We’re taking time this week with a much-repeated phrase: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
In the context of conservative churches, this saying has become a dangerous inducement to abandon Christian principles in the name of “doing something” about evil. All of that love your enemy, don’t seek revenge, wait on the Lord stuff just doesn’t cut it. Christian men need to do something about evil. With their tongues. With their fists. With their guns. Otherwise… well, you know what the quote says.
And yes, the Bible says we are here to serve and not to lord it over others. Says that we are citizens of heaven and not of this world. But we have to do something about evil! With our tongues. With our e-mails. With our vote. Otherwise… well, you know what the quote says.
What about things like non-violent resistance? What about denouncing injustice from outside the system? What about overcoming evil with good rather than answering it with evil? What about prayer? Nope. Sorry. Not good enough.
What about having the patience to let the Lord act? What about fighting evil empires with the same weapons the early Christians did? No way! If you haven’t noticed, they got thrown to the lions.
When we lay aside the fruit of the Spirit and embrace the works of the flesh, what do we think is really going on? Does that somehow become spiritual when done for a “good reason”?
When good men are induced to fight evil with evil, the result is still evil, no matter the initial justification. When we throw away the Kingdom’s armor and take up the world’s weapons, the triumph belongs to the world and not the Kingdom.
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to use evil’s tools to try and defeat it.