Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Are we Evil? Part 1

Lately I feel like I have been learning a little about evil. I have been reading M.Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie,” watching Showtime’s series “Dexter,” and now I have come to reading the events of Mark 14 - 15. Of course simply watching the local news or walking down the street can also bring to light many examples of evil in the world.  
In Mark 14:43, Jesus’ story makes an abrupt turn. It seems like the forces of evil take hold. Jesus is betrayed and subjected to a bogus trial by the religious leaders of the day, then he is determined to be worthy only of death. It seems hard to understand how religious people might involve themselves in such a sinister plot. The situation brings to light some interesting principles concerning evil.
Initially, Peck makes the assertion that human evil is not normally instinctual to humans. I think if it was, there would be a lot less of us in the world. If killing was natural, then may be Jesus would not have even been given a semblance of a trial. Personally, I have done bad things, but I rarely see them as evil at the time. Even the unscrupulous Dr. Horrible had a motive of love.
Given this assumption, it seems to me that ulterior motives always exist. The wikipedia article I read about the trial suggests that the leaders may have seen the elimination of the Jesus movement as necessary to maintain the political status quo between the Roman government and the Jewish people. They may have been afraid that any unofficial leader might be seen as an uprising that would prompt an attack by the Roman army. In their minds, they may have not thought they were doing evil. They may have thought they were saving the lives of their people.
The good news is that the forces of evil did not ultimately win the war. We know that for sure. However, I think that evil wins too many battles because the enemies of evil fail to recognize it. Look out for the next two parts in this series where I will continue to use M.Scott Peck’s principles to deconstruct the events of Mark 14 and 15.

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