It's All Good
Is that phrase fashionable, biblical, or both?
For example, things like yoga, acupuncture, the Enneagram—are they natural hidden gems from God or disguised demonic practices?
This page's point is to consume the good, and reject the bad, like a rabbit that eats and exports.
Good Just Is
To start with, the fundamental principle is that everything—that is a thing—is good. (Gen 1, Titus 1.) But evil is not a thing; rather, an absence of a good that should be: similar to eye blindness or the falsehood 2+2=5. Mysteriously these examples have properties that exist, but no actual essence. (Since evil is a disconnection between goods, then in a technical sense, only good exists in actuality.)
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Therefore, in this imperfect world any thing presented to us is good, though there is always also some need of conversion—whether a person, idea, emotion, body, place—and especially our very own hearts!
(However, important note: things like sin, Satan, Hell, etc. are examples of intrinsic evils, i.e. "always evil", because the absence of love is always missing—and thus they cannot be converted; only expelled. So when we recover any genuine good that a lie is corrupting, the bad dissolves—but in a case where there is no core good to start with, there is nothing to rescue.)
That's the basic. Now let's look at examples.
In all church expansion, new foreign cultures present candidates to wrestle with. For instance, the early church discovered impressive Greek philosophy as a gift from God, consumed it, and exported the false doctrines such as polytheism and random chance (randomness is only apparent chance). In Acts 17 Paul even says that some Greeks were already worshiping the true God—anonymously.
Unfortunately, sometimes we take in toxins with the good. For example, the church was founded on the supernatural experience of the Holy Spirit, but as that lessened over centuries, the West slowly replaced it with reliance on merely natural human qualities (also influenced by the Greeks); and today this explains a core reason why we see Western degradation of civil ethics and church growth. It's all related.
Yet The Principle Remains True
Regardless, the key remains. We can never baptize evil, but we can and must always baptize the good stuff that evil is trying to corrupt. In other words, Christ baptizes every real thing. Loves never fails.
Spectacular examples include Christmas and Easter, which were originally pagan holidays, with mixed roots (some based on warped doctrines; some properly based on God's natural, beautifully created seasons). [Are Christmas Trees Evil? by Arthur Burk]
And today, as we experience the explosive supernatural growth of Christianity, we need to garner all the unfamiliar or foreign gifts from God that need purifying—whether blurred, distorted, or twisted. Demonic strongholds always use hijacked stolen goods. But just as with Christmas and Easter, they can be reclaimed. Jesus does that in every place He is invited.
Remember, I am the Light. You do not need to drive away the shadows. Abide in Me, and I Myself by the brightness of My presence will deal with the darkness. There is nothing, in fact, that I do not conquer. I deal swiftly with every design of the devil aimed against you as you trust Me. It was because the Psalmist understood this that he said "The Lord is my shield."
Then why all the commotion? Because we tend to extremes:
- Not Expelling Giants in the Promised Land. Sometimes we run into new territory without discernment and prep. Like Joshua, we can really take the spoils, but only after we kick out the giants.
- Not Entering the Promised Land. Obviously, don't go into land where you're vulnerable; but more commonly we fear the uncomfortably new territory.
"Be of good cheer. Sing. I delight to answer prayer and to make the crooked straight. It is vain to battle the spiritual elements with the carnal mind. Only the man who is taught in the Spirit can war in the Spirit. Jesus on many occasions demonstrated this fact and moved directly into the front line of attack against the devil. You must do the same."
So, the two extremes ( "no discernment" and "it's all bad") both avoid the consulting the Holy Spirit. There is no substitute for the Father's direction and protection. And that's our best tradition! ;)
Need spiritual conquest? Read Land of All
Jesus didn't run from the new or the demonic. We don't either.
For example, if we encounter a particular acupuncturist practice, we shouldn't automatically assume all acupuncture is wrong, or lacks value, or is occultic by principle. Right now Christ is in the process of Christianizing these things, just as He purifies everything.
In another example, yoga contains breathing and stretching wisdom garnered from centuries, which is a natural gift from God; but when a pose has been dedicated to a demon, it has to be cleansed by Christ. (Notice that both cases, God's contribution and the enemy's are often hidden.)
And also note: if the meaning of a yoga pose is instrinsically evil (such as if it spelled out the name Satan, to use an obvious case), then it can't be reclaimed, any more than the devil himself can. Yoga can be converted, but not everything in it.
So, to avoid yoga completely because there are elements that need purifying, can be more demonic than the demonic in it!
Again, whenever we encounter vociferous viewpoints that either claim it's all evil or without any evil, then the main problem is that the Holy Spirit's supernatural voice is left out, and replaced with our natural opinion, which is often an angry rant instead of God's peace. (Perhaps there are some voices that don't want us to claim our inheritances?)
Remember, light never fears darkness. Rather, in the sun of God's love, we travel cheerfully in His conquering strength.
We simply invite Jesus into everything. He'll take care of it.
It's All in the Good Bible
- Gen. 1:31; God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
- I Tim. 4:4; God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
- 1 Cor. 10:25; Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."
- Rom. 14:13; I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself.
- Acts 10:15; Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.
- Col. 2:16; Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
- Titus 1:15; To the pure, all things are pure.
- Col. 3:17; And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.