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Evil Is "Make-Believe"

Evil Sin Nature Naive

Source: Daily Wire

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-09-09

Scripture: Mark 7:21

Author: Illustration Exchange


A young American couple, Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, 29, quit their jobs to take a year-long bike trip around the world.  Sadly, the trip took a fatal turn on a route near the Afgan border where they were stabbed to death by alleged ISIS terrorists.  The couple ignored warnings about the dangers of the region, claiming to believe that evil was a make-believe concept. 

Earlier on their journey, while in Morocco, Austin wrote:

"You watch the news and you read the papers and you're led to believe that the world is a big, scary place. People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. People are ax murderers and monsters and worse.

I don't buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we've invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own—it's easier to dismiss an opinion as abhorrent than strive to understand it. Badness exists, sure, but even that's quite rare. By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this."



It's pretty shocking to think that anyone could be this naive.  You would think that all anyone would need to do is to watch or read the news to know that evil is alive and active in our world.  

But perhaps even more surprising is the denial that evil exists within ourselves.  For it is one thing to be suspicious of the "narrative" presented by the media; it's quite another to deny our own dark side.  It's not "make-believe" to believe that evil is real.  But it is pure fantasy to deny what we all know to be true within--sin dwells in all of us. 

There are consequences to living in denial of such a fundamental truth.  It causes us to turn a deaf ear, like the Geoghegans did, to important warnings we might otherwise heed. And there are also spiritual consequences to living in denial of the existence of evil. When we refuse to acknowledge the sin that dwells within us, we turn a deaf ear to God's warnings of impending judgment and to our own  personal need for salvation. 

As tragic as the story of the Geoghegans is, this is far more tragic.

"For it is from within, out of a person's heart, that evil thoughts come--sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person" (Mark 7:21-23). 

Vultures Swoop Down on Free Yard Sale

Greed Naive Ingratitude

Source: "'Vultures' at 'Free Yard Sale' Ransack Georgia Home, Too" by ALEXIS SHAW, ABC News, Oct. 26, 2012

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-10

Scripture: Matthew 19:16

Author: Illustration Exchange


A Georgia family facing foreclosure had its home ransacked by crowds that went way beyond items available at a "free yard sale" advertised on Craigslist.

Pamela Hobbs, 59, has lived in the same home in Woodstock, Ga., for the past 20 years, but she found out at the beginning of October that it was being foreclosed upon. … "We were just cleaning up and trying to get rid of some stuff so we wouldn't have so much to move if we did find a place," Hobbs told …The sale would start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, and would finish "when everything's gone."

Everything that was to be given away was put outside the home Tuesday night for people to take the next day. …
No one was at the home when people started to arrive for the sale. The family was staying with Hobbs' mother just five minutes away.

When Hobbs … arrived at the home just after 10 a.m., she said, nearly 20 cars were parked in the cul de sac and her house had been cleaned out by the time she arrived. "Someone broke in and opened the front door," said Hobbs. "Then, it was just a free for all."

While the family tried to explain that the things inside the home were off limits, people just walked away with their property. … "They basically emptied packed boxes, went through our things, and took what they wanted," Hobbs said. "It was just mayhem. It was like vultures."

Turns out, Ms. Hobbs left the front door unlocked, never expecting the crowds to violate her boundaries. After all, she was extending a hand of generosity, a hand of friendship. This is the thanks she got.


Kindness can be a dangerous endeavor these days. The world wants to ravage us much like these Craig's List yard sale "shoppers" ravaged poor Ms. Hobbs' home. When we extend a hand of friendship, we shouldn't be surprised when those we seek to help bite it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't extend the hand, but don't be guilty of naivety. Extend the hand, but guard the door.

"Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves" (Matthew 19:16).

Kindness Across America

Kindness Cultural Trends Naive

Source: ‘KINDNESS’ AUTHOR SHOT: Driver charged in Montana attack on man writing about U.S. compassion,” Tuesday, June 12, 2012, The Daily

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-06-13

Scripture: Leviticus 19:34 ; Galatians 5:9

Author: Illustration Exchange


In a strange twist of irony, a man on a mission to trek across the US to chronicle “The Kindness of America” was randomly shot while sitting by the side of the road eating his lunch. He had been on the journey less than a week.
According to Valley County, Montana, Sheriff Glen Meier, Ray Dolin, 39, “was sitting down to have a little lunch and this guy drives up. He thought he was going to give him a ride and as he approached the vehicle, the guy pulls out his weapon and shoots him. It’s as simple as that.”
Dolin had planned to take pictures and write memoirs of the kindness extended to him, a stranger, as he passed through communities from coast to coast.
Dolin is expected to make a full recovery, but whether he will resume his “Kindness” tour remains to be seen.


Mr. Dolin's optimistic view of the American spirit is admirable, but also a bit naïve. Certainly goodness and kindness still exist in our land, but violence and brutality are quickly becoming the new norm.

In fact, The Daily reports, “Crime rates across western North Dakota and eastern Montana have spiked as thousands of workers flock to a region that has become one of America’s top-producing oil regions.” With the influx of throngs of workers seeking quick riches, has come all that accompanies such materialistic madness—crime, exploitation, greed, and rather than random acts of kindness, random acts of violence.

As North Dakotans and Montanans mourn the loss of their quiet and quaint communities, so God mourned the loss of innocence as sin first entered the perfection of the garden. It only took a single act of sin to spread like a virus, infecting all of mankind. As the Scriptures contend, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (Galatians 5:9, NASB).

I hope Mr. Dolan continues his quest for kindness. But may he do so with his eyes wide open to the realities of our fallen world.

“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34)

Grace Is Just Too Easy

Grace Salvation Skepticism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-04-22

Scripture: Romans 6:23 ; John 3:3

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Sanguine Blood Of Jesus

Blood (of Jesus) Palm Sunday Optimism

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2019-04-15

Scripture: 1 John 1:7 ; Hebrews 9:22

Author: Thomas Bevers

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The Miracle Working Apple Seed

Mystery Miracles Innocence

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-07-21

Scripture: Matthew 18:3

Author: Mitchell Dillon

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Equal and Opposite Pressure

Cynicism Endurance God's Power

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-04-30

Scripture: 1 John 4:4

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Seek But Don't Find

Seeker Truth Cynicism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-08

Scripture: Matthew 7:7

Author: Andre Gide / Illustration Exchange

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The Peace Which Passes All Misunderstanding

Misunderstanding Forgiveness Prejudice

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-26

Scripture: Mark 11:25

Author: E. Stanley Jones / Illustration Exchange

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Facebook Year-In-Review Montages Upsetting to Some

New Year's Perspective Optimism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-12-29

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff / Illustration Exc

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