Saturday, December 18, 2010

No bargaining

I opened up a magazine (delivered from the States recently) and was shocked to see the words "Negotiating with Evil."

My first thought was, we do not bargain with Evil.

I really had a flash of end-times panic as I pictured Americans "negotiating" for their souls. The Bible is pretty clear that we are not to have anything to do with Evil.
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." (Eph. 5:8-11)
Then I looked up the author online, and my feelings changed...
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It turns out that there is a book called "Negotiating with Evil: How to Talk to Terrorists" by Mitchell B. Reiss. I believe that these kinds of books are written more out of fear than from love for mankind.

The production description explains, "in Negotiating with Evil, Reiss distills his experience to answer two questions more vital today than ever: Should we talk to terrorists? And if we do, how should we conduct the negotiations in order to gain what we want?"

What DO we want? And what would we have to sacrifice in order to keep the "peace"? Even if it is just keeping quiet about what we really believe, is it worth it?

It is interesting to consider: how do we separate Evil (the Devil) from people (who perform evil deeds)? After all, before we were with God, we were against Him ("...for you were once darkness...").

So while my first reaction is to want to avoid contact with evil-doers, I also remember Christ's example to love our enemies. I think about being a fool for Christ, and I also think about wanting to be "wise about what is good." (Rom. 16:19)

My thoughts go in circles...

2 comments:

  1. To be practical, since we haven't achieved anything through fake wars, at least we might try to talk with them and that doesn't necessarily means we are bargaining
    Don't know in christianity, but in Islam we believe that God created both good and evil for a reason
    Found an interesting interview of the book's author
    http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/resources/transcripts/0338.html

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  2. Hi Balqis, thanks for the link! It's interesting to read more about the author's viewpoint.

    In Christianity we believe that God created good. He did not create "evil" as it refers to sin and wickedness. However, He is Lord of all and therefore nothing happens without His allowing it. Therefore, He gives men the freedom to commit sin. He allows evil, but does not initiate it.

    "For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome." Psalm 5:4

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