Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

Archive_Page_5_2009

 

The Curse of Cain

The Evolution of Fear

The Criteria of Judgment

Mercy and Judgment of Men

The Lesson in Mercy

The Forgiveness of Debts

The True and Last Judgment

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

The Curse of Cain

 

…and now you are cursed more than the ground,

which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand…

{Genesis 4:11}

 

        After murder of his brother, Cain went out of the presence of the Lord. Two things Cain carried into exile: the curse, which defined his punishment, and the mark, which God set upon him to prevent assassination by those who would find him. Obviously, the main meaning of Cain’s exile was deprivation of the presence of God: Cain fled from God, and his worst punishment was wandering in the void of evil. Although Cain expected to be fugitive and vagabond, he eventually settled in the east of Eden, in the land of Nod. Cain built the city and named it after his son, Enoch. Enoch had a son, then, grandson, and then, great–grandson… The fifth in the Cain’s line was Lamech, who repeated the sin of Cain: Lamech murdered young man. Three sons of Lamech began the process of professional division among men: one became the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle; one was forger of all instruments of iron and bronze; one was Jubal – the father of those who play the lyre and pipe {Genesis 4:1–24}.

        So, eventually, the desire of self–exaltation inherited from Eve became a component of creativity in the fields of music and arts intended for spectators...

        Adam, who originally was created in image and after likeness of God, and then, was clothed with garments of skin, became the father of a son in his own image and his own likeness – Seth. Seth is the ancestor of Noah who survived the Flood; from the sons of Noah all nations of the world sprang. Along with the blessing of life at the after–Flood earth, Noah and his sons received the God’s warning: do not shed blood of man, because man was created into the image of God. So, the curse of Cain also survived the Flood. After the sin – in fact, crime – of mockery and humiliation committed by Ham against his father Noah, Noah put the curse onto his grandson – Canaan the son of Ham had to carry punishment for the sin of his father: he had to be the slave of slaves to his brothers and relatives. So, Canaan became the farther of the cursed nations. The land of the cursed Canaanites was destined to be the Promised Land of the descendants of Abraham, when the cursed people would fill the measure of evil with their iniquities and the time of their extermination would come {Genesis 1:27; 5:1–32; 9:18–27; 10:6–20; 11:6–9; 15:13–21; Deuteronomy 7:1–5; 9:3–6; 20:16–18}.

        Sidon, the first–born son of Canaan, became an ancestor of the Sidonians. Destiny of the Sidonians illustrates the meaning and consequences of two curses – Cain’s curse for murder of the brother and Canaan’s curse for sin against the father.

 The Sidonians populated the land and built cities; two of them – Tyre and Sidon – became the mother–cities of the unique establishment, which entered human history under the name of the Phoenician civilization. Definitely, the curse of Noah has the meaning deeper than physical slavery, because the Sidonians–Phoenicians assumed the power over the sea after destruction of the Minoan civilization; they also became most skilled traders (including slave trade).

The ancient heathen historians believed that the Phoenicians share the same roots with the Minoans. If to follow the myth, the Phoenician civilization might be called the sister–civilization of the Minoans: Phoenix (an eponymous ancestor of the Phoenicians in the Greek mythology) was a brother of Cadmus and Europe. “Phoenix” means “red,” and for the ancient pagans, red was the color of death: the myth reveals the particular expectations concerning the Phoenician world.

Eventually, the Phoenicians extended the net of their settlements into Northern Africa, Anatolia, Levant, and Cyprus. Their skills in naval expeditions, trade, wood and ivory carving, manufacturing of dyed clothing, embroidery, gold, metal, and glass works were unsurpassed in their times. The survived clay, gold, and bronze statutes and ivory figurines illustrate the outstanding craftsmanship. King Solomon employed the subjects of Hiram the king of Tyre; they made artifacts of gold, silver and other metal and fabrics and carving works for the temple in Jerusalem {2 Chronicles 2:1, 3, 7, 11–14}. However, the figurines and statues identified as images of the Phoenician deities have vicious and ugly faces and malformed bodies.

