Sunday, February 16, 2014

Growth of the Maryan Heresy

I am a Catholic. Not in any modern sense of that term, but rather as one who believes that the purpose of the organized church was to pass down what it once received - the position of early Catholicism. I am an early Catholic in much the same way that Abraham was an early Jew - a prisoner to revelation before the human accretions. That makes me a Catholic in generally good standing with most of the church up until the Council of Nicea - and less so with each passing generation. Beginning with such notions as dogma is commentary, dogma can 'develop', and subsequent revelations are as obligatory to faith as the original Kerygma, what was once passed down has been smothered in the same idolatrous patterns that engulfed the Jews in their latter biblical history. Today we see the recapitulation of history, whereby the New Testament Church repeats the same collapse into idolatry as the Jews of Old Testament times. And wrath is being poured out...

Could any honest person actually believe that the bishops of the first council would even recognize this great Whore that pretends to be in continuity with the faith once delivered by the Apostles, with its professional clerics; idolatrous 'pantheonic' worship; and a multitude of traditions that nullify the Word of God? In line with John's Revelation, would it be prophetically amiss to say that it represents no more than a vast and demonic cult that has countless millions drunk with it elixir like the Whore who rides upon the back of the Beast? This is no insight - I am aware that this has been noticed and said before, many times.

So, where is this going?

It has been noted on several internet sites that the Catholic Church may be considering the next step in its protracted move to quasi-deify 'Mary' as a co-equal with Christ within the Church. Look at the development of the various doctrines of the Catholic Mary (CM) over the course of Catholic Church history and one can see this comparison emerge. Is it accidental? Coincidence? Even a casual observer will note that throughout Catholic history there has been a continued move to parallel the development of the CM with the kerygmatic proclamation of Jesus Christ. Already the Church for a thousand years has been busily elevating the hapless Catholic 'Mary', who grew out of the popular romantic imagination of both laity and cleric, to the status of demi-god. Jesus was born sinless of a virgin, CM was born immaculate; Jesus was ever virgin, CM was ever virgin; Jesus was resurrected, CM was assumed into heaven before death. Jesus is the intercessor between man and God, and so with the CM. With such a pedigree only one last step remains: Making her the co-redeemer with Jesus. The Queen of Heaven, a new Astarte.

What is the impetus behind this next step?

As seen on several internet cites, a movement, based upon the private revelation of a certain Ida Peederman, a 40-year old office worker, who claimed to have received a series of 56 apparitions/visions over a 14 year period, seeks to bring about the triumph of the "Immaculate Heart" i.e., the declaration of the final Marian dogma. The CM will finally receive the position due her: The Lady of All Nations; Co-Redemtrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. Read: Jesus redivivus in female form.

The worship of the Queen of Heaven as depicted by the prophet Jeremiah (7:18; 44:17-28) was instrumental in calling forth the judgement of God upon the idolatrous practices of the Jews of that period.

Are we to believe that it will be any less so now? The wrath is already being poured out as illustrated by the presence of the homosexual clergy (See Romans 1). Still, very few will flee. This is the nature of deception.

Nothing new here, just the bewildering phenomenon of spiritual blindness.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ignorance and Observation

Atheists often scoff at believers for adhering in times past to a naive cosmology which the atheist assumes was the result of a linear relationship between ignorance and religious dogma. The atheist asserts that if one were to embrace the pure reason of science then one would just as readily release one's grip on the idea of god. For my part, I've often wondered how mere observation, however more scientifically detailed and correct, could demonstrate that reality is godless? What if theism were true? How different would the world look? The point being this: Not necessarily different at all. In fact, a great many, including myself, would say that it is the atheist's world that would look very different, if true.

Recalling one of my grade school science books, I am reminded of an illustration of the sun moving across the sky that was used to demonstrate that how things appear is not necessarily how things are. The sun "appears" to the unaided observer to be 'rising' - a conclusion we now know to be naïve being drawn as it was from incomplete data.

