I am ever more convinced that evil requires our consent to harm us - and that most of the strategizing of evil is directed at getting people to consent to evil - to invite evil into the soul.
And fear is the main (but not only) way that people are induced to invite evil - because fear is a kind of sin, and needs to be discerned and repented in order to lose its malign effect
Of course, this is a mortal life in an entropic world; and we must accept that death and decay are necessary parts of our experience. For example; you and I are still alive because we have something important to learn from this world; and nobody can reach eternal Heavenly life except via death.
So, contrary to the teachings of This World; we must learn not to fear the basic nature of this life - and to regard this life as essentially good if we (as individuals) take the opportunities it offers us.
At the same time, Christians must recognize the transitional nature of this world. This mortal life is vital - but secondary to eternal resurrected life.
The combination means that Christians cannot legitimately deal with fear by ignoring the world - for Christians this amounts to pretending that evil does not exist, and pretending there is no spiritual war: pretending that evil is not-really attacking us...
Christians need both to recognize and to reject evil.
We don't need to 'think about' evil beyond this recognition and rejection, we don't need to understand all about it - but we do need to know evil when it impinges directly upon us - which it will, later if not sooner.
At present the world is ruled by evil, and consequently our lives are full of threats designed to evoke the sin of fear. Most of these threats are unreal; because evil is a liar - systematically and compulsively.
(Even when evil makes a true statement, speaks a true fact (something which is very painful for an evil being) this 'fact' will always be presented in a false and misleading framework. Specific truth will be put to the service of general falsehood; bits of reality will be twisted to reinforce the unreal.)
Nonetheless, among the mass of lies to induce fear, there will also be scattered and seeded real threats - threats to our health, happiness, lifespan...
Yet these 'true threats' must be treated with the same contempt as the mass of fake threats: which is to say, we must never allow ourselves to become colonized by fear, from whatever cause or no cause; and must always recognize and reject fear when it arises in us - and whether the threat is fake or indeed real.
When we feel fear arise in us, we need to recognize it as a doorway to evil being opened by purposive evil; a door which we our-selves are opening, and which we ourselves need to shut as fast as possible - before evil can pries it wider, enter in force, and begin colonizing our soul.
How can a Christian close that door of fear? By faith and hope; faith in God who is the creator of this world, and who loves us each as his child - and hope in eternal resurrected life by following Jesus through death to Heaven.
Faith and hope are what enable us to learn from this life and its experiences - instead of the false alternatives of being overwhelmed by threats or ignoring them.
So, when we feel that stab of fear which the evil overlords work so hard to induce in us; then we can recognize the fear as a sin, place it in the eternal and joyous context provided by the faith and hope - and regard fear as just another chance to learn necessary lessons from our mortal life, living in this world.
Yes hope founded in faith loosens fear. And this changes everything.
I recently holidayed with my two brothers who I love dearly (we are in our 50s) for the first time in a couple of years. I was shocked by just how insane they are. I hadn’t fully realised this previously and they seem to have become more so.
They are card carrying scientific materialists rich with the thoughts and actions that flow from that.
Gradually I came to notice the biggest consequence of all -their complete absence of hope. Their remaining years are seen as optimising a steadily declining graph. And that’s it.
And yes, I hadn’t seen the connection you point to - they are also beset by massive fears, that all of their amazing logic cannot dispel.
@Colin - This past year has certainly been an eye-opener. So many people I thought were 'basically sound' have turned-out to be as mad as the craziest leftist dupes and servants, but just under a surface crust.
And that same goes for some people I had thought were serious Christians. Their total blindness to (indeed active denial of) gross evil triumphant; makes me realize that they really haven't a clue - and must have been just following "Christian" rules and rituals in a pro-social spirit. They have turned out to be loyal to favoured people and institutions, but disloyal to God.
I would add this: do not be idle in these times. We all have different talents and abilities. Find yours and use them. Avoid most media. And, reserve some time to read and memorize Scripture.
@Magnus - "reserve some time to read and memorize Scripture"
Maybe - depending on the scripture. But vast numbers of Christians (especially evangelicals) who spectacularly failed the birdemic test were doing exactly this.
What do you think about this world having become a training camp for alignment with evil? It seems like many people become increasingly demonic as they go through life, both mentally and physically. Tattoos, strange hair colors, hedonism (exchanging highness for lowness), depraved behavior for the purpose of negative social epistasis (maybe corresponding to a relatively unsophisticated form of the behavior of a tormenting demon?). Maybe there's "diabolosis?" as well as theosis.
If demons and humans are truly possessing free will, could they not create a sort of extension of hell in this world against the wishes of God and the God-aligned?
"The combination means that Christians cannot legitimately deal with fear by ignoring the world - for Christians this amounts to pretending that evil does not exist, and pretending there is no spiritual war: pretending that evil is not-really attacking us...Christians need both to recognize and to reject evil."
Yes. Something I've noticed is that many, many Christians will initiate conversations about this worldwide situation, but when someone expresses concern, instead of addressing the root -- which is fear, the thing we're warned against in Scripture -- such people will usually start pulling out all the pious stops with "Oh, I know where I'm going when I die" or "We just need to trust the Lord." These sort of remarks are in fact an act of ignoring the situation and pretending that there's no problem...unless the person expressing concerns is being mastered by see-yun or something like that. I hate to use this phrase, but it almost seems passive-aggressive...drawing someone into a conversation and then shutting them down with platitudes that ignore the reality.
@Ben - That cannot be true since God made this world, and sustains our lives, for our spiritual benefit. But I believe that we all had premortal lives as spirits and some (perhaps most, nowadays) people enter their mortal incarnations as evil and with a low probability of salvation - but still a possibility. This world is for God's evil children, as well as for his good children.
@SKO. I know just what you mean. It is lazy and dishonest, and an attempt to evade spiritual responsibility.
A good example of this were the pharisees in Jesus' day. Followers of the Law, it should have been easy for them to see He was the Messiah that was prophesied. Yet, without giving their heart to God, knowing Scripture did nothing for them.
However, knowing Scripture is important for one who has embraced the Creator. In the armor of God (Ephesians 6), the one piece that is offensive is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture from memory to combat the lies of Satan (see Matthew 4). Finally, memorizing Scripture is wise for the sake of the future underground church (and/or if imprisoned).
Where do you live Bruce? My husband was close to Bill Arkle and would like to talk to you.
@KB - I would certainly be keen to speak with your husband, but I now live in Newcastle upon Tyne - a long way from Backwell (and Clifton)... If you e-mail me at bruce dot charlton at outlook dot com, maybe we could get in touch?
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