A web campaign has been in full swing since the London bombings on “7/7,” designed to let the terrorist world know that a lot of people just aren’t afraid. It consists of hundreds of photographs, images, and graphics sent from people around the world who want to say, in their own special way, “We are not afraid.” You can see it for yourself at werenotafraid.com.
Some of the images are stunning, showing individuals that even include children and pets, expressing various degrees of defiance, rage, or alarm. One even features the subject’s face covered by a black scarf with the words, “I am not a terrorist.” Really? Was there any question that you were, that you must be so insistent in denying it?
So strident are the proclamations that I wonder. Why exactly expend so much energy making the claim? If you are actually not afraid, why make such a big deal about it? While it is all very well intended and probably a nice salve for fear, this is just one massive whistle in the dark. Walter Robinson, editor of artnet.com said "Too much of this 'We are not afraid' stuff sounds like empty bravado." (Los Angeles Times, 8/1/05)
To respond to anything that an evildoer or a ruler of evil does to entice, provoke, tempt, incite is a plain demonstration that you desire some abiding relationship with that entity. It is exactly like walking down the street and turning to protest when someone tells you that you’re ugly. What should it matter when someone with whom you have nothing to do says anything unfounded about you or your character?
The massive response to terrorism in this instance is reflective of the need to object to something that one has great difficulty enduring, in this case, fear. I just don’t believe for a second that any of these people don’t experience dreadful fear. I think they’re all scared to death of the whole terrorist menace marketed to them by their rulers to get them to do exactly what they are doing, and in that indirectly giving greater homage to the Agency of Cain.
In a perverse way, these people may indeed be so fearful that they are trying to find typical codependent solace in playing the game. It isn’t just terrorists who take great psychological pleasure jabbing and taunting and ribbing in order to get the exact response, “Don’t do that!” The We Are Not Afraid campaign is just one big “Don’t do that!” directed at the terrorists, and they couldn’t be happier.
The powers-that-be of the Catholicist Nation have their own significant involvement in the game. First, the Agents of the Romanist hegemony benefit tremendously, and they know it. Stirred-up terrorist fear engenders great humanist resolve as demonstrated by the increasing volume of the We Are Not Afraid gallery.
The Romanist Agents can then spout about all the great things it is doing. They can brashly leap to the rescue after the bullies don’t listen to your “Don’t do that!” 9/11 Commission. Homeland Security. Patriot Act. Operation Enduring Freedom. President Bush and his “We’re fighting for democracy” speeches.
In and around all this the Agency mobilizes its mouthpieces, the dutifully devout media, to report vigilantly on all the terrorist threats: anthrax/small pox scares, dirty bomb possibilities, kidnappings, airport terminal closings, Al Qaeda video messages, color code warning system alerts—we can’t hear enough about them. In the face of all this it’s no wonder people feel the need to make sure we know exactly how unafraid they are as they struggle to sort out their persistent anxiety.
Every time someone adds a We Are Not Afraid image to the gallery, the Agents know that they are doing their job. Every time someone does anything to demonstrably pretend they don’t fear, they’re running jumping throwing catching another ball on the field in the grand Catholicist game.
What, really, is the answer to really actually not fearing at all?
Yes, you’ve got to get out of the game altogether.
You’ve got to walk right on by when the bully says, “I’m gonna beat you up.”
Furthermore, you’ve got to have the resolve not to side up with the other bully in the neighborhood who’s just a little bigger.
What do you do?
You go to the Person anyone would go to, really.
To your Dad.
A couple of months ago I saw a television commercial featuring a dozen celebrities, each dressed in white appearing against an plain off-white background, and each taking turns speaking in succession about a new way to end poverty. My curiosity lit up when I noticed one of the celebrities was Pat Robertson, and I thought such phenomenally strange bedfellows must mean something extraordinary was being introduced.
