Sep 27, 2009

Classic Evil

There is a reason why the Darkness continues to use the same old tired, tattered, and torn tactics against a gullible and/or uninformed humanity. It is because they continue to work well. The simple truth is - we just never seem to "get it." So, generation after generation we "get it" in the neck.

Satan's treachery is not hard to spot, really, as it has been around since Adam and Eve. And it is very well exposed in the book of Genesis. When we read, with godly enlightenment, the account of the adversary's subversion of the first couple in chapter 3 (NKJV), we can easily see what we should be on guard against. Consider what the verses say there...

Genesis 3:1. "Now the serpent was more cunning [subtle] than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?'' (Brackets added)

There are actually four of his favorite tactics revealed in this first verse alone. The first is Subtlety. The adversary's approach is never, never, never straight forward. Always there is a hidden agenda that he begins to pursue from an oblique direction. 

Have you ever met an alcoholic or a drug addict that started out to be one, to ruin his or her life through substance abuse. Probably not. Rather the dark voice simply promised them a "good time" or "relief from the pain" or some other angular enticement from which to begin to move slowly toward his real agenda - the destruction of another human life and soul.

The adversary knows that the gullible will always go for an easy lie over a hard truth.  And, he knows that we are prone not to question personal benefit. So typically, that is the point where his subtlety originates. 

He usually offers the easy, the fun, the gratifying, the immediate, without ever showing the real or extended cost. He always shows the "bait." He never shows the "hook." That is the substance of subtlety; and it still works well on humanity, even today.

The second tactic revealed in this verse is the Characterization of God as "intrusive" to the human existence. The taunting tone in the verse is that of someone greatly offended. It’s more like, "Surely God did not dare to say that you could not eat of all of the trees in the Garden!" 

The idea is to make God appear restrictive rather than protective, which was the real circumstance. So God was made to seem evil instead of good because He imposed restriction. That tactic, to plant the idea that "God is somehow holding us back" has always been very effective and still works quite well on a clueless humanity today.

The third tactic revealed in this verse is Superfluous Dialog. He simply got Eve to talking about something which needed no discussion at all. The adversary has known from the beginning that "truth can be talked literally to death." 

So he merely gets us to talking, for example, the moral tenets of God's word.  It goes something like this. "Well, now let’s talk about this for a minute. Is homosexuality really wrong? Is morality, itself, really all that necessary to the well being of society. Couldn't we have a better and more inclusive society if we were not so inhibited by these archaic ideas. Let’s at least open a dialog on the subject. That is only reasonable." 

Thus, he robs a susceptible individual or society of moral direction and fortitude by simply talking away clarity. So good principles simply die the slow death of "stupid and superfluous dialog."

Finally, the fourth tactic of the adversary that is revealed in this verse is what we would, today, call "Spin."  To add Spin is to present the truth in a way that flatters your purpose and hides any contrary indications. 

The mis-characterization of God that we discussed earlier is a good example of Satanic spin. The benevolent restriction that God placed on the first couple was presented in such a way that it appeared to be a bad thing instead of a good thing. The adversary did not technically misquote the idea, he just used wording and voice inflection to color is presentation in a way that gratified his subversive purposes.  Hello spin.

Verses 2-3. "And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, `You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die'''

So the woman, now caught up in the superfluous dialog, continues the conversation. She starts to clarify the truth for the adversary, believing that she can correct his misconception with good information. 

How naive we sometimes are when it comes to spiritual treachery of Satan's Hidden Agendas. She had no clue as to what was really in play here - as is ofter the case with most of humanity when it comes to the adversary’s destructive plotting.

Verses 4 -5. "And the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it [the forbidden fruit] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil'  [Brackets added]

The adversary knows that to achieve his hidden agenda he must remove the idea of consequence. And, in doing so he reveals his another classic tactic of his subversion. It is to Confront  divine truth and paint it as ridiculous." 

