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THE QUIET CORNER
with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People
 

Good and Evil ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: December 7th, 2015   Category: Christ Follower, Conflict, Deception, demons, disciple, Faith, Jesus Follower, miracles, Truth

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Most people, including spiritual people with Biblical training, have trouble with the idea of a spiritual source of good and evil. We’ve struggled (at times) with accepting various aspects of the Word of God, particularly from those parts of the Bible which deal with what we have come to call, the supernatural. Most of the miracles mentioned in the New Testament, would fall clearly into the category of supernatural. Yet these are very much Biblical truths, then and now. If we reject them, as so many do, we are rejecting the truth of God or in essence, we are just rejecting God. Some find it easier to say that they believe those references were true and applied 7,000 to 2,000 years ago but that they no longer apply today. The Bible doesn’t say that. Biblical teachers who lack the faith to recognize the miracles do. The Bible doesn’t say that such activities and forces will cease to occur or apply after Jesus and His chosen disciples or Apostles have ceased living in this world. It says in fact, that those who have faith will do even more than Jesus did. We may not see a lot of miracles, but we see a lot of incredible good which non-believers cannot otherwise explain. Non-believers call them scientific anomalies . The same is true of evil influences and acts. We see but we don’t attribute rationally or spiritually. Denial is our modern relative thinking surfacing again. Today I want to dive a little deeper into one of the consequences of such relative thinking. A consequence of such mega-proportions that it could easily lead to the destruction of the world as we know it.

We see acts of so called evil every day. We see acts of great sacrifice, generosity and kindness every day too. So what is it which causes some of us to love and accept while others learn to hate and reject? What differentiates spiritual darkness from spiritual enlightenment. Why would some “religions” teach hatred and extermination while other “religious doctrines” profess love and assistance? Why was God so adamant in the Old Testament that He forbid (by commandment) any of His people to ever worship false idols, which includes false gods? We temper such remarks today by saying that false idols are anything which we in daily practice, elevate in our lives above the influence of God. Money, power, beauty, possessions etc. Those inconspicuous idols which draw us away from our needed time with God. Which then leave us vulnerable to whatever else is out there impacting the world. Those inconspicuous ones, are false idols of our making, but so is another god of any makeup. The Bible repeatedly mentions good and evil, Satan and God, truth and deception, heaven and hell (lake of fire). Both Christ and the anti-christ are discussed openly in the Bible. The Bible is our book of ultimate truth. It’s fact not fiction. Yet we don’t like to go there because it requires just a bit too much of that stuff called faith which conflicts with our relative logic.

I believe that people who have been misled, much more than religious doctrines, teach hate. Fatih is faith, religion is religion. If I wanted to, I could take various verses out of the Old Testament and make a case (of sorts) supporting the idea that destruction and killing are what God wants from us to prove our loyalty to Him. I would be completely wrong by doing that, in fact I would say that I would have to have been influenced by evil, deception and by confusion and mistrust to do that. There are two forces at work inside and outside of our lives. Good and evil. Evil is a force which resides outside of God’s Kingdom (by rejection) but which still floats freely and influentially around each of our more modest dwelling, working and playing places. God wants relationship with us by allowing each of us to freely choose His ways and world. Satan wants control of us by allowing each of us to “freely” choose from a carefully constructed, world portrait painted by his deceptions. Either way, it’s our choice. Evil acts and atrocities are also something which we would surely like to be able to explain, such that we might feel less powerless to it’s destructive forces. Yet more often than not, we can’t find any perfect explanations, just relative assumptions and suppositions. Evil is hard to prove, as is God, crime is less so. Destruction is not limited to injury, death or mayhem. Destruction is simply evils designated path away from God. All we need to  see both Good and evil is look around us, for we are each being influenced by both forces as we live each day in this world. People are working hard to point a finger of blame at religion, religious zealots, extremists, when all that is needed or in fact warranted is to point every finger directly at evil. There is evidence of these evil influences everywhere and there is evidence of God everywhere. Targeting the perpetrators of evil, those who plan and commit the evil acts, does nothing to slow down the underlying force of evil at all. There will always be more of those who are blind and deaf to God, where they came from. For they come from within us. They are more easily influenced by their brokenness. That after all is the objective of evil. Creating chaos out of deception, set ups and confusion, as well as false and broken promises and hopes. Evil resides in the supernatural realm, as does the supreme source of Goodness. That’s just one influential dimension away from us. Or perhaps right next to us. We can best fight evil by resisting it’s temptations and false promises, by tuning out the lures and perceived rewards while evil lays out before us. We fight evil by enlisting in God’s army of believers and connecting to the only true power over life, death and all the rest of creation. The perpetuators of evil should be stopped cold, but recognizing the influence of evil seems too often limited to after-the-fact investigations and analysis. The cause is within our grasp but outside of our understanding. Groups who plan evil are more easily targeted than the fugitive freelancers who’ve already sold their souls to it’s deceptions. For resistance to be effective, the believers in good and love must work together in faith. We must believe in the power of prayer. The Word of God is sovereign and prevails. ”In this way the word of the lord grew in power.” (Act 19:20 NIV). We won’t ultimately win the battle against evil by pointing fingers and guns at it perpetrators, but we will win it by putting our faith in the right person, Jesus. Thinking that evil is a person or extremely misguided religious sect will serve satan’s objectives well, but not God’s cause. Getting to the core of any problem is the best way to eliminate the symptoms.

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