Evil is ugly, but it shouldn’t surprise us …

Yesterday, once again, the peace of our nation was pierced by the ugliness of evil.

Some of the responses of people across the country were quite understandable — appalled and repulsed by the senseless taking of life, compassion and caring for the people of Boston, tears and prayers for the victims and their families, even anger at the boldness of such terror.

But there was one response from some Christians that didn’t seem to fit the circumstances.

One young lady expressed this response in a long and labored Facebook post, explaining how she was so overwhelmed with the news she thought she might be having a heart attack. She described how she just wanted everything to be peaceful and happy and could not understand how anything like this could possibly happen.

What seemed to be missing in the explanation of her response to the Boston tragedy was any awareness of evil.

Within the church, we have developed a culture that doesn’t include the whole of the Gospel message, and the fact that we not only live in a broken world, but we live in a world that is wicked and where evil is not uncommon.

Yet, we preach about prosperity, pursing great dreams, legacies, and even how to set and pursue goals. Rarely do we talk about the reality of this world being one where all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; where sin savages souls daily and people are in desperate need of a Savior.

We talk about “following our hearts” instead of following Christ. But here’s just one problem with that:

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9.

Yesterday, someone followed their heart, and the evil in it poured out.

One thing that should not surprise Christians is the persence of evil. Not only does scripture teach us that we live in a broken world where spiritual warfare is being waged all around us, but that spiritual warfare will actually continue to intensify until Jesus Christ returns.

That’s the reality of the world we live in, one which is not taught much and isn’t the biblical worldview held by many Christians.

If we want to understand the world we live in and equip Christians to face the evil in it, we need much less preaching of platitudes and more proclaiming the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ so that hearts and minds can be transformed and evil can be properly responded to.

With a whole understanding of the Gospel, we can find peace even in the face of evil, because we follow a Savior who says to us, “I have
told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you
will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have
overcome the world” (John 16:33).