I made a visit to the website, one.org, to find out more about this wonderful new plan that would actually, ultimately, truly end all of poverty. Turns out the effort is so noble they don’t even want money! What they do want is members, names of people who’d join the cause simply by signing on, and with sheer numbers convince Congress to earmark a mere 1% of the federal budget for worldwide poverty relief.
Doesn’t it sound like a pretty decent deal? Just get a teeny weeny bit of the gigantically massive federal budget and hand it to the poor? What is 1% anyway?
Just so you know, this year’s federal budget is about $2.5 trillion. 1% of that is $25 billion. That’s $80 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. One might then wonder why each of us can’t just give the $80 on our own, take care of business that way. Why do we have to go through the government?
I know why. It is because this is the way the Catholicist Nation operates. Cain is the Catholicist’s god, contractually entrusted with his sin management, and much of his penance involves paying indulgences disguised as charitable donations.
Volumes have been written about the whys and wherefores of poverty, but to look critically at one.org (also makepovertyhistory.org) let’s cut right to the chase. Poverty is a condition that comes from one of two things: envy or exploitation. With the first, I am poor because I’m not Bill Gates, or someone with a two bedroom home is poor because he is not me. Most people comprehending poverty in this manner would be more averse to shelling out $80 to make the “poor” feel better.
It is that second definition that tugs at our heart strings, and for good reason. Many are exploited by extremely powerful individuals. This second kind of poverty shouldn’t even be called poverty at all, but destitution. It is having so little that one suffers excruciatingly—hunger, exposure, disease, despair—most times in phenomenally harrowing conditions.
The radical truth in all of this is not that a terribly cruel twist of fate has put these people in the straits they are in and that a whole bunch of richer people being compelled to hand over $80 each will make their lives more bearable—people have already been doing that for millennia, and the destitute are still there being very destitute.
What it is is that there is horrifically wretched sin within exploiter and exploited alike that brings the death and destruction we sorrowfully witness and that they all really need a whole bunch of genuinely joyously forgiven people sharing The Bread of Life with them—He's the One who's been spending millennia taking care of the worst thing.
Jesus Christ, transcendent God appearing with us in flesh and bones, here on earth to love you with a love you’ve never know, once fed a zillion people with a fish stick and donut (okay, it wasn’t exactly like that, but close enough). The next day the same bunch of “poor” people came back and said, “That was so cool! What’s for dinner next?” This was of course after they had gone on lying and cheating and murdering and committing adultery and generally disregarding any consideration of the God who gave them anything to begin with. This is the real destitution.
Jesus then sighed and said plainly, “Look, I’m the bread.” He wasn’t saying find a priest to make a wafer, hold it up, say “Hocus Pocus” and shazam now we could literally eat Him. He was saying “Stop doing the World thing and start doing the Kingdom thing. With Me. I am and I have everything you’ve ever wanted.”
Those destitute people whom one.org wants to help? Are Bono, the high profile celebrity spearheading it, and the thousands that he’s signing up to help them, going to go to those places and be Jesus’ flesh and bones? Tell them about Him? Share His love with them boldly and actively and vibrantly? Cynical me, I kinda think they’re not. In fact one reason I think they’re not is because Cain is himself instrumental in making it all that way to begin with so he can look really good doing all this stuff. Furthermore, when you notice that Cain is really out of God’s picture altogether, then you'll see that it is actually impossible for his followers to get out there with that Real Love.
I tend to think that the U2 concert-goer who’s holding up his cell phone alit with a one.org web sign-up is going to get a jolly Catholicist thrill by thinking he’s doing the upstanding thing, but really, he’s just throwing $80 (or telling Cain to force someone else to throw the $80) at someone who is actually, ultimately, truly desperate for Him. It is Jesus who has the riches.
But you've got to want Him first.
Actually. Ultimately. Truly.
