–By Ben Gilmore
During the last few weeks it has been my honor to represent the late Mary-Elaine Swanson, author of John Locke – Philosopher of American Liberty. I have been an interview guest on nine radio programs across the country, promoting this outstanding work. Every American should have a copy in their library.
Those interviews included questions about our own organization, “ACH Study Groups.”
In turn that prompted a number of off-the-air exchanges with hosts and listeners. Some were uncomfortable with Locke’s views of “Natural Law“, what man may discover of the will of God through observation and reason. Others were uncomfortable with my optimism in the face of today’s rampant evil.
I will discuss Natural Law in a future letter. Today, I wish to discuss evil.
“E´VIL, n. Evil is natural or moral. Natural evil is any thing which produces pain, distress, loss or calamity, or which in any way disturbs the peace, impairs the happiness, or destroys the perfection of natural beings.
“Moral evil is any deviation of a moral agent from the rules of conduct prescribed to him by God, or by legitimate human authority; or it is any violation of the plain principles of justice and rectitude.
“There are also evils called civil, which affect injuriously the peace or prosperity of a city or state; and political evils, which injure a nation, in its public capacity.
“All wickedness, all crimes, all violations of law and right are moral evils. Diseases are natural evils, but they often proceed from moral evils.” [Noah Webster – 1828 Emphasis is mine]
I find only three human organizations in the Bible which God created and through which he deals: Family, Church, and Civil-Government (State). Thus, those supporting a single, “one-world”, government are in rebellion against God, who deals in individual nations.
The Bible teaches that God is no respecter of persons. Thus, those who would seek to subordinate others are violating God’s law of liberty.
To quote the late Harry Conn, “Sin is doing something legal, in an illegal or excessive manner.” Another definition, “Sin is rebellion against God’s will.” My bottom line definition for sin – “A selfish choice.” All of these fit into Webster’s definition for “evil”.
Today, there is much evidence of giant, well funded conspiracies, dedicated to the destruction of American exceptionalism and the creation of a stateless “one-world” government. Such conspiracies exist under ever-changing names. I suspect they are little different from the evil conspiracies challenged by America’s founders.
Evil, even the “rampant evil” we face today, is not new! It results from the universal depravity of man. We sin because we choose to!!!!! David was well aware how mean and evil Goliath was. David’s God was much bigger and more powerful than Goliath!
Those uncomfortable with my optimism happened to have spent much of their time studying evil conspiracies. Like the study of any rebellion (“sin”) it becomes addictive. Many conspriacy students appear to me to become obsessed with knowledge of the enemy’s plans and successes. They are ever-seeking more sensational examples, “to help awaken those unaware”. The enemy is happy to supply more things about himself for them to study.
What does this produce in their students? Certainly, knowledge of evil, awe at the size and scope of the problem, frustration with one’s inability to fight back, discouragement, fatalism. Not very productive results for one’s time and study!!
Our ACH curriculum has been criticized because we ignore evil conspiracies in our history and government outlines. Rather, we choose to focus upon “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God“. We demonstrate God’s hand in human history. Understanding these subjects creates a context for evil.
When evil stands alone, it appears larger than life. When evil stands beside what is good, it becomes a paper tiger!
Some view faith in God and prayer as passiveness. Not so! God said to the Israelites, “There is the promised land. I give it to you. Now, go fight for it!!!”
Rather, faith and prayer are the starting point. What follows is obedience to God’s instructions.