The triumph of the human spirit against oppression and evil flows from the individual decisions we make, the small positive things we do, as we refuse to yield the principle of Good.
Through the ages, men have chosen good over evil at great personal cost, because they understood that decisions do matter, right does matter, truth does matter, deeds matter. These things are not relative concepts, they are threads of gold in the weave of man’s soul, vestiges of the image of God. For man to retain his humanity the Good must be preserved and not sacrificed on the cold stone altar of relativistic expediency.
A modern illustration of the practical application of this truth is found in the life of Natan Sharansky, a Russian Jew who served nine years in the brutal Soviet Gulag for supporting the rights of Jews to emigrate to Israel. His autobiography, “Fear No Evil” catalogues his determination to live as a free man – that is, a man with a liberated soul – by demonstrating his contempt for the perverse morality of the Russian Secret Police under whose total power he endured unceasing harassment, punishment and deprivation.
As an inducement to easing his suffering he was asked to compromise his principles. “Who will ever know? What difference will it make? It is such a small thing…and it is for your own good,” he was told. But Sharansky saw the transcendent importance of his individual choice to remain faithful to the truth in the face of the KGB’s unrelenting pressure.
He wondered why it was so important to the KGB to psychologically destroy him and every other individual given into its unlimited control. At last he came to understand that the imperative for the KGB was to prove its legitimacy again and again, since even a single holdout undermined its contention that it was always right. Sharansky’s sufferings and his principled, lonely opposition to evil demonstratesd that one man who tells the truth in a nation of liars proves that truth is possible.
Individual Christians in America are increasingly being challenged to make such a stand. Are you ready?