Evil at Heart

By Brent King On April 24, 2014 Under Lessons in Fantasy, Uncategorized

Faramir_in_Two_Towers_optA post on inclusivism on Mike Duran’s blog has prompted me to post a reflection from my book, The Grip of Grace: God’s Hand in The Lord of the Rings. It is titled,

Evil at Heart

The ambush shocked the Hobbits. Sam’s excitement at seeing an oliphaunt turned to fear as the animal stampeded toward them, veering off at the last minute and leaving a soldier dead at their feet.

“Let’s get out of here Sam!” cried Frodo. “We shouldn’t have stayed here so long.”

The thought came too late. As they turned to go, they ran into the clutch of soldiers. There wasn’t much of a struggle. The Hobbits were little match for the battle hardened Rangers of Gondor.

“Hang on!” said Sam. “We’re no threat to Gondor!”

Faramir stepped forward and looked at them suspiciously.

“Right,” he said, “only those on missions for the Dark Lord travel in these parts.”

“How do you know?” asked Frodo. “If you are really fighting the enemy, you will let us go.”

“The enemy?” asked Faramir. “Who is the enemy?”

He took a few steps to the dead soldier before them and rolled over his body. Though blood stained his face, they could see he was handsome.

“Do you think that he was here with less conviction than you are?” Faramir asked.

Pity shown in Faramir’s eyes as he gazed thoughtfully at his enemy lying there, and his voice took on a gentle tone.

“What was his name?” he asked, almost to himself. “Where did he grow up? Was he actually evil inside? What fear or deception made him come all this way from home? Given the choice, would he have sooner remained there in peace?”


God doesn’t play favorites in this world. This is a truth that is as hard for us to learn as it was for ancient Israel. It is easy for us to believe that we are the chosen ones: the favored people for whom God died. All others are just out of luck.

Yet, even a casual reading of scripture reveals that God loves the Romans and Egyptians as much as the Jews. His salvation has always extended to any who will respond. Like Rahab (Joshua 2) and her family, there are those in all cultures and religions who have a heart for the truth and will respond.

Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others, there is revealed the working of God’s Holy Spirit. In the depths of heathenism, men who have had no knowledge of the written law of God, who have never even heard the name of Christ, have been kind to His servants, protecting them at the risk of their own lives. Their acts show the working of a divine power. The Holy Spirit has implanted the grace of Christ in the heart of the savage, quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary to his education. The “Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9), is shining in his soul; and this light, if heeded, will guide his feet to the kingdom of God (Ellen White, Christ’s Object Lessons 385).

 

God sees our hearts and not our nationality, our religion, or the side of a war on which we fight. He reveals Himself to all. He comes to all who will turn from pride and self-righteousness. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20 NASB).

God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He treats all with fairness and respect. Someday all of us will stand in judgment before the great throne of God. Can a fair God damn a pagan to hell because he had no chance to know the name of Jesus? Men can only respond to God according to their state of knowledge. If they respond, then God’s words to them will be the same as His words to us who have known the glory of the cross: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.” Isn’t this so? Has the coming of Jesus made God less gracious?

All men are saved through the blood of Jesus, but not all men who are saved have heard of that blood. Faramir was right. Depending on his heart and how he has responded to the light given him, an enemy soldier may be as acceptable to God as a son of Gondor.

1 Comment Add yours

  1. AshleeW
    April 25, 2014
    2:17 pm #comment-1

    I like your parallel! Great thoughts.

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