Carman on the Appearance of Evil

October 14, 2000

When Carman Ministries tours, we follow rules to protect the integrity of those under my spiritual care. For instance, there are no drugs or drinking. We don’t allow R-rated movies on the bus. Even PG-13 movies have to be pre-approved. Our road rules help us maintain a ministry attitude.
The scripture we base this on is 1 Thessalonians 5:22 that says abstain from all appearances of evil. To abstain in Greek means: to hold yourself off, keep yourself away, to distance or to be distant from.
This is how God wants us to view our actions and places we put ourselves in that could be easily misinterpreted as something those not representing Jesus would be involved with.
The word “all” in the Greek means: any, thoroughly, every, or by any means. The word “appearance” in the Greek means: sight, fashion, or perceived. When a man and woman are in a hotel room with the door closed, or a married person and an unmarried person are hanging all over each other, or a Christian guy stays over at his girlfriend’s house for the night, it is easily perceived they are doing wrong.
You might be surprised how many people have allowed themselves to be willingly discredited by fighting me as a leader on these issues. The harder they rebel, the more you realize that something evil is going on. And “evil” means in the Greek: diseased or wicked.
The Word is saying there are certain practices that are perceived as spiritually diseased and obviously wicked or twisted in nature.
So stay away from such things. It would be good to take these observations seriously. Your witness as a Christian is at stake if you don’t.
Why jeopardize your testimony by saying “I don’t care what people think”? because Jesus wants you to care. An irresponsible attitude could cause someone who looks up to you to stumble and sin.
Jesus said in Mark 9:42, “If anyone causes one of these little ones (or one shallow in faith) who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him (or her) to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around their neck.” Since actions speak louder than words, let your actions speak only that which pertains to holiness and godliness.
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