Wednesday, October 11, 2006

171: “. . . Overcome Evil With Good”

That is the command in Romans 12:21. The world is full of evil and is getting worse every day. How are Christians to be victorious over evil by engaging in good actions? That is the $64,000 question. First and foremost, we must continually make public outcries against specific acts of evil committed by those who say they are Christians.

By the way, the word “good,” which is used as a noun in the Bible, is incorrect English. The word “good” most often is used as an adjective, and very occasionally can be used as an adverb. Nevertheless, to conform with Romans 12:21, I will also occasionally use it as a noun.

The scary thing is that much of the world’s evil is being accepted as normal. Of course, we must make sure Christians don’t attempt to impose their Christian values on the evil that nonbelievers engage in. But when it comes to the evil that those who call themselves Christians participate in, it is our duty to expose that evil by showing—by our lives and words—that it is not acceptable according to New Testament standards.

The reason evil has become so rampant is because it accomplishes/gives something satisfying and needed in the empty lives of the perpetrators. The Bible predicts evil will increase in the last days, and therefore, we should not be surprised. For that reason, our good works may not affect the overall world picture to any great degree. Again, our job is not to condemn the evil works of the masses, because they are self- condemned; our responsibility is to concentrate on evil works of those who claim to be Christian and who then do evil in the name of Jesus Christ. Perfect examples of these fakes are public figures: Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, etc., and George Bush. They are a disgrace to the Christian religion.

Even though there is literally an infinite number of ways to commit evil acts, they can all be grouped into one category: All evil is contrary to what the New Testament teaches. Atheists aren’t concerned with what Scripture says, and so-called Christians disagree with what it teaches.

If and when a person’s life is NOT heading in the direction of desiring to experience the actual life of Jesus Christ (allowing Him to relive again, if even in a small way), by wholehearted devotion to Him and obedience to the Bible, then I truly understand why New Testament commands seem like the most ridiculous lifestyle imaginable, and seem totally foreign to our physical survival instincts.

Here is the reason why: Scripture is concerned with our spiritual survival; therefore, when a person desires to start heading in the direction of allowing Christ to live again in his/her body, then one must give special attention to his/her spiritual survival and place physical requirements and needs in second place; then and only then will seemingly laughable verses come to life. The next step is to have an earnest desire to put them into practice. That is a sure way of stamping evil out of one’s life, and even the evil in the lives of others who take on the name “Christian” but fail to understand the power evil has, especially when their minds are on seemingly innocent worldly matters.

This may be the most important verse in the Bible as a way of overcoming evil; it is found in Ephesians 6:12. “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.” The reason it is so important is because, even though the Spirit we hopefully possess is much stronger than these evil influences (spirit), The Holy Spirit will do us little good if we Christians don’t obey God and remain in His good grace. With that said, we must become ACUTELY AWARE of all the evil forces that are, in one way or another, attempting to alienate us from our Savior—by trickery, deceit, and many other ways in which humans are inherently weak.

We are most venerable in areas that seem totally harmless, but have absolutely nothing to do with promoting the cause of Christ. Each person must judge for themselves exactly what these fun-type activities are. Once identified, then comes the difficult struggle of replacing them with something spiritually up-building. This type of self-examination must be ongoing. With so many activities in the world today that are promoted as “Christian,” we must not be deceived by these evil forces which, many times, do their work through unsaved people in the name of Christ.

Although genuine Christianity is available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, etc., it is a secret society in that the inner workings of Christianity cannot be comprehended by outsiders: It/He must be experienced; this also includes nonbelievers who have claimed the Christian religion their entire life.

Every command has a specific reason for its presence in Scripture and acts as an intricate part of the whole. For example, all the verses in post # 170, plus hundreds of others, are one complete unit to accomplish a single purpose: love for God and neighbor, which includes the ability to avoid/overcome all kinds of evil, especially the prevalent feel-good evils in one’s life.

The reason electronic or mechanical equipment may not function as designed is because only one minute part is defective. Replace the part and all is well. The same is true with Christianity; when only one part is defective or inactive, the whole life is affected and therefore cannot function as a disciple of Christ. Only thing is, there may be many essential parts that are either being bypassed or are inactive. Then we wonder why Christianity is in the sad shape it is in. Even worse than that: People somehow settle for a dilapidated Christianity as normal, and criticize the few that are purring like kittens.

Much of the evil committed by religious people (doing what comes naturally) doesn’t seem bad, but has become normal and acceptable. And yet what seems normal makes a person’s Christianity impotent, and of no value to Christ or self. Therefore, I truly expect and understand why a few readers of this blog send in derogatory comments. Still, it is absolutely necessary to openly uncover evil aspects of Christianity that are usually swept under the rug; they are the kind that poke slackers and fakes where it hurts.

Some people think evil is things like the war on terror, all the atrocities happening because of Bush’s Iraq war, the corruption in our government and other overtly evil acts throughout the world.

But there is a much more ubiquitous evil that will send billions to hell: not taking Christianity as serious business, but as a casual part of their life. Many of them are thinking, “ Leave me alone with all your absurd Bible verses; I have been a church-going Christian all my life, so bug off with all this stupid stuff you write.”

The sad and dangerous part of that situation is that, in some cases, it might be easier to change the color of one’s skin than to change what one believes concerning spiritual matters. That is a barrier this blog has been attempting to breach, and if we are not successful, to a large degree, I understand. We must always remember that few will be chosen. Above and beyond my devotion and obedience to My Lord Jesus Christ, my meager part of overcoming evil with good is to clearly display the truth as described in the New Testament.

Some may ask, “What’s in it for you [the author]?” The satisfaction of knowing, hopefully, that no one’s blood will be on my hands on Judgment Day. In fact, I couldn’t stop what I am doing even if I wanted to. My work for Christ is the major part of my life. I would desire a heinous death for myself if somehow I couldn’t continue showing and telling of what the New Testament expected of all people who claim to be Christians. That does not exclude nonbelievers who desire to join the small ranks of true believers.

In summation, in order for believers not to be overcome by evil, we must fight tooth and nail with maximum effort—in whatever way God leads us—to destroy the works of the devil in disguise as Christians, even ourselves; any passive non-action will never work. There are millions who are being deceived, mostly without their knowledge, thinking they have the right to call themselves Christians for whatever reason; they continue to soil the precious name of Jesus Christ.

One of the best ways to fight evil is for every person who claims to be a genuine Christian to read the New Testament every day until it becomes an intricate part of our lives; just as important, we need to then let our lives bring those holy words to life. Better advice than that you will find nowhere. I fervently pray that God will abundantly bless all who make this endeavor their holy grail. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen and very well said Al Thinker.