Commentary: Blurring the Lines
Making Sense of the Patterns of Our Adversary
Joseph B. Baity
Given 24-Apr-21; 10 minutes
"Nothing makes sense anymore."
How often have you uttered that phrase or heard it spoken by a friend, a spouse, a talk show host, or a minister? When we consider all the chaos in the world around us—all the challenges to the status quo; all the revisions to our history and our cultural norms that define civilization—it’s easy to come to the conclusion that nothing makes sense anymore.
However, I’d like to propose to you that the more chaotic and confusing the world becomes, the more sense it all makes. This will likely be the simplest commentary that I’ve ever given, and probably the shortest. Sort of a statement of the obvious, but I hope it helps.
Since his violent revolt against God from ages past, the archangel Helel, who became our adversary, Satan the devil, has sought to sabotage the plan of God, which is to create man in His own image—to place him in this challenging, fascinating, and beautiful world that reflects the very nature of its Creator. Here, God could teach man how he could become like God—to actually join the God family—to be functionally sound and perfect in all his ways. Of course, this plan entails the eventual subjection of all the angels to all men and Helel (or Satan) was having none of that.
We sometimes forget that as sinful and defiled as we are, God intends for us to be the very pinnacle of His grand creation. But Satan thought that was what he was. And for a time it was true, but when he discovered that it was not to be forever—when he discovered that he would one day have to serve man—he was enraged to blindness. He could no longer “see” his Creator in truth. So since he sees mankind as having stolen his crown, he now works to blind us as well.
Since the 6th day of creation, our adversary turned his destructive efforts toward all humanity, seeking to separate us—one way or another—from God. One of his most common and effective methods for doing so is to modify or pervert the way we see ourselves and the world we live in—the way we define it, and the way we relate to it. This obviously modifies the way we relate to and interact with one another. And, more importantly, the way we see, define, and relate to our God.
Last week, Martin Collins stated in his sermon that “Satan redefines everything that used to be considered good.” That’s particularly pertinent when we realize that God described His creation as “good” seven times in the first chapter of Genesis. In fact, Satan has elevated redefinition to an evil art form that redefines the human condition, the creation, and God. He didn’t do it all at once. Instead, he slowly, patiently, subtly blurred the lines and the laws that define the very meaning of all God is and all He created—lines and laws that define the very meaning of our existence and establish the foundations of our civilization.
Man needs well-defined lines, definitions, and laws. Consider a well-placed fence built on the legal property line between two neighbors and how it defines the boundary and helps to keep the peace. Remove it ,and the legal line still exists, but slowly, over time, it becomes harder to see, harder to define, harder to agree upon, and maybe even harder to remember if it ever really existed at all. Trouble becomes inevitable.
For 6,000 years, Satan has been tinkering with and removing our civilization’s fences, in tiny increments and sections. Consider these examples:
The LGBTQ+ movement that endeavors to redefine human sexuality.
Within that, the transgender movement seeks to redefine what gender is and the language we use to describe it.
The abortion movement redefines the sanctity of life, morphing sexuality into little more than a sport.
“Wokeness,” which has at its core the belief that there is no one set of standards to define right and wrong.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink project (and others) implants computer chips into the brain to create an interface between man and machine, wishing to redefine what it is to be human.
CRISPR technology—genetic editing to alter or redefine our DNA.
Cloning redefines our uniqueness.
And recently, embryonic stem cell researchers just grew the first part-human, part-monkey embryo. It lived for 20 days before its “creators” destroyed it. Talk about redefining life!
How about the paganist elevation of the Earth, redefining it into a sacred, living entity—Gaia. Not to mention how CO2 has been redefined as a danger to mankind.
Then there’s the GMO, industry redefining what food is.
And let’s not forget the ongoing assault on the southern border of the US, the revision of our history, the encroachment of our constitutional rights, and the end of voting integrity, the deterioration of our judicial and education systems, and COVID-19 policies. All this and more, seeking to redefine what it is to be an American.
Mainstream Christianity has been systematically redefining God, His Word, and what it means to be a child of God for millennia.
Now we even see efforts to blend Christianity with Islam.
Finally, there’s secularism, which seeks to eliminate God altogether, redefining Him as mere myth.
When you consider each of these examples, they all have something important in common: They all started small; slowly bringing to question and slowly blurring the lines and laws that provided for common sense, sanity, prosperity, and peace, until one day, to most of the world, those lines just began to disappear. There are still a few left, but likely not for long.
“Let Us make man in Our image,” Elohim said in Genesis 1:26. But Satan, for the past 6,000 years, has said, “Let us blur the image of God and pervert the image of man and confuse his image of the world, and one day nothing will make any sense." And God allowed it, and He still does today. It was and is a very effective strategy. But it is limited. How? “But we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16). And with that, we can see God. We can define Him, ourselves, and this world with His Word, which lives in each of us.
We should no longer be astonished at the evil fruition of Satan’s efforts as he strives to define evil as good and good as evil. We should learn instead to recognize and anticipate his patterns of behavior—his modus operandi—and be grateful to the point of rejoicing that God has given us the ability to do so, unlike the world. And we must stand fast, contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to us—the saints—and not allow Satan to redefine that.
As we grieve the passing of the America and the common sense way of life and the sanity that we once knew, we realize that there are times we should sigh and cry. And we realize there are those among us who have and are suffering great trials—great loss. But while we weep, we must never forget to find time to laugh, to embrace, and to dance. And though we struggle these days to even view the masked faces and read the emotions of our fellow citizens, we find great encouragement with the reading of II Corinthians 3:18:
II Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Now that makes good sense!