A Short Comment on Discerning Good and Evil
By Fred Pruitt
(I dug this out of a much longer piece this morning – The Renewing of the Mind.)
This little excerpt comments on the difference between the good and evil of Genesis 2:16-17, and Hebrews 5:14.
One of the most noticeable things, was the change in my reading of scripture. It had been like one of those pictures in which another image is hidden, and even though your eyes “see” everything there, your mind has to adjust differently to see the alternate image. Some people look at those things for years and never see the image in the image. The Bible is like that. It is hidden to the natural mind. The most the natural mind can see are the moral admonitions, the “good and evil,” to which most will agree. In this purely “moral” sense, there is little difference between “Christianity” and the other major world “religions.” Leaving out the “God” part, the moral admonitions of the “Ten Commandments” would line up with most everyone’s moral conscience (since that “moral conscience” is a little stamp of the “Light that lights every man who comes into the world,” hidden in our insides).
(An aside.) Everybody in the world knows there is good and there is evil, and that good is the good and evil is the evil. When God said they would “know” that knowledge after the Fall, it was less a matter of “forbidden knowledge,” than that in themselves they could not make the absolute determination between good and evil. That was the trick. Falling for the devil’s lie, they instantly became judges, starting with themselves. And it didn’t take long after that, for them to start blaming each other and that darn snake. Human society thus became a vast multitude of guilty judges hurling condemnations at one another, all while every single “judge” was guilty of all the same crimes for which they condemned and destroyed others. Nothing has changed.
And if we inwardly habitually find ourselves naked and guilty as did they, and many of us have or we do from time to time, then of course in that mindset we see everyone else as unclean as we are because we cannot see anything but that. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” In other words, the heart speaks its own truth. If its truth IS truth, well and good, and truth is its own reward. But if its truth is really untruth then it speaks its untruth as if it is the truth, because untruth is truth to it. Everyone speaks out of his own inner reality, whether it be truth or deception.
Of course, the discernment between good and evil – that’s not necessarily a bad kind of discernment. But that comes from the Spirit in its right sense and use, and does not belong to man. (Heb 5: 14) – “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
In man’s hands supposedly “alone,” the “knowledge of good and evil” becomes the devil’s stew, and provides for him an unending resource to keep the kettle brewing. Of course, this is nothing for us to fret about. It is, in fact, part of the plan. Let the kettle keep its heat. When it boils over, its untruth will all be exposed. And truth and righteousness will shine all that much brighter, because it will be vindicated in its day.
Another article on the blog I just found deals even more directly with this question – The Moral Conundrums of Spirit Living.