When Men Call Good Evil

What is happening to the American value of good?

By Jim Allen

Bill Maher* is a stand-up comedian with strong political and religious views punctuated with sarcasm. While some believe he is an atheist, Maher does not ascribe to the label and believes there is an intelligent force of some kind out there in the Cosmos. In recent years he has become best known for his tirades against a wide range of topics including religion. Maher (on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno) said, "I hate religion. I think it's a neurological disorder." [1]

Maher is a true master at mocking people, places, and things, but appears to delight in religions that have done more to destroy than preserve the soul. While many tend to agree with his views, he does speak occasional truth. After all, who among us have not experienced or witnessed disquieting behavior in the church that justifiably invites scorn from the world? We can openly attest to the appalling impact these wayward religious practices have on people who are sincerely struggling to make sense of it all.

Love or hate him, Maher is a unique character unlike any we know. In his recent tirade on his Real Time show, "Maher called the story of Noah 'childish,' and then suggested that if the story were true, then God was a 'psychotic mass murderer.'" [2] Although I am not a fan of Maher, I was offended by this particular comment. Part of Maher's view about God's harsh judgment on humanity, I believe, can be attributed to not caring, knowing, or believing what the Bible teaches about the human condition.

Of course, Maher is not alone in his view. A growing number of evangelicals are failing to explain the necessity for God to deal harshly with sinfulness, the human condition. One glaring example of this failure is Part 2 of Mark Burnett's Bible miniseries. This part, in my opinion, was horrifyingly bad and not at all edifying. Scene after scene flooded the screen with hate, anger, violence, and bloodshed. In disgust, I stopped watching what appeared to be a horror movie with no plot.

Burnett, in my view, missed a golden opportunity to present God in a way that would have justified the destruction of Jericho and removal of the Philistines from Israel. Instead, Barnett focused on violence that portrayed God as a hideous monster with a deep thirst for blood and revenge. For Barnett, it was more important to show "what happened" than to explain "why it had to happen."

The Bible pulls no punches when it says everyone is born a sinner, dead to God and sons of the devil (Psalm 51:5; John 8:44). Scripture is candid when it says "no one is righteous, not even one" (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 14:1–3; Romans 3:23). God's decision to destroy the world in the days of Noah was to stop the madness. Men sinned exceedingly before God. Every imaginable perversion was acted upon frequently, privately and openly, and unashamedly. Today is no different from then and through the millennia. We do not need any more proof of man's remorseless perversion to convince us it is true.

God is holy (Isaiah 6:3). God is righteousness (Psalm 145:17). God will not abide in the presence of iniquity any more than we would abide in the presence of garbage. God hates sin because it has a spiritual dimension harboring a foul stench of darkness with the iniquitous power to destroy every soul. We abhor garbage because it smells from organic decomposition, appealing to every manner of insect and disease-carrying rodent.

Adam and Eve were the human cells of creation that went bad after exercising their free will against God (Genesis 3). God looks upon sin as a cancer-like disease that needs to be removed to save the soul. Who among us have not been touched by its revolting presence?

If cancer cells could think and reason, they would look upon the surgeon in the operating room as a "psychotic mass murder" with no thought for their survival. Of course, the cells would be right in their assessment. The surgeon would have the resolve and righteous duty to judge them unworthy of life. With invasive precision, the surgeon would remove the cancerous cells with one cut and dispose them in a sealed container for incineration.

In concert with the preceding thought Isaiah wrote, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20) The words of Isaiah were true then and are today. If people are going to blatantly label a good God as evil, then what hope do they have? Without the merciful embrace of the One they slander, they have no hope. They are like withering grass and fading flowers that dry in the sun and crumple to dust (Isaiah 40:8).

Is there hope for those who rail against God?

Saul of Tarsus was the standout Pharisee in his day, an elitist no less. He was part of the political and religious in crowd that hated Christians to the point of hunting them like animals (1 Corinthians 15:9). Saul called good evil and saw his own evil as good and yet God in merciful embrace forgave and saved him (Acts 9).

But, the Bible also says men have no excuse for not believing:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man…(Romans 1:20-23)

*William (Bill) Maher, Jr. (born January 20, 1956) is an American stand-up comedian, television host, political commentator, satirist, author, and actor. Before his current role as the host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher hosted a similar late-night talk show called Politically Incorrect, originally on Comedy Central and later on ABC – Source:

1. Bill Maher - The Tonight Show — April 21, 2004
2. Bill Maher Calls God Psychotic Mass Murderer

TagsBiblical-Truth  |  Current-Issues  |  Sin-Evil

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Published 3-24-2014