(Despite this "misperception," we still use the old cosmology thinking in our linguistic conventions, especially our poetry, and things work just fine!)

While this belief is not considered damning, it is however viewed by the modern atheist to be ignorant (a word used most often as a pejorative). Religion, they say, is just the same: an idea based on the same type of ignorance. We only need to recognize the authority of science.

Here I recall an incident that I had in grade school in which, upon observing a physical model of the solar system which functioned with an electric motor, I playfully grabbed the model by the 'earth' as I and others watched and laughed hysterically as all the planets and the sun bobbled about it in wildly elliptical motions. I asked the teacher, how do we know that this is not how it works? It would not look any different to us! In other words, I was expressing in a childish fashion that there is a perspective in which the earth is the 'center' - if one is only willing to alter one's point of observation.

I am not arguing for geo-centrism. That my observation is not scientifically the case is not the issue. What is the issue is that those folks were not a bunch of ignoramuses who avoided rigorous thinking in order to believe a religious myth. They were merely pre-modern in their descriptions of what they perceived. It is important to note that we - being significantly more informed - still reserve for ourselves the right to pick which perspective is 'real' depending on our mode of activity. When we write poetry, the sun rises; when we launch space shuttles, the earth orbits. Strangely, there is a sense in which modern man is bored with space travel, yet the musical expression of poetry is doing just fine. Truth is everlasting, fact is incidental and pragmatic.

Weighing in again on this incident, it seems to me that it is Atheism which looks most like the bobbling solar system. Yes, it appears to make sense from the viewpoint of mere observation, and may be logically possible, but it is odd and leaves so many things - the most important things - strangely or poorly explained. Morality, Beauty and the Divine - the three great a priories, if you will - appear ill-fitted in the atheists bobbling universe.

A universe in which they are ordered as a natural part could very likely look like what we see in our own world - and experience, even in ignorance, to be true. If so, this might explain why atheists 1) still worship those things they believe enhance or provide self-worth; 2) bring in morality through the back door; and, 3) recognize that, while a dog may pee on the rose, it is only man who enjoys its beauty for its own sake.

Things might not necessarily look any different in an atheist or theist world. However, seeing the universe in grander, more smoothly moving terms seems, at least from one perspective, far better than the explanation which gyrates wildly when trying to explain life holistically.
This is the atheist's dilemma. Despite all his arguments, perhaps a divine explanation of the universe is true and the believer is not stupid for holding to it. This 'perhaps' is frightening to them, I'm sure.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An offering of stones

It has become clear to me over the years that the ancient mystery held something that satisfies me while very little that remains today can do the same. When I hear the Gregorian chant I sense that it has grown out of this mystery, so also when I stand, sit or kneel in a medieval cathedral. Unfortunately these things also have become relics - what remains demands a long journey to the European shores to know its metaphorical power, its ability in signs, symbols and simplicity to transport one to the glory of what once was. The Catholic Church -my home - once the preserver of all things old, has fallen under the gnostic spell of both American evangelicalism and agnostic Liberalism ... thanks to all that was bad in Vatican II and the capture of the Catholic seminaries by the radical Left. Today the air at the height of the great mountain ranges is too thin to sustain life. None of it breaths the miracle.






How does one return? How does one recreate what was lost? First and foremost we must recognize that what came first was the work of the Spirit and not the result of the reformulation of the Faith by those claiming to be its 'Doctors'.



WLK







Sunday, September 21, 2008

Seeing

It is a miraculous thing to have your vision restored. There is an obviously deep analogy between this and spiritual insight as is demonstrated in the actions and parables of Jesus. Darkness is a horrible place, truly to be contrasted with the Word that is a "lamp unto my feet." Still, despite it all, it is the physical darkness that can often assist us in seeing beyond the spiritual black hole that is consuming nearly all Christian religion in America and basically all of that in Europe.

