When Being Called Evil Is a Kindness

Matt Barber
Matt Barber

Princeton University was founded in 1746 by devoutly Christian men with a devoutly Christian mission. It has "evolved" into a fortress of secular progressivism, presently employing people like bioethics professor Peter Singer.

Whereas Princeton’s crest and motto yet declare “Dei sub numine viget,” Latin for “Under God she flourishes,” the university still permits Singer to teach young minds full of mush that it’s perfectly ethical for parents to kill their babies within a one month period after birth.

Please understand I don’t mean to pick on Princeton. I only single out this once-godly institution for purposes of illustration. Even today there are, no doubt, many good, God-fearing men and women among Princeton’s student body, faculty, staff and alumni.

To be sure, I might just as easily have spotlighted Harvard, Yale, Oxford or any other dozens of formerly Christian universities that over time—and beneath the erosive slow-drip temptation to “conform to the pattern of this world” (Rom. 12:2, NIV)—have tragically abandoned their founding vision to train up men and women who would “go into all the world” (Mark 16:15) and champion the cause of Christ.

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While such institutions of higher learning once derived their moral compass from a decidedly biblical worldview, today they aggressively foster principles that are decidedly counter-biblical (i.e., secularism, sexual relativism and a “pro-choice” culture of death).

They’ve lost true north. Their once-seaworthy ship of biblical scholarship and worldview has become capsized. Their once-biblical code of belief has become counter-biblical dogma.

There is, mind you, another, more pointed term for counter-biblical, and it is this: evil.

Scripture has much to say about the wide, “progressive” path away from truth and toward evil: “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,’ and, ‘A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud’” (2 Pet. 2:20-22).

Scripture also admonishes, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Is. 5:20). So-called “progressives” frequently call me evil. They also call me, among other things, irreverent.

I appreciate that.

Since, by its very nature, one’s adherence to secular progressivism qualifies one as among “those who call evil good and good evil”—and since progressivism reveres that which God calls evil—to call me both evil and irreverent is to do me a kindness.

Indeed, due to my very direct and sometimes Swiftian approach to speaking biblical truth to our culture, many on the left have also called me hateful, uncivil, offensive, sarcastic and a litany of other colorful adjectives not fit for print.

To which I again say, "Thank you very much."

I don’t share this to boast, as I am certainly none too righteous. I second Paul’s declaration that I am the worst sinner of all, but I share this for illustrative purposes.

Jesus tells us, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:18-20, NKJV).

For Christians, those times when the right people call us the wrong things are among those times we should rejoice in our sufferings (Rom. 5:3).

Jesus commands His followers to be His hands and feet—to be salt and light in a rotting world that loves darkness (Matt. 5:13-16). While it is true that salt preserves, in an open wound, it also burns. Today’s relativist culture is an open wound. While it is true that light’s bright glare can be illuminating to those eager to see, light’s bright glare also blinds those whose eyes have become adjusted to darkness.

When the light of Christ is shined, it sends lovers of evil scurrying for the shadows. For this reason, Christ also warned, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:22, NIV).

There are, generally speaking, two kinds of sin. There are sins of commission and there are sins of omission. From my perspective—and I think it’s the biblical perspective—we Christians commit a sin of omission if we remain passive as our culture becomes “given over to a reprobate mind” (Rom. 1:28, KJV).

When we seek to be loved by the world—when we follow the Princeton model and take the wide path to mainstream acceptance—we abdicate our duty to “fight the good fight” (see 2 Tim. 4:7, NIV).

For the time has come of which Paul warned “when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:3-5).

Indeed, we are in a spiritual war for our culture. It is a war between good and evil, and surrender is not an option. When we disengage from this culture war, we have effectively surrendered, and again, from my perspective, we have sinned.

So put on the armor of God, Christian pastors, laymen, churches, organizations and universities. Prepare for war.

Because to do otherwise is to disobey God. As Matthew 5:13 warns, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

I, for one, have no intention of being trampled underfoot. With God’s help, I will “stand firm to the end” (Matt. 24:13).

And God only knows when the end will come.

Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war.     

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