Through the last 3 to 4 weeks, I have started a series on the highly volatile subject of “injustice” and “evil.”
The mere mention of these two terms is enough to set off people into a white-hot and inflamed debate.
Some people do not believe that “objective evil” even exists as a subject.
Other people define evil in a myriad of different ways that make it very difficult to tackle this entity of evil with a shared language.
This writer states and affirms that the “Judeo-Christian” value-system is the only philosophy that historically defines evil in a manner that can be traced over the last 4 millennium.
To trace our steps from the last several weeks, both the Old and New Testaments of The Holy Bible state that evil is an affront against the very nature, character, and person of The Creator of The Universe – or Almighty GOD.
Saint Augustine wrote that the book of Genesis articulates in the first two chapters what is known as man created in the “Imago Dei” (in the image of GOD).
GOD created mankind with many unique endowments:
- Mankind unlike non-mankind is a sentient being (we think, we reflect, we speculate and we mediate);
- Mankind has the ability to distance herself from her immediate environments – we call this “self-awareness”’;
- Mankind makes “moral judgments”;we call the study of moral judgments the branch of philosophy known as “ethics”;
- Finally, mankind possesses the ability to dream, imagine, and to think about a better reality.
The Judeo-Christian worldview states that while GOD created mankind in His Image, that ALL of Humanity from The Garden of Eden forward has “corrupted themselves.”
Historically, people who embrace a Judeo-Christian belief system have attempted to curb the evil in human hearts through the means of – (1.) Repentance; (2.) Reform; and (3.) Revolution.
Last week, we looked at addressing evil and injustice through repentance; today we look at addressing injustice / evil through “reform.”
Historically, both the Synagogue and the Christian Church have led the way of “reforming” many of the evil and injustices that have plagued American society.
Perhaps a few examples will suffice:
- The first anti-Slavery society was started by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was neither Jewish or Christian; he was a “Unitarian.” Nevertheless, one of Franklin’s closet friends was the Evangelist George Whitfield. Franklin wrote in his journal that the individual that he admired and emulated the most was “Jesus Christ.”
- The Abolitionist movement was fueled by a wide range of people from all faiths and religious practices who hated the “peculiar institution” of slavery;
- The “Temperance” and the “Women’s suffrage” (fighting for women to get the right to vote; a right that was eventually obtained in 1920) phenomena were driven by people of faith;
- Finally, the “Civil Rights Movement” started in Christian Church – the most successful part of the Civil Rights struggle from 1955 to 1970 – and spread like wildfire into the “Jewish synagogue” and into the broader American Society.
Why is the broader “reform” of culture so important?
Quite simply, people with a Judeo-Christian compass MUST address the society in which they live in because (a.) they have been commanded to do so and (b.) if they do not address the culture then people who are hostile to religiously grounded values will force their worldview upon everyone else.
Two historic and “secular” cases in point revolve around the French Revolution of 1790 – which sought to ban religious values from the public square and the modern movement to demonize and ban people of faith from discussing “science and politics” (see the works of the late literary genius Christopher Hitchens and the writings of the Zoologist Richard Dawkins – both of these men despised any reference to addressing human problems from a “faith based perspective”).
The nation’s current preoccupation with the rioting and racial strife in Ferguson, Missouri – and to a lesser extent New York City will not be successfully addressed by “talking heads.”
Talking heads, certain parts of the Civil Rights industry, and inflammatory broadcasters and writers in the news media make their living and huge compensation off of continued racial strife and by stroking the flames of hatred and animosity.
Men and Women who adhere to the “Judeo-Christian” value system have a means of addressing evil and injustice from a historic vantage point that has passed the tests of time.
GOD bless ALL of you and “Happy New Year!”