The events on 9/11 revealed yet another magnitude of human potential.
We only thought evil existed.
The great irony, or perhaps the common justification, is that a god insisted on such man-corroboration in death and destruction.
9/11 revealed once again that there are 3 types/groups of people.
GROUP ONE Evil does not exist, only wrong.
Group TWO Man is basically good, but capable of doing evil/wrong.
Group THREE Man is born evil, but capable of doing good.
It is hard to imagine that anyone who has reached their teen years could ever believe there is a Group ONE. The inspiration for hatred, murder and gossip are one and the same.
Group TWO has faith in a supposed intrinsic good seed down inside of man. Some call it “A spark of the divine”. On occasion, this divine spark short circuits and mankind reveals his potential for sin, selfishness and perhaps evil.
Finally, Group THREE insists that evil not only exists, it permeates all that man is. It is “A spark of the evil”, if you will. All it takes to be and to do evil is to be born. Such potential, like a virus, resides in us all just waiting for a depression in the immune system.
If evil is the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of light, then all three groups have something in common.
9/11 saw to such interpretation. That day was like all the mass murderers of history and time collaborating to inflict harm on behalf of their cause/god. It awakened several things in us all.
1-Anxiety. New levels of fear have permeated our world and we see the results.
2-Suspicion. Unlike basic caution, suspicion crosses the line into name-calling and guilty until proven innocent.
3-Hidden sin. I am going to hide my faults and accentuate my good deeds as “Proof” that I am good and not evil? (prejudiced, bigoted, etc.) I want everyone to perceive me as a “good man.”
Jesus had much to say about 9/11 and evil.
If you then, being evil. Jesus mentions us all as being “evil”. He puts us neatly into Group THREE before he instructs us to treat others the way we want to be treated—thus acting on a higher potential for good and not evil.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:7-12
Why do you call me good? Jesus omits himself from being good as only God is good. Then, as our ultimate example, he never realizes his potential to sin, wrong or evil.
“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good?
No one is good except God alone.” –Mark 10:18
The bible further depicts man’s state of deprivation. The heart of man is desperately wicked. Meaning, at our core we are not “good” as some suppose.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
DON’T BLAME GOD when our wounds and bruises are self-inflicted
“Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead.” James 1:13-15
The bible says that God is love by nature, and not evil. Evil is present when God is absent. Sin and evil remain delectable twins on our journey. From and by the sin of Adam, they stain us—mark us as rebels, determined to our own stubborn way.
WHAT IS REAL LOVE?
“Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is truly in our hearts.” (I John 4:10-12)
THERE IS GOOD NEWS AFTER ALL!
God loved us while WE WERE yet sinners. Yes, and God loves me no mater the fact of my not being good. This is contrary to those who (Group TWO) believe themselves to be good and doing good as a means of self-betterment and resulting acceptance by God. This makes the death of Christ unnecessary as my righteous deeds become enough.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”
“For if, by the trespass of the one man, (Adam) death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness (Jesus Christ—the second Adam) reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” Romans 5:6-10; 17
GROUPS ONE AND TWO offer us no hope but Group THREE sees beyond man’s supposed goodness and into hope derived from a truly unjust and unfair death of a sinless man for you and me.
Here is a love that evil will never comprehend. It stands the test of time and proves me to be a sinful, selfish creature, yet one with hope and new instructions, about which I am now internally capable of accomplishing.
Love for Enemies “This is what I say to all who will listen to me:
“Love your enemies and be good to everyone who hates you. Ask God to bless anyone who curses you and pray for everyone who is cruel to you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, don’t stop that person from slapping you on the other cheek. If someone wants to take your coat, don’t try to keep back your shirt. Give to everyone who asks and don’t ask people to return what they have taken from you. Treat others just as you want to be treated.
If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them. If you are kind only to someone who is kind to you, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners are kind to people who are kind to them. If you lend money only to someone you think will pay you back, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners lend to sinners because they think they will get it all back.
But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel. Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you.” –Jesus–Luke 6:27-36
Evil, such as seen on 9/11 will never comprehend this love–neither will it defeat it.
The categories aren’t mutually exclusive. I’m a Group 1 and a Group 2. It depends, however, on how “evil” and “wrong” are being defined and used. I think “wrong” behavior is behavior that diminishes the well being of people. It seems that since most people are born with the ability to have empathy, we are by default going to be more good that bad – behaving. I agree that there is plenty of very bad (wrong) behavior in the world. When it is exceptionally bad or seems inexplicable, most of us label it as “evil.”