Friday, March 27, 2020

The Study Of The History Of The End Of The World, Part 1

Deep within their hearts and minds, a significant number sense that the world is careening towards something that is both catastrophic yet wondrous all at the same time. Not exactly sure of what that is, many attempt to get a handle on this feeling of apprehensive expectation by conceptually referring to the stimuli and data provoking this emotional response as “the End Times”. With advances in technology just as likely to make our lives more complicated as convenient, it is understandable for contemporary man to assume that this is the first era in the history of the species to experience this particular variety of spiritual distress. However, the perspective of history shows how this cognitive distress is nothing new but has been an inherent component of Western civilization derived from that tradition's Judeo-Christian foundation even among segments of it that would no longer directly identify with that particular set of religious presuppositions.

In “The Last Days Are Here Again: A History Of The End Times” Richard Kyle begins his analysis by starting off with a definition of a few of the terms vital for understanding this particular area of theological study but which are often muddled as a result of their similarity (18-23). The first term defined by Kyle is “apocalyptic” or “apocalypse”. He defines that as a body of literature unveiling a divine secret in a manner that presents a catastrophic narrative describing a cosmic struggle between good and evil that often concludes in a decisive battle or deterministic series of events. Kyle proceeds to make a distinction between the terms “apocalyptic” and “eschatological”. In his use of the term, Kyle defines eschatology as “a study of the last things” of which the apocalyptic is a subset concerned more with impending doom.

Kyle is also careful to make a distinction between apocalypticism and millennialism. He does note that there is often overlap between the two. However, not all professing apocalypticism necessarily believe in millennialism and not all millenarians are apocalypticists. For example, theologians professing a postmillennial return of Christ do not usually believe in apocalypticism. Instead such exegetes believe conditions will improve gradually with the Second Advent occurring only after a near complete Christianization of the world. Adherents of certain forms of secularist catastrophism such as the nuclear freeze or environmentalist movements warn of an impending doom but do not necessarily foresee a desired golden age coming about afterwards should the horror that they warn against actually transpire.

A primary question raised is what is it about Western civilization that makes those steeped in it --- be they explicitly religious, secular, or somewhere along this spectrum --- susceptible to apocalyptic thinking? The first factor leading to the allure of an apocalypse is the pervasive insistence throughout Christian theology that Christ will indeed one day bodily return to Earth. Thus, at its heart, the Christian faith is by definition a millennial religion. For whatever reason in the goodness of His providence, God decided it was best to reveal in His word more of a symbolic outline of the conditions surrounding the return of His Son rather than detailed specifics.

Often it is the aspiration of man to desire more knowledge than he was intended or even capable of handling. That has resulted in those drawn to these particular passages of Scripture referring to the consummation of all things often undertaking an attempt to fill in what the human mind might perceive as gaps in our understanding. Such can serve a role if it draws the believer into a close study of the revered text for the purposes of deepening the understanding of the God supernaturally inspiring these works. However, the result can be deleterious if the outcome of that study is the confusion and unnecessary fear that often surrounds apocalyptic speculation if basic presuppositions such as no man knowing the day or hour as stated in Matthew 24:36 are not adhered in the rush to discover what is believed to be some new prophetic insight.

The second factor that can lead to an undue emphasis on the apocalyptic is the philosophy of history underlying much of Western thought. Such is derived from Christian assumptions, in particular those relating to the doctrine of Christ's return and those events leading to the commencement of eternity. Of the Western linear view of history, Kyle writes, “Rather, history moves from one event to the next until it reaches its final goal (22).”

While this view allows for repetitive themes and patterns, unlike the cyclical philosophy of history more characteristic of Eastern religions, the Judeo-Christian model does not hold to what amounts to a reincarnation of events as well as people. Instead, history will come to a decisive conclusion in the final judgment. Interestingly, though the intentions were far from Christian and the attempt to reach its goal marked by disastrous carnage, Communism also adapted a linear conception of history with the system's ultimate goal a classless utopia after the establishment of such all conflict would ultimately cease.

The scholar focusing upon this area of theological study most also note the distinction between the “apocalyptic” and “eschatological”. In his use of the term, Kyle defines eschatology as “a study of the last things” of which the apocalyptic is a subset concerned more with impending doom.

