In my last post I covered the first two parts of Satan’s military hierarchy. The first being those demons in charge of bringing Satan’s agenda in the political arena, and the second being personal demons in charge of families, and individuals. Today I would like to cover the third level of Satan’s hierarchy Paul says in Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Rulers of the darkness of this world- This phrase in the original is actually one word kosmokratopas which literally means world rulers of the darkness of this age. In the Bible the word Kosmos translated word is often used to refer the the world system. Which is to say the prevailing thought, customs, or philosophy amongst unbelievers this is in distinction to God’s kingdom which operates on different philosophies. So I like to term these demonic rulers as philosophical we could call them rulers of the prevailing dark philosophy of the age. These demons are in charge of spinning how man kind thinks for surely if you can change a mans philosophy or the way he thinks it will change the way he acts.
I believe there are several ways in which these rulers peddle their philosophy of death to the world. A primary way is certainly the educational system in our world, whether the prevailing thoughts they are espousing are seemingly close to God’s thoughts, or diametrically opposed Satan is equally happy. For close only counts in horseshoes, and hand grenades but not in true spirituality. If Satan can sell a counterfeit philosophy to a non-believer he can prevent him from entering a relationship with God, and likewise he can prevent a believer from deepening intimacy with Christ.
The prevailing philosophy of the age for last 500 or so years can be divided into two categories modern thought, and post-modern thought. Both are seemingly very different but have the same core lie, “since man is basically good and constantly improving if we can just “x” then we will usher in a utopian era.” While both approaches have the same foundation they both took a different road to get there. Modernity started at the end of the dark ages with events like the Renaissance, the Reformation, and later the Enlightenment when men became convinced that if they could just discover absolute truth, and apply it universally that we would experience a new utopian era of human perfection. Lets look at some of these failed attempts at absolute truth:
Humanism- a philosophy that overemphasizes the dignity and worth of man, basically man is basically good, and getting better all the time ie. the Industrial Revolution, Enlightenment etc. Through reason, and logic man will constantly improve until he ushers in utopia. Satan has used this philosophy to send millions to hell for if man is basically good he surely doesn’t need a God to interfere.
Materialism- the view that the material world is all that there is; there is no existence beyond the present life.
Naturalism- the view that all things have a purely natural cause, especially the origin of the universe and nature.
Agnosticism- the belief that God may exist but there is no way of knowing him logically, or with the senses.
Colonialism- Is basically the thought that since we have the absolute truth we have some sort of “manifest destiny” to conquer, colonize, and convert all peoples to our version of absolute truth. Satan used this prevailing thought to kill millions of indigenous peoples, who had never heard the true gospel.
Evolutionism- says that through constant struggle, the fittest survive. The best are selected out to reproduce, and through this process beneficial traits accumulate to propel us to higher stages on the evolutionary ladder. Though not often stated, the goal of the evolutionary process is envisioned as a humanistic utopia, in which war, disease and poverty are vanquished.
Racism- This says that basically if we could breed a pure human race, and subjugate or destroy inferior races we can usher in utopia. This is just the natural outgrowth of evolution, a system that has always bred racism. This is the foundation for failed systems such as the slave trade, and Nazism which was endeavoring to build a masterrace.
Communism- Had as its basic premise if we can harness collective synergy of masses of people through removing private ownership, and individual achievment. We can usher in an era of no poverty, war, or other problems that man had faced to that point. Satan used this system to destroy millions of lives, and to hinder the gospel.
This brings us to postmodernism which began to show its face after the second world war. The youth culture looking at these systems of absolute truth, and realizing their utter failure to bring anything but war, famine, and death decided to start formulating a new system. This new system was based on unity, tolerance, and acceptance. College campuses arrested with violence against “the man” (authorities who represented absolute truth). The basic tenet of post-modernism is, since there is no absolute truth we just all need to get along, and get together, and we will usher in a new era of utopia.
The fall of the Berlin wall was the coffin nail in man’s search for one absolute truth as mankind realized these systems were not viable. Lets look at some of the major philosophies of post-modernism:
Tolerance- don’t judge anyone’s moral behavior, no matter what it is, because there are no absolute standards of behavior. Christians are viewed as intolerant because we believe that God has given us certain laws, which if not followed will lead to moral chaos and decay of society.
Diversity- the fact that there’s biological diversity in God’s creation is extended to mean that every type of belief and morality is equally valid; we need to have every type of aberrant behavior or special interest group equally represented to avoid any hint of discrimination.
Multiculturalism- all cultures and religions are equally valid; no one of these is better than any other; therefore there is no such thing as absolute truth, but all beliefs are subjective.
Relativism- This is the notion that there are no absolute standards of behavior, because what’s wrong for you may be perfectly normal for someone else. Moral relativism says that it’s okay to do anything you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.
Pragmatism- since there is no absolute objective truth if a particular philosophy works then its good.
Situational Ethics– since there are no absolutes, or black and white the situations one is placed in determines the right course of action.
In conclusion neither of Satan’s systems has brought us any closer to a utopian society. There is only one truth and His name is Jesus Christ, and one day in the millenium He will in fact usher in a utopian society, and bring peace on earth. In the mean time let us reject the “prevailing spirit of the age” being peddled through professors, scientist, the news media, and the internet.