South East Asian Theological Schools, Inc. Schools of Mission SOM-109 Structural Evil 1. Introduction to Structural Evil 7 BASIC ASSUMPTIONS 1. God is sovereign and He created all things both in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. 2. There are invisible realities and spiritual forces that influence historical events. 3. These spiritual forces are either good or bad. 4. There were two Falls: the fall of Satan and his demons and the fall of man and woman. 5. Satan and devils (powers and principalities) are personal evil spirits who attack the Church and hinder the spread of the Gospel. 6. There are structures of existence in our world and they are not evil by themselves but can be influenced by Satan to carry out his devious work – hence structural evil. 7. The transformation of nations requires that the Church deal with these visible and invisible forces.
Structure – the arrangement or interrelation of all the parts of a whole … forming an organism or organization. Structural evil includes attitudes or beliefs or culture – social; a system that creates lack of economic opportunities or alternatives – economic; unjust laws or law-‐enforcement system – political. It can also be religious. Stephen V. Monsma [Pursuing Justice in a Sinful World] gives helpful definition by examples of structural evil: “The pattern underlying structural evil may be formed by certain attitudes or beliefs, as is the case with racism. When this is the case, the evil becomes part of the society’s culture, supported by deeply ingrained beliefs and taboos. Or the pattern may be economic in nature. In this case the evil flows from the lack of certain economic opportunities or alternatives, a lack that forces people into poverty or unwanted occupations despite their desires, abilities, and efforts. Or the pattern may be political in nature, with the evil flowing from unjust laws or unjust law-‐enforcement systems. Bias and capricious rule, resulting in the loss of freedom and opportunity. Often structural evils are cultural, economic, and political all at once, with society’s values and biases and its economic and political systems all working together to hold down a certain region or group.” Understanding STRUCTURAL EVIL There are structured evils rooted in society’s prevailing religious, social, economic or political systems. The key element of structural evil is that it is organizational, a pattern or network that opposes the Kingdom. Structural evil is a system or pattern of beliefs or activities in an organization or culture that hinders or opposes the advance of God’s kingdom in this world. Examples of STRUCTURAL EVIL 1. Tax evasion 2. Caste system 3. Dowry 4. Sexual mutilation 5. Slavery 6. Racism – apartheid 7. Colonialism 8. Bribery/governmental corruption 9. Structures of sin
KEY ELEMENTS OF STRUCTURAL EVIL 1. Existence of wicked power or spirit. 2. Corporate: Organizational or Institutional. 3. Systemic, patterns, networks of activities or parts. 4. Multiple nature: laws, law enforcements, culture, taboos, attitudes, beliefs, lack of alternatives, repressive rule. 5. Can be social, political, economic, religious. 6. Aims to create chaos, division, injustice, human suffering or natural damage. 7. Opposes advance of Kingdom of God. POWERS & PRINCIPALITIES Ephesians 1:21 “All rule, authority, power, dominion.” Ephesians 2:2 “Prince of the power of the air.” Ephesians 6:11 “Scheme of the devil.” Ephesians 6:12 “Not against flesh & blood, against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Works Of Satan & His Minions 1. Sin And Temptation. 2. Demonization. 3. Division. 4. Illnesses (Lk 13:16), Mt 9:32, Epilepsy (Lk 9:42), Muteness , Blindness (Mk 9:25), Fever (Lk 4:39). 5. Disruption Of Nature -‐ Mk 4:39 (Storm), 2 Ki 3:27. 6. Disorder In Society & The State – World (Kosmos), Age (Aion) – Structural Evil. 7. Occult & Astrology (Humans Think They Can Manipulate Powers Of Darkness To Their Advantage). 8. Non-‐Christian Religions & Cults. 9. Opposition To God’s Work Of Salvation And The Missions Of The Church. THE MISSIONARY TASKS. 1. Evangelism & Church Planting PENAL SUBSTITUTION/JUSTIFIED BY FAITH • All have sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Ro 3:23). • The wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23; Eze 3:16FF, 18:4, 14:13ff). • Christ died for the sins of sinners and paid the penalty. He substituted for sinners (atonement) – Ro 5:8; Jo 3:16. • Faith in Christ brings forgiveness of sin (Eph 2:8), eternal life (Jo 1:12, 3:16), and freedom (Eph 2:1ff) & power over Satan.
