There is a dramatic difference between the one who has been beguiled and the one doing the beguiling. Historically, I have used this word for its second meaning (to pass time pleasantly) and assumed its first meaning had a lighthearted coyness to it. Not so. It’s betrayal . . . and it’s intentional.
II Corinthians 11:3
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived [beguiled in Amplified] by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
I don’t believe our children (whether they are sixteen or twenty-six) know they are being beguiled away from the faith. I see the world ensnaring them (and others) into believing they need all the “stuff.” They are bombarded with extremely convincing advertising that insists they are less because they need more: electronics, apps, screens, gadgets, clothing that advertises the store where it was purchased, ever-changing styles that make last year’s apparel uncool, high-powered jobs and income, and so on.
In order to compete, the “church” tries to lure these generations by using the same tools and tricks of the culture. Is that a good thing? I don’t know. Maybe. If young people begin to examine within and look for greater meaning, that has merit. Can it still be a bad thing? Does the end justify the means? I really don’t have an answer, I just have questions. It’s only the individual’s heart and soul that matter. The inner life, that inner discovery happens alone. No accoutrement is needed.
We must be careful how we “woo” people to the Lord. A person should not be beguiled into the faith, as though following Christ is like taking a happy pill. It’s not.
The journey with Christ is not easier, it’s different, under girded with hope, assurance, and traditionally, with fellowship (other people who care and love). The end of the journey is known, but the path itself is still laden with challenges.