- “Come and join the dark side, Luke…”
I was listening to Erwin McManus from Mosaic recently, and was intrigued by his descriptions of what he referred to the dark side of the soul. What he meant was the impacts of sin upon our inner man: Jesus being the only effective antidote.
Thinking about the dark side…
The following selections are my response to Erwin’s teaching revolving around how a person’s soul can become one with the dark powers of the universe. Joining the “dark side” is the inevitable consequence of rejecting Jesus.
If we conceive of heaven as being a place where all spiritual fruit are manifested perfectly (ie love, joy, peace, kindness, etc etc), then it follows that hell is a place where their opposites are also manifested perfectly (ie hate, bitterness, despair, envy, etc etc). It is a sobering thought.
On that note, enjoy the following vignettes of hate, bitterness, and pride below. These nasty stronghold assail each of us for the duration of our earthly lives. In fact, their often become stepping stones to lead us from one sin (say, of pride) to another (say, of hate): until we can become so mired in darkness we no longer know which way to turn to face the Light…
- Bitterness is like a scum-flecked pond in a low-lying place: little bracken streams continue to feed it, and it grows in circumference, but its waters are not fresh because they have no outlet to the Sea of Life.
- And the pond it grows little by little until it becomes a lake; and the lake until it becomes a small marsh; and the marsh until it becomes a large, swampy quagmire. And the swamp kills everything it touches. And its waters poison any living thing that is foolish enough to drink them.
- And day by day; year by year the swamp gains ground: and consumes the soul with its morbid outlook.
- Hate is no more and no less than living death. God is love and life: Hell is hate and death. If only death were some immediate extinction and the loss of consciousness! But alas, it is not.
- Eternal death is in some mysterious way a “living death” – those spirits who live in hate remain conscious of their hate: and even worse, of the absence of the Love that would make them whole. There is surely no torture worse than hating and hating-your-hate and knowing you are forever apart from God’s loving wholeness.
- On earth so many taste first-hand the bitter fruit of hell by hating their neighbours, their families, their co-workers, their bosses, spouses, children, parents: anybody and everybody who obstructs their way. Their hate – like holding fire inside their own skins – consumes them like cancer: it fuels itself on their own spiritual essence, consuming it to nought but ashes.
- Pride is everything that is hateful to God: it tramples humility underfoot with an arrogant sneer, and judges the world as beneath its notice.
- Pride is usually easy to spot: in its unthinking dismissal of opinions differing from its own; its dictatorial enslavement of others to meet its own desires; and its inability to submit to anyone, anywhere, for any reason.
- Pride strikes men blind: they can no longer clearly see the heavens (created by Someone more powerful than they to reflect God’s majesty) nor the ground (at once so useful and so mundane that they take it for granted) nor even their immediate surroundings (matters which do not further the aims of pride are instantly dismissed from consciousness).
- Pride eventually builds for its bearer a small, solitary, cubical prison-cell with no windows nor openings of any kind except a single, massive door: through which the prideful will at last step and slam the door behind himself, shut-out and shut-off from every last Good – including God Himself.