The trivialization of God; worship of self passed off as worship of God; and the fellowship of the Messianic family replaced with personal advancement and networking opportunities.

It's not, of course, that this was not predicted by the prophets, it all was. The tragedy is the unknown whereabouts of the "remnant" and the difficulty of maintaining a healthy life in the body when the body has been scattered to the four winds.

Sigh...

WLK

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Religion or Relationship?

It has been pointed out to me that the description under the title of this blog is inaccurate in that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. In defense of the present description, let me say a few words. First, I am fully aware of this popular aphorism, but I chose to use the word religion because this word – so unpopular among evangelicals – still packs more truth and has more depth than its faddish competitor. Secondly, the relationship that we have with God the Father through Jesus His Son is quite unlike anything that we experience in any earthly relationship. So much so that to continue using the word ‘relationship’ is to follow a path that is dangerously misleading and could result in faith’s novices falling into confusion.

But why does religion pack more truth? To begin with, religion by definition encompasses all the things that humans have normally associated with devotion to a supernatural entity or realm. Religions is natural to us; it is divinely patterned in the hearts of all people. As such, to be religious is to be correctly responding to the imago dei within us. Religion connotes the use of symbolic formalities such as the Lord’s Supper or Baptism. Prayer or meditation is recognized as an essential part of any religious life. Historically it can be shown that a prayer life can be greatly facilitated by a symbolic environment that captures the essence of the respective religion. Thus, the rise of church buildings. Religions have dogma and are recognized by the fostering of a community of like-minded individuals. In these things, Christianity is very much a religion. It uses symbols and metaphors to describe the otherwise un-describable. And, while prayer can theoretically be conducted anywhere, religious architecture devoted to the life of the soul has generally been first choice. Man is a symbolic being – divinely so. It is the restoration of the biblical view of these things that this site seeks.

In contrast, the word relationship does not even remotely imply any of these things – excepting, of course, that everything is in a relationship of some sort. But this is not what evangelicals mean. To them it connotes something akin to friendship or marriage. Now, to be sure, these metaphors exist in Christianity, but again, not in any exact earthly sense. They are metaphors. Christ is truly our friend, but we are not likely to have a beer together any time soon. We are the bride of Christ, but we are unlikely to lose our virginity in the relationship. (I write as a man.)
However, the part most worthy of disgust is the deceit. For along with the evangelical’s use of such canards is the dishonest implication that something of a certain nature is going on when in fact it is not i.e., they are trying to convince unbelievers that Jesus and they are chums, if you will. But in doing so they imply a level of familiarity that on closer inspection is absent, uninformed and blasphemous.

Lastly, there is an irony evident in the evangelical’s employment of this obvious wrangle. It is this. When the proper understanding of a word becomes critical to the maintaining fellowship in any supernatural enterprise, than that word becomes a shibboleth or right of passage. In other words, it attains to the status of a religious word. Therefore, in their misguided piousness they are being religious - but erroneously so.

In closing, let us realize this, that Jesus was a carpenter, but He is now LORD. That is the meaning and implication of the resurrection. This is why people fell at His feet. That is why Saul was blinded by the light. That is why the seven sons of Sceva discovered the embarrassment of public nudity. It does not pay to be cavalier with eternity’s foundation. Perhaps this is why the world finds the evangelical’s god so non-enticing and unworthy of worship - very few people acknowledge the open worship of their buddy. Nor should they.
JB

