It is a novel feature of the modern consciousness that Men can believe what they want to believe - and disbelieve likewise. In itself this can either be godlike or devilish - according to what Men choose to believe and what they choose to reject.
We are each responsible for what we each believe, including who or what we believe: each person has this capacity, each uses this capacity.
Each of us will take the spiritual consequences (as well as the material consequences) of our choices.
To put the matter differently: adult modern Man does not spontaneously believe in God and the spiritual; because he does not perceive the divine and spiritual realm all around him, as did Men of the past.
Modern Men are not spontaneously religious, do not passively follow tradition - are not socially conditioned into goodness and sociability. Modern Man is not 'naturally' good...
Modern Man therefore has the ability (and it is an ability) Not to believe in God and the spiritual - and thus for the first time both can and must make the fully free choice to believe-in and to know God, to acknowledge the spiritual, to embrace The Good.
(In a sense, until modernity; very few Men could be fully Christian; since very few Men were fully agent, fully-free to choose God from a position of Not believing God. Now this is the norm. If you are a Christian in The Modern West - you have-chosen this - and most likely you have chosen from a position of unbelief in God and The Good; a position that even denies the reality of meaning, purpose and relationships in the universe. The position of a brief irrelevant consciousness in a dead universe... Choosing to be a Christian from such a position is free-choice indeed!)
All this Satan knows. Satan knows that God must now be chosen - and that if God is not actively chosen, then people will deny God. And in denying the reality of God, people will soon deny the validity of the Good; and Satan will have won that soul - because that soul not be allied with God/ The Good and divine creation - and if not allied with God, they will intrinsically be against God.
Perhaps the biggest of the many Big Lies in modern life - is that choosing to believe in the reality of the Christian God is mere wishful thinking, cowardly - and unworthy of an intelligent, informed adult...
Yet choosing to believe-in the truth of today's mass media propaganda, and to believe-in the virtue of modern governments, agencies, the media and major social institutions and corporations - to believe that the Establishment is honestly working to improve the health and happiness of the masses...
All such belief is simply Hard-Headed-Realism, 'science', and anyone who doubts the truthfulness and virtue of Authority Consensus is a fool, madman or an evil latent-terrorist...
Indeed the biggest Satanic lie, the biggest inversion is that while belief in the objective reality of God is just an arbitrary subjective choice; to believe today's manipulative untruths from Satanic spokesmen is obvious, mandatory common sense/ rational science.
The answer is within the capacity of Everyman; simply to use our free-gift/unavoidable-curse of choice - of agency - to choose to believe in the reality of of God/ The Good and divine creation.
We can - we already-have and we will - choose and keep-choosing either God or Satan, either Good or evil, either to live in divine creation or a meaningless and purposeless universe; we will choose either resurrected life everlasting or death of self and soul.
To all appearances; nearly everybody has made the choice of Satan; yet denies that it was a choice; and insists it was compelled - and that they cannot choose otherwise.
This is another lie, and they know it.
They know - because they continue to reject God every hour of every day - while making excuse after excuse dishonestly to explain why they are not really making this choice.
The simple truth we all know is that we must choose - therefore we do choose - indeed we already have-chosen. And choices have consequences.
The Good News (for those who chose Satan) is that we can revisit and revise our choices, at any time.
But the first step is to recognize honestly to our-selves; that we choose to be for or against God; and that we already have-chosen.
I have a relative, militant atheist as are all my relatives, who worked and a Christian Law Firm. They prayed every morning and she hated it even just bowing her head. I said well why don't you pray to Satan just to see what she would say. And she said Oh no I wouldn't do that because that's the representation of all evil and I'm not aligned with evil. Fast forward 7 or 8 years, she proudly tells me she'd given money to the Church of Satan because it supports abortion. Shocking I know, that satanists would be into baby killing. I doubt she even remembers what she told me before and, because she has rage issues, I didn't bring it up. it's the progression. There are only two choices
I happened to re-read Dostoevsky's The Grand Inquisitor the other day and was struck by the lines in which the GI accuses Christ of expecting too much from men.
"Instead of taking possession of man's freedom, Thou didst increase it, and burdened the spiritual kingdom of mankind with its sufferings forever. Thou didst desire man's free love, that he should follow Thee freely, enticed and taken captive by Thee. In place of rigid, ancient law, man must hereafter with free heart decide for himself what is good and what is evil, having only Thy image before him as his guide. But didst Thou not know that he would at last reject even Thy image and Thy truth, if is weighed down with the fearful burden of free choice?"
Dostoevsky is clearly writing from another time and place, but the essence of what he communicates above remains relevant and valid.
Christ increases freedom, encourages agency, and desires free choice outside the framework of external authority. In my mind, this is the call of God moderns had/have the opportunity to answer via agency; it is a call very few hear today; it is a call even fewer have answered.
Christ's mission to increase freedom remains beyond the capacity or willingness of most, perhaps now more than ever. Freedom from God via some form of slavery to external authority seems preferable to freedom for God via agency and free choice.
In D's Grand Inquisitor, it is the Catholic Church that accepts the burden of freedom/agency people willingly surrender when they are unable/unwilling to answer the call of God. In our modern world, the System has assumed this role. In both cases, the external authority is directly allied with the Dreaded Spirit.
@Frank - From various comments by and about Dostoyevsky that I have read (I can't get through the books) it seems clear that he is a modern man, who saw with a 'fresh' postromantic insight - perhaps because it reached Russia considerably later than Britain and Germany. He seems to have been prophetic in several ways - seeing the destination of trends that had, in his time, hardly begun.
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