“One of [the powers’] characteristics in their rebellious state is to separate us from love — love of God and love for each other through deception, division, and depersonalization. Why? Because love must be grounded in reality, nurtured in unity, and protected through the compassionate valuing of a person’s worth and dignity.”- Rich Villodas
Rich Villodas continues Chapter 2 of Good and Beautiful and Kind with a discussion of the three Ds. They serve as the (fallen) job description of the powers. Hence, as the author takes a look at the three Ds, he notes how these realities touch us.
1. Deception. Lies fuel the powers and principalities in their fallen state. Above all, lies sustain the powers’ presence in human institutions and societies.
Certainly, Rich asserts, if we lie enough, we run the danger of starting to believe our falsehoods. As a result, we created a reality inconsistent with the truth, then try to inhabit it. And, given enough time, we eventually become our lie.
In addition, the powers act upon us in such a way as to reward our deception. Thus, it becomes a necessary means of survival.
Consequently, the values we orient our lives around come to dominate us to such a degree that we turn to deceit to achieve them.
2. Division. Pastor Villodas describes the goal of the powers as our participation in what pastor and theologian David Fitch called the ‘enemy machine.’ Sadly, the world we live in specializes in this. Thus, many people in our society hold the conviction that two people must be enemies if they disagree on important issues. Hence, for many, it’s deeper than mere disagreement.
Most significantly, the tendency to see people as objects to avoid or attack testifies to our immaturity. And when we fall prey to division, we play right into the powers’ hands.
3. Depersonalization. The fallen powers intend to form us to see generic groups of people rather than individuals. For then we stop seeing individuals as sacred creations of God. And it’s easier to keep them at arms’ length or treat them with hostile force.
Today’s question: How do you see love as grounded in reality and nurtured in unity? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Pull back the curtain, name the powers”