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When Doing Good Becomes Doing Evil


The apostle Peter lived in a time and place where in the name of all things good, bad things were being done to him and his fellow believers.  In the midst of attempting to survive through these bad things, Peter told his readers to "live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us". (1 Peter 2:12)  Again, Peter's instructions might have been hard to take back then.  Doing good while others are doing evil to you doesn't come easily to any of us.   


In 1 Peter 2:14 Peter says something else about doing good and doing evil.  He says that government exists "to punish those who do evil and to commend those who do good". 


Our society, like the Roman society in Peter's day, defines matters of good and evil differently than Christians.  What is seen as good to Christians isn't necessarily seen as good to an anti-Christ culture.  Christians define good and evil from a fixed Biblical standpoint.  Our culture defines good and evil from a fluid humanistic standpoint.  Matters of good and evil vary from place to place, time to time, and person to person.  These differing definitions cause conflict.


Part of doing good in a Biblical sense is speaking out for what we know to be Biblical truth, as the first generation Christians did.  Standing up for truth is good.  In fact it's our Biblical mandate. The apostle Paul taught us to speak this truth, albeit in the most loving way possible. (Ephesians 4:15)  


There are a number of issues today where the world defines good and evil differently than Christians, abortion and gay marriage being two such issues.  The time has come when our refusal to follow society's lead on these and other issues is seen as intolerant, bigoted, and evil.  Refusing to perform a same sex wedding ceremony may seem Biblically good to us, but our anti-Christ culture sees it as evil.  So, as Peter clearly stated, we should be aware of the fact that government will punish those who they define as doing evil.  That places Christians in a painful predicament.  When our doing good becomes doing evil in the eyes of society, as it is fast becoming the case, we must follow Peter's instructions.  We don't chicken out and hide our heads in the sands of ignorant bliss.  We boldly stand up for the Biblical truth.  We love those who oppose us.  We accept the consequences of our refusal to participate.  We understand that the resulting suffering is a calling from God, so we're thankful to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Saviour. (1 Peter 2:21)  


None of us likes thinking about these things.  I would rather be raptured away to heaven before any hint of this stuff reaches our doorstep, but it's a bit late for that now.  It's already at our door, fumbling around with the door handle.  There's no use ignoring it and pretending it's not there.  Ignoring the reality of the world around us is not only unscriptural, it's spiritual suicide.  We won't be able to hide behind our blissful ignorance when the anti-Christ culture crashes through the Christian cocoon some of us are hiding in.  Take Peter's words seriously and prepare yourself for the coming conflict.   


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