The way a racketeer goes about his business is as follows. He finds someone who fears, and then presents him with a condition that engenders some degree of terror. Marketing the threat sets up the most important part: selling his particular form of protection. The more he can convince the victim that his life would be essentially over without it, the more lucrative it is.
The example with which we are most familiar is the mobster's tactic seen in the movies. The racketeer visits a shop on Main Street, tells the proprietor that there are hoodlums who'd like to see him ruined (we all know who the hoodlums really are), and that if a certain amount is paid to him he'll see that the shop is kept from any harm. "We wouldn't want anything bad to happen to your fine establishment," he says, and we think, "How nasty that is, I'm glad I never have to make that decision."
What many don't realize is that they've been making such decisions their entire lives. This scheme has been going for millennia in many sophisticated forms, and in the most mundane areas of life most people behave exactly like the shop owner: "I just don't want any trouble." They may have never directly encountered a gangster, but they do deal with all kinds of reputable-looking individuals who sound as if they have their best interests in mind—and they may! People contract with them convinced that they are sure to endure a great deal of suffering if they don't pay them exorbitant fees for something.
A very common way people submit to the racketeer is to make their churches beholden to government protection by signing on to 501c3 contracts. It is perfectly legitimate if the church is really just a God club made up of sinners who like to hang out with one another and need the force of law to constrain their evildoing. But if we are saints covered in the blood of Christ, loving one another because of His love for us, sowing with our gifts from the very best in one another—why do we need this sort of "protection"?
I bring this up because a couple of months ago the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena got into "trouble" with the Internal Revenue Service because one of its ministers gave a sermon that violated the rules for 501c3 organizations. Apparently he had made some comments about how poorly George Bush was doing as president and that we should not be in Iraq and all the rest of it.
What is so fascinating is that when this supposed infraction was publicized, the penalty was said to be (as it always is in these cases) revocation of the church's 501c3 status. I'm thinking: um, okay, so? What then? Why do they need it to begin with?
Ahhh, yes, that's why. So that the church can get lots and lots of money from people who wouldn't give it otherwise since it wouldn't be tax deductible. And because nefarious church higher-ups may otherwise use that money for bad things. And because the IRS can keep real good track of all the money.
Ahhh yes, I see.
If those reasons are true, if they really actually are true, then you know what that means. It means that these people are regularly behaving in ways that Jesus expressly told them to avoid. "Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" Jesus said plainly in the sixth chapter of Matthew, verses 1 to 4. Only a blind person would refuse to see that when one itemizes deductions such as church giving on his tax form, he is announcing that giving to the World (much less his left hand).
Every effective racketeering operation must have the stirred fear of its victims for it to thrive. It then takes advantage of that fear by employing a wide array of intimidation techniques to get its cut. For centuries the Roman Catholic church has threatened its own with eternity in hell or at least a long agonizing stay in purgatory if they don't pay up. Protestant churches lay the guilt trip on real good with specious requests for "tithes." The IRS has the scheme going real good, convincing us all that if we don't pony up for its codependent offerings (when by law we don't have to), we are being "frivolous" and that we'll incur the wrath of other taxpayers because they'll have to make up the difference.
Even in the Old Testament, other nations always managed to compel Israel to worship other gods. God told them over and over that they would receive all good things if they would just abandon their fearful attachment to those gods and humbly worship Him alone. The people whom God chose to be His very own gave in to the intimidation and did all the things that betrayed their relationship with Him.
Someone who's fully in the embrace of Christ can't be intimidated—he sees clearly how much he is protected by Him no matter what appears to be happening. 501c3 contracts, on the other hand, serve a purpose for blind people deathly afraid of where they may step next. Now thank goodness there is the government and its network of state-churches there to take care of them, lead them around, keep them from stepping into the path of a speeding truck. The government is there with its "seeing-eye" programs to guide them, albeit for a handsome fee. Hey, if you're blind, you need it, and after all you don't want to be that afraid.
But there is another option.
How about not being blind at all?
