And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.  

-C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle    

           

Deadly snakes don’t  do much discriminating in terms of their victims and our enemy isn’t about to cut us a break just because we’re not much in the mood to run into him today.        

Religion is sneaky.  It’s covert and cunning.  It doesn’t raise it’s ugly head and humbly announce Here I am.   Religion is always saying things like hath God said—twisting, perverting, and eventually getting us to settle for something akin to a nasty artificial sweetner in the place of the real freedom that life in Jesus entails.  It’s as old as sin and goes back to the very beginning with the first cave-man on record—Adam.                   

 The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: ‘Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?’

The Woman said to the serpent, ‘Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’ 

The serpent told the Woman, ‘You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.’     (Genesis 3:1-5, The Message Bible)       

Truth is—we are afraid that our biggest fears will be realized in embracing freedom—so we reluctantly hang on to religion.  Ditching the law and order (control and manipulation) that religion represents and the supposed protection that religion seems to offer is a very frightening proposition.  In many ways we see religion as safe, when in fact in it’s rawest form religion is our enemy’s most seductive poison.  It can look so good.  After all—it’s sin that looks so bad.  Drinking, killing, and cussing—these are no-brainers for us who are mature to identify.  But we can’t see past the end of our own noses when it comes to envy, gossip, jealousy, hate, pride, or lust of every flavor—these look delectably tasty to the indiscriminate eye.  And when we do see the offense to God in these minute lapses in judgement, we pass them off as if they were the smallest of small infractions or worse yet we just don’t see them at all.    

The serpent’s fruit is always carefully packaged and presented, making it almost impossible for us to discern.  It should come as no surprise that Satan carefully construes many of his most harmful lies in the form of harmless religion and in a light that fails to show any signs of being worm-ridden and rotten to the core—just like the first fruit he picked to begin with.          

He won’t stop at anything to rob our freedom.

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