Recently I had our staff read a book by Eugene Peterson called, The Pastor. There was a part where a nun said to him, “You Protestants know everything about sin and nothing about evil.” It has me thinking.
What is the difference? Is there a difference?
Isn’t sin evil? Isn’t evil sin?
I wonder if what she meant was that we tend to focus on all of the things that people do and forget who they are? I wonder if she had heard one too many people say that all sin is the same. That the one who lost his temper at the stoplight is the same as the Bernie Madoffs who systematically steal the retirement of investors to fuel their own lust for power. That the Lindsay Lohen’s shoplifting is on par with Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust.
I wonder if the difference between sin and evil is sin is something you can point your finger to and evil is someone from whom you run. Sin is something you do. Evil is something you are.
Evil is a different substance than sin. Evil comes up scaly and serpentine from the bowels of Hell. Sin is an act of disobedience. Sin is a child who makes a mess. Evil is a man who is a vandal.
The Gospel is this—Sin and Evil find their death and we find our resurrection in Righteousness Himself. We find our hope and our life in the One who for sin and evil died and for new creation rose from the dead.
In the name of the Resurrected Jesus find your freedom from both.