In watching a Ray Vander Laan video, he talked about how the early Israelites came into the Promised Land after coming out of the desert. Having lived on manna provided by God, they came into a land of plenty where the Canaanites flourished. It struck my family what the Israelites must have thought. As my son said, “The Israelite’s God provided a desert and manna while the Canaanite’s God provided pizza and ice cream.” I’m not sure that is theological, but it makes the point!! Well, in adopting the Canaanite gods Baal and Asherah, they also adopted the other “fertility” practices of child sacrifice and sexual debauchery. Thus the Israelites acted like Canaanites during the week and worshipped God on the Sabbath. As we know, that didn’t work out so well as God didn’t merely call these practices wrong; God called them evil.
Today, there are a lot of sinful practices that we observe during the week while going to church on Sunday. Although we have all kinds of rationalities to make these practices okay, in some case we may actually refer to them as being wrong or not right. However, we hesitate to refer to our human behavior as being evil unless it is especially extreme. Neither God nor Jesus hesitated to call some of our behaviors evil.
We not only don’t use the word “evil” to describe our anti-God behaviors, we seek to call some of these behaviors “normal.” Yet, regardless of what we call some of our behaviors and practices in this land of pizza and ice cream, we should always be mindful that we don’t have the final word.