Kyle is also careful to make a distinction between apocalypticism and millennialism. He does note that there is often overlap between the two. However, not all professing apocalypticism necessarily believe in millennialism and not all millenarians are apocalypticists. For example, theologians professing a postmillennial return of Christ do not usually believe in apocalypticism. Instead such exegetes believe conditions will improve gradually with the Second Advent occurring only after a near complete Christianization of the world. Adherents of certain forms of secularist catastrophism such as the nuclear freeze or environmentalist movements warn of an impending doom but do not necessarily foresee a desired golden age coming about afterwards should the horror that they warn against actually transpire.

By Frederick Meekins

Bibibliography

Abanes, Richard. “End-Times Visions: The Doomsday Obsession.” Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1988.

Kirsch, Jonathan. “A History Of The End Of The World: How The Most Controversial Book In The Bible Changed The Course Of Western Civilization.” San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishers, 2006.

Kagan, Donald, Ozment, Steven and Turner, Frank. “The Western Heritage Since 1789 (Fourth Edition).” New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991.

Kyle, Richard. “The Last Days Are Here Again: A History Of The End Times.” Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1988. Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1996.

Ladd, George. “The Blessed Hope: A Biblical Study of The Second Advent and The Rapture.” Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1956.

Thompson, Damian. “The End Of Time: Faith ans Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Elites Lay Intellectual Foundation For Deliberate Systematized Depopulation

A Berkley academic that no doubt fancies himself an advocate of diversity, multiculturalism and moral relativism has proposed altering a variety of policies aimed at making the lives of those that dwell in rural areas uncomfortable.

This is apparently punishment for individuals daring to exhibit the audacity to make life decisions other than his.

His argument is that it is not efficient to extend the conveniences of twenty-first century existence to those living beyond the confines of concentrated centers of population.

The ironic thing is that those residing in rural areas would probably not descend into a state of feral savagery as quickly as those living in metropolitan areas, particularly those usually not required to lift a finger to earn the luxuries often lavished upon them.

But perhaps most importantly it is this sort of mindset articulated by someone claiming to be a philosopher that results in a future where two tributes are selected annually from the outlying districts to compete in gladiatorial games to the death.

By Frederick Meekins

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Limbaugh No Worse Than Other Presidential Medal Of Freedom Recipients

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has condemned the bestowing of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Rush Limbaugh on the grounds that he is a “violent racist”.

Limbaugh, even if some of the things he has said over the decades were of questionable taste, has never advocated acts of violence.

That is more than can be said of those that Ocasio-Cortez associates herself with such as Black Lives Matter, Al Sharpton, and Ilhan Omar who dismissed 9/11 as some people just doing something.

If Ocasio-Cortez is so concerned about violence, why is she on the record of not caring whether or not she is categorized as a socialist, a political description often linked with the worst mass murders in modern history?

It is being argued that, since Martin Luther King was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the honor should not be bestowed upon Rush Limbaugh.

But as shocking as the broadcaster's four marriages might be, that still pales in comparison to not only the esteemed civil rights icon's numerous alleged affairs but also claims that he stood nearby laughing as a woman was raped.

Regarding those jacked out of shape over Rush Limbaugh being granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom, do they intend to be as livid over the honor having been bestowed on Ted Kennedy?

For despite his faults, Limbaugh never killed a woman by leaving her to drown in a wrecked automobile.

Will the one granted to Bill Cosby be revoked?

For despite numerous marriages, there seems to be no record of Limbaugh pharmaceutically manipulating the target of his libido in order to take advantage of them carnally.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Hit and Run Commentary #127

That’s interesting. Ben Sasse published a book titled “The Vanishing American Adult”. In the tome, the legislator criticized those that do not comport themselves with an austere sobriety. Yet he appeared on the premiere episode of the Jonah Goldberg podcast where the host joked that he was wearing a spaghetti strainer codpiece. The duo referenced how corn stalks could be urinated into in such a way so that liquid biological effluent could spill out onto an unsuspecting harvester. If that was not enough, towards the conclusion of such an edifying policy dialog, a passing reference was made to “key parties.” I will admit that sometimes my content skirts along the edge of propriety. However, never did I posture that my own sense of virtue would preclude me from voting for Donald Trump because of the tycoon’s uncouth utterances as did these pivotal public intellectuals. Nor, unlike Sasse during his book tour, would I question the masculinity of college students for refusing to climb a tree twenty feet tall for the purposes of adorning an evergreen with a mere Christmas decoration.

