I often blog about the struggle between living the Orthodox Christian way of life, and the worldly way of life. Some people ask me why I ‘always’ point out the evil in the world. It has been suggested that I blog too much doom and gloom. I won’t deny it because it is true. Be Transfigured Ministries was created to inspire us to live a NEW life in Christ, but how will we ever want a NEW life if we love the old one so much?
Tomorrow is the twentieth anniversary of “September 11th” a day which was dark and evil for America. Thousands lost their lives that day, and thousands more since then in the ‘War on Terror’. I remember that day like it was yesterday, watching the second tower collapse live on TV. In the days and weeks that followed, nobody questioned there was evil in the world. It was quite visible, and people vowed never to forget.
Churches were filled throughout the country in the days that followed September 11th, but it didn’t last. Eventually life returned ‘to normal’ and churches were again the image of empty theaters. What ever happened to ‘we will never forget’ that was so boldly broadcast? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we weren’t genuine. We were. We didn’t want to forget. The problem wasn’t our memory. The problem was our will power.
The Lord said to his disciples: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God." – John 3.16-21
We are approaching the Feast of the Holy Cross on September 14th and the Church already has begun to remind us through the daily readings of the struggle of the Christian life. Today we are reminded that God came to save us, but STILL many of us choose the darkness instead of the light. “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” What does it mean to do evil?
Evil was visible on September 11th. It was palpable. Unfortunately, in our daily lives we are blind to the evil in our own decisions. Just because we do not fly planes into buildings, does not mean we are not participating in evil. Evil is the opposite of God, and that takes many forms in our lives.
- We do evil when we speak nasty about or toward another person.
- We do evil when we act selfishly in the face of the needs of others.
- We do evil when we hold grudges and act with vengeance.
In short…we do evil when we sin….and we all sin. I guess it is why I focus on it so much because we choose it so much. The alternative is to pretend everything is good all the time, but deep down inside we know that just isn’t true. We cannot repent if we don’t acknowledge the evil in our deeds. It all boils down to this: God said, “Repent!” and the devil said, “You’re just fine the way you are.” If we were just fine, God would not have come to save us. We need saving, and the only way we allow God to save us is to come to the light rather than the darkness. We must take the first step, and want to Live A New Life In Christ.