“The People Of The Lie”
1983 A Touchstone Book…Published by Simon Shuster
Evil And Sin
…It is necessary to draw the distinction between evil and ordinary sin. It is not their sins per se that characterize evil people, rather it is the subtlety and persistence and consistency of their sins. This is because the central defect of the evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it.
…The evil appear to be most ordinary. They live down the street..on any street. They may be rich or poor, educated or uneducated. There is little that is dramatic about them. They are not designated criminals. More often than not they will be “solid citizens”-Sunday school teachers, policemen, or bankers, and active in the PTA.
How can this be? How can they be evil and not designated as criminals? The key lies in the word “designated.” They are criminals in that they commit “crimes” against life and liveliness. But except in rare instances-such as the case of a Hitler-when they might achieve extraordinary degree of political power that remove them from ordinary restraints, their “crimes” are so subtle and covert that they cannot clearly be designated as crimes. The theme of hiding and covertness will occur again and again throughout the rest of the book. It is the basis for the title “The People Of the Lie.”
I have spent a good deal of time working in prisons with designate criminals. Almost never have I experienced them as evil people. Obviously they are destructive, and usually repetitively so. But there is a kind of randomness to their destructiveness. Moreover, although to the authorities they generally deny responsibility for their evil deeds, there is still a quality of openness to their wickedness. They themselves are quick to point this out, claiming that they have been caught precisely because they are the “honest criminals.” The truly evil, they will tell you, always reside outside of jail. Clearly these proclamations are self-justifying. They are also, I believe, generally accurate.
Sinning is most broadly defined as “missing the mark.” This means that we sin every time we fail to hit the bull’s-eye. Sin is nothing more and nothing less than a failure to be continually perfect. Because it is impossible for us to be continually perfect, we are all sinners. We routinely fail to do the very best of which we are capable, and with each failure we commit a crime of sorts-against God, our neighbors, or ourselves, if not frankly against the law.
I read, “The People of the Lie,” when I was 28 years old. It was suggested to me by a psychologist who tried to define evil in a meaning I could understand. How did I not know the meaning of evil one may ask.
I then would ask how is it you understand the meaning of evil? Who is a sinner?
Passive aggressive behavior comes to mind. This definition took years to understand via experience. A passive aggressive person can smile with kindness. They will appear helpful and caring. Yet, behind your back they are working against you. They plan your demise with a smile. They find pleasure in your pain.
This behavior in my view is evil There is nothing sinful about it other than it goes against good. We all sin in our carnal nature.
Yet, does that sin lead us to plan the demise of another’s soul? Does sin lead a person to plan the destruction of another’s spirit? I think not.
Sin is a transgression against our Father. In my view sin is a self serving act that brings pleasure, pain, indecision and stirs the carnal nature of primitive man. We all sin.
Yet an evil person may appear fine in character and nature. They may not appear as sinners. Pillars of society perhaps. Those who automatically get the respect from the other evil people who lie.
How can a sinner know?
This sinner defines all encounters on a spiritual level. A level that is reached without words or intentions. A spirit moves in ways only another spirit can connect. I call it a spiritual touch down.
If a person comes to me in his or her spirit I can not deny them. I can not walk away from them. I can only meet that greet with an earnest innocence. An innocence that transcends common sense or logic.
The world is filled with simple minded people who only understand their carnal nature. They judge what they do not understand. They manipulate another to get them in line with their views. It is by their definition you must live to be accepted. It is manipulation. “Give your life to Jesus,” they will say as they step over the homeless man sleeping atop a manhole.
Be that man atop the manhole. How would you view the person who says, “Give your life to Jesus,” as that person looks upon and walks past your suffering? Would the man view you as evil or a sinner? I say both.
To see one suffering and not to pray is an insult to any spirit. Yet, to walk past that suffering recognizing the human being must be evil. It must be evil for that person knows and did nothing other than watch and pass over suffering.
What if that man is Jesus?
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
King James Version (KJV)
1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
King James Version (KJV)
In my life I have found that I can not nor will I ever allow people to feed from my pain. People will feed from the pain of other’s as if they are watching a movie. Is this what we have become as a society? I do not have the answers to what ails my spirit this day.
I pray to God that The People of The Lie are repelled and devoured by the strength of my spirit that will rise no matter. No matter my spirit will rise.