EVIL ISN’T NEW
AUTHOR – BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 – BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT Shakespir
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Special thanks to Shila and Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration
The Squeaky Wheel Syndrome
In the 23rd Psalm, King David penned: “I will fear no evil”. In composing this world-wide known scripture, he openly acknowledged two realties. The existence of EVIL and our right of CHOICE weather to FEAR it or not. He then adds his spiritual perspective, insight, and reasoning behind his refusal to fear: “For You are with me”. Those five words became his determining factor and overriding reality.
As a teen, David learned that as big and “fearfully squeaky” as Goliath was advertised to be, his God was bigger. That realization led him to develop this lifestyle insight: Just because someone or something is “fearful” doesn’t mean I must automatically be “full of fear” as a response.
The media will not be sharing David’s words of balanced wisdom with us! The squeaky wheel always gets the grease/attention in today’s world. It’s in the media’s best interest to promote the squeaky wheel syndrome. Fear sells folks! There’s a good reason we aren’t made aware of all the good that transpires in our world. Good doesn’t produce “ratings”. Ratings produce lots of money. Does anyone remember the Jerry Springer show? Unbelievably putrid programming with ratings through the roof! Next step: Sixteen Jerry Springer types appear like magic all over our television screens! Media’s moral compass is dollar directed folks.
To be fair: It’s not totally the media’s fault. We the public have sent them a very clear message as to our preferences and they are simply responding to the message we’ve sent! Fear inducing content is big business, therefore from evil’s perspective, that content must remain as squeaky as possible. Evil knows every time it opens its foul mouth, whatever it says with be deemed and ingested as newsworthy, thus rewarded with the attention it needs to be seen as relevant. Evil is a spiritual bully and as is the case with all bullies, to be feared is its point of existing.
The problem encountered for us as consumers? There’s a lot of competing evil out there for us to ponder on a daily bases. Is it ISIS, or KOREA, or RUSSIA, or CHINA, or whatever and whoever is next on the menu that we are to fear the most. Our never-ending dilemma in the midst of all of this? We as humans only have a certain allotment of fear to offer all these folks so who is the scariest? Who is the most fearful? Who do we deem the biggest Goliath?
On-line outrageousness can be added as fuel to stoke the fires of fear as if we need the flames fanned. Recently I discovered a plot regarding Aliens that are planning to invade earth and eat my flesh! Evidently, there’s a little something I can buy now to prevent me from being so tasty later? Thank God there are precautionary measures available I can invest in, to avoid becoming dinner to Aliens. Folks, on-line foolishness once entertained creates fear!
My problem with this breaking news? I don’t have any room on my list of up-dated daily “to be feared things”, to include these fearful extra-terrestrials at the moment but I’m sure I’ll have to make room upon their arrival. They will want their fair share of acknowledgement as scary.
With so many evil “squeaky wheels” clamoring for my bent knee of undivided attention, what shall I do? What shall we do? What would God have us do? “Fear not” would be His advice, in that fear circumvents out ability to reason rationally! David would add: Fearing the created when the Creator is with you, isn’t rational!
Evil Is A Snake With Many Heads
Evil is not exclusive to a group. It is a spirit that will use whoever’s available. Evil is not bigoted in its recruitment practises. Labeling evil as belonging to a specific genre of humanity, while in the process dismissing our own potential for it, disguises its ever present reality and can be a hypocritical slippery slope to embark on as a lifestyle mindset.
Evil is truly unlimited in its scope and can infiltrate every breathing heart on earth that supplies for it a residence. Evil has a voice that will encourage and endorse all manner of inhumanness. Something to think about: The violent death of an eight year old in Manchester is every bit as offensive to God as the same scenario in the Middle East! The ensuing and sobering question? Do we feel as bad for the child in the Middle East as we do for the one closer to home?
Evil will suggest it’s not the same. Evil will also suggest such lunacy to both sides of the spiritual infraction! Evil loves to align itself with self-proclaimed Godly people leaving the distortion and suggestion that God himself is evil. Think about it. Who among us, can even begin to count the millions who have died in God’s name while the inflictors of death stand as innocent with their responsibility avoiding proclamation of: “God told us to do it”! Well, that’s half right. Someone is telling us to! How obviously delusional to call it God!
There are two very polarizing labels that I experience great discomfort in wearing when they are applied with the pride of superior importance and a sense of entitled assumed rightness. White and Christian. Both envelope a historied behavioral background that I find shamefully and personally concerning. I’ve noticed my look-alikes tend to spend an inordinate amount of time bemoaning the violent histories of others while being absent-minded regarding their own.
My conscience tells me, that conveniently ignoring what I know to be true regarding my past ancestry, runs the very real risk of seeing their behavior repeated in my own life, so I have for that precautionary purpose, removed that option from my menued choices for life. You see, I’ve never been a racist nor a bigot but that doesn’t mean I can’t be. My forefather’s tell me that their well-established spiritual DNA, lies just below the surface waiting to be activated!
