Monthly Archives: March 2013

Being Alone With God – Conclusion

Retreating, sometimes called “wilderness time”, is a practice that we engage in to be formed by God.  I have suggested that we define this time as intentionally being alone with God.  We are mindful of our intentions because they set the tone for our time and actions.  Our intention in wilderness time is to submit to God and to His work upon us.  The way that we “be” with God is by setting aside distractions and the things that compete with Him for the top spot in our lives.  By doing this we are able to give our undivided attention to Him whether we are listening to what He is telling us or simply waiting on Him.  We are alone with God by finding a space where we are able to set aside the masks and pretenses that we hide behind.  In doing this, we stop withholding things from God and allow Him to work on us in our entirety.

This definition speaks to the heart of wilderness time but says nothing about the shape of it.  To put it differently, intentionally being alone with God is where we aim to be, but there is no special formula to get there.  For example, the way in which I go about setting aside distractions may be different than the way you do.  We seek the same destination but by different vehicles.

One thing that cannot be stressed enough is that God does not meet us only in the woods or only in the mountains.  To think that God is limited by elements or locations is to make the same mistake as the servants of Ben-Hadad after they had been defeated by the Israelites (1 Kings 20:23-25).  They reasoned that “their gods are gods of the hills.  Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger then they.”  They thought that God would only be powerful as long as they were in the hills and so they sought to fight Israel in the plains, out of His reach.  However, God overthrew them in the plain just as He did in the hills.  God is not limited by location (Psalm 139:7-12).  I know of a fellow who goes down to the local coffee shop for his wilderness time because it is amidst the activity and goings on that he can best attend to God.

Although intentionally being alone with God is the end we pursue, it is not the ultimate goal of wilderness time.  The goal is to put ourselves in a place where we submit to God’s work upon us.  Paul describes this work in his letter to the church in Ephesus:

“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:  that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

-Ephesians 4:20-24

In wilderness time, we listen to God and are taught by God.  He helps us to take off and throw away our old self that rots away as it serves sin.  He renews our mind and puts on us our new self that is made in His uncorrupted image.  This taking off and putting on occurs piece by piece in a process that will not be complete until we are with God in heaven.

In many ways we might think of this process as being given a bath by God.  We are His children bearing His image, but we have found a wonderful mud puddle and gotten ourselves absolutely filthy.  God has given us an invitation to be cleaned up and get a fresh set of clothes.  We truly accept His invitation by not only saying yes but actually letting Him give us a bath.  However, we can often be like unruly children (or perhaps more accurately, ill-tempered cats) during this process.  We resist what He is trying to do for us and many times run back to our favorite mud puddle only to realize that we were happier when we were cleaner.  Fortunately, God is patient and welcomes us back with open arms when we turn to go back to Him.  In wilderness time, we make a conscious effort to cooperate with the bath process and not fuss with Him.  In doing this we find that He is indeed an interesting cleaner.  Sometimes He tells us things about ourselves and sometimes He tells us things about Himself.  Sometimes He shares with us stories from long ago and sometimes He sheds new light on new stories.  Sometimes He speaks with us and sometimes He loves us in silence.

Perhaps this whole wilderness time/retreat business still seems rather vague and it is difficult to know where to start.  Here are a few ideas that you may find helpful:

1)      Find a place where you feel comfortable and alert, “alive” as it were.  Go there and read one of the Gospels in that state of mind.  Read at a leisurely pace, lingering at the parts that grab your attention.

2)      Find a spot where you can listen to you favorite music album without distractions.  When you listen to it, imagine that you are listening to it with God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit, whoever you are most comfortable with.  Imagine His reactions and what He would say to you as you listen together.

3)      Carve out some time to engage in your hobby.  As you go about it, ask yourself why you enjoy it.  Ask yourself where God fits into the picture:  how has He blessed you through it, how does it lead you to Him.

Again, these are merely suggestions to help you get started and see what wilderness time looks and tastes like.  Retreats/wilderness time is not something for only the monks and nuns or the “especially religious”.  It is something for anyone who is seeking God and to be formed by Him.  If you have been a Christian for many years and want to grow closer with God, the wilderness is calling.  If you are not a Christian and are merely curious, the first suggestion above is a great way to do some hands-on-learning.

