Therefore, there can be no such thing as a necessary evil. Necessary evil is an oxymoron, and the idea of it shouldn’t be tolerated anymore.
But does this mean that “necessary evil” is just evil, or just good? Is it the action itself or the sum of its consequences that determines whether it’s good or evil?
This is a tough question, so I’m going to look back to the relationship between God and the Enemy.
God sometimes permits the Enemy to act. We see this in the book of Job, and it makes sense of God’s all-powerful nature and the Enemy’s working. But why does God give the permission?
The Enemy is not God’s servant, seeking to serve Him in counter-intuitive ways. The Enemy is a thief and a destroyer, and utterly set against the keeper and creator. But God allows His Enemy to work, because He can work strength from weakness, and good even from evil.
So does this evil serve God? Only because of God’s goodness. The evil remains evil in itself, but is overwhelmed by goodness. That the darkness makes the light seem brighter, does not make darkness light. Evil presents the opportunity for good, but isn’t good itself.
From this I would say that “necessary evil” is actually just evil. Doing evil will not (without good intervention) result in good.
If doing good must involve God, then it must be wholly good, and not evil in any part. This means it must work entirely for God at all times. Therefore, the act itself must serve God directly.
Evil seeds will produce evil; hate will produce hate; violence will produce violence. But, love will produce love, and ‘the love never fails.’ (1Corinthians 13:8)
The Enemy thinks it has victory in all it does, because it cannot comprehend the power of God’s goodness, or His strength through weakness. Strength through weakness is, to the world, the fool’s approach.
We cannot use evil against evil. It will not work to the detriment of evil. At best, it will direct evil away from us, towards others.
In evil times (and when wouldn’t qualify?) evil seems most attractive, and goodness most powerless. But it is here that all things good are needed the most.
It is through the cross we were saved: not by vengeance and wrath with power, but by forgiveness and love with pain.
God bless you.
this as well. blessings. much truth in your words, sir. the early church fathers have quite a few wonderful quotes on non-violence as well.
a small sampling here http://rogueminister.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/quotes-the-early-church-on-war-and-violence/
Thank you very much, they’re a big help. Please don’t call me sir, brother.
This may be of interest to you, sir
In my eagerness to share the quotes, I see that I neglected to say, “Excellent post.”
Blessings, dear brother.
Another quote from Spurgeon that speaks to the point that you made.
“Ours is battling for the peace, and fighting for rest. We disturb the world to make it quiet, and turn it upside down to set it right….We have no sympathy with any other war, but count it an evil of the direst sort, let it be disguised as it may.”
(I highlighted that last phrase on my own page)
A quote that may be of interest, from Charles Spurgeon: “The Lord’s battles, what are they? Not the garment rolled in blood, not the noise, and smoke, and din of human slaughter. These may be the devil’s battles, if you please, but not the Lord’s. They may be days of God’s vengeance but in their strife the servant of Jesus may not mingle.”
Thank you very much. That quote is very encouraging.