For those who share a different background than mine, please don’t misunderstand my sincere confession as a license to avoid yours. Don’t choose the available option to say: “It’s about time a white person admitted to their past sins”. Exchange that temptation with something far more all-inclusively productive: “It’s about time we all apologized to each other” for the our collective pasts, and hopefully begin a new present that resembles sanity.
We will never totally eliminate evil but perhaps, with a conscious individual commitment, we can “one at a time” remove ourselves from its allure and approval thus deflating its popularity. Hopefully as our numbers grow, we may even be able to convince the media to talk more about the Firemen who risk their well-being saving the lives of children, as opposed to the ones on all sides of the debate who choose to invest their authoritarian selves in taking those lives!
Now that sounds very much like a Godly endeavour to pursue with our energies! One that I’m sure would bless God’s heart. After all, we’ve broken it innumerable times so perhaps could it be, that a change of direction is long overdue? Accountability not conformity is the first step! I’m a sheep but the majority opinion is not my Shepherd.
We as humans claim evolved intelligence status as our modern day reality. Evil struggles to exist when true intelligence is present. Heaven is still in waiting for our “claim” to be verified!
So, what is “true intelligence”? It’s in understanding that we aren’t God but there is A GOD who has been taking notes! The number of dead left in our self-justified wake which we can’t count, He has a perfect record of! That should be concerning even to most arrogant!
I think it would do us all well to openly confess the sins of our forefathers. To not feel the need to defend the indefensible in an attempt to present evil as less so. We so often choose to point fingers, when if we’re honest, we know that our cultural backyards are every bit as dirty as any of our neighbors on planet earth. We have all worn the snake head of evil at different times and in varying degrees! We’ve either directly participated in it or have chosen to turn a blind eye to it. Is there truly a difference?
What we are experiencing in today’s world is simply the latest expression of evil. As we peruse history with open minds we discover something amazingly interesting. Evil has no exclusivity. It has no favorites. It doesn’t prefer one group over another. It uses whoever’s available. Evil truly hates us all equally and desires more than anything, that we would devour each other with the same hatred! Both victims and victimizers eventually become its prey!
If you investigate the type of deaths that some of the perpetrators of hate have experienced throughout the ages you will notice an obvious and repetitive truth. They don’t get leniency from evil for being evil. They find themselves engulfed in and ravaged by, the very same spirit they so faithfully served! Judas comes to mind! Hopefully, that transparently diabolical truth is sufficient enough to demand a response of sobriety of thought for our serious consideration! Evil has no winners! Evil doesn’t accommodate that dynamic as its designed purpose. All are meant lose in the end!
We have a common enemy folks. One that knows how to use us to abuse us. I wonder at times if we understand that? Evil does have a way of justifying itself in our minds. It has existed ever since existence. IT’S NOT NEW!
Life is Sacred – God Said So
Terrorism, regardless of who the terrorists are, is promoted and approved under the umbrella of this spiritually dysfunctional mindset. “We have the right to decide who lives and who dies”! We then exercise that self-thought right at our own discretion and to further our own agendas. Again, all groups have been guilty at one time or another of the offense.
Is it just me or does that sound awkwardly backwards coming from people who claim to be all about God. Personally, I’m a little uncomfortable with a God who allows me to kill others who aren’t like me and if in the process I kill a few hundred that are my own kind, it’s fine! “9-11” comes to mind!
Think about that mindset for a moment and I challenge you to make sense of it: The “Giver Of Life” has given His approval, that “my special group” taking the life of others, is perfectly fine? Does that mentality, advertised as “From God”, make anyone else feel a little squeamish?
Well, here’s my unsolvable dilemma with that: God seems to have given His approval to a lot of “special groups”? Sporadically, every one of them for that matter. It would seem therefore, that God can’t make up His mind as to who He loves and who He doesn’t love, during any era of life on planet earth! I guess He’s that fickle. And yet amazingly so, He from His only Son’s cross two thousand years ago, emphatically declared His immeasurable love for “the world”!
So I’m left wondering: Could it be that the voice that has echoed down through the corridors of time, screaming in our ears to “kill” each other, isn’t His?
It’s amazing throughout history how much blood has been casually shed in God’s name. God’s holiness has been dragged through the mud of hatred promoted evil for a very long time folks. It’s a miracle of grace that any of us are still standing!
I’m thinking our fear of accountability to the he’s, she’s, and they’s who demand our allegiance to violence, is greater than our fear of the One who said: “Thou shall not kill”. That would be an enormous error in judgement!
Back To My Roots
Christian: Now there’s a “label” that has been brutalized and grotesquely mis-represented over time by its claimants. The atrocities committed in its name have no “Christ” in them, and yet fly under His banner.
Thus my discomfort in wearing it with a much preferred by me mantle of: “Disciple of Jesus”. I think there’s a clarity in that descriptive that has been blurred over the centuries regarding the name Christian. So wear it I will, in that it also provides for me a compass preventing a drifting into the never-never land of religiosity. Religion: The reasonable facsimile to real and the place where evil resides comfortably!