This requires Jesus of the Bible, not the Jesus of the state-church. That church in Pasadena, after it was given the what's what from the IRS, made all kinds of robust proclamations about how it has a "prophetic vocation" and it "speak[s] the truth in power" and it values "precious holy freedom from intimidation." (Actual quotes)
It's all posturing.
It's actually terrified of losing its state-church status. If All Saints Episcopal meant it, it'd stand on The Rock, the one who has all the power of the universe in His pinky finger, and tell the government (in the most respectful way I might add) that it no longer requires its services. But it doesn't know the Jesus who'd be overjoyed to care for them, who'd draw them under His wings like a hen does for its babes. And because they haven't a clue, this church and all the churches like it across the land don't know what it's like
Not to fear.
As long as it fears, it'll shout and rant and holler and boast, but it will certainly extend a pitifully docile yes to the racketeer.
One of the most curious news story lines that has run over the past few weeks is the Muslim world's violent reaction to newspaper-published Danish cartoon caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Riots have resulted in the deaths of about 100 people, all presumably because particular religious sensitivities have been severely breached.
With any knowledge of Islam you’ll note that this behavior is inextricably wrapped up in the concept of jihad, the striving in defense of their god. Essentially, it is the righteous battle one wages against bad things. When a Muslim rages about depictions of his prophet, he has already adopted the drawn image of Muhammad as that which he must defend on behalf of Allah. When a Muslim in Iraq exchanges blows over a terrorist groups’ bombing of the Golden Mosque of Samarra (the sectarian violence of which itself resulted in about 100 deaths), he has already internalized the sacrosanct consideration of that edifice as a place that must be protected by Allah's faithful.
All this ferocity for a picture? For a building? In essence, the Muslim assembles an entire package of items he must be in jihad against, and all together they form his cause, his very reason for living. Some will say that a call for jihad in the broader militant sense is only expressed by extremist Muslims and may or may not manifest itself in terrorism. That is true in the sense that the strict Islamic meaning of the term jihad does not necessarily mean some armed aggression but rather a battle with anything that keeps one from being good to oneself or to others.
But aren't we all in some "war" against bad things? It must then be that everyone is engaged in a jihad of some kind. For instance, if you are overweight, your jihad might be against too many calories. If you're inappropriately angry all the time, your jihad might be against an unchecked temper. Furthermore, you may be a doctor and can make your jihad against a disease you’ve become an expert in working to treat or to cure.
The jihad in this sense seems very non-threatening—the only problem is that, as with any turgid religious activity, it so easily degenerates into a crusade. Develop a compelling dogma, enlist a cadre of true believers, and mobilize the victimized into a fighting force out to right the wrongs in whatever particular social or political arena they appear. This is what jihad has become, and essentially what it is, by candid admission of prominent Muslims themselves.
There is no question that much of the institutionalized Muslim world’s jihad is against the United States, a sharp thistle on the sock of the Arab-Muslim world. To the common Catholicist, this is just another salvo in the Culture War. You frequently hear how we should respond in kind, yelling right back at them for being so unreasonable and flat-out belligerent. A noble wide-scale crusade like this doesn’t sound too bad, this fighting for a just cause if true goodness results. I mean, really, wasn’t Operation Iraqi Freedom merely an American form of jihad?
Ah, but the problem with that is, to paraphrase Gandhi (with all due apologies), “When all are engaged in jihad then all become blind.”
Everyone in jihad against one another. What a horrific world. It is indeed the Catholicist World. To the perceptive biblically grounded observer, it makes perfect sense. The U.S. is veritably assigned to be a domineering instrument of the legacy of Cain, and as such it is all about being the “brother’s keeper” to sinful man. Hypnotically devoted to being his own keeper of his own person and people, the Middle Eastern provincialist takes strident offense. The American gets just as steamed when his own idiosyncratic territorial claim is threatened. All of it for endless war making everyone blind and lame and dead.
