December 12, 2014

Nightmares of End Times

Like probably a few Christians, I have been fascinated by, and speculated on, the prospect of being alive to see the Biblical End of the Age. 
It was when, back at the start of the 1990s, I joined the Seventh-Day Adventist Church that I really got serious with imagining End Times scenarios. As their title ‘Adventist’ implies, this cult has been anticipating the return or advent of Christ for over 150 years (since 1844, precisely) and their chief prophetess, E.G. White, wrote much speculation on this event. Her opus magnus, The Desire of Ages, purports to describe in some detail the events leading up to, and culminating in, the return of Jesus.

While Adventists know it’s useless to set dates and timelines for the End of the Age, they couldn’t resist expecting it to happen ‘imminently’ during the Great War (WW-1) and again at WW-2. Since those guesses obviously failed, they have gradually settled into the kind of state Jesus described in his parable of the Ten Virgins awaiting the wedding of their master. Just as so many small-a adventists have experienced ‘apocalyptic burn-out,’ the SDA Church seems to devote its energies to more mundane tasks than preaching the imminent end of the world.

The E.G. White book, not unexpectedly, envisions eschatology in a very denominational optic. Events unfold in an almost predictable fashion for those familiar with the canon of Biblical prophecy— i.e. the book of Daniel, Revelation, the Olivet discourse, etc.

Similarly, other denominations or schools of Christian belief, have their peculiar versions of the End Times. Notably, the ‘pre-tribulation’ Evangelicals have their vacuous ‘Rapture’ stories that would transport worthy, mostly American, Christians to heavenly refuge while the world is wracked by the worst turmoil in history.

However… what I (and perhaps a few others) see unfolding before our startled eyes bears NO resemblance whatsoever to the scenarios concocted by the leading lights of the various religious enclaves! From the extensive reading I’ve done, including Biblical research, none of the speculators foresees what is really happening on the ground.

While some apocalyptic literature may include or touch upon one or another of the elements below, here’s how the existing speculations FAIL.
1- the degree and extent of the satanic use of deception is pathetically underestimated or even ignored by most writers;
2- the degree to which the situation in the world is the exact inverse of the false illusion created by our governments and media is seriously missed by the pundits.
3- only the most astute researchers know that modern Israel is not the Israel of the OT; fewer still understand that today’s Israel is, in scriptural fact, the Beast of Rev 13!
4- only a few students of eschatology have discovered the awesome fact that the USA is a key player in eschatology— being the ‘last Babylon’ whose destruction is detailed in Rev 18!

Of course, the first two points go hand-in-hand. The illusions can only be fabricated by deception. The sad thing for the few contrarians to observe is how easily the masses have been duped into believing lies piled upon lies. As long as the popular mass media proclaim something to be so, the masses, by and large, accept it as true.

And this Age is characterized also by the abundance of irony at every turn! Our history books, while full of blatant bias and fallacies, still describe accurately the use of propaganda by the Nazis during the 1930s and 40s. The modern reader can identify propaganda when it is so labelled in retrospect. But to see it blanketing the news broadcasts daily is far beyond the abilities of a populace carefully conditioned from birth to believe the myth of Western sanctimony.

It pleases our superficial egos to believe that atrocities are committed by foreign fanatical enemies, certainly never by ‘us.’ Even blatant evidence to the contrary is conveniently white-washed into ‘necessary evil,’ as for recent example the release, finally (since anyone awake was already fully aware) of the Senate report on CIA torture. Surely the US will never more be able to lecture other countries about their human rights violations… not with a straight face.

Another notable example was the use of atomic bombs against civilian cites by the noble democracies in the defense of the good realm in WW2. Thus the irony of the USA invading and destroying other countries because they might possess ‘weapons of mass destruction’ is lost on many of the obedient drones of the glorious capitalist empire.

Examples of Western hypocrisy are abundant to say the least, and I will not belabor the point futher. Where it all leads is to a vastly different scenario than the one sustained by a homogenous and entirely compliant mass media. The typical ‘informed citizen’ must be prepared for a huge shock to the political and moral sensibilities when he/she is finally jolted wide awake by the terrifying truth that everything is the opposite of what we’ve been told.

You see, dear reader, the fact is that the Devil is not out there in the Arabian deserts motivating ‘Islamic extremists.’ Nor is he skulking about the Kremlin or in Beijing, nor in North Korea. No, the evil spirits are plainly carrying out their revolting plans in the halls of DC and Wall St., and in the City of London, and the EU HQ in Brussels, and so on!

A growing proportion of the Western population is beginning to catch on to the more egregious instances of abuses by their governments. Yet the majority still clings to the illusions so long engrained in our culture, that our ‘elected leaders’ and officials have only the best interests of the public at heart, and must be telling us the truth about matters internal and external to our borders.

Sadly, the truth is the opposite. Our governments thru-out the Western ‘alliance’ (i.e. the vassal states of the mighty USA) have been high-jacked by ideologues, psychopaths, and opportunists of the worst ilk, who mainly will do anything to further their personal fortunes and advance the demonic agenda of their hidden masters.

Jesus asked the rhetorical question ‘Will the Son of Man find faith when he returns?’ He could have equally enquired ‘will he find anyone who sees reality and knows the truth?’

