Summary: When good people do nothing, and just what should they be doing anyway...
One Sunday morning, everyone in one bright, beautiful, tiny town got up early and went to the local church.
Before the services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews and talking about their lives, their families, etc. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
Soon everyone was evacuated from the church, except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew, not moving... seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence. Now this confused Satan a bit, so he walked up to the man and said, "Don’t you know who I am?"
The man replied, "Yep, sure do."
Satan asked, "Aren’t you afraid of me?"
"Nope, sure ain’t," said the man.
Satan was a little perturbed at this and queried, "Why aren’t you afraid of me?"
The man calmly replied, "I’ve been married to your sister for 48 years."
Chances are, if evil did show up like that, we would take notice and hopefully do something. We have days set up to remember the fallen, when evil truly shows up. One example is April 15, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Yom haShoah Ve’Hagvura or Yom HaShoah (יום השואה yom ha-sho’āh, יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה-Yom ha-zikaron la-Shoah v’la-Gvura), "Holocaust Martyrs’ Remembrance Day" or, literally, "Remembrance day for The Holocaust and Heroism", takes place on the 27th day of the month Nisan, in the Hebrew calendar, which falls in the early spring. It is held every year in remembrance of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. It is a national memorial day in Israel.
However, evil doesn’t have to show up in a big way to seemingly “get ahead”.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
It does seem like evil triumphs, but we see what happens in the end…
7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
All evil has to do, is creep in a little bit at a time. We tend to overlook little things, because they don’t affect us. It’s like the instructions on how to cook a frog. If you throw a frog in boiling water, it’s coming right back out. If you put it in lukewarm water and gradually turn the heat up, the frog is cooked before it knows what happened. Evil and sin just have to creep into our lives in small increments.
I remember as a kid watching cartoons after school. My favorite one was G.I. Joe. At the end of the cartoon, they would have some kind of public service announcement. Telling kids to stay away from medicine that didn’t belong to them… To stay away from power lines… At the end, the kids would say, “And now we now…” Then the character would say, “And knowing is half the battle…”
Knowing is one half of the battle. We live in the Information Age – we are surrounded by knowledge that is good and bad. The Fairmont State Library has access to thousands of magazines and journals, and a few hundred thousand books. If you go to Google.com, and do a search, it takes:
- 0.12 seconds to generate 141,000,000 links for the word “Bible”
- 0.20 seconds to generate 325,000,000 links for the word “Church”
We should always strive to keep learning. Like others, including online writer Phil Elmore, I don’t think we should keep an open mind. Like an open box, things can fall in and out depending on how it is moved. We should, however, keep an active mind. We should think about what we hear – analyze it to see how it aligns with the Bible. Don’t blindly follow something even if it is tradition. So many times, it is things we do out of habit or tradition – things we have no explanation for – that lose their meaning and significance.