• Justified by faith (Ro 5:1). SATURATION CHURCH PLANTING 1. Core group of national leaders agrees to do a national SCP. 2. Do research: unreached people groups, unchurched villages, analysis of existing church health, etc. 3. Call a national SCP congress (regional congresses) to share and discuss the research. 4. Each participating group makes a time-‐bound Church Growth goal. 5. Combine the individual goals – as the national goal. 6. Organize a movement or structure to coordinate the SCP. 7. Create Sub-‐Committees to provide support on key areas of ministry (Coordination, Finance, Research, Strategy, Policy, Church Relations, etc.). 8. Promote the new Movement and invite others to join. 9. Monitor and evaluate progress through periodic consultations. 10. Update research and hold a National Congress every five years. THE MISSIONARY TASKS. 1. Evangelism & Church Planting 2. Social Concern Social Concern Social Service Social Action Relieving human need Removing the causes of human need Philanthropic activity Political & economic activity Seeking to minister to families Seeking to transform the individuals, individuals & families and structures of society Works of mercy The quest for justice John Stott, 1985: 31. THE MISSIONARY TASKS. 1. Evangelism & Church Planting 2. Social Concern 3. Prayer And Fasting CRISTUS VICTOR • At the cross Christ defeated sin, death, and Satan (Jo 16:11; Mt 12:28). These now have no hold on believers. • All authority is given to Christ … He is far above all and every other name (Mt 28:18). • The Church as His Body shares this authority over Satan & evil spirits (Eph 1:22-‐23; Col. 2:9-‐10). • In Christ the believer is given the authority to disciple nations (Mt 28:19, 10:1ff; Lk 9:1ff; Eph 6:11,13).
• References: Mt 4:8ff; 2Co 4:4; Jo 12:31, 16:11,33; Col 2:15; He 2:14; 1 Jo 3:8; Re 5:5; Eph 6:10-‐18; Ja 4:7.
VICTORY OVER POWERS & PRINCIPALITIES • Mt 28:18ff -‐ … All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples… • Mt 10:1 cf Lk 9:1 – He gave (twelve disciples) authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. • 1Jo 3:8 – Christ came to destroy the devil’s work. • VICTORY OVER POWERS & PRINCIPALITIES • Col 2:15 – Powers and authorities disarmed, made a public spectacle, Christ triumphing over them by the cross. • He 2:14 – The devil who holds the power of death is destroyed and freedom from fear of death is given to believers. • Jo 14:12-‐14 – Greater things than this you will do… You may ask Me for anything in my name and I will do it. 2. Reaction Against Dealing With Structural Evil Christian Apathy Towards STRUCTURAL EVIL – 1 • Evangelical reaction to some contemporary psychological thought, which reduces human individual responsibility for sin.
Christian Apathy Towards STRUCTURAL EVIL – 2 o DENIAL OF EVIL o Sin is the result of socio-‐political categories. o Fallacy of false dilemma, i.e., either personal sin or structural evil. o Poem: o But I am happy for the lesson it (crimes) had taught, that everything I do that’s wrong, is someone else’s fault. Christian Apathy Towards STRUCTURAL EVIL – 3 o DISTANCE o The further from the sin, the less responsible (e.g. stockholder of Tobacco Company). o The fault lies with the person who chose to pay for his own death and funeral. o The human depravity. Christian Apathy Towards STRUCTURAL EVIL – 4 o DESIRE FOR NEUTRALITY. o Don’t rock the boat. o The primacy argument & the danger of disjunction. o Non-‐involvement. o With evil, there is no neutrality.