Is there no alternative?
I don’t think there is any question that it lies in the words of Jesus, who said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)
It is the antithesis of jihad. The jihadist says, “I must fight for what is mine.” Jesus says, “Give up the fight, for to wage it is to lose it.” He is saying that the best jihad is the jihad against jihad. Furthermore, he is saying that because that too is a jihad, you must give up your jihad against jihad.
The Catholicist is quite adept at deceitfully proclaiming himself above the fray while being right in it all, even brashly rationalizing his behavior with pithy elegies about "just war." Jesus saw right through this pretense. He says unequivocally that even though we understandably long for goodness to reign in our personal and corporate worlds, you cannot wage that kind of jihad, for in hating your brother you cannot love God (1 John 4:20). Sans God, you're without the only basis for that goodness that ironically we spend all our strength fighting for. Furthermore, only He is capable of taking your jihad from you, and in doing so, making you whole:
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
With such abundance of joy and freedom offered to them, why do jihadists persist in their habitually violent behavior? It is simple.
They operate out of fear. It’s all they have. Because they have no assurance of the protection and provision of God, they say in the depths of their souls, “I’m afraid ___ will destroy me, so I must fight it.” (Fill in the blank with anything: excess calories, bad temper, virulent disease, U.S. presence in homeland”) Jesus says, “You don’t need to be afraid of anything, because if you trust in Me, I’ll take care of you.”
Yes, certainly, I must say I’m not too fond of the whole jihad thing. But then, that’s not for me to decide. Cain's agents dutifully employ jihad and crusade in their most useful forms.
All I am to do is love my neighbor.
And the jihadist.
The Toyota dealership right there next to the 134 in North Hollywood has a tri-level parking lot full of cars to sell. As I drove past it the other day I noticed that there were people standing on the rail facing the freeway, scattered about on each level. Some were speaking with one another, others were just there individually taking in the beauty of the traffic. But just before I zipped past, I noted in that split second that the figures were mannequins.
It didn't take long for me to consider that the reason the Toyota dealer management put out dummies was to give people the illusion that more than a few people were milling about looking at cars. I'm certain the idea is that if a driver whizzing past would feel there are people over there interested in Toyotas, then perhaps he too might come over and join them.
Now, did these Toyota guys wonder if the drivers would actually recognize that those were plastic people up there? I can't see how they couldn't, even if they did think the drivers would be going so fast that they might not catch it.
But what if they knew that we'd all catch that they were indeed mannequins, and that we'd all just accept that the fakery was authentic deception but that we'd all just allow ourselves to be influenced just the same.
I thought, yes, this is precisely the way many of those given over to the Catholicist Nation live their lives.
And it is particularly the case in what we see at the movies.
I'm convinced that the movie theater is the contemporary church. People gather in these temples and would never say yea or nay to one another yet sit for hours watching and listening to the sermon, only instead of a preacher you get a grand spectacular light and sound extravaganza. It is celluloid people convincing you to buy something, and that something is not just the merchandise in the commercials.
Recently I've seen or been exposed to four popular major motion pictures in which I see the purveyors of profound humanist dogma working valiantly to disseminate principles of the creed among the faithful Catholicist congregants. Allow me to offer my take on what's being spit out of the finely-tuned Romanist public relations machine.
Film No. 1, from the recent past. We rented Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, featuring Jim Carrey as Count Olaf, a fiendish thespian who conspires to get the family fortune from three orphans of whom he's been awarded guardianship. I'd sort of expected lots of engaging plot twists and turns, but it was actually quite tedious because, for one, the entire film was merely about the children's banal attempts to thwart Olaf's elementary schemes, and two, it was swollen with that annoying "cute children know better" and a severe sepia-toned surreal look that just grated after a while.
