We can overcome evil ideology with good

Published 2:01 am Saturday, August 19, 2017

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

These words are attributed to Edmund Burke, described as a philosopher, statesman, and founder of conservatism who served for many years in the British House of Commons 200 years ago.

Burke’s words came to mind following the hatred and violence we witnessed in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, has stated, “Every racist ideology, including the white nationalism and neo-Nazi rhetoric and images displayed by the so-called alt-right in Charlottesville, is rooted in the pit of hell. There’s no defending it. It’s not Christian. It’s not American. And it ought not even be associated with conservatism.” Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, recently wrote in an article for Christianity Today, “The Bible is clear that we will have sin in this world. There will be wrongs that need righting, and tears that need wiping away. The Bible is also clear that as long as His Church is in this world, His Holy Spirit is on the move. His Spirit must move in places like Charlottesville, reminding all that hate will not win….It is about evil and the gospel that defeats it. The time to stand up—and speak up—is now.”

Stonestreet has also said, “Only the biblical vision of the image of God can ground universal dignity, value, and establish human rights. Understanding the biblical concept of the fall keeps us from finding the enemy only in the other, as if the problem is always outside of ourselves. No, as Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote, ‘the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.’”

Stonestreet believes, “In the midst of events that tear and separate, the Church’s proclamation is of Christ and His salvation. So we pray for our country and we join in the work of Christ, recognizing that it is His love that will heal hurts, restore relationships, and bring unity to people who were once divided.”

The Scriptures tell us, “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). I witnessed that Scripture in action in the aftermath of the Charleston, S.C., mass shooting in 2015. A 23-year-old white supremacist killed nine people in a historically black church.

The First Baptist Church on Whatley Street held a prayer service following the shooting and invited our community to come. Ministers from black and white congregations prayed for unity and for the victim’s families. Each victim’s name was displayed in gold frame on the Communion Table, and they also displayed the name of the killer in a gold frame and we prayed for him and his family.

Do we really believe the words we teach our children to sing in Sunday School? “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.” A minister friend posted on Facebook a picture of a church sign that included these words to remind us…”Jesus did not come to save skin, but to save souls.”


Jan White is an award winning columnist. She can be reached at jwhite@andycable.com