You cannot do right by doing wrong.
By David Grace (www.DavidGraceAuthor.com)
I’m not a religious person, but there are plenty of people who are. Worldwide, more people believe that, at least occasionally, a higher power takes an active role in people’s lives than people who don’t believe it.
Do You Believe That God & Satan Exist?
This column is for those people who do believe in the existence of an active and benevolent God and a malevolent and cunning Devil; a God who wants people to lead a more honorable life and a Devil who wants to lure people into sin.
What God Wants. What The Devil Wants.
If God’s primary rule might be expressed in Martin Luther King’s charge:
- “It’s always the right time to do the right thing”
then, I think that the Devil’s fundamental principle would be:
- “The ends justify the means.”
A Devil would be skilled in countless ways to fool people into straying from Christ’s path, but his primary technique would be to lure people into sin by promising that by doing what he asks they will get what they want.
Humans who lust for wealth, power or sex would be easy prey, barely taking much effort to trip them up. But those people are already so weak that they’re half lost before Satan ever touches them.
The most desirable of Satan’s victories would be the more difficult candidates, the men and women who think that they are immune to Satan’s lures because they’re sure that their dedication to the Lord will protect them from the Devil’s blandishments.
But they are like an armored soldier heedlessly advancing across a battlefield laced with hidden pits in the foolish belief that his sword and shield will certainly protect him.
You Cannot Do Right By Doing Wrong
Satan is too clever to tempt a righteous person with gold or sex or power. Instead, he offers the reward that the upstanding person most desires, the chance to vanquish God’s enemies. He fools them with the lie that a righteous person can do God’s work by fighting fire with fire, sin with sin.
“There is a bad man over there who is luring others into sin,” Satan, in the guise of an Angel (for Satan, ever the deceiver, would pretend to be an agent of God) tells the righteous man. “Stopping him is doing God’s work. Here, take this gun and kill him.”
This is Satan’s favorite deceit, as a false servant of God convincing people that they can do right by doing wrong.
His favorite lie is: “The ends justify the means” but the inescapable truth is: You cannot do right by doing wrong.
When the terrorist prepares to detonate a bomb in a church, his handler tells him, “You are doing God’s work. The ends justify the means.”
The IRA, the Taliban, mass killer Dylan Roof, on and on, have accepted Satan’s assurance: “Killing these people will help God’s cause. Sometimes you have to do wrong in order to do right. The ends justify the means.”
Many of you are thinking, “I wouldn’t be so foolish as to do a wrong thing in the hope that it would eventually yield many more right things.”
But Satan doesn’t need to be obvious and say, “Kill this man, steal this money, tell this lie and it will help God’s work.”
Evil Once Removed
Satan often justifies evil by disguising it as evil-once-removed. Instead of saying, “Kill this man, steal this money, tell this lie” he’ll tell you that you’re not a killer if you only help the killer in some mundane way.
He may not ask you to plant the bomb, only to feed and hide the terrorist who will explode the bomb.
“You didn’t do anything wrong,” Satan will assure you. “You didn’t pull the trigger. You just gave the gun and the bullets to the man who pulled the trigger.” Satan will assure you that “You’re not responsible for evil-once-removed.”
“You were just in the mob. All you did was shout a few slogans and march down the street. You didn’t lynch anyone. Your hand never touched the rope that the others looped over the oak tree’s limb. You couldn’t have stopped them if you’d tried. It’s not your fault.”
“You didn’t build the bomb. You didn’t set it off. You didn’t buy the dynamite. All you did was pick the bomber up at the bus station and drive him around town. If you hadn’t picked him up somebody else would have.
“If you had refused to transport him, nothing would have changed. It was the other people who made the bomb and set it off. They’re the ones who are responsible, not you.”
The lie is that the larger the number of people who help the criminal, the less each one of them is responsible for his crimes.
It’s not true.
The Wages Of Sin
The Catholic church chose to protect pedophiles, to let them continue doing evil things, because the Bishops thought that doing the right thing would hurt the church. The Bishops thought that doing the wrong thing in support of the right cause would have a good result.
They were wrong.
In the long run, doing the wrong thing in support of the right cause will always have a bad result.
How well did doing the wrong thing in support of the right cause work out for the Catholic Church?
Who respects or trusts the Catholic church now?
In the long run:
- You cannot get the right result by doing the wrong thing.
- You cannot get a good result by helping bad people.
Empowering A Bad Person To Get You What You Want Will End Badly
Let’s say that there’s a man whom you know lies, breaks his promises, and cheats. He’s an adulterer. He’s mean. He does bad things.
Satan, in his guise as an Angel, tells you that in spite of all his sins, this man will do the Lord’s work if you support him, that if you help this man he will use the power you give him to do God’s work.
You see this man’s lies, his deceit, his meanness, how corrupt he is. Should you help him anyway because you think he’s going use the power you give him to fight God’s enemies?
Which are you, an “It’s always the right time to do the right thing,” sort of person or an “The ends justify the means” sort of person?
Shouldn’t you ask yourself:
- What if this corrupt man fails to defeat God’s enemies?
- What if he only makes them angrier and stronger and more dedicated?
- What if after you’ve made him stronger he ends up turning on you?
- What if this is a Devil’s trick, that by getting you to lift up this corrupt man his corruption ends up tainting you?
Did protecting the pedophiles help the Catholic church or by doing so did the pedophiles’ sins end up tainting the church itself?
A Question For You
Do you think that Donald Trump is a decent person, that he is honest, faithful to his wife, trustworthy, kind, generous, caring? In your opinion is he a decent, honorable, good person?
If you do, then you can stop reading.
Good Works Do Not Come from Empowering Bad Men
If you think that DT is not a decent, honest, caring, truthful, trustworthy, honorable person, then ask yourself:
- “Is giving a dishonest, untrustworthy, narcissist control of the country in the hope that he will use that power to do what I want a good idea?”
- Is it a good idea to help the thief rob the bank in the hope that he will do good works with the money he steals?
- Is it a good idea to empower bad people in the hope that they will use the power you give them to do good things?
Good results do not come from empowering bad men.
Empowering bad men causes bad things.
Satan’s fundamental strategy is to get good people to do bad things and to help bad people by telling the lie that the bad people will use their power to do good.
The Devil Cheats
In the end, Satan always finds a way to cheat those who bargain with him.
“He who would sup with the Devil had best use a long spoon.”
Are you absolutely sure that in this case you have a long enough spoon?
Are you absolutely sure that empowering a bad man will get you what you want, and that if you get it, in the end, it will actually turn out to be the good thing you think it is?
Sometimes The Worst Punishment Is Getting What You Think You Want
Spock has line in the Star Trek episode, Amok Time, that goes like this:
“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”
You want to turn your beliefs on abortion and gay people into the law of the land and you’re willing to give a morally-corrupt person control of the country to do it.
If you succeed, you may find that empowering that bad man will not help you the way you think you will.
Why should people believe that you are a decent, righteous person when you have turned the country over to a bad person in order to get what you want?
The vicious dog you buy to bite others will likely end up biting you, your wife, or your children.
Take a lesson from the Catholic Church.
Helping bad people, for whatever reason, eventually ends up hurting the helper. What goes around, comes around.
Instead, remember that it’s always the right time to do the right thing.
–David Grace (www.DavidGraceAuthor.com)
If you know someone who is a dedicated Christian, please consider sending him or her a link to this column. They may strongly disagree with everything I’ve said, which is fine. My job is to expose people to the issues I have raised. Their agreement or disagreement with my point of view is a matter for their own, personal moral values.