Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

October 4, 2013

TISCIONE: What is the Christian response to evil?

By LOU TISCIONE

We have recently been given a glimpse of courage and of evil. Commendations are deserved for our Sen. Ted Cruz for his courage to stand upon constitutional principles. I pray for God’s blessing upon our nation. Specifically that He would raise up men and women of courage who are willing to speak the truth no matter what consequences may be personally or professionally experienced.

But, we’ve also seen a glimpse of the evil that men do. Terrorist attacks occurred in several places around the world. In Kenya we were told of Islamic terrorists who murdered people in a shopping mall.

As a Christian I am always amazed by the depth of man’s evil. When I see it from afar my heart burns. John Calvin, the great reformer of the 16th Century, wrote, “All who really serve and love God, ought to burn with holy indignation whenever they see wickedness reigning without restraint among men …” The Psalmist wrote, “O you who love the LORD, hate evil!” (Psalm 97:10a)

The Bible declares that those who know God are to hate evil. The Bible also puts forth a standard of Christian behavior that exhorts believers never to return evil for evil and to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43ff), (Romans 12:17ff) and (1Pet. 3:9). On the surface these two teachings seem to contradict each other. We know that the Bible is altogether true. There are no contradictions. God does not contradict Himself. So then there must be two different things being expressed concerning evil.

The difference in calling for loving enemies on the one hand and hating evil on the other is a matter of context. God’s exhortation to love enemies is directed to those in the church who find themselves under the hand of evil men. They are the ones experiencing evil first hand. The response of believers to evil and persecution is to “give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” (Romans 12:17)

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