…after a long day, week, and weeks.
I recall a time when I ran an analytical team for a three-letter agency. Our team was given a task to determine ground-truth, which would result in decisions affecting the lives and safety of our men and women in combat. I anticipated one or two possible outcomes, but I gave the task to the team.
What I received was wholly unexpected. It was not within the range of options I had anticipated.
I asked, “What is the truth?!” The answer was, “Whatever we decide it is.” Needless to say, we went back to the drawing board, doctrine, theory, evidence, and logic – and we came up with a different conclusion.
That was then, this is now. And it is funny, things haven’t changed.
Today I was told the following (and I am paraphrasing).
“We never felt the discord of demons. Demons don’t go to church. And we were there.” (Implying: “So we should know.”) Yes, demons may at the invitation of someone attend church. Anytime you hear “sacrilege, defamation, calumny, lies, deception, prejudice, vindictiveness, cowardice, contumacy, sowing of discord, and violence – all conducted before the Holy Things” do you really believe the demons are not involved?
There is a mighty cosmic war ongoing with Satan. And it wants your soul. If you do not recognize the presence of Satan, it is winning. If you do not recognize the presence of Satan, the question begged, then why go to church? Why pray? Why participate in the Holy Mysteries of our Orthodox Christian faith? Why play church?
You can’t know Christ if you don’t understand salvation history and the reason Christ became Incarnate, the greatest mystery of the Bible.
I spoke to a dear priest, confessor, and friend. His counsel to me was the following. “May you steer clear of the flotsam and jetsam that’s all about the community. They will blame you mightily for this shipwreck since they have no other recourse aside from repenting. I’ve learned that many priests and bishops do not confess, so they get tongue-tied when repentance is required, and they don’t preach or teach deep repentance either. So their people are helpless to back away from self-will and arrogance. You named it right in terms of being blind to evil but also ignorant of grace.”