by: Gary L. Hutchens
What a travesty that many people commit acts of evil in the name of serving God! It’s easy to get some things confused. In most wars, for example, both sides commonly pray to God for guidance, protection and victory. Opposing political candidates will often each ask God’s blessing upon their candidacy. People on both sides of some social issues invoke God’s name in the position they take, suggesting thereby that God is with them and against the opposing position. Such demonstrates the inconsistency and frequent shortsightedness of human reasoning.
But there are some matters that should be clearly recognizable as contradictions in terms. To truly serve God, according to His will, is an act of godliness. To commit evil and call it serving God is a clear contradiction in terms. It is impossible to serve God through evil. It is impossible to be spiritual in committing an evil act. Sin is not godly, and godliness cannot be seen in sinfulness. The two principles are mutually exclusive.
Jesus instructed that we are to love God will all of our being (Matt. 22:37). His exhortation gives the sense that our devotion and commitment to God ought to be deep, sincere, even intense. But the degree of emotional intensity that one feels does not determine the righteousness of actions supposedly performed in service to God.
Loving God with all of our heart, soul and mind necessarily requires that we live godly lives. We demonstrate our love for God and dedication and devotion to Him by living righteously. The righteousness of our lives will not be determined by how loud or repeatedly we shout out our love for God (Matt. 15:8). The righteousness of our lives will be determined by whether or not we live according to God’s teachings.
Committing an evil act while claiming it to be done in service to God does not change it from being an evil act, and committing evil is not serving God! While a strong case might be made from scripture for abortion being ungodly, executing a doctor that performs abortions is murder, and murder cannot be justified by claiming that it was done to serve God. Committing acts of terror against innocent civilians is ungodly and cannot be justified by saying they were done out of devotion to God. Taking to the streets in violence is not an action that demonstrates godliness.
Committing sexual immorality is sin. Trying to dress it up, claiming that it reflects love from God, does not change the fact that it is immoral and therefore sinful. Some describe the love they claim to feel in a sexually immoral relationship as a blessing from God. Imagine how God must cringe at such a statement, a sinner identifying his sin as sanctioned by God! Sin separates us from God! (Isa. 59:2).
How many people have gotten into heated arguments, leading to cursing and yelling and physical violence, all in the name of standing up for God? How many people in a drunken condition have looked somebody in the eye and told them how much they love God? How many lies have been told in the name of loving God? All manner of sin is attempted to be justified by somehow claiming that it is done in service to God.
Remember, serving God is an act of godliness, and sin is never godly! No matter how skillfully worded or sincerely felt, claiming sin to be spiritual does not justify the sin. If we truly love and wish to serve God, we will live by His teachings (Jn. 14:15)…
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Gary L. Hutchens