Devon Dick | Why do Christians do bad things?
Lieutenant Kyodia Burnett, a soldier, it is claimed, killed his wife Nordraka Williams Burnett, attorney-at-law. She is said to have died from stab wounds. The couple had two young children, who were in the house when she was killed. A neighbour described the couple as decent people, "Christians who went to church every Sunday ... I have never heard dem argue". The deceased described herself as 'daughter of the only living God. Wife of one man. Mother of two girls. God's handiwork' (The Weekend Star Dec 14-16). It is obvious that the neighbour did not entertain the thought that Christians can engage in awful acts.
Why do Christians do bad things? Because Christians are not perfect. Christians often fall short of God's standards, miss the mark of God's righteousness, and even rebel against God's purpose. In addition, there is a constant war between doing good and doing evil within the mind. So, for many, the struggle is knowing the good and wanting to do good, and yet still doing what is wrong. And sometimes the evil we want to refrain from is exactly what we do. There is this tussle in our inner being between living righteously and living wantonly, and sometimes the latter gets the better of us.
It is therefore, possible that a non-Christian commits fewer bad things that a Christian. In fact, it is possible that Christians have done more awful things that even non-Christians. The senseless and gruesome wars initiated in the name of Christ is a testament to Christians gone wild.
DESIRES GOD'S HELP
Furthermore, being a Christian is an acknowledgement that one desires the help of God as revealed in Jesus, the Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be good and to live better. It is wanting to love God with our entire being and love neighbour as self.
The advent of God in the form of flesh, in a unique way in Jesus, is a demonstration that flesh is good. Furthermore, Jesus was showing humankind what is possible in the flesh; what humans can become. Every person has the potential to live godly lives. Everybody can overcome the propensity to transform evil thoughts into wicked deeds. Each person can recapture that glorious image of God and be creative in living and help others rather than harming them.
In fact, when Christians do bad things it shows how ugly and destructive sin is. When sin is let loose it can cause great pain. Therefore, even for Christians, it is a daily struggle to overcome the tests and the temptations of life. Being a Christian is a process of daily victory over sin. In fact, past victories is not a guarantee of continued victories, but, rather, indicative of what is possible with God being our helper. Having experienced pardon for our sins through Jesus, it means that the Evil One does not have dominion over our lives. Satan no longer reigns in our lives. The shackles of sin have been broken. However, it is possible that Christians will do bad things when we fail to rely on God.
Christians are not immune to doing bad things. Christians are not above doing wrong things. So, one should not be surprised if someone who calls the name of Christ will be named as being involved in the Petrojam scandal; kickbacks and bribes; being producers and benefactors of violence; and even kill a loved one. Instead, when these bad things occur, let it remind us that we all need the help of God to overcome these tests of life.
I hope my readers had a Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year.
- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com