Photo By Oscar Keys
It often feels like the ‘religious’ make to big of a deal in regards to sin. Constantly belaboring the point over and over again, to such a degree that we’ve almost become numb to it. Sin and the depravity of man is this ‘numbness.’ It is the very thing we are born into and therefore are ‘slaves of.’ (Romans 6) It is incredibly uncomfortable to discuss how depraved human beings truly are, as very few understand or acknowledge it, especially in regards to themselves. It is often easy to recognize the evil within someone else, but when it comes to seeing it within ourselves, well… we often don’t. We are so quick to judge others without first looking in the mirror and seeing the characteristics we notice in others that we despise live inside of us first and foremost. In a sense the ugliness we recognize in others is really a reflection of the ugliness and wickedness that lives within our own hearts. “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3 ESV)
If you are someone who watches the news on a regular basis, you should not need to be reminded of just how much evil and suffering exists within the world in which we live. It exists everywhere, all the time. In fact the vast majority of our ‘news’ is completely devoted to it. If you read and watch regularly you will begin to wonder if there is any good at all in the world. It seems as if we as human beings are designed to kill and destroy one another. We cannot seem to get enough of evil, it is what motivates and drives us. Why? Surely there are ‘good’ people? We often think to ourselves, “I haven’t killed anyone” or “I have never committed…” If we were willing to really dig deep and look into ourselves with humility and honesty, I believe we would all find things deep down within us that frighten and scare us. The problem is that most of us never take the time to investigate the real evil that lies within us, we simply put on our ‘masks’ and surprise it and go about our lives. Eventually, however, this evil will bubble up to the surface. The longer we keep pushing it down and ignoring it the worse it will be when it rears its ugly head.
The 20th century was arguably the most evil century in human history. We as a species reached a climax, a ‘tipping point’ if you will, of complete and utter depravity. The enlightenment appears to have been a lie…
Nazi Germany and Hitler’s concentration camps, Mao Tse-tung and the communist revolution, Joseph Stalin & the gulags, Vladimir Lenin, Pol Pot & the Kmer Rouge, Armenian genocide, Rwandan genocide, etc. The atrocities committed within these 100 years alone should awaken us all to what it means to truly be human. As much as we like to think evil is committed by only a select few, on the contrary, it is actually committed by ordinary people just like you and me. In fact, I would argue that if you and I had been born in Germany around during Hitler’s reign it would be very easy for us to look the other way as we walked by concentration camps knowing full well the horror going on inside its walls as we just ‘go about our day.’ Especially when it comes to saving ourselves, most of us would be willing to work with these oppressive regimes in order to spare our own lives and the lives of our family members. We would be willing to cooperate as long as it meant our lives and the lives of our loved ones would be spared. If you take an honest look within yourself, you know this possibility exists within you, it most definitely exists within me.
“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
During the life of any heart this line keeps changing place; sometimes it is squeezed one way by exuberant evil and sometimes it shifts to allow enough space for good to flourish. One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being. At times he is close to being a devil, at times to sainthood. But his name doesn’t change, and to that name we ascribe the whole lot, good and evil.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
Roughly 54 million abortions have been performed from 1973 to 2011 since the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in the United States alone. (http://www.politifact.com/new-jersey/statements/2012/mar/18/chris-smith/chris-smith-says-more-54-million-abortions-have-be/)
“Speaking at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival, Frank Dikötter, a Hong Kong-based historian, said he found that during the time that Mao was enforcing the Great Leap Forward in 1958, in an effort to catch up with the economy of the Western world, he was responsible for overseeing “one of the worst catastrophes the world has ever known”.
Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million.” (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/maos-great-leap-forward-killed-45-million-in-four-years-2081630.html)
Joseph Stalin is believed to have killed an estimated 20 million to 60 million people during his reign of terror. (https://historyofrussia.org/stalin-killed-how-many-people/)
In her book “The Rape of Nan-king” Irish Chang writes:
“The Rape of Nanking should be remembered not only for the number of people slaughtered but for the cruel manner in which many met their deaths. Chinese men were used as bayonet practice and in decapitation contests. An estimated 20,000-80,000 Chinese women were raped. Many soldiers went beyond rape to disembowel women, slice off their breasts, nail them alive to walls. Fathers were forced to rape their daughters, and sons their mothers, as other family members watched. Not only did live burials, castration, the carving of organs, and the roasting of people become routine, but more diabolical tortures were practiced…” (Irish Chang, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II (New York: Basic Books, 1998), 6.) taken from (“Why does God Allow Evil?” Clay Jones Harvest House Publishers 2017 p. 54)
The list goes on and on and remember the majority of these atrocities occurred within the 20th Century alone! Something is seriously wrong with us!
However, people like Richard Dawkins don’t seemed to be phased by this sort of behavior. It is after all what we should expect in his view, “… In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” “DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.”
– Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life
So this is the enlightenment? How enlightened are we now really? Enlightened to what exactly? Are we simply just “biology” or “DNA” and dancing to its music? Steve Turner, an English Journalist has this so say about the modern mind:
We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don’t hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.
We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy is OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.
We believe that everything is getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.
We believe there’s something in
horoscopes, UFO’s and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man
just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher
although we think His good morals were bad.
We believe that all religions are basically the same–
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of
creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.
We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied,
then it’s compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.
We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What’s selected is average.
What’s average is normal.
What’s normal is good.
We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.
We believe that man is essentially good.
It’s only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.
We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.
We believe in the rejection of creeds,
and the flowering of individual thought.
“Chance” a post-script
If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.
Steve Turner, (English journalist), “Creed,” his satirical poem on the modern mind. Taken from Ravi Zacharias’ book Can Man live Without God? Pages 42-44