What should we do when faced with evil? Should we react, ignore it, discuss it or physically act? I believe the answer was given to us by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
If God will not hold us guiltless, then we will either be punished for our inaction or will be held accountable on Judgment Day. This will not be a popular message to Christians who belong to feel good churches that are not preaching the Word of God. The Bible tells us to hate evil in the Old Testament:
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
The New Testament also tells us to hate what is evil:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
How do we overcome evil?
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Unfortunately, most people believe that good will overcome evil without any action on our part. This is a lie perpetuated by the evil that we are facing. Let me outline a hypothetical conversation on Judgment Day with the Lord:
Lord: What actions did you take when faced with evil?
Christine: What evil are you referring to my Lord?
Lord: You saw evil every day in your rulers.
Christine: I did see evil my Lord. I recognized it and fought against it.
Christine: I supported the Republican Party. I even ran for office and became a county commissioner.
Lord: Did you not see that both political parties in your country were contributing to the evil that was pervasive throughout the land? You want me to believe that you fought evil by joining evil? Did you speak up against the 56 million abortions of my children at the hands of this evil?
Christine: I thought that taking back the Republican Party from the inside was my only choice.
Lord: The Word of God told you to overcome evil with good. Did you ask for the Lord’s help to restore morality and virtue? How did you defend the covenant of marriage? How did you fight against homosexuality?
Christine: I prayed.
Lord: You prayed for your own ambition. Your pride led you to bear false witness against your fellow man. Do you not think that I already know the answers to these questions?
Christine: Lord, what should I have done? I thought that what I was doing was good.
Lord: The Word of God tells you that I hate pride and arrogance. Yet you are guilty of both. If you believe that you were fighting evil, tell me what victories you had.
Christine: Lord, what should I have done?
Lord: You should have looked to the Lord for guidance. God’s plan should have been guiding your words and actions. Praying for guidance should always be your first step. Putting hope in a political party and yourself over His will accomplished nothing. You stand before me now for judgment and now ask what should you have done? You should have stood up from the flock and became a ram serving the Lord. You should have fought evil in the name of the Lord. You should not be cowering before me now as I pronounce Judgment on you for standing with evil as your defense.
What will you say on Judgment Day? I know that the Lord is omniscient so judgment will already be known on that day. I will fight the evil that has overtaken this nation. With words for now and actions in the future. Will I make a difference? I am not doing this to make a difference: I am doing it because God will not hold me guiltless. It is His will that we hate evil. Who am I to do anything less than His plan for me against evil?
The Whole Armor of God
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
Our path is clear if we have ears to hear.