Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Waking up to the terrible Paris terrorist killings. My immediate reaction, like most, is anger, then grief. My immediate reaction is anger towards Islam, which to me is the symbiotic root of these evils. I’m tired of this present day misnomer that we shouldn’t have prejudice, particularly when such prejudices are informed by historical evidence.
My mind then drifts towards the millions of displaced Syrians, which are bound to have scores of radicals among them – now infiltrating the entire of Western Europe.
I think of my kids, I want to protect them – the future generation is inheriting a very complex and fragile world order.
Eventually however, my heart gravitates away from the fleshly evils of revenge and considers the nature of evil itself. My Christian worldview pulls up its sleeves and soon conquers the mass media’s secular worldview. I remember that evil is everywhere, God’s enemy from the beginning of time. Then, I more accurately perceive the larger battle of our day.
Sin is not confined to the evil things we do. It is the evil within us, the evil which we are. –Karl Barth
Mankind has fallen. This is the root of all evil. You never hear that anymore, especially not in prime time media. Isn’t it refreshing to hear though? It’s truth. It’s not ‘us’ against ‘them’. It’s all of us, against God. We’ve rejected His ways, we are living in a broken, hurting, wicked world that is still under the sway of the evil one.
This enemy called evil takes many shapes, but none of us are innocent of it. It seems to breath it’s poison in degrees. When it shows up in all it’s glory, we wince and cry out for justice. Rarely do we give it much notice unless it’s overtly displayed like in Paris last night.
What is the goal of evil? I’d suggest it’s to eradicate God. If not entirely, it seeks to make God’s followers a truly ignorant people. His existence a relic of ancient religions, like Islam. I’m convinced evil’s most pressing agenda if not to discredit God altogether, is to create extreme ignorant prejudice against false characterizations OF God.
Evil seeks to transform God’s character from the sacrificing, humble and perfectly good God to something completely different. He does this in the church through legalism and false doctrines. Evil is certainly doing it’s best to malign the true God within Islam.
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. Isa 5:20
The battle for believers in Jesus Christ, is to focus on knowing God, and making Him known. Known for who He really is. We look to Jesus, who was God in the flesh. Jesus doesn’t hurt innocent people, he binds up their wounds. God doesn’t hate, He is love incarnate.
The real God is just, and His justice is marching towards us, but at the moment extending incredible mercy to us with breath left on earth. Our purpose as believers? “Let your Kingdom come now, as it is in heaven.” We are to be ambassadors of Christ while we are roaming around this broken world.
The churches in Western Europe have an incredible opportunity to influence and awaken the corrupted roots of Islam – God has allowed millions of from this false religion to literally show up at their doorstep – No short term mission trips needed. If only the church was a radiant bride, as radical in its love as the deceived are in their hate. Lord make it so.
Most of what we will hear over the coming days, weeks, and perhaps years will be centered around the growing contempt and divide surrounding the ‘civilized’ world from the ‘barbarians’ from the Islamic world. It will be centered around protection of the innocent, safety, order – there will be increased prejudice, and much of it deserved. However, how do you deal with evil when nobody is innocent? Mankind can’t control it, or cure it.
Ultimately only Jesus, and His crucified life can absorb the peril of personal evil – and it’s this weapon that we must launch upon our world. Jesus is God’s response to Evil – it’s how He, and now we overcome it. I’m not a pacifist, but I can’t help but grieve over the future loss of life because revenge or hatred becomes our motivation.
May the church rise up and shine in these days – His redeemed people are, more than ever, His hope to all Nations.
Grieving for those murdered in the name of hatred, bigotry and false religion.