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Christianity -- The Downfall Of America

by llb Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2004 at 12:33 AM

In your face now...

Towards An Embrace of Armageddon

from:

The Messianic Legacy

Lincoln, Leigh, Baiegent

1989



For those prepared to acquaint themselves with it, the thinking of C.G. Jung and his successors could offer a partial repository of meaning by integrating psychology and religion----by redefining the limits of both, by expanding the parameters of both and thus vitalising both. For those prepared to approach them as something more than entertainment or an esoteric cult in themselves--prepared, that is, to approach them as instruments of vision, and to study them the way people in the 16th century studied Luthers translation of the bible----the arts, too, could offer a repository of meaning. So, too, if it rested on crucial premises, could monarchy, on a much broader, more accessible scale. Ultimately however, any repository of meaning will be only as valid or invalid as individuals themselves choose to make it...

The current proliferation of sects, cults, disciplines, therapies, and programmes of one sort or another bears witness to the urgency of the modern quest for meaning. What was previously sought in church, or in organised religion, is now sought in the columns at the back of TIME OUT or THE VILLAGE VOICE. Very often, the need for meaning manifests itself in any number of superficial symptoms--loneliness, guilt, self-alienation, a sense of inadequacy, lack of direction or motivation, depression, apathy,sexual uncertainties, crises of identity. But though superficial, such symptoms can be so disturbing that many people will seek their urgent alleviation, while neglecting the underlying cause. And many of the sects, cults, disciplines, therapies and programmes to which they turn in their desperation, address themselves primarily, if not entirely, to symptoms, functioning not as repositories of meaning, but simply as tranquillisers.

There have always, of course, been sects cults and mystery schools, some deeply sincere in their aspirations and psychologically valid in their dynamics, others spurious in one or the other or both. There has also always been, in mans relations to his gods and search for meaning, a tendency to seek a short cut----to find some means of avoiding the work, the energy, the psychic investment, the sacrficies entailed. In the past such attempts to find a short cut were invariably deemed suspect. Now however, under the aegis of a consumer society, they have acquired an unprecedented legitimacy. Consumerism has rendered the short cut respectably in virtually every sphere. Any short cut is a marketable commodity...

...The 1960s labelled such commodities PLASTIC, and spurned them. Plastic became synonymous with shoddiness...it denoted the ersatz...NOW, wisdom and understanding which ordinarily require years of experience are, if certain advertisements are to be believed, dispensed like pills, to be downed at a gulp with a glass of cola and a ham sandwich...

Among the questionable alternatives to religion embraced by contemporary society----among the various ersatz religions, that is----one must include the kind of fundamentalist teaching promulgated by certain sects and churches in Britain, In South Africa, and in the United States. Like all ersatz religions, these teachings eschew responsibility for everything genuine religion entails, and offer something else--something potentially dangerous--as a palliative.

Granted, Christianity, like most other religions, has in the past had its fanatics, espousing over-simplified dicta and prohibitions, more intent on coercing conformity from their neighbors than on crystallising their own sense of meaning...Judaism, and Islam, in the past and today as well, are equally guilty...But it is disturbing to see the same phenomenon developing in the west on as broad a scale as that which is evident today. It has taken us many centuries, and a great deal of bloodshed, to learn a measure of tolerance. That we can feel shame at such aberrations as The Inquisition, the witch trials of The Middle Ages--attests to some genuine advance in learning. It bodes ill when such gains are threatened by a return to fundamentalist simplicities...

In the past, fundamentalist simplicity has often served as a refuge for oppressed minorities, or even an occupied country...

What is occurring today, however, is the embrace of fundamentalist simplicities not by an oppressed and persecuted minority, but by some of the wealthiest, most comfortable, most powerful, and theoretically, best educated people in the world. This in effect nullifies much of what western culture has so painstakingly learned----not only in pure academic spheres such as biblical study and evolutionary theory, but also in the more important spheres of humanity and tolerance. Not since the excesses of 17th century Puritanism--Cromwells protectorate in Britain, the witch trials in New England as well as western Europe--has religious fanaticism and bigotry been allied in the west with wealth and power on so large a scale. Except of course, for the Third Reich...

Modern fundamentalism in America derives ultimately from 17th century puritanism, with its concept of and ELECT who enjoy a special COVENANT with God...but the more immediate roots of fundamentalism lie in the fractured and free-associative history expounded by certain 19th century theological propagandists. In 1840 for example, a man named John Wilson published a book entitled OUR ISRAELITISH ORIGINS...Wilsons claims are still being promulgated by fundamentalist textbooks today... In 1842 he published a second book, THE MILLENIUM--in which, not surprisingly perhaps, his reasoning led him to believe that the second coming was at hand. Jesuss return engagement was imminent, he argued, and this would be followed by the establishment of a species of what we would now term a Thousand Year Reich...first of course there would be an anti-christ, and the world would lapse into a period of chaos...But Europe being so great, Wilson argued it could only be the product of a new CHOSEN PEOPLE, whom God, in adherence to his covenant, would never abandon...During the ensuing 140 years this assertion of supremacy was to be eagerly embraced by Afrikaans settlers in South Africa, who, even today, regard it as a major cornerstone of apartheid...

Wilson was followed by other writers of much the same ilk...Reverand Glover--associated the British Lion and Tribe of Judah. Edward Hine--THE ENGLISH NATION IDENTIFIED WITH THE LOST HOUSE OF ISRAEL BY TWENTY SEVEN IDENTIFICATIONS....and so on.

Modern American Fundamentalism rests on premises that are often startling in their anachronism, their credulity, and their naivety...the bible is held to be immutable as it stands, as if councils such as Nicaea had never occurred, and as if there were not alternative gospels....in its existing form, it contains all knowledge necessary for individual salvation...

Some specifically fundamentalist premises: The USA and the UK are to be identified with the scattered remnants of ancient israel----these are the new elect, the new chosen people----biblical prophecy is of cardinal importance, certain specific works are repeatedly cited, notably the book of revelation----specific mesages of certain prophecies, most notably having to do with apocalypse/armegeddon, after which Jesus will descend from heaven, the dead will rise from their graves, and only the elect or SAVED will reside in the new kingdom...The climactic battle of Armageddon will be fought somewhere in the middle east, the anti-Christ will appear, but Gods forces, commanded by Jesus as Field Marshall, will naturally emerge triumphant...If one repents now, if one allows oneself to be SAVED, and especially if one makes a financial contribution to the church, one will be spared all the carnage and removed to a place of safety until the turmoil has been resolved...

...An extraordinary and ever increasing number of people in America today (1989) take these premises quite seriously, and are not only resigned to an imminent apocalypse, but actually, in some sense, look forward to it...



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