Three Evils

The three evils are: to seek wisdom of a sinner, to live the life of a sinner and to corrupt others by one’s evil example. The two good things are to conform one’s will to the Law of God; and to direct one’s mind to meditate day and night on God’s Law.” St. Nikolai Velimirovich

The “wisdom of a sinner” loves to dress its self up in pretension. It seeks not Truth, but to be “kind and accepting,” even if, and especially when, a faulty mode of being leads to eternal death. It creates a gold-paved path to the abyss and joyously leads people down it. Christ Jesus has come to deliver us from death; the “wisdom” of sin seeks to keep humanity ensnared in death. It “reasons” from the standpoint of death and corruption. Thus, it hates Christ and His Church and wars relentlessly against them. As it is written in the Gospel of St. John, “The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (3:19). The “wisdom” of sin whispers, “there is no right or wrong, there is no ultimate truth, morals are only social constructs, you can be whoever and whatever you want to be ….” The acceptance of the “wisdom” of sin inevitably leads to a living out of that sin, and the person living sin becomes corrupt and then is only able to spread the death and corruption which reside within.

This sad process can happen to one who claims to be a Christian. Once the paradigm of sin is accepted as a “reality” in place of the Law of God, then such a one begins to try and align the teaching of Christ the Lord in the Church with this false wisdom of sin. Then such a one begins to try and justify things which are clearly spoken of as death bearing and destructive to humanity. Such ones begin to say, “the Church needs to reevaluate some of Her teachings; we need to have a dialogue about such and such, and discuss modern issues” (all “issues” are ancient and have been addressed, they just get repackaged in modernity). Of course, this is all done in the name of mercy and being kind. (Clearly, Christians struggle with sin but there remains a vast gulf between the struggle with sin and the justification thereof.) As Christians, we are called to live not by the false wisdom of sin but by the Law of God. We know that the law of sin wars against the Law of God (cf. Rom 7) and we must soberly and vigilantly set our minds on God’s commandments. The Lord said, “Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me … If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word … Whoever does not love Me does not keep My word” (Jn. 14:21, 23, 24). A willful disregard for the commandments of Christ, and a justification of that which is contrary shows that a person does not in truth love Christ (again this differs from the struggle with sin). St. John says, “Hereby do we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments … For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 Jn 1:3, 5:3). The Psalmist tells us, “I shall meditate on Thy commandments, and I shall understand Thy ways, I shall meditate on Thy ordinances; I shall not forget Thy words” (Ps. 118/119:15-16). In this way, the Christian guards his mind against the anti-reason of sin. Love of God in the keeping of His commandments guards a person from falling prey to the wisdom of sin, which always tries to present itself as impressive and more knowing than those who, by its standards, hold to outdated and backward ways. Sin is a fabulous showman but it is in reality only a withering old man hiding behind a curtain. Once the facades are removed it is revealed to be foolishness parading as wisdom, ignorance as knowledge, darkness as light, and death as life.

The one who sets his mind on heavenly things, on the Commandments of Christ, sees with eternal eyes and is not fooled by the charade of the wisdom of sin. Such a person sees the end of this “wisdom” and it is only death.

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