The Reality of Evil: What It Is and Why It Matters

From our service on October 3, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


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.

October 3, 2021 Service: “The Reality of Evil: What It Is and Why It Matters”

Evil is not a popular topic to preach on or discuss. But we live in a world that is full of evil, and the inclination to sin lurks within the hearts of all of us. Throughout history, human beings have struggled to create societies where all people’s rights are respected. Why does evil so often triumph over good, and how can we change that? Today, we begin a three-part series on evil: what it is, how it works, and how to overcome it.

Two-Minute Message: Temptation

This week’s short message by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch the video or read text below.

Temptation

From our service on February 28, 2021, a sermon by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch video below.


Would you rather have an itch and enjoy being able to scratch it, or would you rather have no itch at all? This is a profound philosophical question — a question that goes to the root of a lot of issues about the meaning of life and the human condition. All the great world religions address the human struggle with desire and temptation — one of the most important themes of life on earth and the challenge of the soul to gain mastery over the many impulses we experience.

Itching is a metaphor for desire, and as we all know, the temptation to scratch an itch can be one of the strongest feelings imaginable. One of the great questions of life is whether the itch is in control, or whether we are. Are we the masters of our desires, or are we mastered by them?

February 28, 2021 Service: “Temptation”

There are many things that people want in life, but only some things are good for us. A big part of the human experience is to learn how to choose wisely what we do and don’t do, according to our spiritual values, rather than acting only according to instinct.

In this week’s service, we focus on the theme of Temptation, and our calling to resist addictive and self-indulgent behavior that leads to suffering. We also tell the story of King Louis IX of France, a pious ruler who resisted the temptations of self-indulgence and corruption of worldly power.