Will Christians finally wake up and realize that it’s the supposed good guys who are really the bad guys, using the might and resources of the greatest power on Earth to implement the Satanic plan? Will Christians understand that the last ‘Antichrist’ may not be a swarthy man from some foreign back-water?

The way things are headed presently, I can foresee that when Christ returns he will be opposed by many ostensible Christians who will be convinced that he is the Devil! That’s how deluded much of the Western Christian world is today.

Christian delusion starts at the top. The divinity schools are turning out pastors and preachers who have been indoctrinated into a system, and who are dependent on that system for a living and a retirement. They will preach the established party-line, holding their nose if they should have a flash of clarity. Their sheep, by and large, will swallow the dogma in preference to putting in the effort to read scripture for themselves and having to think.

Going back to the beginning premise, I have not the slightest doubt that we are living in the last days of this world as we know it, of this Age or aeon. It’s clear from scripture that God likes to really load the game against Himself so that He can demonstrate in the end that only He, the Creator of All, could possibly manage to win against all the stacked odds.

Nonetheless… it still amazes me how insanely inverted is the grand scenario that now exists in this world immediately prior to Christ’s return to set all things right. We’ve got…
- Christians almost totally confused and ineffective in understanding who are on either the side of good or the side of evil;
- the secular (atheist) world knowing that things aren’t right, but looking for political or psychological solutions… and most fully turned off all religion;
- the elitist, Zionist banksters (aka Illuminati) who are the agents of Satan, getting ever more flagrant in their final moves to take full control of the planet and complete Satan’s plan of total destruction… yet completely disbelieved by the same masses they toy with;
- while the masses in the Western world (esp. USA) blissfully zone out on mindless entertainment— when not running on their treadmill jobs— they have no idea how their leaders and media are pushing the world towards a 3rd global conflict between nuclear-armed powers;
- growing presence of ‘alien’ (aka extraterrestrial) phenomena world-wide, as if flirting with humanity and preparing us for something— the ‘grand deception’ perhaps?
- increasing celestial and planetary perturbations (weather weirdness, sinkholes, fireballs, sonic booms, mass animal deaths, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. etc.!) that are plainly obvious, yet no ‘scientists’ are able to connect the dots… and that most people just ignore, unless it lands on them.

And so it goes! Skeptics ask for ‘signs,’ while the signs are practically falling on their stupefied heads! There are none so blind as those who won’t see. The masses just want to pretend that life will always be as it always has been, never mind that even that stability never existed more than a few years running.

So, here we go: destined to plunge into the final moments of the last days… in almost total ignorance and innocence. One cult thinks they’ll just be whisked away and miss it all; another thinks that we’re going to jump to a new level of consciousness; and most just don’t have a clue that it’s the final countdown. Beam me up, Scotty; there’s no intelligent life down here! If only.

December 9, 2014

Religion: Serious Business

With a title like that, readers would expect another expose' on the murky world of religion as a business. There are other writers who've gone there and done that.
No, my take on the subject of religion is how serious it all is. As in lack of humor. In fact, it appears that religion and humor are considered as antithetical opposites, by many people.

The idea for this essay started when I was in a particularly reflective mood (serious, you might say) and had this insight that many of the people I know are similarly afflicted with an underdeveloped sense of humor. Why should that be?, I mused. Looking at my own family background, it was obvious that my parents tended to be very serious, responding to most domestic crises with outbursts of pandemonium rather than humor. The very thought of laughing at mistakes was quite unthinkable.

Why, tho, should they have been like that? was the more puzzling question. While there are several possible reasons, one stood out as most likely, when I looked around at the more serious folks in my purview. The common factor is that most of the serious types grew up in 'religious homes.' Homes where the parents were members of a religious society, a church, or temple.

Currently, there's a television series following a group of young people who've decided to leave their Amish community (one left a Mennonite colony). Unlike most young people, what one notices about these refugees is their general seriousness. Sure, they can still laugh-- but only a little, compared to their typical, worldly peers. And taking this extreme example, it's pretty clear why they are serious. You see how their parents, their elders and church leaders criticize and shun them for their normal attempts to want to see more of the 'real world.' You see how those good church folk pride themselves on maintaining a poker face in all circumstances. You see how they regard any display of levity as sinful indulgence of the flesh.

The Amish and similar cloistered religious enclaves serve to exemplify how the mind that is conditioned by ultra-orthodox or fundamentalist thinking cannot accommodate humor. As in so many other ways, these religious prigs cut themselves off from the harmless, even beneficial aspects of  human society. For certainly, humor has been found to be related to better emotional states, improved health, and superior coping with difficulties.

Even the Bible states (Prov 15:1): 'A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.' A gentle answer doesn't have to be humorous, necessarily; but a humorous answer is most likely gentle.

The major religions seem convinced that God is a humorless taskmaster, demanding perfection from fallible humans, and expecting elders and leaders to uphold only the strictest standards, in all seriousness, too. So, even for those souls who find their way to escape the figurative prisons of religion, the legacy of seriousness persists in their lives. As the saying goes: you can take the boy/girl out of religion, but you can't take the religion out of the boy/girl.

Now in my 'latter years,' I'm trying to find humor where I can, which is mostly in the little, everyday things. The big picture of the world in these apocalyptic years is much too serious to merit genuine laughter. But whenever possible, we should all try to resort to humor before getting our blood pressure soaring.

PS. I was going to try and write this as a funny story… but it's too serious to deal with that way!