But I was certain that evil existed


“Only minutes ago I doubted anything that might be called supernatural; now I knew that I had been naive. I knew neither the extent of it nor the means by which to deal with it, but I was certain that evil existed. I had come face-to-face with it and survived long enough to know at least that much.” 1)from “Immanuel’s Veins” by Ted Dekker

Is this you?
Someone who doesn’t believe in anything supernatural at all?
Like there’s no God and there’s no Devil?

There is a bit of a problem with that assumption.

Evil is a relative word.

Yes – it really is.  

Don’t (want) to believe that?  Let’s look at what some words really mean.

Evil

Evil can be used many different ways, so here are all the ones included at dictionary.com

adjective
1.  morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked:  evil deeds; an evil life.
2.  harmful; injurious:  evil laws.
3.  characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering;unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.
4.  due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation.
5.  marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.

noun
6.  that which is evil; evil quality, intention, or conduct:  to choose the lesser of two evils.
7.  the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin.
8.  the wicked or immoral part of someone or something:  The evil in his nature has destroyed the good.
9.  harm; mischief; misfortune: to wish one evil.
10.  anything causing injury or harm: Tobacco is considered by some to be an evil.
11.  a harmful aspect, effect, or consequence: the evils of alcohol.
12.  a disease, as king’s evil.
adverb
13.  in an evil manner; badly; ill: It went evil with him.

Idioms
14.  the evil one, the devil; Satan.

 

The way “evil” is being used here is in a moral context – so let’s take the word “morally” from the first definition above –

morally

nowhere near as many variations as “evil” – so we appear to be narrowing this down.

adverb
1.  in a moral manner.
2.  from a moral point of view:  morally reprehensible.
3.  virtuously.
4.  virtually; practically.

not surprisingly, a circular definition, so let’s dig one level deeper.

moral

adjective
1.  of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical:  moral attitudes.
2.  expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work.
3.  founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom:  moral obligations.
4.  capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct:  a moral being.
5.  conforming to the rules of right conduct (opposed to immoral ):  a moral man.
6.  virtuous in sexual matters; chaste.
7.  of, relating to, or acting on the mind, feelings, will, or character:  moral support.

noun
9.  the moral teaching or practical lesson contained in a fable, tale, experience, etc.
10.  the embodiment or type of something.
11.  morals, principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct.

And there we have it – it really is relative.

And therefore …

Evil cannot exist without good.  The classic case of good versus evil can only exist if good and evil are both relative words.  If they weren’t, then one of two things must be true –

  • there’s no difference between good and evil.
  • there’s no such thing as good and evil, which would ultimately lead back to there being no difference – since neither would exist.

And while you may try hard to maintain a feeling like there’s no good and no evil, eventually, someting is going to happen to make you realize that evil does exist.  Something like the quote from the book at the top.  BTW – one cannot be a person with feelings and read that book – and come to the conclusion that there’s no such thing as evil.  Unless, maybe, the reader is evil and thinks that situation is perfectly normal.
But even there – deciding the scenario of the book is “normal” – a judgement is being made as to what’s normal and what isn’t.
So we’re back to good and evil do exist.

The book makes an interesting point in that regard.  Many of us come to the conclusion that evil exists before we decide that good exists.  Maybe because of the news, maybe because of our friends, maybe because of movies / television / books.  But we seem to see much more evil in the world that anything else.  

Oh – maybe that’s because of Satan?

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Yeah – the good and evil battle has already been fought in Heaven.  And evil (Satan) lost.

Now, that battle is going on here.

Good and evil.  Fighting against each other – fighting for control of us – you and me and everyone else.

Whether we choose to believe it or not, it still goes on.  
When we were little kids, we used to believe that if we closed our eyes then no one could see us – because we couldn’t see them.  As we got older, we used to pretend that if we ignored something then it wouldn’t be real or it would go away.  
Eventually, we all learn that the closing the eyes thing never really worked.
We may or may not have learned the truth about ignoring a problem.  But whether we learned that lesson or not – the reality is that ignoring something, more often than not, makes things even worse than if we dealt with it right away.

And that’s how it is with the good and evil issue.

To continue the verses from Revelation, we see ..

Evil loses

Rev 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
Rev 12:11 They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.”

So, once we realize evil really does exist, presumably we want that evil to be dealt with – defeated / eradicated.  And, hopefully we don’t want to be sucked into the world of evil – although there is some part of every one of us that would like to try it out.  And there will be too many who actually do like the evil and live it out (otherwise there wouldn’t be so much of it.)

Maybe the bigger question – do you want to be on the losing side, or the winning side?

Satan’s Doom

Rev 20:7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And that will be the end of evil.  And those who choose to follow evil.

So if you think evil exists, whether you believe in God yet, or not – this is something worth checking out.

Don’t want to end up taking the same path as evil?
Take the other path instead …

The Narrow and Wide Gates

Mt 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

 

 

 

 

 


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References   [ + ]

1. from “Immanuel’s Veins” by Ted Dekker

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