According to presidential candidate Marianne Williamson in her other side hustle as a peddler of metaphysical swill, ‘“Only love is real. Nothing else actually exists. If a person behaves unlovingly, then, that means that, regardless of their negativity … their behavior was derived from fear and doesn’t actually exist. They’re hallucinating. You forgive them, then, because there’s nothing to forgive.” This raises a number of questions. Firstly, on what grounds then does the threat she insists Donald Trump poses actually exist? Is she admitting that what she is experiencing is a leftover effect of the dope she readily confesses she partook of in previous decades? Secondly, if behavior based on negativity such as fear does not exist, given that her campaign is based largely on the fear of the President, does that mean voters should be as similarly dismissive of her campaign as well? For if the threat of the Trump presidency ultimately has no more reality than that of Thanos from the Avengers or Sauron from the Lord Of The Rings, then why such a considerable expenditure of resources to take on a mere figment of the imagination?

Fox News is virtue signalling about not mentioning the name of the El Paso gunman. Isn't this the equivalent of refusing to reference the perpetrators of other atrocities? So will documentaries no longer directly mention James Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Sirhan Sirhan, or Timothy McVeigh?

For the concept of black blood to play a prominent role in two CW dramas, it has got to have some kind of occult or gnostic significance. Maybe it is somehow related to the black eyed children often conjectured to be some sort of human/extraterrestrial hybrid. For the primary protagonist of “The Outpost” is in essence a nephilim (or in the context of the series basically an elf which is apparently a race combining humans and demonic entities known as the Lycyri.

The battle cry of the Three Musketeers was “One for all and all for one.” An advertising campaign for the CW television network is “All for we.” That is particularly disturbing in light of the homosexual advocacy underlying a number of the station’s dramas. For unlike the motto of the Musketeers, this contemporary alteration attempting to invoke the camaraderie of the original formulation insinuates that the individual possesses no inherent worth apart from compliance with the herd mentality as part of the group.

If President Trump tightens mental health confinement standards, what is to prevent him from being taken into custody for utterances failing to comply with prevailing herd mentalities?

The Naval Academy football team is dropping the slogan “Load the clip” in light of mass shooting incidents. Instead, the slogan will be “Win the day”. But shouldn’t even this replacement be condemned in regards to its celebration divisiveness and dominance? For isn’t to declare a winner nearly the ultimate way to express that one entity is better than another by some objective criteria? Doesn’t that undermine the coming together for the sake of coming together in the utopia all are obligated to aspire to or face the consequences?

In light of the El Paso massacre, the Mexican government is demanding that the United States tighten firearms laws Because gun control has certainly diminished violence south of the border.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, January 20, 2020

Greatest Story Ever Told's Opening Act Tweaked To Advance Leftwing Agenda

In the frantic effort to co-opt all of culture to advance the cause of comprehensive revolution, not even the symbols of the sacred and solemn are immune from being hijacked for the purposes of advancing the agenda. In fact, it is often the only time that otherwise intended for destruction will be tolerated by those already having pledged their loyalty to the one bent upon toppling the Most High.

According to a story published in the 12/9/19 edition of USA Today, a Methodist church in California erected a Nativity depicting Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as detained refugees. Apparently, this is not the first time the congregation has utilized what ought to be a reverent display to propagandize on behalf of a faddish social cause.

According to the pastrix, the previous year's addressed the California homeless crisis. The 2019 version wanted the beholding to imagine Mary, Joseph, and Jesus separated at a Trumpian detention center in juxtaposition with the presupposition that “Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people.” It seems this holiday display compounds the factual and philosophical fallacies and omissions one year to the next.