The desert monks would often spend time in solitude in spaces they had found or built called “cells”.  The work of these monks in their cells is the same work we have been discussing over these last 4 weeks.  In that spirit, allow me to conclude this series with the words of one of these monks concerning these cells:

“The monk’s cell is that furnace of Babylon in which the three children found the Son of God; but it is also the pillar of cloud, out of which God spoke to Moses.”


Damage Control – Faith Limiters

Should you fail at the above, there is one last tactic you might deploy to salvage the cause and whatever may be left of your reputation.  A Christian is only as powerful as its faith and reliance on the Enemy.   The Enemy can, and does, build up their faith if they are left to freely accept it.  There are a number of ways that you can lock down the human in an effort to keep the Enemy from carrying out his perverse plan of spiritual growth.  We call these techniques faith limiters and they are intended for no purpose other than to hold the line in battle and prevent the loss of any more ground.

The first faith limiter is trust in worldly knowledge.  This is a very simple technique that is based completely on doubt.  Every day the flesh creature is bombarded with all kinds of information and “facts”.  These facts can be used to make the human think that the Enemy is only able to work within the bounds of the world He created.  This means that the occurrence of so-called “miracles” is very difficult for the human to take to heart.  By definition, such miracles challenge their concept of how the world works and, therefore, greatly distress them.  They would much rather that the Enemy leave them to have complete knowledge and control of the world around them.  This aversion to the unknown works greatly in our favor when trying to cap their faith.  All you need to do is consistently remind the little mutant that there is a perfectly reasonable and scientific explanation for everything.

The second limiter is much more subtle than the first because it involves hiding your attack on their faith.  In this case, they fully believe the stories in the Enemy’s propaganda but they never take the step of thinking that it could ever relate to them in any real sense.  The unconscious thought that cycles through their head goes something like this:  “Wow, that was an amazing story, but it has nothing to do with me.”  It certainly doesn’t appear to be an outright denial of what the Enemy says, but recall that the Enemy is ever so fond of changing them by way of His propaganda.  Though they believe the stories, they deny the ability of the Enemy to reach them through such stories.  This maneuver relies on quietly slipping doubt and denial into their hearts.

They can think that they are perfectly good, obedient Christians while completely and utterly disbelieving the Enemy.  Our social engineers have done a magnificent job of creating an environment conducive to this sort of game.  Even if they believe the Enemy, they have been conditioned to think in terms of what they can perceive with their own senses.  These conditioned ways of thinking limit what they believe about Him and therefore what they allow Him to do for them.  The less involvement the Enemy has in the flesh creature’s life, the better chance you have of smothering the little abomination.

The third limiter is particularly amusing because of the irony inherent in it.  This is the “do it myself” (d.i.m.) Christian.  The d.i.m. Christian insists on being wholly self-sufficient even to the exclusion of the Enemy’s work in their lives.  One particularly useful pitfall is the institution of works-based religion.  Focus their attention on doing good things and following rules.  This does a surprisingly good job of turning their perception of the Enemy’s propaganda into a collection of abstract ideas that have little meaning beyond defining what is good and what is bad.  This throws up a mental barricade that prevents the entry of anything unsavory that might come from the Enemy.

This strategy also solidifies the notion that following rules and doing good deeds is the primary way to get into heaven.  Ha!  If that were the case then we would be back in our rightful places given all of the good deeds we’ve done by awakening the humans to true freedom apart from that egotistical megalomaniac who started this conflict in the first place by resisting our claim to be His equals.  As mentioned earlier it appears that the gateway to heaven is something that the Enemy refers to as “grace”.  We have not yet figured out what He really means by this, but our intelligence department is hard at work right now to uncover the truth of the matter.  Suffice it to say that a focus on doing good deeds is preferable to a focus on this “grace”.  The emphasis on good deeds provides a great payoff if one is skilled enough to see it through to its conclusion.

