Sometimes, God makes decisions that really are for the good of everyone involved that, if we made them, would almost certainly not be. But we’re not God, and we don’t know jack.
The targeted demonic attacks we experience especially in this holy season are real, and we can spot them because of how they are so specifically designed to pull us away from participating in it. But these things do indeed come out by prayer and fasting.
You will be in communion with something, even pigs, even demons. There is no neutral space. You have to eat.
The cosmic war between God and His enemies the fallen angels is going on all around us and even within us. And we have been given the Cross, the very Staff of God, as a weapon against the demons.
With the calling of these disciples, Christ is building His army. Later in the Gospels, we will see Jesus’ disciples doing what He does in the very next passage after this one—casting out demons, calling people to repentance. And this is not only His army but also His government.
Mankind is suffocated by his idolatry. If we want to breathe, to breathe again the Holy Spirit, it begins with repentance. It begins with sacrifice. It begins with worship.
I’ve had more than one person say to me over the past couple weeks: “With Pascha here, I feel like COVID-19 should be over.” Shouldn’t this thing be over now? Christ is risen, you know.
The argument against iconography breaks down because those who reject icons do not understand what idolatrous images were actually used for. They were not merely religious art. They are a kind of religious technology designed to trap and control a god.