The first of these needing to be addressed is the issue of California's homeless problem. Foremostly, Mary and Joseph were not homeless. The couple anticipating the Messianic child were ordered by Roman decree to travel from their home in Nazareth to the town of their ancestors for the purposes of registering with the census and paying their taxes.

If the congregation wants to do more than posture, preen, and virtue signal as to how bad they feel about the homeless epidemic, perhaps they would do well to reflect upon what is causing this lamentable crisis. They might be surprised to learn that the sort of progressivism likely embraced by many attending this sort of church has exacerbated the situation.

For example, since easing the restrictions on cannabis across America (supposedly for so called “medicinal purposes” even for patiences not suffering metastasized cancer, seizure disorders, or glaucoma but usually for nothing more than lazy ass syndrome).homeless rates have skyrocketed noticeably. For often those for whom the consumption of this intoxicant has become the central organizing facet of their existence find it a challenge to keep themselves satisfactorily employed and domiciled.

One can legitimately debate the role to be played by government and/or charity in addressing this issue. However, it will not be resolved --- something that elites might not even want to see transpire as a number paradoxically have a vested interest in seeing that the problem remains ongoing ---- unless individual responsibility and choices are recognized for the role they play in terms of ruined lives.

Though the Holy Family was not homeless in the terms of having no designated locality of habitation once their business with the regime had been concluded, if we want to take the presuppositions as expressed by the interpretative spin of this particular Nativity to their logical conclusion, do the statists possess the conviction to point out the implications of California's infamous taxation and regulatory bureaucracy upon the homeless situation?

For if the taxes and level of government intrusion beyond basic safety becomes too great, businesses will either close or leave California. In turn, those working for these enterprises will end up losing their jobs. That could result in the forfeiture of their homes if there are not a sufficient number of open positions in which the occupationally displaced can find reemployment.

Often in America, if one found themselves in a situation where they could not find employment to their liking, there was always the possibility of making one's own job through some sort of entrepreneurial undertaking. However, given the extent to which government has come to exert punitive influence over nearly every aspect of life to the point that in order to sell doodads at a flea market one has to beseech a permit and then often have to preemptively estimate before hand how much revenue might be generated from such transactions one could easily be discouraged from pursuing the very forms of basic commerce that could have prevented one's plunge into destitution.

The reflection put into the display depicting the Holy Family as detained refugees is no better than the narrative casting them as typical homeless. The press statement referring to the figurines depicted in this manner states, “Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people.”

Jesus did emphasize kindness and mercy. However, He just as much emphasized that these qualities can only be extended when certain conditions are met. For the same corpus of divine revelation proclaiming the salvation found in Christ also just as explicitly extols “let all things be done decently and in order.”

It is because kindness and mercy play such a central role in Christian ethical thought that the nation is justified in exerting stringent oversight in regards to whom it will decide to grant entrance.

In terms of kindness, a government of a particular territory is obligated to extend this firstly and foremostly to those residing legally within the confines of its accepted borders. This is accomplished on the most rudimentary level by making sure those seeking to enter the territory under its protection intend that territory and those residing within no harm.

To those accustomed to living a comfortable existence in a nation relatively safe when compared to numerous others, detaining and separating families might not seem very kind or merciful. But given the circumstances, the United States should be commended for the merciful restraint that it does extend as a nation.

For example, if kindness and mercy were not priorities, the United States could very easily plant a minefield along the border without concern for what happens to any daring to cross it, with snipers standing ready to pick off any survivors happening to make it across such a daunting obstacle. But America is such an upstanding nation that the country has decided not to defend itself in such a manner out of a concern for the innate dignity of all human beings.

Relatedly, it must also be asked was it an act of kindness and mercy to create a situation where droves are apparently under the impression that all they had to do not only be allowed admission but also lavished with extensive (and the case could be made even extravagant) benefits was simply showing up with an outstretched hand? Such lawlessness is a boon to neither newcomer or longstanding citizen alike.

Given that, overall, Americans are a kindhearted and sympathetic sort, those skilled at manipulating the narrative in the direction of predetermined ends have made use of images depicting children ---- a number appearing to be quite young --- detained in locked cages with nary a parent in sight. Admittedly, such a situation is far from ideal. Yet in light of the circumstances, the policy could very well be the kindest and most merciful thing that can be done in this particular circumstance.