The "moral of the story" was revealed at the end of film in a well-traveled letter from the children's parents sent before they had died. The most maudlin part read "There are good and bad people in the world, and you've just got get out and find the good." This typical foolishness was deftly set up by the lengthy exposition of the exaggerated caricature of evil that was Count Olaf. He's such a wretchedly reprobate individual that you can't help but think anyone who isn't him must be at least somewhat decent.
That there are any good people at all is plastic pap foisted upon the World by plastic people who comprise the cunning Hollywood sermon industry. The truth is anyone who you think is good without Christ is at his or her core desperately evil. Just peek far enough into their soul and you'll see it. The only way one can't be evil anymore is to accept the gift of never-again-any-more-evildoing from the One who actually, veritably, in-reality drove it out, Jesus Christ.
The issue is not whether or not Christ actually took evil out, but whether or not you'd want him to take it out of your life. Since Hollywood has no conception of this Person or His Work—and whichever ones they think they know are all straw-man Jesuses—they can only give you that pathetic "Yeah there are some pretty good people and ya just gotta find 'em good luck!"
Film No. 2, from the recent present. We went to a humanist film temple to see Thank You for Smoking. Before the film started my wife pointed out that the theater was filling up with very young adult college-age people.
This film features Aaron Eckhart as Nick Naylor, the top tobacco industry lobbyist. His job is to be, essentially, an expert sophist—one who can convince you that black is white merely by the way he argues. He does it by confidently proclaiming however he can that "smoking is good."
Indeed there is a fascinating exchange where Naylor explains to his son a bit about how this works. It went something like this.
Throughout the film, we look at this guy's attempts to foist smoking goodness upon us and the rest of the world and we laugh—we all know better of course.
But what if the guy were a top Jesuit operative dutifully sworn to convince others that ingestion of humanist dogma is good? Would we laugh just as heartily? I wonder, since so many are unabashed smokers of the stuff. Like what stuff? How about
"There is really no such thing as objective truth."
"It isn't true if science can't prove it."
"I'm personally against abortion, but it's okay if others do it."
"All religions are just different paths to the same God."
This is just a bit of the tar and nicotine in the more popular brands. People spew stuff like this so often it is as if they were lighting up another smoke. Where on earth did they get them? Just like you'd get a pack of cigarettes from the corner market, they get their pack of foolish ideas from the realms of education and media coordinated by the benevolent Father General to keep people addicted to the World.
When you think about it, really, Nick Naylor is just as much a caricature of evil as Count Olaf. We leave the theater thinking about him just as we did Olaf, "What a nasty person. I'm so glad I'm not like that—that I'm one of the good people."
Oh the General, he's got you right where he wants you.
Film No. 3, from the immediate present. I can't see enough coverage and commentary about United 93, the very real-looking docudrama about what happened on the 9/11 hijacked airliner that crashed into a Pennsylvania field after a courageous take-over by intrepid passengers to thwart the evil plot of extremist religious fundamentalists.
What I don't get is how the filmmakers knew with such certainty all of this actually happened on the plane.
Interestingly, the New York Times wrote on April 24, "In truth, no one can know precisely who did what during the rebellion that prevented the hijackers from reaching their presumed target in Washington."
The Rolling Stone film reviewer commented, "To achieve authenticity, [director Paul] Greengrass used little-known actors and recruited aviation and military personnel to play themselves… Using hand-held cameras and shooting in real time, he captures the staggering horror… We will never know whether the passengers actually breached the cockpit. What matters to Greengrass is their collective intent." (April 27)
The director himself said, "They [the real-life 9/11 personnel] also believed, as the families believed, that making this film an accurate account—not a conspiratorial effort—would help us. It gave the film a veracity, an authenticity." (Boston Herald, April 25)
So then what matters is not what actually happened, but what must've been in the minds of those involved, what everyone else believed, and that it be made to look and sound as real as it can be.
This is viscerally compelling myth-making at its best. United 93 is all about using the spectacle of Romanist imagineering to vividly enhance the key message: work real hard to be one of the good people against the others who aren't as good as you.
