The Devil’s World

William Golding (of Lord of the Flies fame) wrote an essay titled “Thinking as a Hobby” in which he outlined what he saw as the three stages of human thought. The first stage, he pointed out, wasn’t really thinking at all, but rather emoting about whatever information (or disinformation) parades through a brain’s synapses. This level of “thought” takes no actual knowledge, uses logic sparingly, if at all, and produces nothing but anger, bitterness, and only an occasional tickle of amusement. The second stage of thinking is actual, rational thinking, but only goes so far as to list the problems, to recognize the difficulties, to make the diagnosis. It is overwhelmingly negative -- the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

This is where most news commentary stops. Rarely do they dig deep into possible solutions and the defense of those proposed solutions. This level of thought requires a positive outlook, a strong sense of optimism and the courage to follow through.  It requires creativity, knowledge of history, science, logic, economics, and rhetoric. It requires self-discipline. On the other hand, the negative woe-is-me level is easy; it’s a testimony to the sinful, complaining nature of man.

Man is naturally a whiner and so is the Devil. He lashes out at all of the positive divine institutions -- free will, marriage, family, and good government. He embraces chaos, calamity, hatred, division, and destruction. We cannot let his thinking taint ours. The thing is, the problems that beset this country today are not, in themselves, hard to solve. They each have simple, common sense solutions that often can be implemented at the local level and addressed with a modicum of expense. We just have to decide to do it.

Not that any of these solutions are effortless, but they are possible -- if we had the courage and the conviction to just act.

For instance, we have a terrible immigration problem -- a problem for citizens and illegal immigrants alike. There’s an obvious way to stop the problem -- build a wall. There’s an obvious way to get illegals to go home -- stop paying them to stay here. This isn’t hard or complicated.

Such an influx of illegals brings up our voting mess. That’s simple, too -- voter ID, in-person voting. This isn’t complicated, except for the perfidy of corrupt government officials and the cowardice of Congress.

What about our schools? They are a horrible embarrassment. The solution isn’t, however, complicated. Vouchers instead of mandated geographically allocated schools would allow the free market to make a myriad of differing schools, which would produce a huge range of learning methods and curricula for parents to choose from. We all know that works -- the lousy schools have to stop being lousy, or die.

Solutions for our staggering medical system are actually burgeoning now and we just need to let that happen.  Solutions that cut out the complications of insurance and government intervention are popping up all over.  Third-level thinking recognizes that the only real purpose for insurance, private or government, is to make expensive care possible, but third level thinkers also recognize that it’s the insurance that drives up the cost -- whatever the market will bear.

Much the same mess is happening to college education. In a classic case of, “The main cause of problems is solutions” (Eric Sevareid), we loaned money to students who couldn’t afford college, but, given the whatever-the-market-will-bear economic dictum, the market became so mobile that colleges could raise tuition again and again and again, and since students were paying with future money and not present money, they felt no pain.  Now, the pain is terminal, and we have a problem. Solution? Stop loaning students money.

The military is a mess -- solution? Fire the generals and admirals that made the mess. That’s what any business would do.

What to do about the economy? We absolutely know the solution here because Trump just did it, and it worked, and now that Biden has undone it and everything’s a mess, it’s clear what has to be done; cut corporate taxes and deregulate.

This same solution would also go a long way toward cleaning out the swamp. Much of what drains the economy and contorts our republic is the hefty cost of keeping these swampy, redundant, unnecessary agencies operating. Let’s ditch them and let a revitalized public sector provide jobs for jobless bureaucrats.  Term limits would also go a long ways towards cleaning the swamp.

What about media bias? That’s what the anti-trust laws are about. Enforce them.

What about the opioid crisis? Closing the border would go a long way to mitigating that.

What about COVID? It has practically run its course. Do nothing, and allow the treatments that work to do so. That’s super simple. Has been all along.

These are, of course, not our only problems, but these simple solutions would work to alleviate most of our national woes. So why don’t we just pull up our grown-up pants and do it?

The answer to that is also simple, but it’s terrifying: this is the devil’s world. He runs it and he wants to run it his way -- the opposite of what is known to work and work well. He wants to one-up God. (Isaiah 14).  He’s failing miserably, that’s obvious, but he isn’t going to let that stop him from trying.

You see, when we start running things the way God dictates, Satan is going to fight us with everything he has. Why do you think there was such rampant fraud in the last election? Why is there still such a nonsensical resistance to election integrity? Why are they talking about packing the Supreme Court? Why are they hell-bent on enlarging government and driving up the national debt?

Common-sense solutions are a huge embarrassment to the devil and his minions. They think they’re smarter, better, more nuanced than everyone else, so we can’t have just regular folks fixing problems -- problems they not only have failed to fix, but caused in the first place.

Not only that, but these solutions, while simple and guaranteed to work, will take time. It will take a generation to untangle the schools, to build self-sufficient medical clinics, to clean out the military. The students who are saddled with enormous debt will still have to pay it off.  So where are we going to find the courage to turn the corner and start solving our problems?

This is where I always end up -- God. We absolutely can’t fix this mess without Him. He is the giver of courage. He is the producer of patience. He is our salvation, both spiritually and nationally. He is absolute truth, so if we follow Him -- through His Son, Jesus Christ -- we will be able to claw our way out of the trust issues that plague our national discourse. If we absorb His Word, we will find the solutions, the guidance we need. That’s what ancient Israel was for -- an example for the rest of the nations.

Things are, after all, essentially binary. That’s why the left so hates that idea. There are only two ways to do things: God’s way or the devil’s way. There’s no middle ground, no just being a “good” person, no reorganizing of society in “reimagined” ways. We have no need to reinvent the wheel -- it was round to begin with. All the Satanic ideas merely add pointed corners. They may plump some egos, but the overall result is always tragic.

The devil is real -- perhaps the most important thing for us to grasp. He isn’t a mean guy in a red unitard. He is attractive, brilliant, gutsy, and evil beyond anything you and I can imagine. This world is not a cruise ship for our entertainment; it is a battleground and we’re caught behind enemy lines. We don’t have the courage to fight this war without God, but with Him we can do anything.

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