When Evil has a Lovely Mother

What if you met the mother of evil and thought she was a lovely woman? Would you then invite evil over for cookies?

In Men in Black, Will Smith engages in training to battle alien invaders. During a simulation, he and the other trainees encounter a scene that involves a little girl walking in a dark city at night surrounded by evil looking creatures. Smith is the only trainee to pass the test because he chooses to shoot the little girl.

Smith correctly interprets the situation when he discerns that most of the obvious aliens are simply going about their business. What’s suspicious is a schoolchild alone on a city street at night carrying books on quantum physics. Disguised by sweet innocence, she is the only character with truly evil intent.

I think studying that scene should be mandatory for Christians.

If every evil showed up declaring itself a public menace, displaying a threatening and repulsive demeanor, affirming its allegiance to Satan, well, life would be simple then, wouldn’t it?

And we know life is not simple.

Unfortunately, most of us react like the other agents in the scene, spraying gunfire at every scary thing that moves, creating a lot of noise and excitement, while missing the real danger purring like a kitten at our feet.

We forget that evil is just as likely to live in a modest cottage on a wooded lane and invite us in for coffee in a kitchen that smells like cinnamon scones. Evil will introduce us to its well-educated, soft-spoken mother who delights us with her wisdom and the puppy she rescued from an abusive owner. In cultured tones with soothing music in the background, evil will likely persuade us that what we formerly understood to be wrong, isn’t wrong at all, of course.

In fact, evil will shame us for even once thinking that we knew anything for certain. How could we? Who do we think we are? Soon, we start seeing life through the lens of evil without even moving from our comfy chairs.

I remember watching a documentary about four U.S. doctors who perform late-term abortions. The film takes us face-to-face with two men and two woman. We’re in their living rooms, their kitchens, and their exam rooms. We’re treated to close-ups of their compassionate counsel, the comforting hugs they give their patients, and their fears about being killed by religious zealots. We meet their lovely moms.

And throughout, we have a front row seat to layer upon layer of justification for injecting an unborn child with a deadly drug that stops his or her heart so that the mother delivers a stillborn baby.

Quietly, so quietly, they present their arguments as they dab at tears and we see their shoulders practically bent from the burden of responsibility they’ve assumed of deciding who will die and who will survive the womb. They seem almost noble and the filmmaker clearly is trying to portray them as heroic so that  it almost sneaks up on you when one doctor states something to the effect that there’s no denying what she’s doing.

She can’t call it a fetus. She’s choosing to end the life of a baby and to call it anything else would be disingenuous. For this admission, she actually seeks points for honesty.

ISIS is honest. Let’s give them points for that. “We’re coming to kill you,” they say. “We believe our way is the only way so you can join us or die.” You’d think that would be off-putting and ISIS would have no chance of recruiting volunteers. You’d be wrong.

One news story reported on the propaganda ISIS produces. Slick enough to recruit the disenfranchised from educated, well-off nations. There are glossy magazines. Twitter accounts. YouTube videos showing the softer, human side of ISIS soldiers as they give ice cream to schoolchildren, share pizza with comrades, and provide personal glimpses of the men behind the masks. There are even warrior heroes among them, like NBA stars, admired for prowess in their one-sided battles. Major league terrorists meriting their own following of brutal bully wannabes.

And I thought. All of those men have mothers. If we met their moms, would these men seem less murderous?

And then I thought, we will need to walk through the end times on our knees.

We received this warning in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Beware the strong delusion, loved ones.

For a strong delusion to be effective, it cannot be immediately repulsive or frightening. It must be alluring, engaging, believable, beautiful, even. It won’t look like a masked gunman. It will look like his mother, a kindly old doctor, or a little pig-tailed girl.

It won’t coming brandishing weapons; it will offer us tea, a listening ear, and a compassionate face. It will tell us stories that draw us in, but it will lace those stories with the arsenic of deception on the chance that we can be lulled into the stupor with all the rest.

That’s why I get peeved at all the scattershot chatter on social media and broadcast news shouting about obvious evil. It’s like the agents in Men in Black who are so busy aiming at hairy monsters they miss the real source of danger.

It takes mental, emotional, and spiritual energy to remain alert in the face of widespread deception. It demands effort. It requires a constant intake of truth from God’s word and from sound, Biblical teachers. It’s hard work and we must pay close attention.

A lazy faith won’t survive these times. Worse, apathetic, lazy believers are a poor line of defense against the spread of delusion.

This is no simulation, people. This is it. This is what we’ve been warned about. This is why we’ve trained. This is no time to fall prey to magical illusions and sleight-of-hand ethics. These are the days of full-on alert faith.

Are your eyes open or are you sipping tea with the mother of all evil?

**I believe Jesus loves and died for terrorists, abortion doctors, and others who choose to believe the lies of the evil one. Our enemy is the evil one. People become seduced by his lies and become his pawns but they should not be treated as if they are evil. We should love them, pray for them, and speak truth to them. Christians should not assassinate abortion doctors or become vigilantes against terrorism, but we must be on guard against succumbing to their propaganda.

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8 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. kris says:

    Oh what a powerful reminder of truth! Thank you.

  2. kris says:

    So thankful your gift with words used by the Holy Spirit. Powerful truth. Chilling and necessary reminder. Thank you Lori!

  3. Lisa says:

    I often tell my boys that evil and temptation come looking like the thing you think you want most in the world. If it came looking like its true self, no one would ever fall into temptation. Thank you for your words – much-needed reminders and encouragement to me as a Christian to be on guard.

  4. Pam Halter says:

    Yes, girl!!! Yes! Well said. We have to test everything against Scripture and ask the Lord for discernment.

  5. Rob McCullough says:

    Amen Lori. Very good and very timely. We Love you and all that stand with you in Christ and in Truth. Be Blessed!

  6. Krystine Kercher says:

    Good points, Lori! Sharing your post–

  7. susan says:

    Your words are so true. Evil has a beautiful side that draws you in unsuspectingly, then reveals its ugliness once you are trapped. The only protection is staying close to the Lord and His word.

  8. Tammy Breeding says:

    Thank you Lori. It’s uneasy to read, but you are spot on.