Saturday, October 24, 2015

Perspective on Evil

As human beings, we desire to see the big picture of what is going on. I think this is partly behind the success of news outlets: they give us a sense of knowing what is happening all over. And because we do not trust that someone is in control of things, we get upset by what is happening, and want to fix things. But we cannot.

Anyone can recognize that worrying about the direction the world is headed does not do any good. Many recognize that we surely are not all supposed to uproot our lives to do something about it, and even that if we did, we likely would make only a small dent in things. Others devote themselves to causes, good causes, but so often the cause becomes all that matters.

The true worldview must be able to handle this situation. That is, whatever is ultimately true, it must enable us both to care about the sorrows of this world, and yet live balanced lives. It is ironic that the extremes tend to be callousness toward sorrows and caring about some cause, and that the causes can so often overshadow people. People become so passionate about causes that they no longer care about other people.

We must see even our causes as overshadowed by something greater, or our causes will become more ultimate than the people we claim to serve.

"And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
"But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to counsels, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved" Mark 13:7-13
 In this passage, Jesus places the news into perspective. The bad stuff--and it is bad--is to be expected. Expected, but not minimized. Yet it is placed in perspective by the last sentence: "But the one who endures to the end will be saved" There is a hope that we hold, that there is a God who holds the whole world in his hands, and who will, in the end, make all things right. So we work hard to make things better now, but we know we will not make things all better, for only God can, and God will. It is in light of the finished work of Christ that we can claim that we already have the victory, and this enables us to care, knowing that God, too cares. And it enables us to put causes in perspective, caring for others with the love of God, which we have seen in Christ, rather than caring first about what we do, for in Christ it is all done.

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