From the pulpit: The modern churchs fear of evil

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Did you &8220;google&8221; today?

Isn&8217;t it easier to just &8220;google&8221; it?

It is amazing how the name of a $100 billion Internet company has become one of today&8217;s most popular verbs.

Not since the name Xerox became famous throughout offices across America as the verb to copy or reproduce something has a new generation of computer-savvy users created the same phenomena.

In the February 20, 2006 issue of Time magazine, an article on Google and its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, revealed something quite interesting about the Internet giant.

Their informal corporate motto is &8220;Don&8217;t be evil.&8221;

No one is exactly sure what Page and Brin mean by those three words other than to serve as a reminder to try to do the right thing in a complex world.

I know nothing of these Ph.D. candidates from Stanford University, other than Page being described as a computer geek from Michigan with a Muppet&8217;s voice and a rocket scientist&8217;s brain and Brin being born in Russia and raised outside Washington D.C.

I have no knowledge of their spiritual life, understanding of God or if they have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

However, their motto, &8220;don&8217;t be evil,&8221; raises some very interesting questions for us who are a part of the Church.

Why is it that so many post modern Christians do not want to hear of the topic of evil within the context of the Church, especially in light of the Bible&8217;s clear teachings on it?

The word evil is used 123 times in the New Testament and 472 times throughout the whole Bible.

Some of those passages include the following:

– &8220;Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.&8221; James 1:21

– &8220;For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.&8221; James 3:16

– &8220;. . .avoid every kind of evil.&8221;

1 Thessalonians 5:22

Evil in this world is a reality and the purpose of evil is to separate us from the love of God and the truth of God&8217;s Word.

We grow in our spiritual maturity when we recognize the reality of this spiritual truth and seek God&8217;s power to avoid every kind of evil that desires to destroy our marriages and families, our careers and character, our hope and our future.

This is why Jesus taught us to pray, &8220;…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.&8221;

The great lie of evil is that it doesn&8217;t exist, but thanks be to God that Jesus taught us the truth.

Mark Lacey serves as senior pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham. He can be reached by e-mail at