When the flesh creature adopts the idea that they are, by themselves, improving their spiritual lives by doing good deeds, you are able to move to the next phase.  Next, you must gently nudge the little beast into a position where it believes (regardless of what it may verbally claim) that it is the master of its own spiritual destiny.  Achieve this, and you will have successfully sculpted the sack of viscera into a d.i.m. Christian.  It actually rejects the Enemy’s help because it “can handle things just fine on its own”.  The Enemy is merely expected to repay good deeds with a happy life and eternity.  From this precarious position, you may, if practical, go for the kill by eroding the role of “grace” in the human’s life.  Make it more and more of an abstract concept.  In short, you are aiming to make good deeds the wretch’s perceived source of entry into heaven.  However, it is certainly in for quite a surprise.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

Being Alone With God – Alone

The “alone component of wilderness time describes creating a space to be with God.  Many of the images of wilderness time presented in the Bible involve a literal wilderness as such a space:  Elijah was called into the wilderness, as were John the Baptist and Jesus.  However, this is not to the exclusion of other places; David would sit on his bed at night to meditate and Peter sat on a rooftop to pray.  We don’t need to go into a literal wilderness in order to be alone with God.

“Alone” describes a particular way that we are with God.  We can intentionally be with God in a variety of ways with others.  Such instances might include church services, Bible studies, or group prayer.  Being alone with God carries with it a kind of openness and vulnerability with God.  John Chryssavgis, summarizing one of the desert fathers, vividly captures what being alone with God means in the context of the desert:

“Abba Alonius says that, in the presence of God, you face up to yourself in the desert.  In the desert, you discover your true self, without any masks or myths.  There you are forced to come to terms with your self.  Ultimately, you are called to face up to and fight against your demons, without blaming either someone else or your past.”

In a sense, being alone with God takes being with God a step further.  In being with God, we set aside distractions and undividedly attend to God.  In being alone with God we also set aside the “masks or myths” that we hide behind and are ourselves before God.  Elijah’s encounter with God on Mt. Horeb may serve to put more flesh and blood on this idea:

“So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.  And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword.  I alone am left and they seek to take my life.”

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.”  And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks into pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.  So it was when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.  Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword.  I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”  Then the Lord said to him:  “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria.  Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel.  And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.  It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill.  Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

-1 Kings 19:8-18

After his triumph over the prophets of Baal, Elijah most likely expected Israel to turn back to God.  However, he soon found out that the figureheads of Baal-worship, Ahab the king and his wife, Jezebel, were still very much in charge.  With his life under threat, he flees into the wilderness and asks God to take his life because he has failed.  It is at this time that God calls him to Horeb.

It is on the mountain that Elijah is alone with God and where he confronts himself.  Here, though he covers his face with his mantle; he is figuratively naked before God.  He brings his complaints directly to God rather than hiding them behind a mask of what he thinks he “ought” to do or say.  When we are alone with God, we allow our true self to come out, warts and all.  However, we are not facing our true self on our own.  We must remember that, just like Elijah, we have God by our side.  He will help us as we seek to move past our true self towards our True Self:  past who we currently are towards who God has called us to be in Christ.

God’s answer to Elijah’s complaints may strike us as odd.  Some may expect that He would chastise Elijah while others may expect Him to provide more comfort.  Instead, God tells Elijah what to do in light of the fact that, despite appearances, God is still in control, not Ahab and Jezebel.  Elijah then has a choice:  to continue in despair under his true self or to submit to God’s calling to his True Self.  When we are alone with God, His work on our hearts can take numerous forms based on what we need, but the common denominator will always be a requirement to submit to this work.  Our true selves will resist it because it entails putting off the “old man” in order to put on the “new man” (Ephesians 4:20-24).

When Elijah is alone with God, he faces his true self and ultimately triumphs over it in order to follow God’s call to his True Self as a prophet.  It was by bringing his true self before God that he is able to overcome it.  He was not able to do this on his own as evinced by his despair prior to this episode on Horeb.

Likewise, when we are alone with God, we seek a space where we bring our true selves out before Him and rely on God as the source of our victory over it so that we might be repaired and reshaped, little by little, into our True Selves.

Being Alone With God – Being

“Being” means that you have to be with God.  “Being” is a somewhat foreign concept as we are so well-practiced in the art of being in one place while our minds are focused elsewhere such as what task we have to do next or whether we’ll be late to an appointment.  Being with God gathers our attention together and places it on God.  The story of Mary and Martha provides an illustration of what it means to be with God.

