“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” ~ I Peter 5:8
Here we go again. For the second time in our lives, my husband and I find ourselves in a church that is being torn apart by―let’s just call it what it is―evil.
It doesn’t happen all at once. Evil doesn’t march into the front doors of a church and take it over at gunpoint. It happens bit by bit. A disgruntled person here. A malicious thread of gossip there. A ploy for power over there. It builds. It strengthens. It divides.
Satan isn’t stupid. He’s crafty and wily. Unfortunately, people are all too often agreeable to fall in line with his plans. Maybe not willfully. Maybe not knowingly. But they serve his purpose all the same. And make no mistake; Satan wants nothing more than to infiltrate the churches.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke
Equally unfortunate, people are all too often reluctant to stand in opposition. It’s hard to confront our brothers and sisters in Christ in a loving, honest way when they step over the line. It’s hard sometimes to even define that line. But we must.
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” ~ Galatians 5: 19-21
So how can we fight evil in the church?
“Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” ~ 1 Corinthians 5:13
That’s harsh. But it’s scriptural. Does it mean that a wicked man―or woman―can never be redeemed? Of course not! Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost. Any repentant sinner can come boldly before His throne. His forgiveness is beyond human understanding.
I know―because He forgave my sins.
Pray for those in churches who are causing strife, disputes, dissensions, and factions. But also pray that church leaders will make the hard decisions regarding those who are not repentant. Pray that good men and women will stand strong for the health of our churches. Overcome evil with good.
image from morguefile.com