In today’s sermon we begin a three-part series about evil. Evil is an important topic for any sincere spiritual seeker, or indeed any thoughtful human being to consider. Today we’ll discuss the question of what is evil? — and perhaps more importantly, why it matters that we discuss it. In fact, why is it so important that I’ve decided to do three sermons on evil instead of just one?
Evil is real, and it’s a major aspect of the human condition. It’s popular nowadays, especially among liberal-thinking people in relatively free, stable, and prosperous countries, to discount the power and pervasiveness of evil and the human tendency to fall prey to it. Many optimistic, I would say naïve people believe that evil is merely the absence of good, and that the average person is essentially good and does not naturally feel any evil impulses that exert a powerful pull on the psyche. I profoundly disagree.