Reflections 16: The Trap of Rebellion (Relationships Series)

Historically speaking, we have idolized people who have rebelled against what they saw to be an unjust, or  oppressive situation, thus they rebelled, using their call to war that singular wrong, or perceived hardship as justification. However, we Americans have taken this idea  to the next level, we pay homage to outlaws, and glorify mobsters. We make movies which glorifies violence, and dumb-downs horrific accounts of sexual perversion, and if the hero is doing the killing, or raping, it is seen as self defense or is otherwise justified, but if the villon should do the same thing then we become incensed. Consider those who feel the terrorists of 911 where courageous, as it took belief in their god to do what they did, vs those where killed by the terrorists. It all becomes shades of gray, and we are becoming immune to the real threats, the real evils which surround use.To those who ignore this real threat and glorify self interest and continue to blur reality from fantasy I say this: so did Satan, believe he was the mightiest, most beautiful, most wise, in all of creation, and thus became selfish. So also did Satan feel stifled, putting self first, and thus committed a grave sin, thinking himself above God, his creator. So also did Satan convince with his powers of persuasion one third of all the angels in heaven to fall into the same trap he had fallen into, that being the trap of rebellion.

This week I would like to talk just a bit about rebellion, and show how this word can utterly destroy everyone, and everything that was “once” the most important things in your life. I say, “once”, because within the act of rebellion, priorities seem to change as the justification of rebellion consistently needs new fuel, and thus needs new ever evolving reasons to maintain it. Because of this fact, the word “rebellion”,  is very much a sink hole, that has no bottom.

12Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Trye, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord God:
     “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
16By the abundance of your trading, you became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing, Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.”
17Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you” (Ezekiel 28:12,16-17, NKJV).
Satan committed the original sin of pride, and because of this his rebellion against God, forces him to make all of us have doubt in God, in his word, and in his actions. Thus when we fall into rebellion against whatever the unjust, or oppressive situation is we also fall into rebellion against God, and we begin to have doubt that God can really help us, or that he really cares at all for our situation. But rather than to speak in generalities let me be more specific; How many times have you rebelled against, say, your parents, (one or both of them), husband or wife, teacher or professor, a police offer when they have pulled you over, or anyone in legitimate authority over you? How many times have you chosen to do exactly what you where told not to do, or did something knowing all the time it was wrong?How many times have you rebelled out of anger, or pride? Or worse yet, how many times have you rebelled because you where told to it, out of coercion, thus being threatened to do so? How about rebellion out of peer pressure? How many times have you rebelled then later, many years later asked yourself why did you rebel in the first place, or had simply wished you had not done it, and sought forgiveness? Satan, the deceiver is the master of lies, making his rebellion against God, our rebellion against God, and disguising  it to make it look like our own rebellion, our fight for what we have perceived is right, when in fact it was a hugely profane, unjust, needless war which destroyed all your relationships with all those around you, and in the end helped to push you farther away from God. 

Lying is a form of rebellion, as is manipulation, envy,  hypocrisy, slander, and reproach, self-righteousness, pride, lust, anger, laziness, the lack of humility, faith, hope, forcing others to feel fear, guilt, and shame, and the inability to exhibit comfort, charity, grace, love, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, or worse yet, to purposefully shut off your own faith in God and willfully teach others to follow you. In all these ways Satan uses our humanistic, wants and desires so that he may cast you into rebellion, tempt you into a pit that which is next to impossible to climb out of. The same shameful pit he has been cast, and lead millions of other angels, and people alike, lost souls which shall be tormented forever. Satan knows how we tick, what we want most, and as the author of SATAN and His Kingdom, Pastor Dennis McCallum explains, “People need a sense of purpose, and goals toward which they can strive. Failure to develop and pursue spiritual goals produces apathy and spiritual depression that makes the world’s playthings irresistible” (McCallum, 2009, p.117).Thus Satan’s goal is to tempt you with the things of this world, so you ignore the riches of heaven, and the never ending love of God, by sucking you into a needless rebellion.

