What the War in Heaven Looks Like on Earth

This is the great war, as viewed from sea level: sense versus nonsense. That’s it. Maybe there’s more? Read on. The nonsense is generated for some private end, usually for the money, sometimes for the power, a lot of times for both (having one generally gets the other). It usually turns out that there is no other conspiracy than these. Yes, we’re in it between good vs. evil, but the way it plays out in what we call reality, sense vs. nonsense is what it actually boils down to. And I don’t know (though I have some idea of how it happened), but here in the middle 2010s, there are a LOT of people who identify themselves as Christians who are part of the nonsense. At least some of them can’t help it, having been indoctrinated from an early age in a simplistic idea of what that means, to be a Christian, and what to do with the book they thump—the Bible being then used to cover up the light, instead of being a light.

Contrary to what some so called “Christians” think, faith is not a substitute for intelligence. Indeed, ignorant faith can be what is diametrically opposed to true faith. In the parable of the sower, some seeds fell along a path and the birds came and ate it up. Explaining this, Jesus said that these were those who heard the good news, and did not understand it. Those who do not understand the real message of Jesus Christ are caught up in the care of themselves, and seem not to care for the welfare of others. The thought that other people should do as we do, and believe what we believe. “They should change to fit our idea of how things should be. We should not have to change ourselves at all, for we are of the elect, and therefore justified in discriminating against you, and shutting you down if you are different. Because we know we are right! For Jesus is on our side…” These people are scary.

Going a level up in this argument, these may say, “But are you not doing the same thing, here, to say we should think like you?” When you do not love your neighbor as yourself, that is what is against Christ. Do you not understand the Gospel? We are all of us sinners, no one of us better than the rest. We are called to be like Christ, who sat with the despised: do not do the despising. Do you want to be angry at someone? Direct your anger at the rich, who do hateful things and get away with them because of their wealth. This is what Christ did. And he was with the times, back 2000 years ago, that some of the traditions of religion were outdated, and if you have ears to hear, understand that some of the traditions of 2000 years ago are now, too, outdated. We’re not supposed to keep slaves anymore. And women should be seen as equal to men. Use your intelligence, and keep your faith. Such is a narrow way, indeed.

It is getting exceedingly easy these days to pick out which people are the ones to root against, and yet people seem to have trouble seeing it: the love of money is the root of all evil. [1 Timothy 6:10] Take a look, and follow the money. It almost always overflows into the cesspools of the human soul. But yet people do not see it. They don’t see what they don’t want to see, it would appear, or are their gazes averted for them? Surely, they are given distractions, given a moral high ground, given enemies. Then, they can make believe that the fight they fight is that primal good vs. evil, God vs. the Devil, no matter that the enemies are more vulnerable than they, because such us vs. them mentalities fit in a soundbite, can be catchy. And what makes their ears shut out the voices of reason—it’s because the voices of reason don’t tell them they’re the hero, and the soundbite does.

So is this writing doing the same thing? In saying that we are the good guys, are we then deluding ourselves in the same way? Indeed, if we say that there is no fault in what we do, we surely delude ourselves. But it is not enough to pick a side and push as hard as we can in that direction, we must apply the prudence that is available to us. For instance, those who say they are Christian like to think that they live according to the teachings of the Bible, but in many cases, it is not the case. If you study the history of the “values” they hold, you will usually find that they are traditions from human beings, not decrees of God that they follow. And in joining like minded people like those of that tradition, they get a little mental reward, when they believe that they are somehow “in the right”, and other people are not, and so they are “better people”. If you follow wisdom, however, you will see that the goal is not to be better than anyone else—it is instead to strive for equality, for we are all sinners.

Do you imagine that in following the dictates of the church instead of the dictates of reason that we follow Christ? That to follow in Christian tradition instead of what is in the heart is to be Jesus’ disciple? So it is written: “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God,” [John 1:1] and of that Logos, “He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.” [John 1:10] The word “Logos” is usually translated as “Word”, but I find it loses too much in the translation. “Logos” is of the same root as “logic”, and it means something like “reason”, and being capitalized, it would be “holy reason”. The Logos is the means by which anything works, here in the prime material plane. That this is Christ means we follow sense before nonsense, even if what is sense is called agnostic, and the nonsense is labeled Christian. And if you follow doctrine instead of the heart, you do not know him.

You are on one side or the other, sense and nonsense at odds expressible as logos vs. derangement, as to how it relates to reality, to things that exist in our material realm. If you do not yourself know which side you are on, or think of course you’re on the side of the Logos, there are a couple questions you can ask yourself. Is what you believe at all realistic? Because the Logos is all about being real. If you think you are a Christian because you believe the age of the world is 6000 years, then no, you’re not being realistic. And frankly, you’re not being Christian, because the Logos is not about trying to fit the wide world into your “little box of things that make sense to me because I never tried to understand what’s really out there”. Say hello to science. What is transcendent needs no protection from science. Put in another way, your God is too small.