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Boredom that is Atheism

I’m sitting at Borders reading several apologetic books (and one magazine, Free Inquiry) for atheism. It is strangely eerie how religious they all are. They all have their tenants of ‘faith’ (Listed usually in the front or back) and their shibboleths for entry (You had better say the password: "Homosexuality is just fine!"). They caricaturize their opponents (Yes, it’s not just an evangelical habit!); they are consumed by their own sense of martyrdom (Atheists "are the nations most unwelcome minority."); and they are vehemently ‘evangelical’ about their need to 'convert' all those in error. They are, in fact, so possessed by their evangelicalism, that even in their magazines (Free Inquiry, in this case) they are hard-pressed to speak of anything else except how irrational all those religious folk are; there are no articles on the arts, nothing on great literature, and sculpture, forget it! Oh, they mention and even extol the terms, but actual discussion length articles are more elusive than a garden gopher. Instead we find just one long screed, article after article on how insane it is to explain the world supernaturally. "No reliable empirical evidence" is repeated ad nauseum by writer after writer. It would be a waste of time repeating the canards and downright babble; I would recommend folks read Lewis and Chesterton, as they are quite good about presenting their opponents position in its most resilient form - quite unlike the atheists themselves, I might add.

What drives these folks, I ask. If there is no purpose in the universe, why should they care what anyone believes? Why not be satisfied with knowing that people are happy even if they are deluded? I suspect that what really drives them is far more tragic and sinister, but that’s for another time.

The Editor and Chief of Free Inquiry is Paul Kurtz, former professor of philosophy at the State University of New York. He does not come across as a professor as he strains one's confidence in his philisophical abilities with silly strawman arguments. When he tries to present and explaination as to why religion persists, the only answers he can come up with in the article I read are (my paraphrase) that folks are bombarded from childhood with religious concepts and have no chance to escape into the arms of a caring atheist, or, and this ‘or’ is downright hilarious, they suffer from a quasi-genetic problem. Here he resurrects the theory of Richard Dawkins, which says in scientific-sounding speech exactly what his first supposition stated: We are religious because of so-called "memes" - those habits of repetition and imitation that bring us all into conformity to our various cultures. In other words, we are raised that way. He thinks that if we study the causes of belief and explain them to folks that they will then understand the illusion and skip happily into atheism. Funny, the now defunct Soviet Union did just that to no avail.

Still, they all seem at their wits end in their attempts to reproduce authentic human community based on their secular humanism. Perhaps this is because of the intellectual prison which they have constructed for themselves. While they are shouting "Free Inquiry!", they vilify the believer if he opens his mind to entertaining non-empirical causes. Apparently 'free' to them is synonomous with empiricism.

Sadly, the attempt to explain grand things with small ideas has been the pentient of those folks in the asylum. Alas, those tragic folks have nothing on the atheist. The atheist's dogmatism is perplexing considering their anger with all things dogmatic. While Jesus’ life was a struggle to get folks to think outside the box when conceptualizing the true God, the atheist’s box is never to small. And woe to you if you peek.

The hardest thing for me (and them, apparently) to get over is their struggles to establish any kind of convincing moral judgments or standards. But when one says that "human values are relative to human experience, interests, and needs…", what prevents a society from welcoming pedophilia when, after societal "evolution," it begins to satisfy this criteria? Again, Kurts speaks of the "the right of dissent." Where did this right come from? What gene can explain it? Maybe he should look to Dawkin’s meme for an answer.

Outside of ‘might makes right’ I don’t believe he has any other explanation for morality – here at least Nitzsche was honest. The tragic truth is that all committed atheistic societies, like the Soviet Union or the cocky and cowardly French, have resorted to just this sort of principle to guarantee the "fraternity" of the people. There has never been more bloodier revolutions than those of these two despotic and atheistic regimes. Despite the atheist’s cry of how horrible were the times of the Inquisition, this particular period in Church history was mere child’s play when compared to the nightmare of the Russian Kommissars or Robespierre. I would wager that the crimes of atheism would break the scales against any crimes committed by religion (with the possible exception of Islam).

In the end, Kurtz’ answer to building atheistic communities amounts to such paltry suggestions as teaching folks to deal with the "weltschmertz," the "blows of outrageous fortunes", and to "marshal a stoic attitude."

Atheism. What an interminable bore.

JB

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Under Grace or Conscience?

Romans 6:14 "For sin shall not lord it over you, for ye are not under the Law, but under grace."

