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The Church’s Response to Evil Acts

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Questions about Response to EvilGovernment will respond by proposing gun regulations.  Schools, malls, workplaces, etc. will tighten security. Caring citizens will join in memorial efforts.  And, we must address these issues. We must be vigilant in an increasingly violent world. We certainly should feel for and care about those directly affected by such evil.  But, who is going to get us beyond the mere symptoms and need for physical security and comfort?  Who is going to confront the heart?  Who is going to acknowledge and teach us to stand firm against the spiritual forces of evil also at work?

God has an answer for who is to be addressing the real issues — the Church. Think about His description of the church in 1 Timothy 3:15:

      … God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

God did not give that task to the media or to politicians.  The Church is to be the pillar and foundation of the truth.  If we don’t speak up, people are only going to get a skewed view of reality. The truth, however, is that which is going to set people free (Jn. 8:32).

So, what is the church’s response to evil acts?

1) Speak truth but do so in love (Eph. 4:15).  A Christ-like response is going to be full of both grace and truth (Jn. 1:14).

  • about the consequences of forgetting God and leaving Him out of our lives
  • about the results of Christians not being the light and salt they are to be in this world
  • about the real source of hope, peace, and security
  • about the need for heart change which can only come through a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives

2)  Be devoted to prayer (Acts 2:42; Col. 4:2).  God offers healing when we turn to Him but, here again, praying needs to be accompanied by truth. Token prayers or momentary pleas of desperation are not what God responds to by healing their land (2 Chron. 7:14). Our prayers need to be accompanied by:

  • acceptance of God’s sovereign role in this world (2 Chronicles 7:14 begins with the understanding that He is God. We are His people called by His name so it is about Him, not us.)
  • acknowledgement that we can’t make this world better on our own (2 Chronicles 7:14 says we must humble ourselves and pray.)
  • awareness of the need for His presence or very being to guide us in this world (2 Chronicles 7:14 adds that we are to pray and seek His face.)
  • admission of our failings in true repentance (2 Chronicles 7:14 shows that God not only looks at our words and attitudes as we pray but also our actions. We must turn from our wicked ways.)

3)  Exercise wisdom (Col. 4:5-6). Not sure what to say or do in these kinds of situations? God offers His wisdom to anyone who will ask it of Him (James 1:5).

  • wisdom in how we act in these kinds of situations toward those who don’t know the Lord (Col. 4:5)
  • wisdom in how to make the most of these opportunities to stand as pillars of truth (Col. 4:5)
  • wisdom in how to answer people’s questions and how to direct their hearts and minds to that which is truly important in life (Col. 4:6)

4)  Provide resources based on truth, not mere worldly solutions . . .

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist … (Eph. 6:14)

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2 Replies to “The Church’s Response to Evil Acts”

  1. Our response must be different–because WE are different. However, I don’t think our response should ever be about pointing fingers at the world, and telling them that they are wrong and in sin. It isn’t necessary, nor is it biblical. Our commission is to take the Good News–the Gospel to the world, not a rehearsal of their sins. The world knows that they are in sin, and that they aren’t aligned with God–and don’t need us to remind them of that fact. Whenever we take that stance, we end up repelling them, rather than drawing them. It has been the biggest failure of Evangelical Christians in America–and the reason for the hateful backlash that we now find coming against Christians in this country. We are not innocent–we have projected to society a harsh, hateful God while saying that He is loving, our actions have told a very different story. He will convict them of their sins–we don’t need to, and He doesn’t want or need us to do it. He called us, as His children to simply be salt and light in a dark world and tell them the Good News of His death, burial and resurrection, that’s all.
    He never told us to tell anyone that they will burn in Hell because they are homosexual, or because they have had abortions, etc. He offers all sinners–including liars, the haughty, greedy, selfish, and those who trample the poor the same plan of redemption–He sees us all with love and pity, and desires that we be saved. We could take a page from Jesus’ manner of soul-winning; find a common ground (as in the meeting of the adulterous woman at the well), meet the need, and allow the offer to be accepted before there is even any mention of “go and sin no more”.
    To win the world, we must “Go” and the message is the same–the Gospel; but our methods must change or vast numbers will be lost and their blood will be on our hands.

    • Thanks for those insightful words, Lisa. When we talk about taking a page from Jesus’ life, I can’t help but to keep going back to John 1:14 in how He came “full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14).” The word “and” is very important in that phrase. He was (is) both grace AND truth at the same time … 100% grace, 100% truth. He didn’t lay grace aside to speak truth and vice versa. Perhaps the truth we speak would be better received if it was more motivated by love, guided by love, and enveloped in love.

      And, how true that our message to the lost world is the Gospel, not condemnation … God’s GOOD News. — “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (Jn. 3:16-17) As communicated in a blog post some time ago, The Gospel Touches Every Need.

      Thanks too for pointing out the order of change using the woman at the well. Grace first (by grace we are saved through faith, not ourselves, Eph. 2:8-9) and then change (new creation “in Christ”, 1 Cor. 5:17).

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