Thursday, April 1, 2021

“Our Fragile Goodness”

(Exploring the soil of the Soul)

If we thought we knew our friends, neighbours, congregants, pastors, children, siblings, parents, police, employers, grocers, gov. officials, and on and on; yes, if we thought we knew them, this past year has revealed traits we could never have suspected? The state of belief, hope, blindness, and obedience in and to the inhuman agendas of world and worldly powers has been stunning.

If we thought we knew the soil of such souls, we, obviously, did not. Even the soil of our own souls has been tested (with more unbelievable tests to come as the history of resisters and heretics repeats itself with a technocratic super-boost). How do we deal with the injustices we witness everywhere, stemming from the mocking, unconscionable mandates and cruelties being increasingly perpetrated that “fearing-believers” cannot seem to see or hear, even in their own conduct? What do we do with the anger we feel? The obtuseness of fearing-believers in lies and liars seems an insurmountable division. Have they no awareness of what was sacrificed for rights and freedoms? no awareness of the history and psychopathy of power and power abuse? no awareness of their duty to observe and to think? It all seems a déjà vu parallel to the parable of the sower,1 — that allegory of receptiveness to truth, whether 1) positive truth concerning spiritual growth or 2) negative truth, being the reality of the scheming, envious prince of this world; that bitter enemy of God and man; that spirit of deception and destruction.

What do we do with the frustration? the anger?
That fragility of goodness within us necessitates the constant intercession of grace. The fragility of goodness between us necessitates the constant extension of grace to each other. This, of course, becomes crucial in the face of deliberate wrongs perpetrated and suffered. Anger and justice are vicious and virtuous ways to respond to sins enacted against one another as persons. As a vice, anger resists the redemptive and restorative work of Christ by becoming consumed with vengeance against the wrongdoer. Justice participates in the redemptive and restorative work of Christ among the people of God by being truthful about the wrongs suffered and working to restore right relationship.

But the world is fallen, and anger does consume individuals and communities. Whatever its path, when vice builds upon vice, and the resistance to a forgiving and loving God is truly entrenched in the soul, the preached words of reconciliation and redemption fall on a hard soil. There may indeed be hardened souls, souls that even the corporate work of justice and reconciliation can barely penetrate, if at all, in this life. In such difficult cases, however, we would do well to remember that justice is only a virtue and not God. Thus, I will end this book with the virtue that is also the name of God— love.2
Yet how do we get to the point of even asking for gifts of grace to love the un-awakened? the supporters, yea, even the “snitches” and enforcers of Satanic agendas? Perhaps the parable of the wheat and the tares3 also applies. Perhaps some whom we perceive as tares are not, and will awaken before it's too late. How can we know, for the soil of souls has been so trampled for generations by propaganda, pscience,4 and predictive programming, it is a wonder in this age of “lying wonders”5 that so much soil is still receptive to the reality of psychopathic powers intent on dominating, destroying, and restructuring creation? How do we even know if those we perceive as awakened (including ourselves) shall not prove tares in the end because we allowed seeds of anger and vengeance to take root in the soil of our fragile goodness?

1. Parable of the Sower: New Testament | Matthew 13:3-23
   3 And [Jesus] spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
   4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
   5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
   6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
   7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
   8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
   9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
   10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
   11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
   12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
   13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
   14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
   15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
   16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
   17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
   18 ¶ Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
   19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
   20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
   21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
   22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
   23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
2. Clifton-Soderstrom, Karl. The Cardinal and the Deadly: Reimagining the Seven Virtues and Seven Vices (p. 115). Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.
3.  New Testament | Matthew 13:24-30
5. New Testament | 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10
   7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
   8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
   9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
   10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.