Firstly, there is often little proof that these children actually belong to the adults that are just about using them as human shields in the hopes of sneaking them past what are assumed to be dimwitted and softhearted border patrol officers. For all we know these urchins could very well be in transit by human traffickers to lives of sex slavery and prostitution.

Thus, do not the mercy and kindness called for on the part of Claremont United Methodist Church demand that these identification and relationship claims be proven and verified? After all, were not actual Americans put through similar wringers when forced to authenticate themselves before being granted documents in compliance with the Real ID Act required in order to continue their lives as fully recognized residents and citizens of the territorial United States?

It could be responded but why must children be separated from their parents during the detention process? But would it be an act of kindness or mercy to leave these vulnerable individuals even with their alleged parents in facilities just as likely to contain the perverted dregs as well as the noble destitute from the society from which both classes are fleeing?

Those na├»ve as to how the world actually works would likely reply, “At least allow these children to remain with their mothers even if they have to be separated from their fathers to protect children from predatory men.” Like it or not, at this time under United States law to enter into the country without proper authorization is still a crime.

As such, if the children of those accused of this act get to remain with their parents throughout detention, why do not actual American children get to remain with their parents then they are taken into custody for other criminal violations? Do these so-called “human rights” activists intend to articulate a similar degree of outrage over parents arrested for failing to comply with vaccination requirements or on behalf of the German family arrested there for homeschooling and denied asylum by the Obama regime because the family happened to adhere to Christianity rather than one of the forms of Third World heathenism lavished with accolades by the otherwise godless adherents of secularist multicultrualism?

The Reverend Ristine's comment closes in the article with the remark “a radical welcome of all people.” But just how radical is the welcome that would be extended by Rev. Ristine and the Claremont United Methodist Church?

For example, some churches along with others in their areas on certain nights in the winter allow the homeless to shelter in a designated building to get these individuals out of the cold. So what if Claremont United Methodist Church agreed to take in a certain number and a dozen more than planned forced their way into the building, proceeding to use the facilities in a way that was wantonly deleterious or even explicitly disrespectful of the graciousness extended by the hosts? Would the congregation be required to allow these souls to urinate in the baptistry or defecate in the pews since interdicting such behavior might be interpreted as contradicting the “radical welcome of Jesus”?

The Claremont United Methodist Church is first and foremost a church. As such, central to its identity is a scheduled weekly time of worship where the agreed upon leaders of the congregation provide a didactic oration usually accompanied by music of a style those assembled deem appropriate.

Thus, what if a group came into the sanctuary without prior authorization and proceeded to drone on incessantly about the imperative of reelecting President Trump? Better yet, what if the uninvited interrupted the otherwise orderly execution of the liturgy (particularly during Rev. Ristine's homily) with an exegesis elaborating their understanding how certain Scriptural texts are correctly interpreted as forbidding women from the ranks of the ordained clergy?

A church has the right to say, “Look, we will allow you to enter our arms welcoming you. But there are rules you will be required to abide by. If not, we are going to have to ask you to leave and you won't be allowed to come in.” As such, does not something similar apply to other social institutions as well?

It might not be the place of government to decide complex questions of theology. Yet inversely, as part of its mandate, the state has the obligation to be not quite as welcoming as the church as its primary function is to ensure that those existing within specified boundaries do not pose a viable threat and that a set of objective standards are adhered to in order to prevent widespread social breakdown.

There can be debate as to how stringent these ought to be in a society endeavoring to balance the needs of liberty and security. Yet to argue that the welcome must be so broad as to allow all arrivals irrespective of intent is to invite nothing but the destruction of what made this land a relative oasis amidst a troubled world in the first place.

Often President Trump addresses the hard truths that face the nation in a manner that some might construe as blunt or inartful. It must be admitted ---- something that he himself at one point refused to do when he insisted that he had never done anything in need of divine forgiveness ----- that he suffers (as do we all) from any number of flaws. However, his sincerity in wanting to see the borders of the United States protected for the benefit of all cannot be denied and should be applauded by all that profess to love America.

By Frederick Meekins