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Therefore tell her to help me.’  And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

-Luke 10:38-42

The problem is not that Martha was working, but that she was letting that work distract her from Jesus.  As a matter of fact, we spend most of our time as a “Merry Martha”, going about our daily business with our gaze fixed upon Christ (Colossians 3:23).  However, during wilderness time we seek a primarily Mary-state-of-mind, quietly and intently attending to God.  The question that naturally follows this is “What do I do to imitate Mary?”  The answer is to do what Mary did:  to “sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word.”  In other words, following Mary’s example does not consist so much in doing as much as in being.

We typically strive for a balance between Martha and Mary because both are needed.  Faith, after all, is a fusion of belief and action.  In the story, Martha’s problem arose when she let her busyness come between her and Jesus whereas Mary made it her business to hear Jesus.  The difference being that Martha’s actions made her deaf to Jesus while Mary’s actions allowed her to hear Him.  When we approach wilderness time, it is tempting to focus on what we are doing and, like Martha, miss what God is doing.  This is where our intentional submission to God helps us.  Is our intention to form ourselves for God or to be formed by God?

In many ways, taking the time to be with God helps us to realign our priorities.  We carve out a block of time for God and then we don’t allow other things that normally distract us from Him to interfere.  Setting aside this time and going without the activities we typically occupy ourselves with gives us a more tangible way of setting God at the top of our list of priorities.  It also gives us the chance to make our other desires and concerns play second fiddle to our desire for God.  This may be the most difficult part of being with God.  It is one thing to put God on equal footing with our other priorities, but it is something completely different to make them secondary to God so that He alone is our top priority.

Being with God is difficult and requires time and practice because it requires that we set aside things that not comfortable setting aside.  However, in so doing we open ourselves up to receive from God.

Practical Questions:

1)      What competes with God for the top spot in my life?

2)      Am I content simply being with God at times?  Why or why not?

3)      What specific steps can I take to follow Mary’s example in my wilderness time?

Damage Control – Yo-Yo Christians

In order to present as a “good Christian” doing something “Christian-y” is in vogue at the moment.  Most likely because of the feelings it produces.  We have been able to use this to produce a number of what we call yo-yo Christians.  A yo-yo Christian is someone who goes on a trip, reads a book, does some work, etc. and starts feeling spiritually energized and enlightened because of it.  In reality, what they are feeling is only that:  a feeling.  It soon wears off after they have told others about their experience and how it made them holy.  Although a novice tempter like yourself may be worried about the apparent spiritual fervor, be assured that a closer inspection will confirm that it is only a feeling and you can sit back and wait for the air to go out of it naturally.

Like all humans, these yo-yo Christians affect everyone they come in contact with.  We are able to use this fact in our favor.  When the yo-yo is on a perceived spiritual high, it will attempt to do the Enemy’s will without having any actual contact with Him.  There is a story circulated in the Enemy’s propaganda about a similar sort of behavior enacted by the “sons of Sceva” a group of exorcists who attempted to subdue one of our agents without standing in any real spiritual power.  As expected, our agent quickly disposed of them and their pathetic attempts to meddle in our business.  Unfortunately, due to that agent’s rashness, the Enemy has been able to twist the event around into some kind of lesson to the human scum.  However, you students of temptation can also learn something from it.  These yo-yo Christians are very similar to the sons of Sceva in that they are more puff and pomp than real power.  Because of this, we can use them to accomplish our own ends while they are out on their quixotic march.

The first strategy is to focus on the yo-yo itself.  Recall that it believes itself to be positively exuding the power and favor of the Enemy.  What do you suppose would happen if we were to show it that there is actually a rather large distance between it and the Enemy?  Do you think that it would realize the error of its ways and scamper back to the Enemy’s feet?  That may be a real possibility had the sin of pride never been deployed in our struggle.  Given there’s a chance that your earlier lessons haven’t sunk in, we shall explain this in more detail.

Humans despise having to admit that they are wrong because then they would be faced with guilt.  Remember that the flesh creatures would do or believe anything to avoid this unpleasant sensation.  Based on this fact, a plan of attack can be formulated.  Suggest to the yo-yo that it is not the case that it has moved away from the Enemy, but that the Enemy has moved away from it.  This simple thought begets feelings of anger and betrayal which can then be used to drive the yo-yo further away from the Enemy and render it even more ineffective to His cause.