Christian Apathy Towards STRUCTURAL EVIL – 5 o DICHOTOMOUS VIEW OF MAN. o Man is made up of body (material) and soul (spiritual). o Matter is evil, soul (mind) is good (cf. Gnosticism & Nestorianism). o Deal only with the soul (cf. Primacy Argument). o Christian’s high view of the body (resurrection & blessed hope). o Model of Jesus (valued both body and soul in His ministry). Christian Apathy Towards STRUCTURAL EVIL – 6 o ADMISSION OF HELPLESSNESS o Church is powerless to deal with the overwhelming problem of structural evil or “I am alone” or Elijah syndrome. o Not trained politically to manage power. o Profiles of Courage: o Moses, Elijah, Jesus. o William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Cory Aquino. o Nisha Sharma on dowry system. Christian Apathy Towards STRUCTURAL EVIL – 7 o GROUP CONDITIONING o Group culture. o Seduction of the culture of corruption upon individuals. o Members have strong inertia to go against their own structure. o Frog in the kettle – good simply dies. o Anatomy of corruption: Hab. 2:18-‐19, 15-‐16, 6-‐12. Christian Apathy Towards STRUCTURAL EVIL – 8 o ACQUIESCENCE TO AUTHORITY o We didn’t do the act or approve of the government policy (cf. Ro 13:1-‐ 7; Trial at Nuremberg). o Human authority is derived from God and is subject to accountability. o We have a choice: Christ or Caesar; good or evil. o There is no moral hiding place. o The Christian task is to make what is moral legal and to declare illegal what is immoral. 3. Biblical Concepts Related to Structural Evil An Evangelical View
1. STRUCTURES ARE NOT EVIL. 2. STRUCTURES CAN BE INFLUENCED BY EVIL: • All have sinned (Ro 3:23). • Walked according to prince of the air (Eph 2:2ff.). • Satan influences evil men and women to carry out his purposes of resisting the will of God through structures and systems (laws, culture). • Influenced by evil (from Ro 13 to Re 13). 4. Scope Of Holistic Ministry 5. Structural Evil & What Evangelicals Can Do 1. Intensify evangelism and church planting.
2. Participate in Biblical social concern, e.g. concern for the poor. 3. Engage in prayer and fasting. 4. Model the Kingdom life in our local churches – peace, justice and righteousness. 5. Have faith for change.
Spiritual Warfare – 1: Identificational Repentance * Identify National sin (Lev. 18; Num. 35:33-‐34; Deut. 21:22-‐23; Hosea 4:2-‐3). * Corporate Confession of sin (Dan. 9:20; Neh. 1:5-‐6; 9:2; Deut. 9:18-‐20; Ezek. 22:31-‐32). * Apply Christ’s blood * Restitution as able. Reconciliation Walk * Tracking path of crusade (Lyn Green – YWAM) Spiritual Warfare – 2: Levels of Spiritual Warfare • Ground-‐level SP – casting out demons • Occult-‐level SP – dealing with astral powers & world of darkness • Strategic-‐level SP – confronting high-‐ranking territorial spirits assigned by Satan • Prayer Journeys o Field trips to practice prayer walking o Aid to spiritual mapping Spiritual Warfare – 3: Spiritual Mappings Identify the strong man: • Revelation of territorial prince or power. • Natural person whom Satan is using. • Identify corrupt social structures. • Bind him.
• Divide his spoils. Method • Historical or religious research (cf. Acts 16:18 – no name). • Prayer (Wagner: Seek God’s gifted intercessor; redemptive gift of the City, Territorial spirits assigned to the City, Corporate sin, God’s plan of attack and timing) 6. What Salvation Has Done! Equipping For Ministry Against Structural Evil
7. Towards A Holistic Approach To Structural Evil: Word, Work, & Wonders