ARTICLE

The Eichmann In All Of Us: The Root Of Evil

News Image By Eric Metaxas/Breakpoint.org August 21, 2017
Share this article:

What is going on in our country? Why all the anger and hatred? As Chuck Colson reminds us, the answer is as old as humanity.

In the wake of the events in Charlottesville, a national argument is underway. I'd like to say it's a national debate, but no one seems to be listening to each other. So, who's to blame for the racism, identity politics, and escalating violence and on and on?

Well, earlier this week on this program, speaking about Charlottesville, John Stonestreet got to the root of the problem. It's called the Fall.


"Understanding the biblical concept of the Fall," John said, "keeps us from finding the enemy only in the other, as if the problem is always outside of ourselves. No, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, 'the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.'"

John is absolutely right. And what he said reminded me of a brilliant BreakPoint commentary delivered by Chuck Colson way back in 1994 about Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann. Why do human beings perpetrate evil? It's the Eichmann in all of us.

Here's Chuck Colson:

Chuck: For you and me, the answer to that question is as close as our faith, as close as our own hearts. Christians, of all people, should never be surprised at the evil that infects every human being--even the most ordinary of people.

A dramatic illustration of this truth took place thirty years ago, when Israeli agents captured Adolph Eichmann, one of the masterminds of the Nazi holocaust, and brought him to Israel to stand trial for his crimes.


Among the witnesses called to testify against Eichmann was a small, haggard man named Yehiel Dinur. He had survived brutal torture in the death camp at Auschwitz. Dinur entered the courtroom and he stared at the man who had presided over the slaughter of millions-- including many of Dinur's own friends.

As the eyes of the victim met those of the mass murderer, the courtroom fell silent. Then, suddenly, Dinur literally collapsed to the floor, sobbing violently.

Was he overcome by hatred? By memories of the stark evil that Eichmann had committed?

No. As Dinur explained later in a riveting interview on "60 Minutes," what struck him was that Eichmann did not look like an evil monster at all; he looked like an ordinary person. 

Just like anyone else. In that moment, Dinur said, "I realized that evil is endemic to the human condition--that any one of us could commit the same atrocities."

In a remarkable conclusion, Dinur said: "Eichmann is in all of us."

This is what the Bible means when it talks about sin. In our therapeutic culture, people cringe when they hear words like evil and sin. We'd prefer to talk about people as victims of dysfunctional backgrounds. 

But there are times when it becomes obvious that those categories are simply insufficient--times when the evil in the human heart breaks through the veneer of polite society and shows us its terrifying face.

Eric Metaxas: Folks, what happened in Charlottesville will be the focus of a lot of talk for the foreseeable future--especially as protests and counter protests pop up around the country. 

So, as Chuck went on to say, why not use these events "as an opportunity to press home to your family and your friends the profound truth of the biblical teaching on sin."  

That the events unfolding on our TV screens and newsfeeds "ought to remind us that all of us are in revolt against God," and that the "only salvation for any of us is repentance and grace." 

Originally published at Breakpoint.org - reposted with permission.


Other News

February 21, 2018Parents Under Fire Who Don't Support Transgender Transitioning

Parents who don't believe that their teenage children should undergo radical gender reassignment procedures are now at risk of having thei...

February 21, 2018Mike Pence Mocked For Listening To Jesus

Large segments of our population have become so anti-Christian that a committed believer like Pence is now vilified as a religious nutcase...

February 21, 2018History Lessons From Years Under Islamism

In Iran, my generation, the first after Islamism came to power, is called the Burnt Generation. Our generation earned this name for having...

February 21, 2018Israeli Knesset Caucus Celebrates 'Night To Honor Christian Allies'

The event, organized by the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and the World Jewish Congress, paid tribute to Evangelical Christians who have...

February 20, 2018Sanhedrin Mints Coin With Images of Trump and Cyrus To Promote Rebuilding Temple

Proceeds from the sale of the coin will be used in reenactments of Temple services as well as in other educational and practical endeavors...

February 20, 2018Are Russia And Israel On A Collision Course Over Syria?

Suggestions in the Russian media point to a scenario in which Israeli involvement in Syria forces Russia to more openly declare a pro-Iran...

February 20, 2018Turkey, Iran Threaten To Overwhelm West With Refugees

To these Islamist republics, Muslim refugees are weapons of jihad, not victims....

Get Breaking News