The Weekly Update page is extracted from a weekly e-mail sent out by
Assistant Pastor Donna Pollock
I could hardly believe my eyes, although nothing seems to surprise me anymore, especially when it comes to wickedness. As if the news—reality!?–isn’t bad enough, one network is producing a television show called Evil. That’s easy! Evil comes naturally. How about tackling a difficult subject like goodness, instead? No less an authority than Jesus put matters bluntly, “If you all being evil know how to give good gifts to your children…” Ouch! He sweeps up all humanity in the arc of his description and pronounces us “evil.” That’s right, ontologically evil by nature. By comparison, Jesus also asserted that no one is good except God. Let’s be clear: Nobody is good. Not you, not me, no one. By definition humanity is inherently evil, according to the Bible. To say “human” is to say “evil.”
No wonder Jesus got himself crucified!
I’m not sure why evil seems more alluring or fascinating than good or goodness. Explain why Dante’s Divine Comedy is far more captivating and revered for the Inferno, depicting a lyrical descent into the horrors of hell, than for his lyrical expressions of an ascent to Purgatory and the upward tug of Paradise. I think [good] God is far more charismatic than any Satanic attractions. It’s just that, if Jesus is right, we are much more familiar with evil than we are with good or with God. Maybe we are inevitably and inexorably drawn toward evil, even if we try to resist. It’s part of our human nature, now that we have been infected and corrupted by the fall of Adam and Eve. The great Reform theologian, John Calvin, made much of the doctrine of “total human depravity.”
I’m not surprised when people fail, do what’s wrong, or behave badly. In a world tainted by sin, I expect things to end catastrophically much of the time. God’s Eden experiment should have ended there in the garden before the diseased contagion of sin spread throughout creation, infecting the fabric of absolutely everything in existence. The whole creation has been groaning says Paul. God could easily have stopped it. Decisively. But He didn’t. That’s the shocking surprise. God could have given up, could have pulled the plug, could have started over. But He didn’t. He let evil flourish when He could have prevented its multiplication. Was that good or evil, on God’s part? Ponder that!
All I can say is that our God doesn’t give up easily! Whatever God is up to, it’s not over until He says so. I say, “Good!”