April 5 – Darkness In Disguise

Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.
(Luke 11:35)

Read: Deuteronomy 28:1-68, Luke 11:14-36, Psalm 77:1-20, Proverbs 12:18 

Relate: I was reading through some reviews on Imdb and saw one for one show how one of the main characters was  “courageously exploring” the fact that she was a lesbian. The reviewer said this was not the main thrust of the TV show but it was a subplot that she was glad they had included. “It is good to see such uplifting content.” I moved on to look for something else to watch.

Or perhaps read. I always have a few different books I am working through, one I have recently started is The Great and Holy War by Philip Jenkins. I am less than a third of the way through but so far he is demonstrating how each country portrayed World War One as a titanic spiritual struggle against evil with their side representing good. This wasn’t just something spun up by each side’s propaganda machine but rather a belief that pervaded every level of society. Jenkins quotes one religious leader after another endorsing slaughter of the enemy “for God’s sake”. Some might have been lunatic or fringe cranks but others, both conservative and liberal were major figures I know and respect. Part of me really wishes he was overstating his case, but another part has seen first hand the insane amount of militaristic jingoism masquerading as religion on social media during more recent conflicts and events as well as at certain church services around Memorial Day or Independence Day.

As I started typing up this devotional I also remembered back a certain sci-fi show I have seen set in the distant future. This was a place was one where the world’s religions no longer existed. Humanity had evolved beyond that and science had finally brought us beyond the barbaric need for religion. It is the same talking points you might read from militants like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris: “The idea of God is an evil we need to eradicate like we have the smallpox virus.”

React: Calling good evil and evil good is nothing new. Every society feels as though they have reached the pinnacle of moral philosophy and the cultural ideas they are trumpeting today are so much greater than the backward thinking of yesteryear. The greatest evil in the pop psychology of modern thinking is intolerance or rigidly holding to moral absolutes. The greatest good is to say there is no such thing as good and evil. Just as the greatest good fifty years ago was to be a law-abiding member of society and not some civil rights rabble rouser. Just as the greatest good a hundred years ago was to pick up your rifle and march to the trenches in this ultimate conflict against evil. Just as…

It is very easy to allow culture to dictate our morality rather than scripture. It is actually a very hard thing to guard against. Cultural influence is everywhere and it is consistently promoting darkness as light. The problem is, culture is constantly changing its opinions. As rock solid and all-pervasive as it seems today, fifty years from now it will just look silly. On the other hand, scripture does not change. God’s ordinances will be just as absolute. Where are we getting our light from? What are we allowing to influence the way we think and view the world? Are we focusing in on the truth of God’s Word or are our eyes constantly straying toward’s the world’s darkness in disguise?

Respond:

Dear God,
I confess that it is all too often oh so easy to buy into my cultures dictates for a definition of right and wrong. I even admit that I will sometimes catch myself trying to interpret scripture through my modern mindset and understanding rather than seeking out what was said in the context of when it was written. Be my vision. Be my understanding of what is truly good, what is truly light. Help my eyes to focus on You first and only. Let me see everything else through the lense of the Light that You provide.
Amen.

 

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7 thoughts on “April 5 – Darkness In Disguise

  1. There is a definite EVIL in society and it must be addressed, exposed, resisted, and hopefully defeated. There is good and evil not calling EVIL evil is almost as damning as calling that which is good evil. Also, the failure of a society to embrace WHAT IS GOOD opens the door to embrace everything. So there is a fine line one must walk when dealing with the subject of good and evil. There is nothing wrong with calling out EVIL and addressing it in light of scriptural counsel, and there is also nothing wrong with highlighting what is GOOD again in accordance with scripture. Not addressing either is where the Lord’s admonition concerning Laodicea comes into play a lukewarm society which doesn’t embrace anything but rather TOLERATES everything. IMO

  2. Interesting to read this after our church started a new series in Daniel today. The thrust of the first week was ‘thriving in Babylon’ – being in the world but not of it. Encouraging thoughtful, prayerful consideration of what we do and don’t do.
    I’ve missed your writing!

  3. This is divine irony. I have not read anything beyond what I have to for work in the last few months. Since I moved to a very different place and have been observing the culture here, I have been thinking these same things. It feels like being an outsider without a manual. This post was exactly what I needed to read at the precise moment I read it. Thanks as always for your approach to the Manual that never changes.

    On Sun, Apr 8, 2018 at 12:27 AM, THE RIVER WALK wrote:

    > The River Walk posted: ” Make sure that the light you think you have is > not actually darkness. (Luke 11:35) Read: Deuteronomy 28:1-68, Luke > 11:14-36, Psalm 77:1-20, Proverbs 12:18 Relate: I was reading through some > reviews on Imdb and saw one for one show how one of the” >

  4. As each new day dawns and each new hour unfolds within it , it seems that a ‘new’ evilappears On our screens, in our written media and the world around us.
    Those to whom we would have formerly looked for guidance, inspiration, correction or truth, are either bereft of any words or speak words which support the evils that we see.
    “To whom shall we go Lord; You have the message of eternal life.” You are the way the truth and the life!
    Thank you BJ for your timely words as this world system perishes around us.
    May God help us each to be truth bearers as long as we shall live on the earth.

  5. “The natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas

    Notice: participation, not interpretation. Chaos is found in interpretation. Chaos is not good. It does not foster peace but rather conflict. Only order is good. Order is found in participation. Participation in this sense is an act of obedience to the eternal. It does foster peace. For all who do participate are on the same page.

    Natural law is determined in by the Law of First Principle. The truth of a thing is in its natural function. This gives it its purpose. A pencil’s function and purpose is to write. A can opener is to open a can. If we use either to perform the function of the other, we then are in violation of natural law and further are responsible for perversion in the failure to properly allow each thing to fulfill ITS purpose. This is true in all things.

    -Alan

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