Thursday, November 8, 2012


By:  S. Voysey

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that leveled an estimated 250,000 homes and 30,000 buildings, killing nearly 300,000 people. A cholera outbreak a few months later claimed thousands more lives.

Philosophers have a name for this kind of devastation. They call it natural evil. With its earthquakes, famines, diseases, and afflictions, the world can be a hostile place.

I visited Haiti once, before the quake. There I met many teenage Restaveks—domestic servants—who were treated as slaves. They were overworked by their owners and often beaten when they couldn’t complete their chores because of extreme fatigue. That’s moral evil— evil arising from the human heart. We know all too well how much moral evil infects the world. A Haitian pastor told me about the effects of Vodou (Voo-doo) on its worshipers. Once “possessed by ancestral spirits,” Vodou participants often change personalities, cut themselves, and do other self-destructive acts. We might call this demonic evil—evil from the dark spiritual realm.

Here’s the good news: Jesus came to defeat all three forms of evil! Mark’s gospel opens with Jesus exorcising an evil spirit from a possessed man (Mark 1: 21-28). He did the same for others (Mark 5: 1-20, 9: 14-27). Jesus combated moral evil by teaching love as the highest virtue (Mark 12: 28-34), promoting the values of faithfulness and servanthood (Mark 10: 42-45), and transforming thieves like Zacchaeus into generous benefactors (Luke 19: 1-10).

And when natural evil broke out, Jesus had the power to quell it. He calmed a raging storm (Mark 4: 37-39), miraculously provided food for the hungry (Mark 6: 30-44), and healed the diseased and broken (Mark 1: 40-45, 2: 1-12).

Evil met its match in Jesus—and was defeated. One day Jesus will return and eradicate evil entirely. Come, Lord Jesus!

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