Friday 2 October 2020

End Times Choice

My last post might have seemed pessimistic but it was not, not really. Perhaps from a purely worldly point of view it was pessimistic but the worldly point of view is very limited and, ultimately, irrelevant. The only important things are the spiritual lessons that can be learned from the current crisis, and there are plenty of positive things we can take from it if we look at it in the right way.

To begin with, the end of it all for anyone who remains faithful to God is heaven. You can't get more positive than that. But that's the long term. However, even in the short term we can find occasion for optimism. When you understand the world process to have a beginning, middle and end then you see that what is happening now is what must happen at the end. It is necessary and inevitable. If you believe the line of history to be progressing ever onwards into always better times, you misunderstand the process. There are ages that arise and fall as part of an ongoing greater cycle. We are now in a terminal phase of a particular cycle but that is all part of the evolutionary scheme of things. At this time in the decadent phase the waters of history are being stirred up and all the detritus rises to the surface where it may be skimmed off. This may seem rather a laboured analogy but see the process at work. The depths, hitherto to some degree suppressed and kept down, have been awakened and are coming into full manifestation. This is true of the planet as a whole, of humanity considered as a group and for each individual. It applies to our civilisation and to you and me. Everywhere the same activity is at work as part of a great cleansing operation.

We cannot be tested for our ability to hold the light save in times of darkness. The very testing enables the light to be kindled in people who have to seek it inwardly when outer circumstances become so dark. The outer darkness actually brings out, or has the potential to bring out, inner light. We call on God and turn to him when he is no longer perceived to be there operating in the world. So the spiritual darkness has a twofold purpose. Those who are dark accept or even welcome it. They get what they want. Those who are open to the light are driven to seek it, and they are not left comfortless. All sincere seekers will be directed to guidance.

It is no longer fashionable to think that people are good or bad. We are all a mixture of the two, it is said. And this is perfectly true. But at the same time, we also all have a leaning towards God or away from him. Present times are stimulating this tendency within our souls and there is coming a point at which we may well be able to say that a person is good or bad in that if you are not for God, you are against him. This is a hard saying that will not be welcome everywhere in our relativistic world but that is immaterial. Truth is not dependent on fashion. It is not democratic and does not care for your feelings. The truth of the present time is that God is calling all those who wish to be with him. We respond to his voice or not as the case may be. There are plenty of excuses we can make to ignore it but these are just so many self-justifications. It is the heart that is being examined.


Bruce Charlton said...

@William - I agree with you.

But it is indeed a hard saying, and traditional Christians may find it as 'hard' as do secular leftists. Because the implication is that we are defined by what side we take in the accelerating and expanding spiritual war.

(As of 2020, almost every little thing we think, say and do is part of this spiritual war, and more and more obviously so.)

And if an 'exemplary' traditional Christians (who does all that he should, and refrains from all that he should not - according to the traditions of his church) takes the side of evil - For Whatever Reason; then that person is in fact on-the-side-of-evil, and has chosen damnation for himself.

While if some kind of recidivist rascal aligns himself on the side of Good - so long as he repents his sins (and no matter what or how many are those sins) then he is counted with the Heavenly Hosts. And he will expect salvation.

At any rate this is what I see. A world where it looks as if most of the church people, priests and other clergy and religious orders, 'good Christians', have chosen to side with Satan.

So that no matter how nice and well behaved they are - how devout and how many good works they perform; they are not just rejecting Jesus's offer of resurrection and Heaven for themselves, but (much more seriously) they are actively working to prevent and reverse the salvation of others.

To me, this is a clear teaching of Jesus, confirmed by his reported behaviour, and clearly modelled by the events of the Gospels; as well as intuitively derived and confirmed. Life now is all about Taking Sides; and the side of Good has almost-nothing to do with worldly institutions and groups.

Salvation has become absolutely personal here-and-now; and the attempt to make salvation groupish under current circumstances (i.e. with the current extremity of corruption of organisations and groups) will nowadays prove fatal.

Adil said...

I like the idea of a spiritual sorting process/progression. While secular materialism gazes into an existential void with no meaning except what you project onto it, theism reassures that the world process is ultimately working towards the good. You can rebel against God, but you can only bend reality so much until the odds turn against you.

Material pessimism must be tempered with spiritual optimism. God is making our society more and more naked. Democracy was a test of character but ended up in an existential holiday in which we became so "neutral" there was no collective goal left other than self gratification. This created a society of existentially vain people pleasers in which complacency and fear became synonymous with love.

When I contemplate Christian art, I see a serious spirituality and religion. This world is bleeding internally, and there are certain battles one must take. Existential abandonment is a sin. There is an arabic saying that goes: "A man without enemies is a man without personality". Jesus was a great person who made many enemies. And because of our own spiritual procrastination he is coming back to ask all the questions at once.

William Wildblood said...

Bruce, you make the important point that spiritual awakening/salvation/whatever one calls it must be completely personal, and it must be a decision that one takes at almost every moment. It must also be a matter of standing against the world as it has become. The heat is being turned up now and the situation is serious.

And yes, Eric, we are being called into battle. When I first became interested in spirituality this was not what I envisaged at all. The mystical element was what attracted me. Now it is becoming a simple matter of (spiritual) good and evil.

Moonsphere said...

Yes, it comes down to Truth. The picture of reality which we are being presented with is a direct challenge to our God-given faculty of discernment. Comfortable lines of thought where clear malevolence is dismissed as mere incompetence are no longer serviceable.

Everything has distilled into the primordial binaries - Light or Dark, Good or Evil.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - As you have probably gathered - I don't think of this as God 'testing' us; but as God providing us (as individuals) with those experiences we most Need.

I infer that there are many people nowadays who would not have responded to the milder and more nuanced situations of the past - I think there must be a lot of people who need the sides of Good and evil to be very clearly differentiated so that their choice is as clear as possible.

Perhaps such people were born with natures that made it unlikely they they would genuinely choose to follow Jesus (as opposed to just conforming to social conditioning, which in the old days would have meant a superficial but worthless conformity to the dominant religion), but the current situation offers them the best chance of really understanding the choice that is before them.

William Wildblood said...

I see what you mean, Bruce, but I think it is something of both, a test and an opportunity. Maybe in a spiritual sense the two are not so very different.

The question is though, how many people now really are understanding the choice? It seems to me that it is remarkably few. Will something occur that will make the choice really clear?

William Wildblood said...

Moonsphere, it is just as you say. It has previously been possible to dismiss evil as error or stupidity or incompetence or ignorance. Increasingly it should be becoming clear that evil really is just evil.

Anonymous said...

"Increasingly it should be becoming clear that evil really is just evil."

Perhaps, we should make a distinction between evil as it manifests objectively and how it is regarded subjectively. No one chooses that which they believe will harm them, or so it seems to me, and evil actions harm both ourselves and others. No matter how misguided, we choose what seems good to us. That we could have known more and made better choices seems true, otherwise free will and moral culpability would have to be rejected. Punishment for bad actions - the time-out, for children - is an opportunity for reflection and learning. The current darkness we see around us may be the result of a morality that stressed rules and authority rather than understanding. People generally did not take morality into themselves so much as allow it to be imposed upon them. Few matured morally and we seem stuck in a universal adolescence that is becoming ever more obnoxious and obscene. The Churches failed in their mission and the political life of nations reflects this failure. But, as has been pointed out in this blog, this may be an opportunity to grow into ourselves more consciously as spiritual beings with a relationship to our Creator.