Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

No one does evil for evil's sake: quotes

"The interesting thing about evil is, the people who commit it do not often think of it as evil. Other people think of it as evil. Ceausescu and PolPot and Mao Tse-Dong and Hitler and Stalin: they are responsible in the last century for killing millions and millions of people, but they did not think that they were doing evil." Michael Stone, forensic psychiatrist.

I heard the above quote on the special features of The Thin Blue Line. Which reminded me of the following quote from C.S. Lewis:

"If Dualism is true then the Bad Power must be a being who likes badness for its own sake. But in reality we have no experience of anyone liking badness just because it is bad. The nearest we can get to it is in cruelty. But in real life people are cruel for one of two reasons - either because they are sadists, that is, because they have a sexual perversion which makes cruelty a cause of sensual pleasure to them, or else for the sake of something they are going to get out of it - money, or power, or safety. But pleasure, money, power and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much. i do not mean, of course, that the people who do this are not desperately wicked. I do mean that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way. You can be good for the mere sake of goodness : you cannot be bad for the mere sake of badness." -Mere Christianity

I think that these quotes are insightful and are helpful evangelistically. When we tell people of the gospel- the good news of the redemption in Jesus Christ- most people do not think that they need it- they do not need redemption from sin- because they do not see themselves as being that bad. Most people have had enough wrong done to themselves or to the people that they love that they do not imagine evil people DON'T EXIST- despite how obscured these categories may be- rather, they think that the "evil people" belong to another category than themselves. Most people will easily admit that no-one is perfect, but they think themselves to be GOOD deep down, whereas there are some people who are just evil and do evil things for evil's sake.

But thoughts like those expressed in the quotes above may cause people to rethink these categories. Because if we are all alike in seeking to do things for the sake of some good- each according to his own understanding- then the fact that so much evil results requires explanation.

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