Finding Good – The Hugh Hewitt Show

John Schroeder

Sun, Dec 10, 2023  | 
By John Schroeder

Finding Good

Yesterday I mentioned that, following cultural trends, the church seems to have done away with the concepts of sin and salvation and substituted concepts of personal fulfillment, but that in doing so it has made fulfillment impossible since the effort has eliminated the measuring stick.  We have become a church in search of comfort instead of righteousness.

The more I reflect on it, the more I think The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis may be some of the greatest literature ever written.  (If you can find the “out of print” and practically out of circulation John Cleese read audio book, you are in for a real treat.)  This work of Lewis is often overlooked because of its “gimmick,” letters from a senior tempter to a junior tempter working on a new Christian convert.  So many reject the idea of Satan, but even if you do, the gimmick provides a useful tool for seeing how evil rarely comes with a bang, but with a whimper, even in a disguise.

Think about it – no one, even the most heinous, embraces evil for the sake of evil.  They think they are doing good.  Even the great bug-a-boo of the contemporary world, the Nazis, thought they were in pursuit of a better Germany and a better Europe.  The genocide of the Jews was simply an unfortunate necessity to achieve that good.  Hamas was proud of the lives they took on October 7, some bragging to their parents about it, because they thought they were doing good, killing, beheading, raping.  Real, abiding, truly heinous evil requires a guise, a pretense of good.

Christianity in the United States has, in an effort to achieve “relevancy,” largely abandoned concepts of good and bad and substituted instead things like “wholeness.”  Now, in a sense that’s not wrong.  The end state of Christianity is, in fact “fulfillment,” “wholeness,” “contentment,” whatever such word you prefer.  The issue is not that – the issue is how to get there.  Those things are not achieved by the denial of our sinful state, but in the confession of it, the forgiveness of Christ, and our continual efforts, with God’s help, to overcome it.  We have used the good of the end state as a disguise for the evil of avoiding the effort to get there.  Using the end state as a disguise makes the end state impossible to achieve.  Screwtape would be proud.

It is Advent.  The Christian calendar begins afresh.  It begins with the miracle of the Incarnation, the infinite wrapping itself in the finite.  The magnitude of this miracle alone should be enough to drive us to our knees in confession – not of how unhappy we are, but of how we stand in the way of our own happiness.

John Schroeder General

2023-12-10 11:00:28 , The Hugh Hewitt Show

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