to humans, to animals, to our environment, to our economy, to our education, to our finances, and to our health
By: Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman
See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil
Are we to be like the three monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil? According to our Biblical teachings, we are to be exactly the opposite. We are to observe and hear about the evils in this world and then speak out against them. This is a key component to having dominion over this earth. To do otherwise, actually makes us a slave to the evil, corrupt, and violent things of this world, which actually promotes their spread and magnitude.
The major theme of Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth is his admonishment of their failure to correct the evil things that were going on in their church, and encouraging them to do what was right and proper in the sight of God and the community around them. Jesus gives John the Revelation and speaks out messages to the seven churches for their correction (Revelation 2 and 3). Sadly, today most of our churches are strangely silent about the majority of the evil things taking place in this world, and violence continues to increase unchecked.
Additionally, as evil and violence increase in the world, so the church seems to accept parts of it as being acceptable. This led to such historical tragedies as the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery, and the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.
These same kinds of things were happening in ancient Israel, and they caused the Lord to speak through Isaiah and say (1:15):
So when you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide My eyes from you,
Yes, even though you multiply prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood.
And these words still ring true, today, for we are doing many of the same things those Israelites were doing. But some people might become angry and say, "What blood do I have on my hands?" We have the blood of crime victims, the blood or those wounded or killed in wars, we have the blood of those we've allowed to suffer and die without proper nutrition or medical care, and we have the blood of billions of animals who we allow to suffer and die in our intensive and insensitive animal agriculture industry, because we have done little or nothing to prevent these things from happening. We do indeed have our hands covered with blood.
Let's continue and look at the next two verses (Isaiah 1:16-17) for they tell us the beginning of what we are to do:
Wash yourselves, and make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Reprove the ruthless;
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.
How do we know how to remove the evil and violent things from ourselves and the sight of God? We come to know, because we learn the difference between good and evil, and what the Lord requires of us. With our eyes and ears, we learn to do good and reject evil, and seek justice for the whole of creation. With our mouths, we speak out to reprove the ruthless people of this world, and we defend the orphans and plead for the widows and all oppressed people and animals of this world. It's as we read in Micah 6:8:
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
All of this requires us to see, and to hear, and to speak out to make a positive difference in this world. We can no longer afford to blind ourselves to the truth of the evils in this world, and to close our ears to the pleas for help from both humans and non-humans. We must speak out with loud and clear voices to end the evil, suffering, and violence in this world, or our silence will continue to promote violence, and our hands will continue to be covered with the blood of the innocent victims. And this blood will also be upon our hands if we fail to warn the evil doers of this world to cease from doing evil and to learn to do good (Ezekiel 3:17-21).
Church silence has and continues to promote violence, and it's time it stops!
The intent of this series is to wake up and encourage the Church to greater works of love and compassion (John 14:12). It is not to condemn the Church, in general, or any individual, any more than Jesus condemned the woman caught in adultery. Jesus said to her, "...go your way. From now on sin no more." (John 8:11) And this is our message to the Church: Recognize our sins of the past and go forth seeking to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48), correcting the sins of the past, for that is the only way we can truly show the world that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, might, and mind, including the whole of creation, which includes our neighbors whom we are to love as ourselves.
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