The other question you can ask is if you want to impose your way of seeing things upon others, who think differently. There is something similar to doing that which is perfectly fine—that would be logical argument (logos again)—but to say, do it this way only because that’s what the Bible says (according to me or my group)? No. Try again. This time, with intelligence. When science tells you to do things, like to vaccinate your kid, it is not just “because I believe this is true”, and if you think your faith trumps science, especially because you think God is on your side, see above. You are not Christian simply because you go to church. I want to make this clear, if it wasn’t before: being a Christian means that you make sense. It is to be on the side of logos, and not derangement, however high and mighty that derangement sounds. And science—or anything like it—is not from the Devil, just because you don’t understand it. It is, again, quite from the Logos. It is a way to make sense of things.

Understood, bad things have been done in the name of science, but even worse has been done in the name of God. We live in an age where an entire world’s worth of information is at our fingertips. We can easily do the research when something comes up to make us question. We can start making sense of things, even if we have been told lies. It can be frightening to do, to question things that we’ve always believed. But to anyone who feels anchorless unless possessed of the simplistic “truths” that made sense of everything, or who could stuff all the outliers in the blanket cast of “Satan”: think for yourself. And further, if you want a place to start thinking for yourself, that is unquestionably in the Spirit, look, and see: God is love. Even if you don’t believe in God, you can believe that. And if your God is not love, I take off my sandals and shake your dust off them. Good luck in the Judgment.

On that last point, indeed, let it be known that sense, reason is not an end to itself. But it is the only ground from which love can grow. In thinking that God is love, it is the highest ideal for which we can strive, and gives us perspective on all things. Even if there were no God, He exists in our minds as the greatest possible being, and that structures the rest of which we can know as a light at the top shining down. It is hope itself. Let it be how you can make sense of every last thing. And remember, if you do not pick a side, you are not making sense: you are, in fact, choosing nonsense. For the tendency of the world is toward nonsense, toward entropy, unless we do something about it. It is the cost of living. And truly, that is better than dying: do you not see? have you not heard? Love is the only thing in all the world that is real. If it is not of love, it is illusion. Do not spend your precious life on a mirage, while you are in the desert, wasting away. That’s just nonsense. Nonsense.

If you like what’s written here, check out my book, Memoirs from the War in Heaven.

The Mathematics of the Judgment

“Very few people in the world would care to listen to the real defense of their own characters. The real defense, the defense which belongs to the Day of Judgment, would make such damaging admissions, would clear away so many artificial virtues, would tell such tragedies of weakness and failure, that a man would sooner be misunderstood and censured by the world than exposed to that awful and merciless eulogy.”
– Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Come Judgment Day, what exactly would you say to the Face from which heaven and earth fled—“I meant to”? I once figured it out this way: out of two choices, for your entire life, would you rather expose it all to the world, every event and decision, or would you rather cast it all into darkness? Saved, or damned, this to mean, and there I was toying with the mathematics of the judgment, that even with a life that was full of wrongdoing, if the soul had the courage to reveal it all—be as reviled in the Kingdom of Heaven (if that is even possible)—then that one heroic gesture might indeed save them. There are myths of judgment aplenty from the ancient world, from weighing your soul against a feather to walking a tightrope across a fiery pit. And some pictures of damnation are more horrible than others. What does it mean, exactly, to be saved?

The main equation seems to be simply this: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Otherwise known as, “love your neighbor as yourself.” But then comes the main counterargument, being the curiosity as to whether some are born having innately more propensity for forgiveness than others, thus making the game a rigged apparatus… In the past, one merely figured that the Devil had his children, and God had His, the Devil’s children causing all the mayhem, God’s children are all the saints, and that’s that. You were simply born one or the other. But the modern reader might ask, how can that possibly be fair? If you had no choice but to be evil, how can you possibly damn that soul? Free will has since (from those days of ultimate predestination) become a key feature of this life of virtue and sin: you must have done things of your own free will for it to count, else life is a meaningless puppet show.

So, what becomes of the Son of Satan? Was he born evil? Or was he born good in circumstances which would make it impossible to have been anything but evil? Where does the free will factor in? The Devil is damned because he was born good and of his own choice and logic decided that that wasn’t going to work for him. We must ask, too, if even was Satan born with a conscience. If that were so, he has only the angel on his shoulder, the little birdy from his own inner sensibilities to try and keep him on the right track. He has no devil on the other shoulder, and so one might conjecture that evil was at that time the narrow way (to exit from the good) and the broad gate was that which was of God, the right. What a waste, how the story of the great Lucifer ends. What about them, though, the rest: his son, and the third part of angels cast down with him—by him?

What if one can genuinely say to the Face from which heaven and earth fled, “I was deceived, and knew not right from wrong”? Or there is the question of how one may judge him, he whom all he knew of the world was evil. Not just the Son of Satan, though he is an especially strong case of this, but those born of bad families. One may consider that God rather grades on a curve. Not as much a reward when a boy scout, whose dad was a boy scout, helps an elderly black granny across the street; but one whose father was KKK—that would be phenomenal. Does it get complicated, then, when we have to factor all the relevant factors in order to judge someone? Perhaps here we find the real reason for the Lord’s command, not to judge, that it is only God’s to judge: for only the all seeing can know why anyone lived the way he did, the rationales and compusions, what was inside him as he decided, and the roads not taken.