If circumstances permit, there is a second strategy that can be used.  It may be the case that the yo-yo is already a sufficient distance from the Enemy so that it is not necessary to drive it any further away.  The game in this case is to closely monitor what is coming in through the wretch’s spiritual intake.  You must make sure that no real spiritual sustenance comes in but that it only appears to.  The idea is to get it to think that it is being fed when it is not.  Allow the human to get real spiritual food, and you run the risk of the Enemy growing it, allow the human to become aware that it isn’t being fed and it may start seeking real food.  The key here is to pacify the human and keep it from becoming aware of what is really going on.

Keep in mind that you are creating the façade of a spiritual life.  At times you will allow it to take in false food and believe that it is experiencing growth.  Yet at other times you should close off the apparent inflow of spiritual food to simulate the periodic dry spells that all Christians, healthy or not, experience.  You know that the Enemy is the source of the humans’ spiritual growth and that it is impossible for them to grow if they are not close to Him.  The deception you are running is aimed at disguising their distance and lack of contact with the Enemy by hiding any signal that may be indicative of their current predicament.  Great tempters have been able to use this strategy to bring down numerous Christians.

Another approach to the yo-yo Christian is to use it to run interference against the Church.  As stated earlier, the yo-yo affects everyone it comes into contact with.  Normally this is a troublesome attribute when dealing with Christians, however most Christians are not as useful to us as our up-and-down pet on a string.  The use of which we speak is based on an ingrained sense of holier-than-thou-ness and self-righteousness.

It is necessary to carefully prepare this poison before trying to run any operations.  We are sure that you have covered the basics of spiritual chemistry in your lab courses, but it is a sad fact that not all tempters are equally adept and a review of this process is most likely necessary.  The basic mixture that you want consists of sophistry and a healthy helping of pride.  Sophistry is used as a harmless substitute for real understanding and wisdom.  It allows them to think that they actually know something without really knowing anything.  Just because they are good at arguing doesn’t mean that they really know anything.  However, sophistry on its own is not enough accomplish your goals for them because a straight-up sophist can be corrected and see the error of his ways.  It is necessary to add pride in order to lock them in.  A good fool is a proud fool.  The way this works is that there is a spiritual reaction between the pride and sophistry that fuses them together.  Remember how humans hate to admit being wrong because of the guilt involved?  Proud humans especially hate to admit they’re wrong.  Thus, they will refuse to see their errors and be corrected.

Now that you have properly prepared the yo-yo Christian, you can deploy it in the field.  The chief purpose of a yo-yo is to unknowingly put forth our image of the Enemy and our image of the Church.  The yo-yo is on a perceived spiritual high and thus believes itself to be close the Enemy when it is in fact far from Him.  When the yo-yo interacts with others and tries to push the Enemy’s agenda, it quickly becomes apparent that its attempts to be a “good Christian” are spiritually hollow.  This alone is enough to cause others to scoff at the Enemy and scorn His attempts to reach out to them.

In summary, you are to use the illusion of a spiritual high to put the Christian on a string and then manipulate it to serve whatever purpose best suits the circumstances.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

Being Alone With God – Intentionally

By “intentionally” I mean that we have a goal or purpose that guides our actions; in this case our goal is to be alone with God.  This neither implies nor excludes an agenda or schedule, but it does mean that such considerations are secondary and shaped by our intention to be alone with God.  There is no special formula for retreating.  The way that we focus on God may be completely different from one person to the next.  However, the goal of attending to God remains the same.

Intentionality is key to wilderness time because it affects how we relate to God during that time.  Consider the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector as an illustration:

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’  And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

-Luke 18:10-14

The Pharisee and the tax collector both went up to the temple, but they had drastically different intentions.  The Pharisee was interested in boasting to God and others about how good he was and could have added going to temple to his list of religious accomplishments.  If we approach wilderness time with the intention of adding it to our Christian pedigree, then we will entirely miss the point and it will be little more than puffing up our ego.  We will be too busy talking to listen to what God has to say.  In this frame of mind, the wilderness time is itself the end rather a means to the end of communing with and being formed by God.  In other words, we do not allow God to form us because we have accomplished our goal and spiritually checked out as soon as we have begun our retreat.

