More on Evil.
Posted on Cowtippers 06-17-08
It’s interesting that on a group that is supposed to be exploring truth there are many engaging in a whole host of wishful thinking about the evil that exists in the universe–or at least on this planet.
Even as I do not believe Genesis is literal I still believe it teaches Truth. Those of you who hold the book far closer than I toss it aside completely in this regard. I don’t get that.
Believing there are no evil spirits is, I say again, very dangerous. I don’t care if the Bible says anything directly or not. Almost nothing in mainstream dogma or in liberal beliefs such as expressed here are clearly spelled out in the Bible. On this subject those who have denied the existence of satan based on “correct views” of verses are doing the same dogma dance as those who “prove” all kinds of screwy notions like the existence of hell or how the authority of the English King is given power by God.
How can an omnipotent God allow an evil to exist and be at war with Him? Beats me. I’ve answered that with one theory but the fact is we don’t know everything. We know almost nothing. We understand very little of what we know. There are things we can know and should not deny. One of these is that evil does exist. An evil entity, many of them, exists. The evidence is overwhelming.
Doesn’t matter what evangelist or writer John Doe has said, either, nor that they meticulously manipulate 327 verses to “prove” their point. The opposite point is proven by an equal number of writers using some of the same verses and assorted captions from historical texts. Google it. You’ll find the guy who says just what you want to believe. Would that make sense? I have an essay a guy wrote that makes a very convincing case proving the moon is made of cheese. I could put together a very convincing case for anything I want and find countless documents to prove the point. Atheists, pagans, denominational teachers, and thousands of others do that every single day.
The evil one wants nothing more than for people to convince themselves it (spirits do not have gender) does not exist. Why fight an enemy that is absent? Church fathers made belief of the evil one so powerful in the minds of people that they were totally dependent upon the church to keep them safe. In the past few decades it’s been popular to dismiss the possibility of a devil, little red guy with horns or not, as old fashioned and silly. Neither point is true and both are very harmful.
In our day to day walk you are absolutely correct in assuming it’s not “the devil” making you do everything. It is your self. Every step you take, before you take it, ask, “how will this benefit me? How will it benefit another person? What is best? Can I live without it?” People are not evil, they are selfish. This does not in any way eliminate the truth that there is an evil force at work on this planet attacking us and destroying millions of lives every single day.
It wasn’t selfishness but evil that led the Nazi’s to butcher, burn and murder six million Jews and as many Gypsies, Russians and the like. It wasn’t selfishness but evil that led Japanese forces to dissect living human beings during the war. These are only a couple of well-known examples. Historians are skeptics and cynics because in their studies there’s nothing more obvious than the evil that mankind has wrought.
One of the most disturbing news stories of the Sixties, one I remember very clearly, was of a young boy, around twelve I think, who cut up his grandparents and put them in a freezer. This happened right here in East Texas. There was film on the news showing the freezer with parts wrapped in butcher paper. I still cringe thinking about it. I was the same age as the kid who did it when I heard the story. That news story was my first introduction to pure evil. I didn’t sleep for a long time. Are you going to tell me the boy was just selfish and it was his bad human nature that led him to do such a thing? I’ll never believe that.
Participating on this group has been a delightful experience, up until these posts started appearing. They greatly disturbs m. There ARE evil spirits. I have seen one, up very close. I will never forget. The depravity of those who give themselves completely to that evil knows no bounds. I know this for a fact, too. It’s a subject I would prefer not to discuss or even think about but it is one no person seeking Truth and following Jesus should ever dismiss or ignore.
Evil exists, not in “concept” nor in “men’s bad hearts” but as a force and as a sentient entity. As much as I would like for it not to be so, it is so.
It is correct that human nature itself is “at enmity” with God. I will grant that as biological beings we have a tendency to place self above selfless because of the nature of self-preservation. It’s one thing, however, to be selfish to preserve oneself and another to feed our lusts and desires even when it destroys our own bodies and minds. Where’s the self-preservation in that?
The evil one’s task is easy. It does not have to do much to accomplish its goals. All it has to do is keep you from selfless service to God, wither away your love for God, and increase your doubt. The evil one can do that in a billion different ways without ever whispering in your ear.
As long as we refuse to live selfless lives it wins. We can easily steer ourselves from “sin.” We refuse to be drunks, turn away when someone hits up on us, turn off the TV when we’re tempted. But that’s only half the battle. We are still subject to self-righteous attitudes, self-preserving actions, personal prejudices, all the selfishness of piety. The evil one wins when we deceive ourselves that our motives are for God when they are only self-serving. This was the first lie it ever spoke and the most effective one still. The second most effective is the one that says don’t worry about the devil, it’s all in your head.
The arguments, verifications and documents proving–as much as possible–that an evil entity exists could go on forever. I’m a little disappointed that nobody here has brought any of them up in any determined way. Arguments are useless, however, when people have convinced themselves without evidence. But one cannot choose Truth. Truth is. I’ve heard the same kinds of rationalizations used by the fundamentalists to build their box used here to dismiss the evil one. Like I told my wife recently, people can believe what they want but that does not make it Truth.
We live in a war zone. Jesus’ death was the most important event in this war. It was not the end. The life Jesus lived and words he taught before he left us in body showed us how to win this war. They have been completely ignored. They still are. Because they are, the war continues to rage. As long as we live for self AT ALL we perpetrate the evil and we continue the war.
I would strongly urge reconsideration of the viewpoint that there is no evil but self. To think this way implies all we have to do is have a strong will and a little tweak from the Holy Spirit and we’ve got it made. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Nothing will allow selfish desires and points of view to appear selfless quicker than our thinking the devil can’t make us do it because he doesn’t exist.
This whole subject has been exceptionally stressful. It is the ugly side of life. It brings up stuff that I’d prefer not be remembered. Maybe some can rationalize, compartmentalize, or ignore stuff they’ve seen or know to keep it from affecting their box or their life. I can’t do that. When these thoughts arise I want to bang my head on the table or run out in the woods and ask, “WHY?”
The news carried a story yesterday about a thirty-something aged man who was brutally beating a toddler. He was stomping, beating, kicking, and throwing the child to the ground. People claimed they could not subdue the man. Why? Why could a few men not hold him back? In the end a policeman just shot the man. The child, of course, died. Blaming such events on mental instability simply does not cut it. I will not believe human depravity alone can do such things. I know, in fact, human depravity is not the only factor involved.
There is evil, dear friends, more evil than almost anyone could ever believe. Its tentacles reach deeper and further than anyone probably knows–than I want to know. It is a conscious evil, a sentient evil, and it is the exact opposite of our Creator. Doubt it, blow it off, be flippant. It won’t go away. I wish it didn’t exist. I wish it would go away. But wishes are just wishes, and nothing more.
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