When we hear this verse in interpretation within the Evangelical movement, it often comes out sounding something like, "…for ye are no longer under any obligation." The general thrust is that nothing is required for our salvation, we need only "believe," giving mental assent to the doctrine of "faith alone" - a tautology for sure. Now, I’m aware of the standard canard to this apparent disconnect between reward and the moral life of the disciple: ‘You are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone’. But innocuous aphorisms such as this never seem to satisfy the New Testament language of obedience, which is critical to Jesus, Paul, Peter and John, your key New Testament voices. After such an interpretation, what's left? Obey what? Whom?

Part of the problem lies in the modern (Lutheran/Calvinist) understanding of ‘grace’ as a status or position as opposed to the biblical understanding of a sphere of personal influence and activity - it is never static. In Protestantism, grace is ‘declared’, in the New Testament, grace happens.

To begin, a person ‘under grace’ is first and foremost a recipient. Being under grace means that God Himself has marshaled all His infinite resources to recreate the one who trusts in Him. To this effect, grace is presence, power, privilege and pain. When Mary came under grace, she did not relax, she bore a son.

While the miracle that brought the Christ is just that, a miracle, it came with an obligation: "Let it be according to your word." This attitude (Faith!) marks the beginning of the Christian life and defines its entire existence thereafter. In grace, the disciple bows the knee to a greater power. As Paul says, "Work out your salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who is working among you (Pl.) both the ‘willing’ and the ‘doing’ for His good pleasure."

What went wrong?

The modern emphasis on ‘personal salvation’ has obscured the fact that all this is for God, not us.

The general force of this originates in Luther’s reorientation of the Faith away from salvation history – a group focus - and toward the conscience of the individual believer. The process involved the re-thinking of all the biblical words and ideas used for the salvation process in a way that radically individualized them. The Call of repentance to the world proclaimed in the Gospel became the call I hear in my heart to come to Jesus. Election was no longer God’s decision choose a people, Israel, and then by way of Christ to include all people, the Gentiles. It is now the selection of my person from all eternity. Even grace is no longer the power, presence, privilege and pain of God’s plan for recreation, but is my personal experience of being free to be myself, etc.

When the individual conscience becomes of supreme importance, truth is the first casualty. Truth becomes what you feel to be true for you, all of reality comes down to you. Thus the endless growth of Protestantism by fission. "Since my conscience is different than (opposed to?) yours, we cannot fellowship. I need to start my own church." Since this type of individual confuses his conscience with God, he never has a problem with calling his new endeavor ‘Christ’s Church’ or something to that effect.

This also has a lot do with why Protestants have so much trouble being others-oriented. (Notice how much of the Evangelical publishing industry is devoted to trying to get them to care about each other!!!) When the conscience is supreme, others exist to be used and manipulated - for ‘conscientious’ purposes, of course! Perhaps this is why the historic Catholic Church, with its emphasis on the obedience characterized by the life of Jesus, had so much early success in producing movements that reached out to others. (At least up until Vatican II, which marked a watershed of change away from the church as a obedience-oriented body toward the protestant idea of the primacy of the individual. Today, the type of disciple produced by either group is hardly distinguishable.)

Radical individualism was the hallmark of Gnosticism. That is why it splintered off into a thousand different sects. Gnosis is private, grace is public. Grace can’t be meddled with, it is what it is. It is conditioned in history in the acts of God and as such can never be reduced to my private experience.

If Martin Luther had really discovered anything critical to our understanding of truth, he would have died for it. Martyrdom, not dissension, is the New Testament impetus for change. When one perishes for Christ, that one becomes as salt, changing the whole complexion of the mix. Luther’s protest was the true sign of an imperialist conscience. Today, all of Europe is atheist as a result of this one man’s selfish stand. The power of his "discovery" is made evident in its utter inability to bring about the faith that he proclaimed. His doctrine dethroned Christ, and crowned every individual.

Only the relocation of grace in history can mend this tragedy.