This has been the World's central message since mankind started blinking. "Oh yeah?" said Cain, "I'll show you I can be my brother's keeper. Let's roll!" In fact if you look closely at the World and its vast PR portfolio, and incisively study its recognized authoritative mythology, you'd note that virtually all contemporary humanist film drama is merely the various retellings of episodes from The Aeneid.
Some of the family members of those on the plane must have had some insight into this. They expressed severe reservations about consenting to the film, because even with all of the ways that the makers of the film attempted to be sensitive, the result would still be everything Hollywood wants: grand applause for some Aeneas clone's heroic exploits.
Film No. 4, from the soon-to-be future. The most anticipated film this year is unquestionably The DaVinci Code. Those who buy into the married-Gnostic-Jesus premise screech "What the Roman Catholic Church has been teaching you for years is wrong! Jesus is just a figment of your imagination, put there by people who just want to keep their power!" Those who think that Jesus needs a gallant defense from crusading church-going true-Americans get huffy and bark in return, "Jesus is being defamed and we are officially offended!"
So more destructive salvos are launched in the culture war and no one says anything about what the Romanist powers are really doing. While we're all fiercely wrestling with pointless babble about Opus Dei and Priory of Sion and Merovingian blood lines, we overlook the Roman Church's comprehensively calculated millennia-long campaign to deceive as many as possible about the demonic nature of its very core practices.
Oh, the Catholic Church has been deceptive and it has been selling a straw-man Jesus, but that Jesus is nothing like the straw-man Jesus of The DaVinci Code, a fantastic red herring Rome wants good Christians to rail against. In fact this film accomplishes precisely what the Romanists want: In their vehement objections to the obviously fabricated married-Gnostic Jesus, the wholesome Protestant-oriented folk end up championing the just-as-contrived Jesus of Rome!
It's been said that people enjoy The DaVinci Code because "Everyone likes a conspiracy." Really? That they'd rather immerse themselves in a ludicrous fiction than insightfully comprehend reality says a lot. The true conspiracy is right under their noses but isn't nearly as interesting because they are the conspirators. Most Christians are already swept up in it by zealously guarding their Social Security marks, dutifully girding their incorporation regulations, and eagerly tendering regular payments to Caesar.
Soon, wider availability and distribution of radio frequency identification will make all of this easy. No wonder it's not considered conspiracy—it will be commonplace. A friend of mine who knows computers says there is a firm in Cupertino that makes a chip that can absorb and reproduce the exact wavelengths of light. In essence, it is the precision reproduction of an image so it appears exactly as it was when photographed.
I told my friend that when I hear about these technological advances, I can only think of the Image of the Beast that people will worship, and how seductive it will be. He replied, "Isn't it interesting that God said that what is seen is not really faith."
Does God then dismiss sight? Of course not. Jesus not only said "Look and see" but He said "Touch." (Luke 24:39, 1 John 1:1) The question is not seeing but what you're seeing—and what you're doing about that.
Jesus is what we really want—The Living Word.
Too many think they want The Spiffy Image. After a day at the movies, they may get that good snicker or perky catharsis, but they still don't have what truly fulfills. So they settle for plastic people and pithy pap. Flailing about trying to be good without the Only One who can make them good,
They live out hell right here and now.
The horror that is abortion would stop completely today if we let God do what he could easily do. He's waiting right there—all we need to do is ask Him. Abortion will not stop as long as we valiantly employ the tactics of the Catholicist Nation to fight it. We'll just stay there poking at the fire and sweating in the heat without ever actually putting it out.
Scott Klusendorf is unquestionably the finest pro-life apologist there is. His approach to saving unborn babies is solidly articulate, and his presence in speaking on behalf of those innocents is incomparable. He even runs a growing pro-life apologetics training institute.
But it breaks my heart when he makes dangerously foolish arguments like he did recently, the very same case so many well-meaning pro-life campaigners make in championing formal engagement with the very people who destroy the lives of those they are trying to save.
