Wednesday 29 September 2021

When silence is Not complicity; but indirectly eloquent of Christian faith

We have all, by now, taken sides in the spiritual war; and nowadays it is usually obvious which side. 

Of course, most people can change sides before their decision (i.e. their choice of their post-mortal disposition) is final. 

Sides can be changed - and we have seen a lot of this is the past 18 months - in both directions, although apparently mainly towards evil. It is never too late in mortal life to change sides. 

But the choice has a tendency to harden - especially when there has been a conscious and deliberate choice. 

Thus, to take the side against God can in practice become so deeply ingrained, buttressed by multiple lies and sustained by value-inversions, as to be very difficult to repent. 

Such buttressing of chosen-damnation seems to be the main demonic strategy over the past several decades; and belief The Lie - especially The Big Lie - has become probably the dominant form of evil - especially in the developed world.  

In a society in which Big Lies are not just highly prevalent - widespread and deeply rooted - but also mandatory and enforced; silence is usually complicity. It means that someone has chosen Not to notice evil. When someone lives in lies and says nothing; when someone has been through the past 18 months; and yet says nothing about the gigantic, world-historical, evil-motivated fraud of what happened... This is nearly-always because he believes the lies - has chosen to take the side of the worldly-victorious evil Establishment. 

On the other hand; there are situations in which silence is eloquent against evil and on the side of God. When in the midst of an evil-compliant and evil-endorsing discourse (e.g. about the birdemic-peck, antiracism, climate change etc). 

One pointedly remains silent, and does not (by word, expression or deed) provide the sought-for endorsement of the Big Lie; but instead remains alert, quiet, and still... 

Well, such refusal can potentially be as powerful and appropriate a profession of faith in God as is possible in that particular kind of situation (i.e. a mainstream modern situation; where the other party is absolutely unwilling and unable to expose and examine his assumptions, or to think consecutively and coherently).  

In theory; some well-chosen phrase might be more effective; but most people, for most of the time, will never be capable of a 'well-chosen phrase'; and for them silence may be as eloquent a witness of their faith as may be - and with the negative-advantage of not providing the enemy with ammunition for his manipulations. 

This is confirmed by the fact that the enemy (in these, and other, situations) hates silence; and tries to provoke or compel a response; which if honest will provide ammunition for his side in the spiritual war, and if dishonest (including deliberate misleading - which is a particularly insidious thus damning form of dishonesty) will recruit you to his side. 

This is perhaps why Christ sometimes remained silent under interrogation. 

We therefore need to discern when our silence is complicity; and when it would be faithful witness. 


jb said...

There's an expression from the Sutta Nipata that Buddha supposedly said that although its not Jesus saying it perhaps explains the same mentality as to why Jesus was silent sometimes: "The sage does not argue with the world; the world argues with the sage."

Lucinda said...

I do best when at least I avoid following my social instincts, which are strong, and speak (or stay silent) with the clear idea of purposefulness and culpability. Which is why I think reminding people that silence is complicity is important. It really has to do with why a person chooses silence, whether it is cowardice or pragmatism, or faithful witness.

It is good to train yourself against mere reactivity, also to consider the real audience, both seen and unseen. I think it is best when a person is expressing themselves honestly, with a full willingness to be held accountable, both here and hereafter, seen and unseen. Jesus' pointed silence is a magnificent example of this.