But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction ... -- 2 Peter 2:12
We have come to Veterans' Day when we recall and revere those who gave pieces of their lives to, so they hoped, save their nations and advance civilization and liberty. It is becoming fashionable, I fear, to dismiss these courageous and worthy souls as puppets of government schemes and corruption. Governments are corrupt, and there is no end to schemers.
That is a little like what Peter says here. Even in the Body of Christ, rising up like blemishes on the face of the Bride, there will always be those who cannot give up their corruption. The material world and this fleeting life is all they believe in, all they hope for, and all to which they care to cling. Such people make a travesty of religious faith. They deceive and dissemble, connive and conceal. They mock the truth and righteousness by every word they speak and every vile plot they hatch in the dark corners of their hearts.
There's a part of me that reacts to this and says, This should not be. We ought to be able to rid ourselves of such "irrational animals", these destroyers and deceivers. That ought to be the case in the Church, certainly, but also in the world. We have a bias in the modern age toward thinking that tomorrow will be a little better and a little brighter than today, and next year there will be newer and better things and a better world than we had last year. We are past the false teachers of Christianity and the despots of the world. There will be no more mud and blood and Great Wars, no more global conflagrations. Slowly but surely we are ridding the world of violence, corruption, and evil. We just have to press on.
It's a nice thought, but it is wrong. There are going to be wars, depressions, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence. Our nation will go the way of all nations. There will be death and destruction such as never seen before in history because there are more people and more advanced technology and more powerful and deadly weapons than ever before. It could start tomorrow; or, it may be forty years or more. I made be in the middle of it, or I may die before it really gets going. The reason I know this will happen is simply that there are so many blind, unreasoning, brutish people in the world and far too many of them are in positions of power and influence. They will do irrational, stupid things. They will destroy much and will themselves be destroyed by their own corrupt practices and beliefs.
Those whom we celebrate on Veterans' Day stood up against the brutes and beat them back for a time. But such creatures are never eradicated. They came back to be dealt with once more.
We should pray that both in the Church and in the world, we may be able to stand strong when it is our time to face the adversaries.