The reaction of the American public with regards to the events in both Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, New York has been mixed and greatly divided along the lines of race, gender, and social-economic strata.
Many men of women of Caucasian ethnicity agreed with the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri which found that there was not enough evidence to take of police officer Darren Wilson to trial over the death of Michael Brown. A large proportion of men and women of color were not sure if justice was truly served in this situation.
With regards to the death of Mr. Eric Garner in New York City, a great many Americans of all races and nationalities (57% according to a recent Fox News Poll) feel that the police used “excessive force” and should have left Mr. Garner alone as he was not doing anything to warrant the level of “police action” that was leveled against him.
What is to be done about all of this social confusion in our body politic?
“Can we,” to quote the words of Mr. Rodney King more than twenty years ago, “just all get along?”
This journalist believes that the answer to Rodney King’s question is a resounding yes, but first we must attempt to come to grips with the origin and nature of “evil.”
The use of the word “evil” alone is enough to cause great apoplexy among certain groups of people – most notably “ethical relativists” who do not believe that there is at least one universal truth principle that can be embraced by all people and at all times.
In Judeo-Christian parlance, the word evil – to quote Saint Augustine – is the complete absence of good; it is the absence of GOD’S Goodness.
(The atheist might ask, “Who or What is GOD and how would we know if GOD exists?” This is a topic for another discussion… Smile!)
Let us begin in the Hebrew Bible and in the book of JOB.
In the book of JOB which is located in the books of Hebrew poetry, the protagonist JOB is allowed to experience tremendous pain and suffering on an unprecedented scale.
We the human beings who read and absorb this “sacred literature” of the narrative of JOB are allowed to eavesdrop on a conversation between GOD (the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe) and the “evil” Adversary or the Accuser of JOB – and All humanity – (Satan).
The Holy Bible in both the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and New Testament (Christian Bible) show that evil has a source or origin that goes back far before men and women inhabited planet earth.
Now in our world of “philosophical naturalism” talk of evil is dismissed as trivial or simple nonsense.
Many people in the academy have embraced a type of “blind macro-evolutionary” thought and thus they do not believe that anything exists beyond what you can see, test, or empirically measure.
The problem with this approach is that there are too many things associated with man as qua man and with human experience that cannot be measured in a “test tube” or in a “laboratory.”
A case in point is how do you measure abstract concepts and qualities such as love, hate, sacrifice, and human emotions?
How do you measure the mystery of human freedom and free will?
How do you explain the tremendous differentiation between Homo-Sapiens and the animal and the insect worlds?
Why is mankind speculative and reflective and why do animals exist simply through instinct?
Last, but not least, to quote C.S. Lewis how do we explain the fact that both the universe and life itself are miracles in themselves of first-rate proportions?
The men and women who embrace atheistic or secularist naturalism do not have an explanation that adequately explains the mystery of evil or possible ways to ameliorate and eliminate it.
Only men and women who embrace a Judeo-Christian worldview (a conceptual outlook or framework for evaluating reality) can address the many evils that beset the human community.
Jews and Christians historically have led Western Civilization in fighting against evils and injustices such as slavery, materialism (love of money and the atheistic worldview), sexism, infanticide, human narcissism, chauvinism, militarism, racism – and any other innumerous wrongs and slights…
Throughout the centuries, people who live out a Judeo-Christian worldview have taught and informed people through their sacred literature (Old and New Testaments) and within their holy communities to turn from the evils and “isms” mentioned above and to turn to “The Living GOD who is the Father of the spirits of all flesh” (Numbers 16.22).
Because Jews and Christians believe that GOD is eternal and immortal they have been willing to battle and fight against the “spirit of Amalek” – this is a spirit of tremendous evil that always attempts to ensnare and abduct human beings into acts of impurity and horrendous treachery.
The relativist does not have an answer of why human beings commit evil and is therefore incapable of developing a long-range successful solution.
Even though Jews and Christians possess different faiths – Jews still await the promised “Messiah” while Christians believe that “Messiah or Yeshua has already come in the person of JESUS CHRIST”; they nonetheless, share a commonality of values.
Jews and Christians possess a singular belief that true truth occurs by looking to the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – as HE has revealed Himself in the first five books of The Holy Bible.
These first five books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy –are commonly referred to as the “TORAH” (a word which means Teaching, Law, or Revelation…literally GOD’S Self-Disclosure).
In the next few weeks, I will explore the question of evil and how it is addressed within the framework of a Judeo-Christian worldview.
May GOD bless each and every one of you.