It is a feature of the spiritual war nowadays that The Enemy (i.e. those on the side of Satan, against God) are dispersed in many places, deny any self-definition; and indeed are just part of normal, mainstream 'public opinion' as revealed in officialdom, institutions and the media,
It is sometimes said that this makes evil difficult to discern - on the assumption that the evil is hidden among the good, in many and changing forms, under many and changing names and deceptive rhetoric...
But the truth is that evil is very easy to discern nowadays; indeed evil has never been easier to discern IF the line dividing good from evil is drawn in the right place.
The problem that many people have in discerning evil is that they are retaining too much evil in their own assumptions, in their own world view.
They are (in effect) trying to use a line between good and evil, when that line has been positioned such as to include evil; therefore they find the discernment to be difficult and unsure.
This is seen, for example, in what Owen Barfield termed RUP - Residual Unresolved Positivism - something to which everyone brought up in The West is prone.
RUP is a matter of retaining 'materialist', 'scientistic', 'reductionistic' assumptions that were unconsciously absorbed in childhood and adolescence, are invisible to normal introspection, and which have become habitual framers of thinking.
This happens when we consciously oppose positivism, wish for a fully-spiritual life, yet keep un-consciously falling back into positivistic ways of regarding the world; therefore we sometimes fail to detect (and may end-up supporting) positivism when it is being deployed by the powers of evil.
Another - just as common and related - problem is RUL - Residual Unresolved Leftism.
The assumptions of Leftism (e.g. Leftist concepts of equality, social justice, diversity, environmentalism, antiracism, feminism, sexual revolution, the mainstream hedonic utilitarian morality etc) is pervasive in public discourse as background assumptions.
Very few people in The West are altogether free of these false, tendentious, evil-tending ideas - and Christians, as much as most, often cherish such ideals - or try to do so.
RUL therefore confuses our discernment of evil; since Leftism has been a major (probably The major) strategy of evil in the modern world.
Thus there is evil at work in the world and impinging upon our personal lives, yet because some evil in our-selves matches that external evil, we fail to recognize its true nature.
With RUL, the line has been drawn wrongly; too close to evil - not including all of evil; with some evils left-over on the side of good; so discernment begins to seem difficult, complex...
We become confused, disorientated, unsure of what to do and what to reject.
But the difficulties and complexities are an artefact of the line being drawn in the wrong place - due to Residual Unresolved Leftism. If we can identify and repent all of our Leftist assumptions, the task of discernment is revealed as simple - indeed it has probably never been simpler than Now!
But another difficulty is that when the line between good and evil has been drawn correctly, and discernment is swift and decisive - it will be found that most of the world, and pretty much all of officialdom, major institutions, and the mass media - are on the side of evil.
It will also be found, more disturbingly, that most people are on the side of evil; which means that most individual persons we encounter will support the side of evil - will be cooperating-with and probably defending/ advocating/ working-for the powers of evil.
And this applies even in Christian churches and among the leadership of Christian churches; because being on the side of evil is not about one's majority or average beliefs.
Even one Leftist belief or assumption suffices to corrupt; because (as of 2020) the tendency of institutions and their choice between good and evil sides may be dictated by a single Leftist belief (such as the Litmus Tests).
This may be disturbing, unfamiliar, and often demoralizing.
Yet we should remember that with normal Christianity; any single unrepented sin - no matter how 'small' - is sufficient to cause damnation; because we only truly desire Heaven when we are prepared to give-up all sin for it. Heaven is a place without sin; and nobody can enter it who has not repudiated sin.
Here on earth, something analogous applies to the sins of Leftism. To be on the side of God, persons and institutions must reject the devil and all his works.
This does not mean any kind of impossibly perfect standard of behaviour - but repentance - which is the correct detection and identification of sin as sin -and the 'in principle' willingness to discard it.
Perfection of thoughts and values is impossible in this mortal earthly life; but repentance is always and everywhere open to any person or institution.
Residual Unresolved Leftism is a serious problem because sin is unrecognized, is indeed defended and advocated; and the consequence is that perception of discernment as difficult and uncertain - in a world where in fact evil is more naked and extreme than ever before.
So, if you are confused, and find evil difficult to discern; look within for those unrepented sins which are probably the source of the problem.
One great and immediate advantage of eliminating Residual Unresolved Leftism is that we attain clarity about the spiritual war of this world; and can set-to on the task of fighting that war instead of being enmeshed in confusion.
Such clarity of discernment is liberating, exciting, and motivating! Which is just what most-people most-need in a world such as this.
“The problem that many people have in discerning evil is that they are retaining too much evil in their own assumptions, in their own world view. They are (in effect) trying to use a line between good and evil, when that line has been positioned such as to include evil; therefore they find the discernment to be difficult and unsure.”
Do we run the risk of (over)intellectualizing Christianity by requiring the ability to "identify and repent all of our Leftist assumptions"? Deconstructing our assumptions requires a level of critical thinking that may be missing for many people. When I think to Jesus as our example, He often spoke simply, as if explaining things to children. In my mind, the Gold Standard is the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). When I read those chapters, I am struck by two things: (1) a conviction and inwardly-directed pressure to "do better" according to the Spirit, and (2) a bias towards actions flowing from this right orientation. Put differently, we can point to no excuse external to us (even objective injustice) that justifies not following these commands. So, this right orientation (with the Spirit), combined with action (fruits of the spirit), should frustrate the machinations of the Evil one then and now.
It makes me realize, more deeply, that a sinner, or a man who routinely goes drinking and womanizing, but knows that what he is doing is wrong and repents is in a far better state than a church lady who deems herself perfect and who judges others mercilessly.
In real, every day life, I am finding it easier to distinguish good from evil, I believe. And hat has led me to realize that one is almost certain to be surrounded and isolated. I've already gotten "in trouble" for going against the corvid hysteria. It's like one of those body snatcher movies, where the slightest cue gives the zombie masses the instant recognition that you are not one of them.
I suspect the fear of being isolated, alone, and pointed at by the body-snatched (those who have chosen evil) is one of the causes of people putting the line in the wrong place. They don't want to seem extreme. They don't want to seem like a fanatic.
One sort of has to become a sub rosa fanatic, unless one wants to be effectively martyred right quick.
@Magnus - Over intellectualizing? Well, whatever it takes. Of course if people are properly Christian, they will not be leftists, nor would they be captivated by such pervasive leftisms as I mention above.
(There are others. For example, morally approving of democracy/ voting/ committees.)
But *so many* people who were at some point good Christians have joined the other side by being drawn via their favourite leftism/s; clearly they are unable to recognize their own false assumptions.
Whether intellectual or by some/any other method, people Must come to recognize and examine their own unconscious, habitual, most basic assumptions - because these are mostly what is wrong with them. Their eternal lives will depend on it.
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