Home > Miscellaneous > An Emotionally and (I can’t type all that)… part 2

An Emotionally and (I can’t type all that)… part 2

Alrighty folks. Similar stuff here to last time, but a little more expansive. This part was highly influenced by a book by Greg Boyd called “God at War,” although I’m not sure which parts are stuff I got from him, which stuff is from others, and which stuff is from me. Side note: somewhat surprisingly, I actually have only read 2 articles by Greg Boyd on Open Theism and the previous section is only mildly influenced by him – most of it actually comes from my more expansive readings of Arminians and Calvinists. At any rate, his book was a powerful reminder of the nature of the world that we are living in and what our role within this world is. 

God is and has been in a very long war against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms and this war has always and will always have dramatic effects on our lives here on earth. I believe the idea of a creation that is being incessantly assaulted is inextricable from a coherent worldview. Really. We are in the middle of a warzone. Everything is so damn messed up. I think much more than we realize. Nothing really makes sense, at least not with a good God, unless there are legitimately powerful forces working to destroy what that God is trying to accomplish. 

And these forces are legitimately powerful. At least in Scripture they certainly seem to be. Think about what Satan did to Job. He caused things to happen that killed a lot of people close to Job and destroyed his wealth overnight. Egyptians were able to mimic a lot of what Moses did. When Scripture talks about other gods/spiritual beings it rarely talks about them as not having existence, but often simply refers to them as being less powerful than the God of the Israelites. But they still work to destroy His good creation. Look at how often gods like Asher and Baal were able to fool the Israelites into worshipping them instead of the one true God that had done so much of behalf of the Jewish people. They have tremendous influence in the world and over people and are creators of tremendous destruction of the good things God has made.  

I think that when we identify free and inimical spiritual beings as a key force in destroying creation, the world becomes a more sensible place. We then have the ability to attribute the hellish things to a battle going on behind the scenes, not to God or not just to bad people. I am convinced that oftentimes things like genocide, slavery, sex-trafficking, rape, war, murder, abuse, and the like come directly out of these hellish creatures winning the battle for people-s minds and souls. They aren’t merely products of human imperfection, but of the massive war incessantly raging in realms we cannot see unless we look closely and know what to look for. For me, this makes sense. It is coherent to blame the shit of the world on formidable creatures determined to make it shitty. It doesn’t make sense to call the unthinkable pain and sorrow “God’s will.”  

But some of the truly hellish things are lies and deceptive desires in us. Gossip is destructive and happens everyday. We have voices that seem to speak directly into our heart that confirm our insecurities, play on our fears, and enhance our anxieties. We hide from others everyday by not telling them everything or by simply lying to their face. We judge others who sin without even realizing just how unmerciful, graceless, unloving, and sinful our own selves are. We define ourselves by our wrongs and have this faithless self-demeaning perspective of who we are which drives us to all sorts of horrible things: like comparing ourselves to others, being constantly concerned with those things that don’t matter to make ourselves feel better, viewing others as we view ourselves, let ourselves be controlled by others desires to make them like us so that we feel valued in some way, compromise our character for supercilious reasons, and arrogant self-obsession. These things destroy our lives from the inside out and they are just as much a part of the battle as anything else. 

Also, I’m pretty convinced that letting the worldview of Scripture, one of God warring against spiritual forces, root itself deep in our minds and become entrenched in our souls will give us a more clear perspective of the role a Jesus follower plays in the world. We are soldiers that need to be set on fighting the spiritual battle raging around us and in us. First we fight in ourselves to rid us of the hell inside us and let the kingdom of heaven completely reign within. Then, we make sure we always interact with the world around us in such a way as to rectify the wrongs created and build other up who are as determined to rectify the wrongs as we are. Passivity and ignorance are not options in the middle of a firefight. If we choose either we will be overrun.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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