Mr. Klusendorf's piece appeared in the most recent Christian Research Journal (Vol. 29 No. 3, 2006, pp. 52-53). He wrote about a concept called "cobelligerency," referring to the controversial question of whether or not evangelicals should join with Catholics in furthering the pro-life cause. Sadly he argues that we should do so, yet he makes a number of errors in his reasoning that are typical of those arguing for cobelligerency.
He declares that it is silly for the church to think that just "sharing the gospel" is going to stop people from aborting their children. He does give high regard to saving souls, but says social justice and cultural reform are different domains and that enlisting the services of Catholics does help us in those areas.
The fact is abortion is a theology issue. People get abortions because they don't know God. We can bop their ears with a good argument or even throw helpful social services at them, but if they don't know the One Who Loves Them, too many will still commit infanticide. Is Mr. Klusendorf one of those who cheers when ninety of a hundred babies are murdered but ten are spared because he, wow, got in a few parent's face about it all? Does he so smugly dismiss God's capacity to penetrate the souls of all the parents of the hundred?
He uses a very common illustration that falls flat when it is seen for what it really is. He says that adding Catholics to the cause is not unlike seeking the help of firefighters to fight a fire. The fire is abortion and the firefighters the pro-life workers. Some have said it this way: "If a fire must be put out and a willing hand is nearby, you don't ask them what their religion is."
The problem with this illustration is that it not only confuses parts of an analogy, but it fails to take into account how the blaze started or what the helping firefighter would actually do. A better illustration would include the following:
There is a fire. The arsonist dressed in firefighter gear steps up to help. Now certainly he can help put out in the immediate present, but wouldn't it be better to do something about the arsonist to begin with? Furthermore, the arsonist says "I've got a whole tank of water to help!" The firefighter smiles, "Terrific! Bring it on over!" The arsonist replies, "Just so you know, I've got some kerosene, too, I'll spray some of that on also." The firefighter mutters, "Kerosene? Hmm, I don't know what that is, but hey! At least he's got the water!"
The Catholic Church is the arsonist headquarters. With an aberrant perspective on sexuality that is rife throughout its magisterium,* it engenders all forms of sexual sin. If Mr. Klusendorf truly knew how much the Catholic Church is responsible for the abortions he's trying to stop, he'd promptly end his contracts with it and work against abortion from a purely Scriptural perspective in the assembly of believers who pray in the Spirit and mobilize by His calling.
In doing so, he'd learn what kerosene is, and that when Catholics do stuff to try to stop abortions, they may actually save a few babies—they may!—but they won't stop abortion. They just do enough to keep the blaze going—it's been their modus operandi from day one. I myself wonder how many more crisis pregnancy center fund-raising dinners and Walk-For-Life events and stirring pro-life tactics speeches we must go to—hey, gotta get that good cathartic buzz each time.
Do I have Catholic friends? Do I share common concerns with them? Do I pay attention to the sometimes solid biblical takes they have on things? Yes, yes, and yes. But I firmly believe that when Paul wrote about the perils of being in union with Belial, he was clearly admonishing followers of Christ against signing those agreements with people who are of the World and immersed in sabotaging any effort to bring people to the one thing that—or better, the One Who makes having and caring for children meaningful: Jesus Christ.
But then, that's really just it, huh? Mr. Klusendorf is writing about being all in and around and among people who are already grafted to the World. This is all just a Culture War spat, really. I mean, to his credit, he does reproach the evangelical community for doing far less than it should to really get people to not do evil things. But that's only because virtually every church, evangelical or otherwise, is already incorporated as a 501c3, beholden to Cain and doing his bidding.
So what difference does it make.
Whoa. There's a little more kerosene, right there. But don't pay too much attention now...
(A more expansive critique of cobelligerency is offered here.)
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on October 29, 2005