A few years ago I was chatting with a friend who once was a Christian. She told me her reason for rejecting the Christian faith and it wasn’t one of the usual suspects. Her reason for rejecting Christianity was sin. Not sin in the Church or sin in her own life. No, she rejected Christianity because the Bible speaks of people being sinful and yes evil. She thinks that we can’t label anyone evil anymore. “What about Hitler I asked?” She pointed out that he probably had a troubled childhood and that it is wrong if us to judge him.
“Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. Happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences. You’ve given up good and evil for behaviorism… nothing is ever anybody’s fault. Look at me Officer Starling. Can you stand to say I’m evil?”
Lecter is denying that he is a result of his environment or his upbringing. He is saying that he himself is evil and this is the very thing that Agent Starling or our culture does not want to say. We don’t want to brand someone as evil we want to say that there were outside factors and they are responsible but this person is not evil.
But the Bible gives a different picture. The Bible never downplays the fact that outside influence shape behaviours. But it does call people evil and behaviours sinful.
When our culture denies that there is evil or tries to explain away sin and evil behaviours we have lost the ability to call things right and wrong. We have lost our moral compass. We live in an age where we should have the freedom to call behaviours/thoughts wrong or evil because evil is a word which has the most explanatory power in some situations
.As a Christian I can also say that evil has an finish date. Evil’s time will be up when Jesus comes back and rids the world of the evil that is destroying it. The very evil that our world tries to argue away.
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