Blog

Filter By:

Evil Reigns In the Absence of Good

Uncontrolled anger is consuming our nation. Republicans vs. Democrats. NRA vs. new gun-control legislation. President Trump vs. NFL players. One race vs. another. Anger advances; peace abates.

Even on a daily base, we see how anger can control our lives. Consider the following statistics:

  • 45% of us regularly lose our temper at work.
  • 64% of those working in an office have had office rage.
  • 27% of nurses have been attacked at work.
  • 33% of us are not on speaking terms with our neighbors.
  • 1 in 20 of us has had a fight with the person living next door.
  • One airline reported 1,486 significant or serious acts of air rage in a year, a 59% increase over the previous year.
  • More than 80% of drivers say they have been involved in road rage incidents; 25% have committed an act of road rage themselves.
  • 71% of internet users admit to having suffered net rage.
  • 50% of us have reacted to computer problems by hitting our PC, hurling parts of it around, screaming or abusing our colleagues.

Granted, we should be angry over the bloody massacre that took place in Las Vegas just a few days ago. We should be angry when children are sold into sex trafficking. We should be angry when close to 1 million children are aborted each year. Righteous anger leads to godly actions of justice filtered through grace. Unrighteous anger leads to ungodly actions of injustice filtered through hate.

Martin Luther King once said, “If I wish to compose or write or pray or preach well, I must be angry. Then all the blood in my veins is stirred, and my understanding is sharpened.”

But the kind of anger we see in our nation today is anything but righteous.

If we want to stop people from killing one another, we have to start with the heart. If we want to reduce road rage, air rage, office rage, and net rage, we have to look at cause before we will ever change effect. The cause of anger leads to the effect of violence—through whatever means available. If we simply eliminate means and never deal with cause, we will lose the “war” on violence. Means will always be found to bring about the effect of wounding, hurting, and killing if the cause is left alone.

What is the cause of anger? A vacuous heart left empty of light replaced with a foreboding flood of darkness. Evil reigns in the absence of good. In order not to be controlled by anger, we must be controlled by peace, and that, my friends, only comes through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15).

There Is No Reason, Only Confusion

I write these words after learning about the mass shooting in Las Vegas leaving at least 58 dead and 515 wounded, making this tragedy the deadliest shooting in modern American history. And I simply ask, “Why?”

There is no reason, only confusion that comes out of the darkness of evil. Satan is the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10a). Jesus is the Deliverer who gives life abundantly (John 10:10b). Satan is the adversary who comes like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus is the Conqueror who comes to bring victory in his name (1 Corinthians 15:57).

We pray that our eyes will be opened “so that [we] may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that [we] may receive forgiveness of sins” (Acts 26:18). And we pray this for our nation and world.

A godless society has no light to shine in the darkness, and when evil fills the mind, death and destruction follow. “If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness” (Matthew 6:23). Who knows what was going on in the mind of the shooter, Stephen Paddock, as he sprayed those bullets over the crowd gathered 32 stories below him? One thing we do know is that his mind was not filled with light but darkness.

Evil had its way . . . for now. One day, however, evil will be defanged forever, Satan vanquished for eternity, and death will be no more. “[God] disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in [Christ]” (Colossians 2:15).

How do we respond to such horror and tragedy?

First, we pray. We pray for the families and friends who lost loved ones in the senselessness of this act of evil. We pray for the 515 wounded and their families. We pray for life and light to penetrate the darkness, so that mercy abounds and hope is restored.

Second, we act. This is not the time for us to politicize and add fuel to our national narrative of dysfunction. We will not be overcome by evil, but we will overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). If we truly live out the following words of the Apostle Paul, light will overcome darkness, and the gates of hell will tremble at the advancing army of the Kingdom of God:

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. . . Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. . . Never pay back evil with more evil. . . Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good” (Romans 12:9-21, NLT).

May it be said; may it be done. Amen.

12345678910 ... 240241