Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Most folks look at October 31 on the calendar and think spooks and goblins are on the prowl because it is Halloween. There are some who have nothing to do with it because it smacks of evil and, then, there are those who say it is just a night to howl and have some fun. Of course, the kids see it as a harmless time of loading up on all sorts of sweet treats! Regardless of where we are in regards to the merits of participation in this nocturnal event, it does raise a question or two about evil let loose in the world. At least, it does for some folks.
Our culture smiles and laughs at those who take seriously the possibility of evil running loose in the world, but then, some of those same people respond in the same way when it is mentioned that God is roaming the streets of communities and the hearts of people. For those of us who take the gospels seriously, evil is nothing to pretend into non-existence. Jesus kept running into those who were so under the influence of the evil one that their lives were distorted and destructive. He also taught those who followed him to pray for deliverance from evil. The gospel believer has every reason to believe that evil does exist and is on the prowl in the world around us.
Honesty demands that I admit I have never seen a demon in worship as Jesus encountered one in the synagogue. Neither have I ever seen any shadowy formless characters with horns, pitchfork, and long tail. But, I have from time to time run into moments in the life of the church when it seemed that the works of the flesh had taken over in such a way that the fruit of the Spirit seemed non-existent. So, while I have never seen an evil supernatural being roaming around the corridors of church buildings, there have been those times when I have seen the handiwork of evil being manifested in the hearts of those of us who strolled those holy corridors and worshipped in those holy sanctuaries.