I had just started to write another post but this one from Bruce Charlton caught my attention. I don’t always find myself in complete agreement with Dr. Charlton because we differ on our religious beliefs. Still I respect his ideas, and I appreciate that he seems to show respect for others — not a very common attitude in today’s world.
But I would love to be able to share this post of Dr. Charlton’s with a certain relative of mine. But that can’t happen; this person is hardened where political opinions are concerned, as are the great majority of people on that side of the politico-spiritual war. That kind of person flies into a rage at any word of disagreement.
I agree with Dr. Charlton on the spiritual state of most ‘believers’ today. I say ‘believers’ because I hesitate to apply the term Christian where it doesn’t express the truth of the matter. That’s where I differ with Dr. Charlton; where he says
But what people profess outwardly may not be true to what they think in their hearts; people can become very practiced at saying — and doing — what is expected, even if it is not wholehearted. The Pharisees and their ilk knew their Scripture inside out and represented themselves as ultra-religious and upright, better than others.
God, however, ‘knows the heart’, so he knows that some people are good at play-acting. I believe the originally Greek word ‘hypocrite’ as spoken by Jesus meant ‘play-actor’ or insincere person. There were ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ in that time. Now that Christianity is out of fashion, many people can’t be bothered to live their supposed faith in order to be respectable. There’s not much of a social payoff now; just the opposite.
I would say that no Christian with a real, heartfelt faith could side with evil.
Edmund Burke is quoted (some say it’s wrongly credited to him) as saying “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I say that a good man, a truly good man — would not be able to sit and ”do nothing” should evil be triumphing, as it seems to be at this very moment. And a real Christian could not side with evil, thus joining himself to it and aiding it. Then the impostor proves himself a false Christian, just as Burke’s hypothetical ‘good man’ would prove himself cowardly by his inaction in the face of a triumphant evil.