This Present Darkness

The other day I was talking to a reasonable, well-educated man whose journey is bringing him back to God. When I asked what precipitated this pilgrimage his reply was interesting, “The darkness in the world and what I perceived as a real, intentional force behind it.”

George Lucas did us all a favor when in Star Wars he drew out the theme of the “dark side.” (See my book Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters). Most religious use a similar metaphor. In Christianity it is clearest in the Apostle John. (See below)*

When I hosted a daily talk show, I read 5 newspapers a day, 30 periodicals a month and received a multitude of online news services. A pattern of darkness emerges from the rubble of the daily news, and it is not unreasonable to ask if these things just happen, or if there is a dark force behind them.

When you begin to think about the idea of a dark force seeking to do you harm, it can get overwhelming. When Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness” was released, people freaked out. It featured a battle between dark forces and the light in a small American town and it seemed real.

In his Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis warned about an unhealthy obsession with the dark side saying, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel and excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”

I find encouragement in this thought from A.W. Tozer, “The soul that lives in God is surrounded by the Divine Presence so that no enemy can approach it without first disposing of God, a palpable impossibility!”

Greater is He who is within you, than the evil one who is in the world.

* The Apostle John on Darkness

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

1 John 1: 5&6 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

1 John 2:9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

 

Posted in Staublog in August 31, 2011 by | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to This Present Darkness

  1. ST083111 | Dick Staub on August 31, 2011 at 10:18 am

    […] When I hosted a daily talk show, I read 5 newspapers a day, 30 periodicals a month and received a multitude of online news services. A pattern of darkness emerges from the rubble of the daily news, and it is not unreasonable to ask if these things just happen, or if there is a dark force behind them. Read More. […]

  2. Gretchen O'Donnell on August 31, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Good stuff to chew on here, Dick. Thanks. My son, who is almost 12, asks often why other kids are mean, etc. I think I’ll recommend that he go read up on his John for a little understanding! Say “hi” to my sister for me if you see her! (Jenny Nichols!)

  3. Pat on September 1, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Thanks Dick. I do think it’s helpful to remember that we’re in a battle but you’re right; our God is sovereign over all. He doesn’t seem to be threatened by those things we perceive to be darkness. I like to meditate on Psalm 139: “If I say surely the darkness will hide me; the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you. The night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you.” This “present darkness” may appear very dark and overwhelming to us but does it appear that way to our sovereign God? I don’t think so.

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