Francis Berger has a good post on his blog about how being religious these days is not enough if you lack proper spiritual perception which is the ability to see underneath and beyond the doctrines to the truth within them. Often religious people completely fail to see the evil that is running riot throughout the world and sometimes those who do see this evil fail to see its supernatural origin and the spiritual motivation behind it. It seems we cannot bring ourselves to believe in supernatural evil. We are spiritual sentimentalists who will sing "All you need is love" as we are hauled off to the pit. Well, perhaps that is a bit over the top but the fact is religion's weapons, and Christianity's in particular, are being turned against itself to advance an agenda of spiritual destruction. The well-meaning but naive and emotionally self-indulgent will be left behind unless they toughen up and acquire the wisdom of serpents. They must develop some spiritual backbone and risk being thought bad, because apparently judgemental, by the world, and the world includes most religious people who have allowed themselves to be absorbed by it.
A commenter on Francis's post asked if there were any words of Christ's applicable to the present situation. What immediately sprang to mind when I read this were these words from Matthew 7 21-23.
"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"
Many people think they are good Christians because they believe in Christ. That is not enough now if indeed it ever was. You have to start becoming Christ-like. You must at least allow him to be born in your heart and not simply have an exteriorised faith. What is it to practice lawlessness? It is to go against the law and the primary law is to love God which means to love truth. How many religious people really love truth even above their religion? That is what is required. Note, I do not say love truth above Christ but I do say that all Christians must love truth above their Christianity.
In the same Gospel, verse 24, chapter 24, Christ talks about even the elect being deceived in the end times, such will be the all-encompassing but subtle wickedness of those (these?) times. If the elect are deceived then the rank and file will be too. I call it subtle wickedness though it is not so very subtle. But it is not obvious like mass murder and that is why so many religious people fail to see it. They don't realise that evil has changed its modus operandi or it has done so to a degree. Now, in line with the change in human consciousness, it likes to present itself as good. But the problem is also that we are so influenced by materialism, even if we are religious, that we just cannot accept that what might appear random has a purposeful intelligence behind it.
It is good to be able to see the evil that dominates in the world but that is not the end of the story. Sometimes those who have a serpent's wisdom lack a dove's harmlessness. We must have both and not let our awareness of evil curdle our hearts. Then there is the matter of hope. Yes, evil is everywhere but God will prevail. This is the hope, or knowledge really, that we should always keep in mind, whatever the outer circumstances.