Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've always wondered this. God likes to test us and Satan likes to hurt us. Are the two the same or even related?

I've kinda had the view that Satan is God's mercenary. So when God says "this city will be burned to the ground for their sin" it's Satan that carries out the action. Is this at all accurate?

share|improve this question
1  
Anyone care to explain their reason for down voting? –  Steve Robbins Jan 10 '12 at 19:53
add comment

4 Answers 4

From an atheist Christian perspective, the answer is obviously no. The bad things that happen in our lives are either blameless accidents or the consequence of bad actions by ourselves or others (without any intermediary directing things around so there is a bad outcome). And since all people are fundamentally good, bad actions by ourselves or others are themselves a consequence merely of a failure to properly educate the responsible party as to right or wrong, so that moral knowledge is internalized (rather than the simple academic awareness that other people think it's wrong)--which means that we must share the Christ's brotherly love and compassion with them so as to help them see the error of their ways.

share|improve this answer
1  
Not at all. After all, it's Christianity, not Godism. The essence of Christianity is that the Christ is the savior of mankind. How exactly that salvation is accomplished varies. I hold that the Christ saved mankind by teaching us how to live among ourselves without destroying each other. –  Steely Dan Jan 10 '12 at 4:29
    
@SoftwareMonkey: More details here. –  hammar Jan 10 '12 at 6:08
5  
Genuine question (from a secular Humanist atheist) - my understanding is that Christian Atheism doesn't normally recognise the divinity of Jesus (but acknowledges many of the teachings) - isn't, then, that meaning of the word Christ (anointed one, saviour, messiah) very different to what is referred to by Christianity as a core religion? Genuine honest question (I've not fully versed in Christian Atheism, but I love exploring the details and wisdoms of different belief systems). –  Marc Gravell Jan 10 '12 at 9:06
    
Speaking just for myself, of course, there are a couple of things to understand. First, Jesus was not the Christ but merely an imperfect manifestation of it. The Christ itself is an ideal, an example of the ideal life to which I strive. Second, I believe that the Christ is our savior, in that if we live by the Christ's example of universal brotherly love and compassion we will be able to avoid destroying ourselves. –  Steely Dan Jan 10 '12 at 15:24
2  
Please reference the teachings of even one group that claims to be Christian and says the problem that the thing their religion accomplishes is "avoid destroying ourselves". Also please reference in what way that group thinks that Christ was imperfect. –  Caleb Jan 10 '12 at 17:13
show 2 more comments

In terms of scripture, no:

(Genesis 19:24) Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven

I think it is pretty clear that scripturally speaking that is not a satanic action.

The believer would argue that if God is ordering something done, then it is (by definition) Good, and I don't see any scriptural reason to outsource it.


In terms of logic, no:

"Good" and "bad" are such absolutes, yet in many cases that which is bad for one person directly or indirectly benefits another (for example, an organ becoming available for transplant much to the benefit of a patient generally means somebody else had a really bad day). I don't suggest (although some will) that this is a deliberate act by any force or agency; simply: stuff happens. It isn't about you.

share|improve this answer
    
"...stuff happens. It isn't about you." that sentence puts things in a different perspective! –  Greg McNulty Mar 12 '12 at 23:26
add comment

James 1:2-3 is very clear on this - trials (bad things) are used by God to perfect you.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Temptation, often a related concept, however, is not from God, per verses 13-15:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death

As Hebrews 12 reiterates this, saying:

have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Finally, from 1 Corinthians 10:13 it is clear that when these bad things occur, God promises to give you strength to overcome them

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

In the Greek, the understanding of trials and temptations can be understood to represent the bad circumstances of life that strengthen an individual.

share|improve this answer
    
However, James 1:2-3 does not say that the bad situations are from God. It just says it will be used to help you, if you rely on your faith. –  Greg McNulty Mar 12 '12 at 23:29
add comment

satan was formerly an angel created by god.This angel was very pride of his wisdom, power and beauty and therefore began to disobey god in everything.As a result of this god cast him down to hell but he (The fallen Angel or The Lucifier)started to challenge with god in order to spoil the mankind that god so lovingly created for himself and to gather a group of evil people for his mission against god.So, if a person couldn't endure a temptation from Satan and begins to do evil, then the judgement and punishment of god will come upon him.Therefore we the human being have to be submissive to the word of god to the point of death just as the Lord Jesus Christ who endures all temptations with much patient to the point of death.

share|improve this answer
1  
Welcome to C.SE. When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. The legends around Lucifer's fall really aren't biblical, but also really aren't your point here. I'd suggest you look at James –  Affable Geek Mar 20 at 20:13
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.