Is Evil Real?
Evil, wow, what a concept. It flies in the face of everything that we are taught by today's society. How many times have you heard someone say that they don't believe in good and evil, but that there is only good and less good depending on one's perspective? Yes, good old moral relativity. Take a look at the society around us and see what it has brought us. That is if you dare to open your eyes.
1 Peter 5:8 tell us, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour," and Isaiah 5:20 says, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."
Yes, evil does exist. One just has to look around to see it. Yes, we're fixating currently on the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, as we should, but there is so much more than that going on every day around us. Shootings, stealing, robbery, assault, and on and on. The fact is that we have, as a society, lost our moral underpinning, and it is allowing our society to be torn apart as each person, "... does what is right in his own eyes." (Judges 17:6)
So what are we as believers to make out of this evil? What are we to do in the face of a society who seems hell bent, quite literally, on pretending that evil doesn't exist until events like September 11, 2001 and the shootings of the last weekend happen?
We do what the scripture tells us to, and that is to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
You see, our call is not to explain away evil, or to pretend that it doesn't exist, or to attempt to give a human appeal for its existence. The call is to show Christ to the world. To show them that despite the evil of the world, and the evil of man, and the abuse of the free will that God gave to us, Christ still is there to comfort us and to help us get through tragedy of human design. Man may use his free will for evil, but Christ can offer healing both now, and sometimes permanent, from that evil, and that is the hope that we have to give to the world.
Yet I see many Christians reacting in shock. As if they can't believe that this has happened. It forces me to wonder if they ever took seriously the admonition of the apostle Peter above, or if they have bought the lies of the world, and believing that evil doesn't really exist, are shocked when presented with it. It's as if they also believe the world's lie that God has overridden the free will of man and has pre-ordained these incidents to occur and therefore God must be evil. No, man is evil, and he has the gift of free will. Yet because God cannot be a liar, it must remain so, even in the fact of such tragedy. Man has both the moral free agency and means to carry out evil and sin, and that is the source from which these tragedies occur. The corrupt and sinful heart of men and their capacity for selfishness and evil.
So what will you do then, Christian? Will you continue to bury your head in the sand and pretend that evil is a figment of your imagination? Will you keep your mouth shut to keep peace with the world rather than offer them the truth and comfort of Jesus? Will you comfort them with the lie that evil doesn't exist, or will you stand up and speak out so that they can be prepared to deal with evil in the world, and to combat it with hope and the goodness of Christ?
For the sake of our world, I hope it's the latter.