I felt that Halloween was the perfect time to focus on something that has been a long standing problem between me and the "religious" crowds of modern America. Specifically...the definition of evil. Modern churches have become empty shells of a once great institution that actually did GOOD things to help their brother and society...you know... the golden rule...love thy neighbor..the words of Jesus? I recall, even within my lifetime, when churches would have ongoing ministries to ...donate food to the local food bank, give blankets to the homeless, give shelter to battered women, etc. Indeed, James 1:27 says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction..." However, that is not how the current church "ministers" to God. No, current ministries spend all their time judging the world (when it has been ordered by Jesus not to Judge) and using guilt to increase monitary donations and "preaching the gospel" to the "lost"...while not only ignoring the PAIN of those lost but increasing it on them. St Francs of Assisi said, “The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today.” And, he also said, "Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still,,,"
And, that is where Halloween and spirits and the "church" comes in, for this blog post, today. Demons did not crucify Christ. People did. However, to listen to modern church, evil consists of one thing....the devil and evil spirits...and those that they deem to have followed him...not because they are walking around saying, "Lucifer for President." (indeed, the church seems to be doing a good enough job of that this election) but because they have deemed "the world" to be evil and themselves to be "good" and...and anyone that opposes what THEY want is of the devil, and following ANY actions (or supporting any candidate) is "good" so long as it gets them what they want, such as tax money for churches, bigger churches, Republican candidates, or whatever. Anyone that opposes this mission or that does not give enough in church or does not volunteer on a church board is EVIL and a follower of a mythological and INVISIBLE dark Lord, while they completely IGNORE the EVILS of hunger, rape, murder, abuse, racism, poverty, slavery, etc. Indeed, they don't have to go looking for invisible beings for the source of evil, when there are PEOPLE that are doing that or suffering that, often right in their own congregations.
Evil is not a child dressing up as a demon or a vampire, and it is not even an ADULT WITCH...yes. I said it. Do we really have to go back to centuries past when the VERY CHURCH that conservatives say they want to get back to being like in the early years of this country was BURNING WOMEN ALIVE for even the CHARGE of being a witch. This is one reason that I love watching the TV series Salem, coming back on this week. It brings right into sight what REAL evil is...not someone charged of being a witch. Indeed, not even someone that IS a witch. Witches are just people that read the signs, repeat confessions, believe in outcomes, study nutrition, and harmonize with nature (many Christians do the same, and, indeed, many witches are in fact believers in Jesus). No, REAL evil was the crowds screaming, "burn the witch," just as Jesus heard, "crucify him," NOT by heathens but by HIS VERY RELIGIOUS FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM. Why is it that we must keep seeing this lesson, again and again. Even Hitler was a "christian" and his symbol a cross.
Evil is not in a spirit. Spirits can be good or they can be bad, but men have been doing that and ARE doing that, all around us. The QUESTION is...what will YOU choose... love or hate, caring or condemning. Will you CHOOSE good or evil, no matter the mask you are wearing, even to church.