GRACE CHURCH NWA

2828 NORTH CROSSOVER ROAD

FAYETTEVILLE, AR  72703

SUNDAY WORSHIP  10:15 AM

EVIL

July 4, 2018

I knew better to click on the link.  I was a few videos in to the black hole that is Youtube’s ‘suggested videos’ sidebar, and had been watching the likes of “15 unexplained phenomena caught on camera,” and “15 historical mysteries that are still unexplained,” and “15 creepy recordings caught by a GoPro.”  So when another popped up from the same channel, “15 disturbing sites found on the deep web,” my morbid curiosity got the better of me.

 

See, I’m a fan of the horror genre already. I’m on a quest to read all of Stephen King’s works, and I’d probably be able to if he’d stop putting a book out every 6 months.  I read a lot of Edgar Allen Poe and the like as a kid, and generally when someone says, “Oh gosh, I don’t want to see that movie, it looks WAY too scary,” I’m probably going to be there opening weekend (or at least pick it up at Redbox, I have kids and don’t really go to the movies all that often.)  Fictional horror doesn’t really faze me at this point in life, and most of the special effects are really interesting to watch! A few jump scares don’t hurt, either.

 

But this video?  It didn’t have links, or pictures, and even had the disclaimer of ‘absolutely do NOT go looking for this part of the internet,’ but I got reminded 15 times over of the depravity of which man is capable.  I also am giving the disclaimer that I am in no way endorsing or suggesting you go find this video either, and as someone that counts the Shining on her top 10 movie list, it says a lot that I couldn’t stomach the content that I heard.

 

But here’s the thing: that’s not the only type of evil in this world.  Yes, it’s obvious, and it’s a symptom of a broken and depraved sinful condition of man, as Satan “prowls about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)  But he also, “disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:14) How many times do members of the church, professors of faith in Christ, publicly uphold laws that may be legal, but also immoral?  How many times do we (myself included) engage in prejudice against others simply because it’s how we were raised? How many times do we defend a political party’s values while turning a blind eye to the human collateral damage that their policies create?

I want to see us open our eyes to evil, both the obvious and the insidious, and stand up to it in Christ.

Because, spoiler: He wins in the end.

 

Ya’ll, if a law, legal as it may be, causes needless pain and suffering to other humans, it’s immoral.  Scratch that: it’s EVIL. If upholding a law comes at the cost of showing God’s love and justice, then we’ve slipped into legality and Phariseeism.  If we’re content to be the ‘other guys’ in the story of the Good Samaritan and turn a blind eye to the hurting because of other ‘holier’ pursuits, we may need a time to recenter our eyes on Christ and repent.  And if any of the ‘false prophets’ that were warned about in the context of that previous verse from Corinthians are preaching any other gospel than “Christ and him crucified,” we may want to examine and throw out their words too.

 

Before you think I’m preaching, or that I’m about to organize a massive NWA protest with picket signs and a bullhorn, please know that I’m preaching at myself first.  I know I’ve had so many instances in my own life where my adherence to the law, whether religious, social, or political, have gotten in the way of my faith. I’ve had too many instances of the ‘sin of omission’ (showing my Calvinist roots there!)  where I’ve meant to practice justice and been distracted by life instead. I’ve talked about holy pursuits, then been sidetracked by Pinterest. I’ve towed the party line instead of prayerfully considering what God would want. It’s immensely easy to do.  But I want better for us! I want better for our congregation, for the church, for our country and the world!

 

I want to see us open our eyes to evil, both the obvious and the insidious, and stand up to it in Christ. Because, spoiler: He wins in the end.  The Son will crush the serpent’s head, and “every knee [will] bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:10-11)

 

Grace Holt is a thirty-something full-time working mommy of three, who happens to have a love for fashion and uses any excuse to wear something shiny. She is loved by an amazing God and an amazing man, and blogs about faith and fashion over at livingwithaholts.blogspot.com.

 

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