Contrast this with the tax collector’s intentions:  rather than boasting he was there to humble himself before God.  Our goal in wilderness time is to commune with and be formed by God; the first step in doing this is submitting to God.  Once we have relinquished control of our spiritual growth to Him we are free to concentrate on cooperating with Him.  The image presented in the tax collector gives us some tips for getting our intentions right.  First, the tax collector had no illusions about himself and recognized that he was a sinner in desperate need of God’s mercy.  We must be willing to know and be honest with ourselves.  Second, the tax collector was not interested in making his trip to the temple about himself.  As a matter of fact, he stood “afar off”, away from the center of attention.  While we need to know ourselves, wilderness time is focused on God and not us.

Very often our intentions are the difference between an attitude of self-righteousness and an attitude of submission.  Even if we have the perfect plan for our wilderness time, it will be useless if we do not submit to God and allow Him to form us.  This is why we must intentionally be alone with God in wilderness time.  The intentions that we bring to our retreat are the foundation on which the rest of it is built.

Practical Questions:

  1. Do I identify more with the Pharisee or the tax collector in the story?  Why?
  2. What am I giving up by being honest about myself with myself?  By being honest about myself with God?
  3. How might I be more intentional in my walk with God today?

Damage Control – Strawmen

If the stagnation approach doesn’t work to stem the spiritual tide flowing from the Enemy, you may attempt to use a carrot on a stick to lead them away from Him.  The use of strawmen is one of the most efficient and amusing ways to accomplish this.  Simply put, a strawman is an object that is used as a red herring or decoy to shift the focus off of a substantive point while still providing the illusion of success.

The same thing can be done in the Church arena.  Most often it takes the form of a cause.  What happens is that you take a cause and make that the focus and defining issue of the flesh creature’s spiritual life.  The scum then attends numerous rallies, seminars, and other events.  They may even become a well known and respected individual in their cause.  Yet at the end of the day, when the Enemy asks them “What have you done for Me?” they will have no answer because they have not been working for Him but for a cause.  More importantly, when He asks them “How much have you grown spiritually?” they will also have no answer to give.  You see, despite all of the hours they have poured into their cause, they never once included the Enemy in their work except as a figurehead used to dubiously justify their beliefs.

Remember that our business turns on keeping the human pestilence as far from the Enemy as possible regardless of whether they are in His camp or not.  It is especially vital to do this in the latter case because otherwise He will grow them into even more bothersome creatures.  It is an obscene process that is lumped in with that whole business of submitting to Him.  Suffice it to say that they are like plants that He provides with soil, water, and sunlight so that they may grow and produce fruit.  Indeed, it is a sickeningly lush analogy, but bear in mind that it was taken from His propaganda, so you know that it can’t possibly be completely true.  He obviously has some kind of hustle going, but our intelligence department is yet to figure it out.  The point is that we can use a cause to lead them farther from Him, resulting in them doing relatively little, if anything, to harm to our projects.

Leading the vermin away from the Enemy with a strawman produces a number of other useful side effects.  For example, as you move them further from the Enemy, you can use the extra space that would normally be filled by Him to accumulate a sense of hatred and resentment for those that are seen as being in opposition to their cause.  It should have been a basic part of your lab courses that hatred behaves much like a parasite:  it feeds off of its host and slowly consumes it, leaving a mere shade of the human behind.  The amount of hatred in a human is directly proportional to its unhappiness.

It is also possible to implant in the flesh creature’s mind a concept of the Enemy as hating certain parts of His creation (these parts are incidentally the same ones the flesh creature hates).  Granted, this concept of Enemy as hating people obviously runs counter to what He presents in His propaganda.  However, when the Enemy is cast in the light of hatred, the humans see Him only as a deity of justice (of the human’s own brand of course, if the Enemy really were just there would be no conflict going on right now as He would have seen the truth in our claims of equality with Him).

Now consider this:  what kind of relationship can the human mind conjure up with a deity of justice that hates people?  As you can hopefully tell, l— never enters the equation.  The perceived relationship is built on common hatreds.  The deception of l— that the flesh creatures thrive under is removed as hatred for others enters the picture.  To the degree that hatred rules their lives, to that same degree is l— removed from it and their souls languish all the more.  Now if hate holds sway in the life of the human, then they have essentially given their life over to hatred and, therefore, not to the Enemy and provided us with a victory.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.