Sometimes it’s helpful, when feeling like the plot has been lost, that one returns to their roots to re-acquaint themselves with the pure un-tampered message of the gospel of Christ. It’s an amazingly beautiful gospel that while suffering de-beautification over time still shines through in glorious radiance with its unique difference to all others. Roots rooted in love!
Jesus Said It And They Did It
Those early followers of our Lord were told to love their enemies and they did. They didn’t return evil for evil. They were sent out unarmed to share the “good news” into a very hostile environment where their lives were on the line every day. There is no documented evidence that would remotely suggest that they had ever killed anyone in the process! Stephen was stoned to death without retaliating but rather chose to pray for the forgiveness of his killers with his last breath. How’s that for different!
Their constant refrain: What Jesus did on the cross we will duplicate. He is our standard! Don’t you find it amazing that no one died at the hands of Christ’s disciples. They were representing Him not themselves even unto their death. Tortured, crucified, burned at the stake, sawed in pieces and the like, they courageously deferred to God’s will over their own. Their mission was not to invade but rather to bless. I repeat: How’s that for different!
But over time things changed. Disciples became Christians and our faith was slowly politicized then culturalized out of its purity, thus non-reflective of its founder Jesus. Living by the sword, which Jesus cautioned against, was now considered the way to go and here we are dying by the sword as He predicted would be the case. We invaded countries simply because we could, and killed millions in the process that had the nerve to raise their voice of objection. Our Lord’s call on our lives was to be salt and light to the world. Instead we became far more evil than the very ones we were supposed to be seasoning and enlightening. The tag Christian was forever soiled as we faded into irrelevance, known as hypocrites to the extreme and deservedly so.
We were now the terrorists much like our highlighted group in today’s headlines. You can see how, we’ve all had our times of culpability. The turning away from our Lord’s directives led to the further soiling of His name. Many in the world today see Jesus through the unflattering lens of the past. A visual we created! How’s that for culpable?
The most un-Christ-like behavior imaginable ensued as slavery and racism were deemed as fine. No one was asking nor caring what Jesus might be thinking. We were now God with the right to take life at a whim. Pictures of Jesus with very light skin and blue eyes shamefully decorated our walls. Terms such as “nigger” became acceptable parts of our vocabulary and designated “black and white” everything was firmly entrenched as being seen as justified. We had a “white” God and we loved it. Folks, we are still digging out from that monstrosity of evil!
As it was at the tomb of Lazarus: “Jesus wept” and we were blinded by our arrogance to notice!
Hopefully we are now trying to find our way back to hearing once again what Jesus said with a sincere desire to selflessly do it! We may not be able to change the world at this late date, but we can change ourselves to reflect our Lord more accurately and after all, isn’t that why we are here!
Folks, that’s what we used to be a long time ago. We had but one agenda back in those days. To be the different ones and serve Jesus in a manner fitting of His beautiful and loving uniqueness. I believe our seasons of greatness can be resurrected if hearts are humbly willing!
Adam And Eve
Not much has changed since that fateful day in the garden of Eden. Genesis 2 – 17: “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat from it you will surely die”. At that time Adam, who would soon be joined by Eve, had absolutely no idea what evil or good was. They were completely innocent to the point where their nakedness wasn’t a thing of shame nor even noticed by them. God’s desire was that they remain that way, thus the caution. Just imagine: They were created to never experience illness or death and in the cool of the evening commune with God forever. Sounds like paradise to me!
Then things changed dramatically. Genesis 3 – 4 & 5: “You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman for God knows when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”. The key phrase: And you will be like God!
It wouldn’t be long before we see our first murder as Cain kills his younger brother Abel in a rage of jealousy. Cain was the first human, in what would be a long line of humans, to “play God” by taking another’s life.
A life he did not give nor was given the authority to remove! Cain’s evil act had relegated life to non-sacred status and we have been following Cain’s lead ever since. We, the human race as a whole, at one time or another, have all “played God”!
If we need an example: Casually aborting babies as an acceptable form of birth control comes to mind! Seeing as the count is in the millions worldwide, isn’t that genocide. Therefore aren’t those who do the procedures terrorists? The babies would say so, if they had a voice.
At The Heart Of The Matter
It’s not that big a mystery what is at the true heart of terrorism regardless of its source or verbalized dialog. It’s the unquenchable desire in man to play God as confirmed by the utter disregard for other’s lives, thus God has nothing to do with it. The created acting as if it’s the Creator is at its core. It’s leaders while all looking and sounding a little different, have this one common thread attached to their regimes. The death of “another group” is always part of the agenda! It’s predictable, once knowing the source of the evil, to easily surmise its target!
But here’s something else that’s predictable? Many have come and gone fueled by their evil motives throughout history. They have all fallen on their own swords! Here’s an absolute to leave you with: No man gets the final word! That’s exclusively God’s domain! Think Goliath!
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