Ravi Zacharias shared a quote today related to the nature of evil. He stated that “You will never define evil until you first define purpose.” What he was referring to was his attempt to get us to see that when we are functioning outside of our intended ‘telos’ or purpose then we are working contrary to our design and this can constitute what is meant by evil or sinful behavior.
Our purpose is defined by the One who created us. An architect who designs plans for the construction of a building or an engineer who designs the schematics for a new form of technology each have within their minds the way in which they have designed for their creation to function and the purpose that they have given to their creation.
Why would we expect any different from the One who created us? When we work and function within the parameters set for us, that is when we will experience the fullness of what it means to be ‘human.’ When we function outside of the telos or purpose given to us then we will experience the feelings of disconnect, emptiness and a sense of loss that so many experience today.
Ravi relates this to the idea of morality. We live in a world that often teaches that morals are relative and that either the individual decides or the culture decides what actions are normative for a certain generation or society. The problem, of course, with this thinking is that it doesn’t take into consideration any Designer. If it is true that we are the result of nothing more than an evolutionary event then of course there would not be a Moral Lawgiver or any accountability.
If there is a Moral Lawgiver then the sense of morality that we corporately share would be the result of a moral ‘hardwiring’ that exists in the very framework of humanity. These moral directives would surpass any personal opinions or cultural dictates that we might try to insist upon. When we chose to step outside of these parameters, we would be acting contrary to our design. We would cease to be functioning according to intended design and would not benefit from all it would mean to be ‘human.’ This does not impede freewill but would imply that to act contrary to design would be seen as a willful straying from purpose.
Now I know that many would see this as far too controlling or deterministic but we were given a gift and that was free will. We were then given boundaries which apply to behavior, our interactions with each other and with God. These boundaries are for our good because they allow for us to live a complete life, being what it means to be truly ‘human.’ We then can express our gratitude by acknowledging the Creator and His desires for our lives. We submit out of love for the One who gave us this life. Those who decide not to express gratitude to the One who created them willfully choose separation and reject the free gift of salvation that is needed to atone for the willful sins that we commit. They willfully choose eternal separation and the punishment that goes to them rightfully because they would not accept the Creator’s offer for their sin. They have made their final stand and it is on the side of selfish resistance. And before anyone has a chance to say how could a good God condemn. Realize that those that reject the Creator do so out of their own will and desire and in doing so they receive what they asked for- their freedom from God. But at what cost? In striving to be free from boundaries and accountability, they chain themselves with chains of their own making.
This is not the will of God for man. The Word says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”