Back in my junior high English class I learned that all good stories rely on some sort of conflict. There are different kinds of conflict. Some stories deal with conflict between man. Some deal with man versus nature. Perhaps the best stories focus on the conflict between good versus evil. We love the conflict of good versus evil in our movies, books and television programs. And yet, I find that we often want to dismiss the reality of evil in our every day lives and world.
Like most people, I want to believe that people are basically good. I want to think that there is just good. I’ve come to realize that this is a skewed world view. Evil does exist. There is evil in the world as there are evil people. M. Scott Peck wrote a terrific study of evil in his book, The People of the Lie. To ignore the reality of evil is to live in denial.
The Bible tells of the ultimate conflict of good versus evil. God makes it clear that there is a constant spiritual struggle between good and evil. Much of Jesus ministry on Earth was confronting demonic spirits. This conflict will eventually come to a head. That’s, ultimately, what is revealed to John in his book of Revelation.
I don’t believe in witch hunts or inquisitions. The misguided hunt for evil has ultimately served evil’s purposes throughout history. Nevertheless, to ignore or deny the existence of evil serve’s evil’s purpose, as well. As C.S. Lewis taught, there are two mistakes we make when studying evil and demons. One is to put too much of our focus on it, the other is to ignore it altogether.