Good and Evil

It was in Eden that good and evil became an issue. Since then we have tried to emulate the good while giving explanations for evil. Robert Louis Stevenson said, “In each of us, two natures are at war– good and evil. In all our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer. But in our hands lies the power to choose.” 

We often quote Edmund Burke.   “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

The focus seems to be on evil, so the question is, “What is it?” Is it the absence of something?  Someone said evil is preferring anything more than God, and I agree.  The problem seems to be that there is no defining answer. But when you listen to what the apostle Paul writes its far more than an idea.  It’s a battle being waged by “the darkness of this present world.” The persona of that darkness is manifested in what Paul calls sin. What causes me to shudder about this is that sin is of a personal nature in which the human characterizes something nonhuman. He or she becomes the representation of an abstract quality acted out  in human form. At one time I might have thought of this quality in terms of an episode I experienced while I was in training to become a psychologist.  An inmate, as they were called then, a wisp of a woman grabbed a large woman by the throat and strangles her to death before the guards of the ward could rescue the victim. Though the learned of this age would scoff at it, I believe this is a battle being waged in every one of us by “the prince of this world.”

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 

Jesus was at the Mount of Olives early in the morning where another murder scene was about to take place. The Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus to trick Him. “According to Mosaic law she should be killed.” The problem here is by “whose authority?”  When Jesus replied  “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her, John 8:7b. They walked away. That confrontation I see as being between the powers of darkness and the powers if light waged in individual lives.  

Jesus Christ brings truth to light in a world filled with deceit and dishonesty which is the persona of the world of darkness. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32  

The foundation upon which truth is built is defined in Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

After all  other life had been created, God breathed His life into human being, creating an image that at the very core (soul) of its being would personify the glory of God. I believe it is for that reason the C. S. Lewis calls the human being an immortal.  C. S. Lewis expressed it this way. “Nations, cultures, arts and civilizations are mortals. And their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.” But we are not mere mortals. We are immortals, and it is “immortals that we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit.” The Weight of Glory.

Because we have no choice in being immortals, if we fail to love and glorify God for something less than who He is, then evil rules in us as the prince of darkness has overcome us. And as such we will dwell in everlasting horror. If we love Him for who He is when we die, we will then live with Him in everlasting splendor.  

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