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Monday, March 02, 2015

Sniper Hunting; Rooting out the Problem of Evil

We just saw 'American Sniper'! Based on a true story & directed by Clint Eastwood, it was, as is to be expected, a good representation of how 'war is hell'! Eastwood made this movie poignantly entertaining & as the final scenes unfolded, had most of the movie-goers sniffling & wiping away tears!

There is an obvious Presence of Evil in this Glorious World of ours, as this movie & others like it made very clear! How we face this problem is what makes the difference! In trying to eradicate evil, which is very right & good, we have chosen the option of killing human beings who are simply reacting to actions that have affected them. I say 'simply' & although it's really not that simple, it's not all 'black & white' either! There are some out there who are 'simply' evil & sometimes it seems like the best thing to do is to totally eradicate them!

'War IS Hell'! In many ways, war is the worst of all evils! War is not only evil because it is human beings killing fellow human beings; it is evil because of what it does to one of the most basic building-blocks of society! The hero of the movie, who ( spoiler alert ) dies most ingloriously, at the end, made the hard choice of leaving his warring ways & returning to the family who so desperately needed him! Although he knew that he was wanted overseas in order to protect American interests, he knew that his family needed him much more & so he chose to say goodbye to that hell!

While killing other human beings, even taking one's own life, may seem like the only & best way to eradicate evil ( 'kill'em all & let God sort'em out' ), the best way to eradicate evil is to stop acting evilly! Evil, like Love, is a choice & while Loving others is not a guarantee that you will be Loved in return, doing evilly is almost a guarantee that you will be treated evilly in return! Jesus taught His disciples to treat others how we would be treated & so, in most cases, we simply reap what we have sown when it comes to the problem of evil!

Another problem with war, especially foreign wars, is that it is perpetrated, many times, against innocent civilians who are simply defending their way of life against alien invaders! This is in no way to detract from the sacrifice of those who have blindly lost their lives in the struggle & given their all for a corporation ( U.S.A. ) that only looking out for the best interests of an elite! Though many who have fought & died for this corporation were doing what they thought was their duty, they were simply serving the interests of the American Empire; Jesus did not teach this!

The principle of 'an eye for an eye' is Scriptural; Jesus Himself even seems to uphold the principle of self-defense ( 'he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one' ( Luke 22:36 ), but He never advocated going into other countries & killing the infidel! Jesus taught His disciples to 'seek first the Kingdom of God' ( Matthew 6:33 ); He never taught them to seek the advancement of any kingdom of man! Even though it often seems that foreign wars are our nation's best defense, they most often serve as our nation's worst offense!

Like Love, Evil is bound up within the heart of man & woman, Christian & Muslim ( Matthew 15:19 )! By simply eradicating those that we perceive as 'evil' ( that's really all they're doing ), we're only creating more evil, the evils of war, the evil of hatred! We will never eradicate evil by killing those who are evil; it is only by refusing to perpetrate evil ourselves that we will ever eradicate evil! Only by eradicating the evil from our own lives can we ever hope to eradicate the evil from others hearts, because by killing those we perceive as evil, we only make his neighbor hate us & evil perseveres, because one evil turn deserves another, right?

Love conquered Evil when Jesus came to earth to walk as a Man & to deliver His People from the effects of Sin & Death! 'Why is there still Evil, then?', one might well ask. Because Evil is bound up in the hearts of men & women! Jesus delivered His People from the effects of the Sin & the Death brought about by Adam; He brought us back into the blessings of Communion with Him & it is only when we acknowledge our ( Covenant ) Family relationship with Him that we can ever hope to eradicate the evil within our own hearts, much less in the world around us!

When faced with The Problem of Evil,; we all have a choice to make: will we combat the evil with more evil ( even if we're told it's just ), or will we affect the evil for good, like Jesus did, 'not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling' ( I Peter 3:9 ( Isaiah 53:7 )? It is only natural to want revenge on someone when they wrong us, just as it is only natural to defend one's way of life, even their own nation! By not following Jesus' command to treat others as we would have them treat us ( Matthew 7:12 ), we have engendered much that is evil!

Charles Haddon Shank

2 comments:

bill said...

a hearty amen brother Charles thanks again for an awesome article

Charles Shank said...

You're welcome, Brother; thanks for the blessing! :)