted a theologian who was given a vision of WHY Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.

God, when he created the angels He showed Lucifer “the future”, that He would create man, and that He Himself would become man one day and die that horrible death to save mankind. When Lucifer saw this he rebelled and then tempted Eve in the Garden. You can see the pride of the most beautiful angel there, questioning God for what he was going to do and rebelling, not wanting God, pure Spirit to get all dirty with fleshy things and hating Him for it.

By the way the reasons are “New Age Religion” reasons… like God who is all good cannot exist without one advisary who is pure evil.

Ken


#9

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