So here, in a brazen confrontation of the God's truth, he completely reverses what Eve has been told. He says, in effect, without presenting any real basis for his statement, It just isn't so. You will not die if you do as I say.  It would seem that Satan's idea is that - if you say it with enough confidence, they'll believe it. And so often, that is, indeed, the case.

Also, in these verses, we see another classic tactics of the Darkness:  the use of entirely lie-based promises.  When the Devil says to Eve, "You will be like God," he is actually using that lie as the means to assure her of a false promise.  He is indicating that  she will no longer have to be dependent on God.  Rather, she can become her own god, and thus, the master of her own destiny. And, apparently, the glitter of that promise blinded her to its baseless nature. 

And, this first lie-based promise was quickly followed by the second one that Knowledge is the key to that end.  Satan says, "You will be like God, knowing good and evil." 

The truth that he does not tell Eve is that the knowledge that he is encouraging her to trust in is not an objective knowledge which is rooted in God’s all knowing wisdom. It is an entirely subjective knowledge. In other words, good and evil will then center entirely around what seems good or evil to her, and for her.

 And the knowledge that Adam gains from that same forbidden fruit will be exactly the same:  what seems good or evil to him and for him. And on and on it will go throughout the ranks of humanity. Welcome to the source of all human conflict and the bane of the human experience - a subjective, a very personalized view of good and evil.

So, Satan brazenly lied to Eve to awaken a false sense of promise in her. Sometimes he lies by omission. Sometime he lies by using partial truths. And sometimes his lies are absolutely brazen, as were these.  

But lying is the very backbone of his classic behavior.  And he is good at it. So much so, that literally countless souls have perished on the rocks of the siren call of his pleasant lies.

Verse 6-8  "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden."

Finally, we note the outcome of the great treachery when it’s finished. "...And Adam and Eve hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God..."  The outcome is always the same.  It is a lonely and guilty isolation from a loving God. 

Adam and Eve turned their back on God’s love and, instead, chose a deluded course of self-determination. It was a foolish choice based in lies and subtle deception with no substantial promise at all.

And sadly, even in this late hour of history, humanity still goes for that same old tattered and torn treachery. And even when Christ clearly exposes this devilish deception for what it is and offers a the better way, still, many choose delusion over God's liberating truth. 

Perhaps the best thing we can do for ourselves  is to simply return to the Program and refresh our memory as to who the Players are:  

     The Good Guy ....................God
     The Bad Guy ......................Satan
     The Child in the Room ......Humanity

Maybe if each generation could simply master this much as they enter the theater, it would make it easier for them to then follow and correctly interpret the true plot of The Redemptive Drama.  

Sep 7, 2009

Circles

The Apostle John said, "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."  Love is always at least as much what you do, as it is what you feel. And sometimes it is entirely what you do as opposed to what you feel.  

In any case, love, as an action, must never become dependent on emotion to survive or to express itself. And, in all cases, love must always habor its basic identity as a vibrant sense of moral responsibility for the well being of others.

The simplist concept of sin that I know is merely this: Selfishness, And, active love is both the absolute antithesis and the perfect remedy for that flaw. 

Thus, very basic to the new character that we are given in Christ is the reality of a love which acts in devotion to the well-being of others on all of the commons of life: in the family, the workplace, the school etc.   And, it does so always - in harmony with divine truth.

Circles

How long prevails the darkness Lord
That snares our dreams
And rears the head of the ugliest things.

We weep and fight and struggle and kill
To have, and to horde,
Only to find that we weep the more.

We crush the dreams of others
To mortar the tower of our own
And still it does not rise.

On any scale, the circle of one
Is always far too small.
Enduring joy only lives in the broader circle of all.

And though we emerge from the human sea,
One, alone, to scoff at the rest,
Yet time, and wisdom, and the judgment of God will put us to the test.

And finally, far too late we'll see,
That all along, we were but trapped,
In the circle that was Me.