The typical Western city of today is the most effective environment to encourage sin. It is able to generate immoral behaviors so effectively that the task of corrupting your soul becomes one of demonic auto-pilot.

If the opportunity to commit evil is all around you, and you have already chosen for that evil, why do demons need to get involved? Demons must labor to influence you to choose wrong, but if you voluntarily place yourself in an evil environment with the purpose of satisfying a wish list of sinful desires, you make their job effortless. A good example is someone who moves from a small, traditional town to a city like New York or Los Angeles. A man or woman uprooted themselves and went to the big city because they desire to gorge themselves on money, sex, and fame. When a hungry child is in a candy store, do you need to convince him to eat candy? He simply dives in until he gets sick, and during that time of eating, he needs no convincing from a being or external force to keep going until his belly is full of sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

I suspect that there are not many demons residing in the major cities. The evil you may feel while in one may not come from the presence of demons but the mass quantity of people who have chosen evil. The city is actually a platform for evil, one that Satan has constructed and optimized over hundreds of years to lower the barrier for you to commit severe sins. To engage in pride or fornication within a modern city involves no debate or consternation—they’re so normalized that you are looked at as an oddball if you decide against them. You don’t have Instagram? You’re anti-social. You don’t want to hook up after a night of drinking? You’re sexually inadequate. Your friends and acquaintances play the role of the demons by tempting you to sin, and they do that work for free. Surely the demons swing by on weekend nights to appreciate their handy work, especially in the month of June when the sodomites take over much of the Western urban world, but do they need to persuade a homosexual to attend a gay pride parade? Do they need to urge him to wave dildos and other sexual paraphernalia in public?

If the demons are not in the city then where are they? On assignment corrupting souls that have chosen for Christ. Demons venture out of the city, away from the nightlife and gay pride parades, and into the suburbs to cause strife in families. They separate man and wife and put rebellious ideas in the minds of children. They’re in the countryside, introducing subtle traps to those who want to worship God through the natural world. And they’re in the monasteries, attacking men who are on their way to receiving a hundredfold blessing from God.

The demons only care about you when you care about your salvation. The ancient Desert Fathers remarked on the pattern: the instant you choose to pick up your cross and walk with Christ, the demons climb on your back and won’t leave until God has deemed their attacks sufficient for the building of your virtue. When I went into the mountains for two months to live in what I later found out was a former crack house, a den of exceeding vice, I was tormented by sexual dreams and nightmares involving actual demons burning my flesh. Relief only came when I slept beside a wooden cross. While the nightmares were frightening at the time, I must take it as a compliment that the demons cared enough to single me out.

In my old life in the city, when I chased women for casual sex, Satan left me alone as I destroyed myself, and I can’t recall having even a single nightmare from the time I was behaving at my worst. From this point on, if Satan wants my soul, he’s going to have to devote all his resources to the task, whether I live in a city or not, because I certainly won’t give it to him without a fight.

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