Where is the line that separates good and evil?
For sure it’s easy to distinguish the farthest ends and discern when something is inherently good, like Mother Terresa, or inherently evil, like Adolf Hitler. However, in the middle, close to that razor-sharp border, it’s all but impossible to figure out. Most of us are not equipped to make that distinction. Often, we’re choosing the wrong side and not knowing it, or worse than that, being completely convinced we’ve chosen correctly.
It’s on this battlefront that the spiritual war is being waged.
The enemy abandoned long ago the look of the red suit and pitch fork, in favor of the guise in the likeness of the Son of God. The enemy is smart – wear a suit, smile, kiss some babies and go to church to create an impression of piety. Jesus was smarter, and in the end of his mortal life on earth he won, for the sake of us all. However, since that time and continuing today, the enemy has worked tirelessly to stop the spread of His word, by perverting and subverting it for their own use.
Jesus warned us:
23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightening comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
Where is the evil among us today, and if it’s hidden behind a façade of godliness, how are we to recognize and abolish it? As the saying goes, “the lines have blurred.” My belief is that it’s everywhere and inside each of us, like a dormant virus, waiting to be triggered.
We can flesh evil out by first accepting the basic principles of Christianity. Many of which have become basic behaviors taught outside of Christian faith, like “thou shalt not kill”. These will form a first layer of armor and act as a meter for moral judgement. Think of what would be possible if everyone adhered to these basic principles. Much of our confrontations would disappear.
It’s spiritual guerilla warfare out there and many of the enemy’s tactics are right under our nose but go undetected. His plan is not to lead you astray by doing the obvious.
Instead, the enemy sneaks into our churches and whispers things like, ‘don’t like them’ or ‘we are better than they are.’ The enemy appears on our TVs and on the internet, in celebrity guise, throwing the best parties in town. The enemy prepares the very food that we eat. If you eat bad food long enough, you’ll die an ugly death, possibly early. The enemy distracts you with entertainment on subjects that really shouldn’t be entertaining, like murder, to pollute our minds and desensitize our hearts.
For the enemy, it’s just so easy because we are so highly impressionable.
What is disheartening is that once we’ve consumed and conformed to the enemy’s norms, we too often decide that we like it this way and shrug off the idea of being better in favor of the enemy’s goods and ideas. Being bad is easy, the enemy made it so, and most of the time it doesn’t seem bad at all. After some time, it feels neither good nor bad.
How strange it is that being good, for most, requires so much of our faculties. You think we would default to good, but we don’t.
Listing all the areas that lead us astray to the enemy’s camp, explaining detail after detail, is pointless. The enemy simply moves the focus to a new area and the cycle begins all over again. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
How can we guard against an ever-morphing enemy? Don’t change the enemy. Change the recipients.
Train yourself to “see”. Open your eyes and your heart. Guard yourself by simply taking notice of what you consume and how you behave. Practice a spiritual patience that with time, you will see the enemy coming miles away. Scrutinize what you do, from the simplest acts to the most complex. Think before you act.
“Father, with Christ as my holy guide and impenetrable shield, I seek to attain spiritual patience and wisdom, through your loving energy. Let the Spirit that is Holy enter me, as you wish.”
“Mugs (Humans Don’t Wanna Be Saved)”, 2018 – Artist Robert Perez