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Shall We Endorse Evil That Good May Result?

Shall We Endorse Evil That Good May Result?

“And why not do evil that good may come?”
Romans 3:8a

Or, to put it another way, “Do the ends justify the means?”

Or, to put it in more biblical terms, “Should we compromise what we know is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise if we think the result may be something good?”

Or, to be more specific, “Should we support a morally repugnant and unqualified person if we suspect some good may result from it?”

What is a Christian to do if casting a particular vote requires not just holding one’s nose but also closing one’s ears and covering one’s eyes and hurting one’s sisters and further fracturing relationships between races and violating other principles of Scripture related to keeping counsel of fools or hating our enemies? There are Supreme Court justices at stake, after all.

Perhaps there are better things than winning. Like an appeal to a good conscience before God (1 Pet. 3:21).

God used King David, an adulterer. (And, if we’re factoring in one’s views of abortion, also a murderer, by the way.) This is undoubtedly true. But the reality that God can use anybody and anything is not itself a commendation of endorsing anybody and anything. Biblically speaking, the truth is that the ends do not justify the means.

Let’s think about how the whole king of Israel thing happened. The people of God demanded a king (1 Samuel 8). A political messiah. Someone to solve their problems and mete out justice. Why did they do this? Fear, mainly. Envy of other nations, also. God gave them what they wanted. He can use anybody. But he makes it clear that this desire is not godly. It’s not always a good thing when God “gives us what we want.” It’s not always a good thing to get what we want, even if our motives are sincere. No, it’s never a good thing to compromise godliness and cast our lots with evil even if we suspect something good may result. Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to us is for God to give us what we want. “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them” (1 Samuel 8:7).

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Jared C. Wilson is the Director of Content Strategy for Midwestern Seminary, managing editor of For The Church, Director of the Pastoral Training Center at Liberty Baptist Church, and author of numerous books, including Gospel Wakefulness, The Pastor’s Justification, The Prodigal Church, The Imperfect Disciple, and Supernatural Power for Everyday People. A frequent preacher and speaker at churches and conferences, you can visit him online at jaredcwilson.com or follow him on Twitter.