What is evil?
What do you think of when you hear the word?
The Devil? Murders? Child abusers?
To most of us, evil is a pretty STRONG word. So is “wicked” and “sinner”. Even in the church today, we correct others when there is too much talk about our unworthiness, wickedness and “evil ways.” Church movements today have focused so much on the love of God; I believe they have forgotten about the justice and holiness of God. In an effort to mimic love, do you think we embrace what we should shun and overlook what we should correct? Is it ever okay to call someone evil or wicked when you are supposed to be an ambassador for Christ-the very embodiment of love and grace!? The writers of the Bible did it…A LOT.
There is a great potential for conflicting messages in the bible. It’s the reason thousands, maybe millions have disputed it’s validity for centuries asking, “If God is a God of love then why would He cast anybody into hell?”
I myself wonder how mercy and judgment, justice and grace, wrath and redemption ALL live on the same page.
But the truth is…evil was present in the beginning. The TREE of knowledge of good and EVIL shows up early in Genesis. And as unpleasant as the topic may be to us “loving Christians,” let’s face, there were many warnings from Jesus about being thrown into the fire.
The image of Jesus throwing me into a lake of fire doesn’t create a very warm fuzzy portrayal of the Savior and Lamb of God we want to adore.
In fact…it’s a little scary.
But just because I want a God who is all love and no justice, ALL mercy and no judgment…doesn’t mean that is who He is. If, I, however, decide to believe that’s how He is (because that “works” comfortably for me), then I have just created a god of my own: a distortion of the truth.
Therefore, maybe evil is simply the absence of believing THE TRUTH. Maybe evil is simply…turning away from God Himself; as He IS…not as we want Him to be. And just maybe…wickedness is simply…falling in love with the god(s) we have created and livingly ignorantly within the rules of conduct we have deemed okay for ourselves.
Wow…I just had a small revelation myself! …I’m guilty as charged! And if I’m guilty as charged…how can I ever justify pointing the finger???
Somehow, beyond our comprehension, God is ALL things rolled into One. Only He can make them work. Only He can know when there is mercy…when there should be judgment and when the two of them should get along in some unexplainable cosmetic miracle of redemption.
So far, these are just the late night ramblings of a tired writer…who is ready for bed but compelled to ponder and study the questions further. The intention of this blog was simply to pose the question…what is evil? What does it look like? And how do we respond to “evil-doers”? Do we have the right, obligation or duty? How do we live holy lives by holy standards and still live as sinners? And when do you pray for the evil-doers…the enemies in your life, to be dealt with justly or mercifully?
This is quite the conundrum, is it not?
Please…pick a question and let’s blow this open for some discussion!