How exactly is this done you might ask? By allowing Satan to have a place to which to work from. By ignoring the commandments of God.

29Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.32And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-32, NKJV).

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By not praying, and by ignoring the wisdom of King David

3Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.4Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies”(Psalm 141:3-4, NKJV).

By ignoring the none violent, peacemaking words of Jesus Christ:

27But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.29To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:27-31, NKJV). 
Ultimately by not knowing your bible, and by refusing to listen to your own heart when it tells you to go the other way no matter what.
Rebellion is an act which you exhibit by force, and thus reject what others have said, done, or suggested. The taking to arms to a teaching, idea, or ideology, suppressing faith. When you are in rebellion you can not openly love yourself, or others, and can not control the out come. Rebellion takes on a life of its own, and feeds off the negative thoughts and feelings which are lite within your heart. There is no peace, balance, order, but only chaos, mayhem, and destruction. Rebellion breads hatred, anger, violence, and thus separates you from God. The open justification of rebellion is the bate to which Satan uses to reel you in like a fish caught on a hook.The blinders he fashions to your head like a horse so you shall never see what is going on behind, or to the sides of you. Thus becoming ignorant of the hell you are in, or that you are causing. 
This then begs the question; How can I tell if my actions are in Christ, and my rebellion is justified by God? Is there really such a thing as a good rebellion? To answer this completely I will say this, a rebellion lead by Christ is preceded by the word of God, as it is illustrated by the birth of John the Baptist who preceded Jesus. 
3For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, 
 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 

  ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight'”(Matthew 3:3, NKJV).

28For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he”(Luke 7:28, NKJV). 

Because Jesus
did not lead an army, nor took up arms he did not lead a rebellion. Though the religious leaders at the time
would like to have accused him of this, thus history records it was the religious leaders who where in open rebellion against Christ. 

 This is a two edged sword which is extremely hard to justify, being in rebellion. One could argue, for example, that the early Americans where in Christ for rebuking the English, or the North defeating the South, or America taking up arms against her enemies in WWI and WWII. One could even say Americas defense of the people in the two battles zones in the middle east is justified in Christ. When in reality, to the Kingdom of God, these examples are not as much viewed as rebellion but more to the fulfillment of Gods larger plan, as it was with the creation of the new State of Israel on may 14, 1948. It is more of a case of freewill which God bestowed upon all living things. It is freewill Satan also distorts to prove his case against God, and forces you to actively seek to disobey, and to become disobedient.
The trap of rebellion that which I have described is a personal, and spiritual rebellion, the domain of Satan. It is the interplay that which will either bring you closer to God, or leave you destitute and helpless continually at the mercy of Satan. Satan would so distort Gods perfect truth that nothing is sacred in his fight for your soul. He would go so low as to make one parent force their children to hate the other parent, set husband and wife against one another, make girlfriends doubt their boyfriends truthfulness.The evidence is all around us, and permeates out twenty first century society. Satan seeks to confuses the issues of abuse, child endangerment, and sets the social systems at war against innocent parents, and grand parents. The perversions of  Satan so stains our hands once we buy into it, that only by the mercy of God are we cleansed. 

In an attempt to clarify the mark of righteousness, and Godliness, I will simply state: if you are helped by walking away from an abuser, then your personal rebellion to your oppression was justified in Christ, as Jesus does not want anyone to be held hostage. But if you forsake your family, or friends, and this act was done buy coercion, forcing you to give away your freewill which God so graciously had given, then it will not stand and is not of God. For this too is a form of rebellion. 

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Timothy 5:8, NKJV). 

May peace be with you all the days of your life. If you have been moved by this blog I invite you to become a follower, and learn to Listen Faithfully to our Lord Jesus Christ.



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Brother Brian

Brother Brian currently serves within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Catholic School System. He is currently in his twentieth year of teaching.

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