Monday, September 29, 2014

The Hope of the Devil

The Hellish Logic Behind Modern Man's Unbridled Embrace of Evil
“The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19
by Rolly Haggard, Contributing Author: A spot of color in the corner of the Dead Letter Bin caught Angus Bartleby's eye. An envelope had somehow gotten entirely wedged in a crevice. As he worked it loose, he saw it bore a blue stamp with the image of King George VI. The postmark read May 1943.

“Well, I'll be jiggered,” Bartleby exclaimed. “It's been jammed in there for over a year.”

As he examined the envelope, the glue gave way and the letter inside fell to the floor. He would have simply tossed it in the rubbish, but the quaintness of the lettering, handwritten in dark crimson ink, gave him pause. “I suppose there's no harm in scanning a few lines,” he told himself. And with that he began reading words that neither man nor angel had ever laid eyes on:

My Dear Nephew,

It is of the utmost importance that you read and destroy this immediately. What I tell you here has been sealed since Eden. It must not fall into enemy hands. Though His people are inept beyond words, our Ancient Foe always seems to find ways to leverage their weaknesses to His advantage. We cannot take any chances.

I have just learned that Heaven is presently making plans for the Final Battle. We have but decades to deploy our own “Armageddon Strategy.”

No doubt you have wondered at times how, pitted as we are against so formidable an Adversary, our Father has been able to remain so unshakably optimistic all these millennia. There's no question our Enemy could vanquish us in a moment if He so wished. (I hardly need remind you of the sampling of His wrath we received at the Rebellion.)

But the fact is, we've always known He won't take drastic action “before the time.” His ego won't permit it. He wants to drive home a point, but it requires due process. Ironically, it's that consummate ego of His which, in the end, will prove—if you'll pardon the term—our salvation.

To put it plainly, He's not finished flaunting in front of His sycophantic followers how “great and glorious” He is. The whole reason He's spared us this long is so at the end He can rattle off a long litany of undeserved mercies bestowed on a select group of “unworthy” men. He's so cocksure of final victory He hasn't given a moment's thought to how His glory-seeking has set Him up for defeat.

Yes, Nephew, I said defeat. The passage of time has provided us opportunity to mount an invincible counteroffensive. Our Enemy, blinded by self-adulation, has convinced Himself His “mercies” have served solely to secure the adoring worship of millions. But the truth is His vainglorious displays have allowed us to build the case that everything He does is selfishly motivated. He doesn't love people; He loves only Himself. That Cross thing wasn't about men; it was about His glory. Instead of chronicling why any should love Him, history has been documenting why all should hate Him.

Indeed, Our Father believes—indeed, is very confident—that by the time the Final Battle is joined there will be sufficient evidence to convince the world the Enemy is just as guilty of transgression as any of those over whom He audaciously presumes to sit in judgment. When this becomes universally apparent (and it is our intention to make it so) He won't be able to condemn anyone without condemning Himself.

This is how our strategy will work: Men act more on instinct than on carefully reasoned thought. Exploiting that, we plan to stimulate in every man's subconsciousness a growing awareness that to this day God cannot furnish a satisfactory explanation for the existence of “evil.”

You may be thinking, “But most men are practical atheists. Why would they bother themselves regarding Someone they don't really believe exists?” The fact is, Nephew, atheism isn't disbelief in God. All men know God exists. They just don't like Him. Atheism is simply the refusal to acknowledge Him, the final stage of contempt before outright hostility. It is the passive hatred of God. We're going to incite men to go from passive to active hatred.

When that happens it will produce unbridled rage, manifesting itself in thoughts like “How dare He sit in judgment on me? He's the one who set the stage for evil and suffering in the first place. Not only is He not worthy to be worshiped, He's not worthy of anything—except to be despised and blasphemed!”

And that is exactly what will ensue: despite and blasphemy. Feeling wholly justified to openly rebel against Him, men will throw off everything that smacks of deference, even little things like common decency. But most notably they will reject—utterly and brazenly—all He calls “good,” and embrace—unreservedly—all He calls “evil.” They will perform, even in public, the most outrageous acts of immorality and barbarism imaginable—and will pointedly do it, simply because He forbids it.

And then we deal Him the death blow. As men become universally conscious that the existence of evil and suffering was part of His deliberate plan, they will perceive the moral rectitude of our ancient Rebellion and will rise up in solidarity with us against our Unjust Judge. Together, in the coming second and final offensive, we will accuse Him of precisely what the accumulated evidence shows: that He wanted us to sin so He could “righteously” damn some, and “mercifully” save others—all for His “glory.”

It is this, our calling Him to account, that will bring Him down. For if He is not able to prove Himself blameless, neither is He qualified to reign over us and sit in moral judgment upon our sins. If we perish under those circumstances, then we perish with honor, being proven the only truly righteous ones and He the true devil.

But, Nephew, we shall not perish. Our Enemy is too proud to live with the admission that He's even more at fault than those on whom He sits in judgment. He may forever wish us damned, but to save His pride He will almost certainly have to grant us clemency by conceding the unjustness of our condemnation. Unless He wishes to live with eternal self-loathing—which, considering His prodigious ego, is exceedingly unlikely—He will be forced to grant us, with Himself, blanket amnesty. Thus both parties, being equally “guilty,” shall be equally exonerated; He to live eternally the way He wants, and we to live eternally the way we want.

So there you have it: Our Father's hope, the source of his optimism. It is a hope that is, if I may coopt our Enemy's own phrase, “both sure and steadfast.”

Sometime ago one of His more intractable followers sneeringly remarked: “The devill . . . the prowde spirite . . . cannot endure to be mocked.” Do you see the heady irony here, Nephew? The thing Christians most scorn in Our Father—pride—is the very thing that shall prove the downfall of the One they call their Father! When I recall statements like this found in Psalm 74:22 I can scarcely contain myself:

“Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long.”

Tell me again who the foolish one is!

I must close, Nephew. I'm feeling giddy.

Your affectionate and jubilant uncle,
S.

Dropping it in the trash like the unclean thing it was, Bartleby thought to himself, what a horrid letter! Could the day really come when the whole world might descend with abandon into such evils? He didn't really think so. But he was dimly aware his was more a refusal than a conviction. With effort he finally brought himself to say, “Why, it's nowt but despicable nonsense. And to think for a minute ye almost convinced yourself of it. Ah, Bartleby!”

But as if in reply, only a few hundred leagues distant there came pouring forth from trainloads of helpless human cargo—themselves on the way to abject, howling nightmare—what some might call a prophecy (presaging, as it did, the commission of murderous cruelties against millions even more helpless than they—against babies); and yet a prophecy uttered not with words but with the anguished tears and groans of multitudes crying, in language seemingly understood and cared about by Heaven alone, “Ah, Humanity!”
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Author's note: The foregoing is “a true fiction.” Precisely what that term signifies is left to the reader to decide. Sincerest apologies to C. S. Lewis and Herman Melville for the several audacious liberties.
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Rolley Haggard is an IT manager for a multinational corporation in the Southeast.  He is a Christian and pro-life activist.  He shared this article with the editor for publication. It was also been published previously on the BreakPoint Blog.

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