October 11, 2015

50 Monotonous Shades of Grey

Evil Is Monotonous As Hell. Sin starts provocatively but ends in mundane lifelessness and habitual sin.

That’s the premise for this post. Yes, my title is a play on words based on a so-called sordid bestseller made into a movie of the same name. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but I merely use these parallels to draw out the seedy underbelly of immorality and indecency. I will take no prisoners here. I’m going right for the jugular of this immoral beast from the first sentence. We need to either choke off sin or it will choke us. Seedy romance novels are on many women's viewing/reading lists within the church just as pornography is on men's lists. Many will say it is just harmless fiction but fiction has an uncanny knack for becoming reality because of the seeds it plants.

Many people believe sin and evil is exciting. The whole “dark and brooding” thing taken to the extreme end. There is no down side right?  I believe it has been said that women are intrigued by the “bad boy” image. For men it is the idea of a quick fling with no commitment. This type of evil and sin doesn't just arrive in sexual overtones either. It comes in many faces and by many names.

I got news for people. Evil is old hat. It always arrives in a sharp suit or an enticing dolled-up package but it always ends with prostitution of one's morality or as a skid row junkie. People think that sin will last forever but they have been deceived more than they will even understand…unless of course the deception is exposed a little. There is nothing new and exciting about being wrong. People have been that way since the beginning and the bad guy (or girl) never wins in the end. 

The Bible clearly says that sin will have its day but in the end…it finds you out. Said another way: You might prosper being a jerk for a while but in the bitter end…it will all come back to bite you in a place you’d probably prefer it didn’t and the bite is poison. The grass is not always greener on the other side. If it is greener over there…it most likely is growing over a septic tank or a fresh grave.

Like Habakkuk I grow wearier by the day of sin and evil on all sides of my life. People seem to have no shame. It’s on the news. It confronts me at work. It confronts my family. It even goes after my kids. At times it can be demoralizing. At times I see no hope. That hope has to reside in the Scriptures. If not, all hope is lost. In truth is that evil is a parasite of the good. It wasn’t meant to be this way in the world. Evil and sin are an imposition on the Creation. It is an intrusion of a spiritual disease that has infected humanity thereby affecting everything else in the created order. The entire creation moans to be out from underneath of evil and sin also.

Romans 8:19-23 ~ For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

In short, evil is a counterfeit. It can only mimic what already exists. In this way it has limitations. Like the Devil there is a finiteness about evil in that it can never exceed or go beyond what seems like its ontological opposite which is righteousness, holiness or good. It is, in reality, righteousness and holiness based solely in God that is limitless and infinite. That is because these characteristics are based and find their true being and origin in the infinite and limitless source of God.

The truth is there is no true opposite of God. Good/Righteousness is not evil’s counterpart on the opposite end of the spectrum/continuum. Oh no. that would be likes saying Satan is the opposite of God in his characteristics. That would make Satan infinitely evil and infinitely sinful. He’s not. Satan is even limited in that way in his flaws and fall from God. The moron can’t even be perfectly evil. I suppose that would’ve appealed to his pride anyway. Satan is merely an imitator and liar. So in the embodiment of evil (Satan) we see only an imitator and deceiver. We see a destroyer of the created order in a desire to create disorder and chaos. In chaos...nothing can be ordered enough to make things…only destroy them.

…and therein lies the crux of the issue when it comes to evil and sin.

One cannot create anything of value if their sole drive is to deceive, destroy and is hell-bent on undermining anything of God who is a creator God. God created and maintained up until Genesis 3. After Genesis 3 we see degradation and destruction and the only reversal of this trend is when God again enters the fray and forces the destructive elements to reverse course. He does this either through direct fiat intervention, through the Spirit in believers or by physically entering Creation as a theophany or in the flesh as the Son of God.

God creates, builds and sustains life. Evil and sin remove it. Jesus is the way the truth and the life but the wages of sin (evil) is death. Evil deprives life. Because evil lacks any creativity only deviation from truth, it can only produce a negative. It makes no life, only takes it. It takes and never gives. It can make nothing new. It is an unproductive non-producing wasteland. There is not beauty because sin and evil twists true beauty and makes it ugly.

Beauty becomes sexy, lewd or an object of desire rather than something of value and worth protecting. Beauty when twisted becomes an exaggeration of people’s worst basest perversions. It is like taking colors on a palate and painting a rainbow. Each color serves its proper role as created and it is a beautiful thing, but when hastily mixed together in a sloppy mess it becomes a dull monochrome grey. Once the colors are taken outside of their proper roles and limitations, they become monotonous.

There is no true diversity (in the positive sense) because evil will not allow diversity. That which calls itself diversity today is actually a call to conform to what someone believes is proper but is only relative to the observer's sin. We see it all the time in the media. Screams for diversity but when you do something those that are screaming don’t like, then comes the screams of intolerance. Evil and sin destroys diversity by restricting any positive and productive variation for the good of the whole. It does this by destroying individuality at the individual level. When science, education, medicine, politics and the arts ignore God, decline and confusion will result because there is no absolute bearing, only a relative one. Diversity then becomes hegemonic and draconian. It becomes non-diverse, it becomes uniform and monotonous.

Evil ends in defeat, not triumph. There are no new lands to conquer, nothing new to overcome. Evil ends in a dead-end. It is hard to admire something as it burns to the ground. It is hard to hold a person in high regard as you attempt to try and murder their character by slander. Evil is a philosophy of futility. Monotony is the natural effect of or malaise brought on by seeking gratification found in frivolous things, such as fashionable apparel and goods…better known as idols in the Bible. The chasing of idols to replace God induces a vicious circle of dissatisfaction and the desire for further idols, thereby leading to the increased dissatisfaction and the cycle continues to repeat ad nauseum. I imagine Hell will just be a continuation of this shallow meaningless cycle as its own torment. It is a twisted spiritual version of American Consumerism but instead of buying material goods, men buy into immaterial or spiritual evil.

Evil is has no value because it is an absence of something of value: Righteousness.

I guess in the end, part of the torment if Hell will be the monotonousness of constant wrath leveled against the unrepentant sinner. It will also be the realization that the torturous monotony of constant punishment with absolutely no change for eternity was brought on by their rebellious attitude and belief that evil was “hot”, “sexy” or “desirable” over God’s holiness and righteousness. It just goes to show that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. I guess people with ugly minds and ugly souls would appreciate that which is akin to their psyche.

Simone Weil said it best in Gravity and Grace (even though she was a mystic):

Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating. Nothing is so beautiful and wonderful, nothing is so full of sweet and perpetual ecstasy, as the good; no desert is so monotonous and boring as evil. But with fantasy it is the other way round. Fictional good is boring and flat, while fictional evil is varied and intriguing, attractive, profound and full of charm. ~ Simone Weil, "Gravity and Grace", P.120 (1997)

In truth, fiction or fantasy is a lie. A deception. It isn’t real. So we are then left only with one reality. Only real good in the real world is sweet and perpetual ecstasy. Why? It is based in God’s character. Everything else? It is just 50 different monotonous shades of grey. It is cold, empty and lifeless as skeletons in whitewashed tombs. It might look pretty and dignified from a distance but in truth, inside it is just a rotting bodies of the dead.

A place of death. 

Death which is an absence of vibrant diversified life.
Death...the most monotonous unchanging human condition.  Once you're dead...your only hope is that you gain righteousness through Christ while alive.

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