I would agree that Hitler is a classic example of living out what you believe, and operating in a political system to do it. (And we certainly have modern day types like Peter Singer who advocate basically the same ideology toward humanity because he has determined his own definition of good.) Most of Hitler’s success was founded on worldwide passive response to his aggression. Silence and inaction were serious enablers for violence, genocide, and unspeakable suffering.
How many lives may have been saved if powerful leaders would have expressed some consequences to his method of operating before he invaded Poland?
So, Are the potentials for accidentally doing evil under the intentions of doing good any different today in politics?
We know there is nothing new in the nature of man to prevent another Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, WWIII, etc. And we know things will become worse before the arrival of the Lord:
Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come. Matthew 24:12-14
What we are dealing with is a difference in definitions. As Christians we say the definition of good is given to us by God. God is good. He is the standard for good, and has made His goodness known. Believers in Christ are called to proclaim His goodness as long as we are on the earth, and be vocal for Truth.
“No one is good but One—God." Mark 10:18b
But I think what Jo says still applies that we should have dialog with people respectfully and be willing to tackle tough issues that plague society in a way that brings benefit and respects the individual rights of each person for life and liberty. Our job is to proclaim truth, remain steadfast to the gospel, and exhibit courage where God places us. That will come in many forms in various opportunities.
It’s crucial that we have discussion because the true definition of good is disappearing from the political and cultural climates. We continue to demand justice while we declare that truth is relative.
It is when dialog is shut down that we should be very concerned. Silencing speech is usually the first step of tyranny and fascism.
We see in the news of violent acts against our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, North Korea, Cuba, China, etc. in the name of making everyone comply with their definition of good. Boko Haram, ISIS, and communist governments are currently living out their beliefs. While they do this Christians and objectors must remain faithful to the calling of the Lord because in the end we will all face judgement before the perfect and living God.
“Come, let us discuss this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they will be as white as snow;
though they are as red as crimson,
they will be like wool. Isaiah 1:18
When I consider possible courses of action, I ask myself:
If I comply with (or oppose) this, am I bringing grief or glory to my Lord?
Is my silence listening and meditative or is it complicit?
Is there anything I’m unwilling to sacrifice for my faith?
What is my opportunity in the current exchange to express the gospel?