Verily, when we have the bold and outward actions of someone born into a culture of cruelty, when he breaks from all he knew because he discovered a greater truth—we can surely measure the heroics of such actions. But as we know, such displays of heart come only when certain stars align; they are not of the everyday, and the everyday is where one (even the hero) must live most of one’s life. Yet when the hero lives an ordinary life, when he abides by ordinary rules, he is roundly to be commended for his humility; but when things surface, like from World War II, the ordinary, everyday lives of those who ran the concentration camps—we feel a wave of disgust. Yet it is here where even a demon might redeem himself. The Lord said that when you fast, make it look like you’re not sacrificing anything. If an “evildoer” were to outwardly perform nefarious deeds, but hidden in his everyday were guilt, nightmares, tears and the true suffering of conscience—how do we judge, knowing that?

Surely, many of us will judge the man who keeps doing evil while being tortured about it as one who is in the final analysis destined for the fire. But one might say it is a case of, “There but for the grace of God go I.” If we had been born in his place, would we not have done the same thing? Thus might it be that the mathematics of the judgment are a mystery. Perhaps indeed, that if we had been given certain temptations, then we might have committed the wrong… but we were not so given, we did no such thing. And we cannot, in fact, actually make the supposition, if we were in that situation, or if they had not been in that situation, it would not have happened as it did. Reality is such an intricately woven web that we cannot cut out one small piece and hope to graft it elsewhere. It is so a mystery.

Indeed, we may speculate about the future, but of the past, speculation is ultimately fruitless. Change one variable and it is not in isolation—if it is reality—and we may find that even when we are correct in predicting the future, it may just be that we were not right for the reasons we thought, why it happened. The future comes into the present and we are proven right or wrong, but the past? We can never be sure of any theory, not until we have a simulator of the entire universe, and we can test one aspect’s change. And even there, it would probably turn out not as we expect. So we really can’t say, what might have been. All we have is what actually happened, what we did with what was given to us. We will not be judged on what we could have done, but on what we did. Is it in any wise unfair? For we may think life unfair, but the Judgment—this should be the great equalizer, correct?

If then, the true judgment is ultimately just, by standards that the Lord has (if we can even call them “standards”, for that in itself implies something static and rigid)—perhaps we cannot tell, the difference between the saved and the damned, and it is not our place to try and guess, to tell the Lord what He’s supposed to think. Mayhap this was why He told us to treat everyone well, to love even your enemies, for perhaps you might mistreat a saint, if you treat anybody badly. The only one whose salvation you should be mindful of (in the main), is yourself, and this you handle by acting out of love in everything you do. Do protect your families against criminals, etc., etc., but realize that you do not know the whole story about even they, even whom we characterize as the “bad guy”. “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” [Oscar Wilde] You never know who’ll turn it all around.

And then, there are two things you should know about Christianity: 1) converting someone is more about saving them in this world, not the next: Christ is ready to catch you when you slip into that next world; and 2) there a lot (A LOT) of Christians who should be told either, “From these stones can God make sons of Abraham,” and “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not the things I say?” The first quote from Yohanan the Dipper (John the Baptist), the second from Yeshua ben Miriam (Jesus Christ). You see, the main problem of Christians, at least in America, is that they think they are just in the right. Because they are Christians, they think they are better—when God can of course make Christians from anyone. Because they are Christians, they think they know what it means to be righteous—when the one who says, “have mercy on me, a sinner,” he is the one justified. They feel they are qualified to understand, and believe they know by heart the mathematics of the judgment. And one thing I have come to know: we all of us know nothing.

So how do we tell, then, who is saved and who is not? In the final analysis, it’s none of our business. Even our own personal selves we cannot be sure if we’re on the right track. And this, my friends, is the correct attitude. If we indeed become sure that we are of the saved, it is at that point that our souls are in the greatest danger. The path of entitlement is what Lucifer followed, all the way to being kicked out of Heaven. (There are indeed many lessons we may learn from the War in Heaven, and the Fall.) And we come back to the question of the Son of Satan. Did he truly have a choice? Did he have a chance, at all? I tell you it matters not—not to us. We are not the ones responsible for throwing him into the fire. Our is to love everyone, even him, even to love our enemies. If you can fight for justice, by all means do, become an enemy as far as the darkness is concerned—but hate not that darkness. Call no one an enemy to yourself.

It is not to say we rebuke no one for their ill deeds. Our children must learn to do what is right. Stupidity must be called out. But we must stick to the facts. We must not think it is we who are given the charge to save souls: we cannot forgive sins, only the Lord; and only by the Lord’s grace are we any of us saved. So, ask yourself, if you consider yourself Christian: am I any better than the next person? or at least a certain class of person? If your answer is yes, you are indeed mistaken, and possibly dangerous. When your answer is no, you begin to crack the shell of the mystery, that whosoever would be first in the Kingdom must be a servant of all. There is no room at the height of the light for he who values his own life more than his neighbor’s. Comprende? It’s as simple and impossible as one, two, three… infinity: that is the mathematics of the judgment.

If you like what’s written here, check out my book, Memoirs from the War in Heaven.