On evil, faith and character


It isn't hard to look around and see evil. There are unspeakable horrors in our world.

Worse, every act of evil has "human fingerprints on it."

As a Christian, I believe there is a spiritual force to this. Per Wikipedia, the original Hebrew term, satan, is a noun from a verb meaning primarily to, “obstruct, oppose.”  Ha-Satan is traditionally translated as “the accuser” or “the adversary.”

This idea of "the accuser" is familiar to most of us.  We hear it every day.  As Dr. Bill Gillham taught me, he talks in first person singular. 

I am not good enough. 
I am so ugly. 
I can't believe I was so stupid.
I don't belong. 

It is relentless. 

The thing is that the accusations are rarely leveled at solely ourselves.

Where is God in all of this? 
A good God wouldn't let that happen. 
How could God possibly love me?
God doesn't care about me.

The variations are endless, and I believe uniquely tailored to strike the heart of a person. To hit the very place where the hopes, dreams, love and laughter lives. 

I believe that since the cross, satan is a defeated enemy. That his only power is in the deception of his accusations. As beings with free will, we choose what we believe. And I think the singular most important point of that is what we believe about the character of God. 

Do we believe that He is good? 
That He loves us? (Really loves us.  Not loving us like people eat broccoli just because it is good for them.) 
That He wants to spend time with us. 
That our "silly little dreams" aren't "silly little dreams" to Him.  That He put them there. 

What we believe about the character of God determines our prayer life, how we interpret scripture, how we view other people, and most importantly, how much we trust Him. Learning to determine the difference between the voice of the accuser and the voice of the Spirit is a skill that gets developed over a lifetime. And make no mistake.  Evil is evil.  It doesn't play by the rules of "fair." Nor does it ever lighten up.

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Many thanks to Pres Gillham for reminding me of these thoughts this week with his new book, Battle for the Round Tower, which will be available in a few months. 
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall