I am watching a show called ‘Most Evil’ and I am a bit intrigued by the studies done on the show – concerning with what I think is the difference between following God’s teachings and not – but following evil. Here is a scale of 22 level’s of evil:
The scale of evil (from Wikipedia)
|01||Those who kill in self-defense and do not show psychopathic tendencies|
|02||Jealous lovers who, though egocentric or immature, are not psychopathic|
|03||Willing companions of killers: aberrant personality – probably impulse-ridden, with antisocial traits|
|04||Kill in self-defense, but had been extremely provocative towards the victim|
|05||Traumatized, desperate people who kill abusive relatives and others (like to support a drug habit) but lack significant traits. Genuinely remorseful.|
|06||Impetuous, hotheaded murderers, yet without marked psychopathic features|
|07||Highly narcissistic, not distinctly psychopathic people with a psychotic core who kill people close to them (jealousy an underlying motive)|
|08||Non psychopathic people with smoldering rage who kill when rage is ignited|
|09||Jealous lovers with psychopathic features|
|10||Killers of people who were “in the way” or who killed, for example, witnesses (egocentric but not distinctly psychopathic)|
|11||Psychopathic killers of people “in the way”|
|12||Power-hungry psychopaths who killed when they were “cornered”|
|13||Killers with inadequate, rage-filled personalities who “snapped”|
|14||Ruthlessly self-centered psychopathic schemers|
|15||Psychopathic “cold-blooded” spree or multiple murders|
|16||Psychopaths committing multiple vicious acts|
|17||Sexually perverse serial murderers, torture-murderers (among the males, rape is the primary motive with murder to hide the evidence; Systematic torture is not a primary factor)|
|18||Torture-murderers with murder the primary motive|
|19||Psychopaths driven to terrorism, subjugation, intimidation and rape, (short of murder)|
|20||Torture murderers with torture as the primary motive but in psychotic personalities|
|21||Psychopaths preoccupied with torture in the extreme, but not known to have committed murder|
|22||Psychopathic torture-murderers, with torture their primary motive|
In the show they explain something about each of these categories – they actually get worse the better liar a person is – which lines up with one specific passage in John. The categories include a ‘who’s who’ of values I would consider outright evil:
Anger (slight to uncontrollable)
Why bring up the list? It points out someting I am have been saying for a while concerning ‘immorality’. What is ‘immorality’ or ‘evil’? Well, we get a good picture of it in the 22 step to severity in this listing. I think the teachings of God are about avoiding these problems that we can do to one another – and it is outright sickening to think humanity can become so depraved to act this way – yet we have cases. This is my current definiton of immorality (hurting others wilfully).
Now if we talk about ‘answering in the court of God’ and this idea of people entering the ‘kingdom of heaven’ – well this is a list I would propose as keeping people out – similar to this list. What I am getting at is the intent the authors were using when they made such lists. What was bothersome at the time and offended the human sentiment. I think we can capture this with the list of the 22 most evil things – and understand why Paul wrote such lists as to what to avoid at all costs.
But it also talks about justice and answering to God’s court. God has given us no specific teachings that any of this is the acceptable form for humanity to take – none in 66 books. That speaks volumnes – literally! The difference betwen following God and not following God is basically summed up in one sentence ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ – and that list above ignores this foundational idea of treating people fairly. And that is the key to the looking at the teachings that lead you towards God – and those that do not.
Immorality is the problem with belonging in the ‘kingdom of God’ – and that’s the dividing line between someone and God (and that someone and community). Not something as simple as a confession – but your actions are your confession.