Contrary to the archeological evidence [e.g., in: James 43], some researchers assert that it was the Phoenicians who invented the alphabet and writings [e.g., in: Servadio 3, 75]. However, besides business and temple records and inscriptions on tombs, the Phoenician civilization left practically nothing; there is no written documents, tablets, etc., which would reveal the essence of culture and intellectual life. The Phoenicians are almost forgotten. The memory of them is kept only in the Bible, the Assyrian chronicles, and few works of the Greek and Roman authors – the scarce and hostile mentions left by the Hebrew Prophets and priests, scribes, and philosophers of the Mediterranean nations, with which the Phoenicians conducted commerce, waged wars, and among which they lived and vanished. Probably, the adverse silence of the Past explains why the published studies of the Phoenicians are less numerous than those of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. However, there are other languages – the language of deeds and the analysis of the deeds, which might reveal the essence of the lost civilization with the same clarity as written descriptions would.

The Phoenicians were famous for their art of divination, magic, maledictions, and superstition; they were known as the corrupt, brutal, and conniving nation. Jezebel (the Phoenician princess – daughter of the Sidonian king) who became the wife of Ahab the king and who re–introduced the cult of Baal in the Promised Land, is the most hated woman in the history of Israel. Elijah the Prophet predicted that as the punishment for her ruthlessness and for her treacherous behavior, dogs would eat her flesh (for the ancient Israelites, dogs were unclean animals; they consumed unburied cadavers, dead animals, and human waste). It had happened as the Prophet said {1 Kings 16:31–34; 21:1–26; 22:34–38; 2 Kings 9:6–10, 30–37}.

The Bible mentions the sodomite rites and other rites of perversion with which the Israelites worshipped idols of the Sidonians–Phoenicians and other surrounding nations: for these practices, the Israelites eventually were rooted out from the Promised Land, and exiled in Babylon {1 Kings 15:12–13; 2 Kings 23:4–27; 24:8–20}.

The Phoenicians invented the capital punishment by crucifixion; they crucified their military leaders who lost their battles, some prisoners of war, and the criminals who “did not deserve” to be burned in the belly of their bull–headed deity. They hired mercenaries for the land wars, yet, only the Phoenicians could be sailors, enroll in the naval troops, and serve as generals and military commanders. They were the most skilled and ruthless kidnappers, slave–traders, pirates, and merchants. The ancient hypocrites also asserted that the Phoenicians are responsible for introduction of luxury and greed into the post–Minoan Greece.

The Phoenicians had lunar calendar; the main festivities with human and animal sacrifices were connected with phases of vegetation e.g., harvest, and New Year. As the Minoans, they believed in death of the deities. Josephus and Lucian [ref. in: Markoe 117–120] describe the annual celebrations in Tyre and Byblos: the priests burned their male deity in effigy and then, celebrated its re–birth through marriage with Astarte, which absorbed many features of the Minoan goddess. This rite symbolized the yearly cycle of vegetation and restoration of the cosmic order. The Phoenicians’ religion might be interpreted as the cult of deadly fire. They ascribed to fire the power of purification; the rite of burning people as sacrifice to their deities was intended to purify the population and the land. The human sacrifice was maintained “by decree of the people.” Suicide by jumping into the pyre was recognized as the road to immortality; those who died by ordinary death were condemned to wander purposelessly within the realm of eternal fog ruled by the goddess of darkness.

Two main rites conveyed the essence of the Phoenicians’ religion for the other Mediterranean nations – their contemporaries: death and prostitution. The Phoenicians burned their children (especially the first–born fruits of “sacred” prostitution) as the sacrifice to the male deity, and condemned their daughters to prostitution as the sacrifice to the female deity (the male prostitution also was the part of the Phoenician life). 

It looks like the Phoenicians were the business people. They transferred to their deity the sacred king’s duties (to be murdered and sacrificed): the permanent political structures were designed to sustain the Phoenician quest for enrichment and expansion of their settlements without interruptions and complications inevitable for the establishments, which undergo frequent replacements of leaders. As the matter of fact, the Phoenicians had the most advanced social and political order tailored to the purposes of expansion and accumulation of wealth. Two political institutions were responsible for life–maintenance in their settlements: the Senate and the People’s Assembly (in the republican style). The municipalities with the annually elected officials supervised their cities. The Phoenician women had the right to own and to bequest the property; the slaves were allowed to marry, to offer sacrifices, and to buy own freedom.

The works of the Greek and Latin authors allow conclusion that the Phoenician civilization had the unique political structure: it was the network of similar, yet, independent cities–states and their colonies, which spread all over the Mediterranean shores. The Phoenician cities–states were the self–sufficient and self–reproducing systems; nevertheless, the colonies sent their tribute to the mother–cities – initially, to Sidon and Tyre, then to Carthage (after Alexander of Macedonia conquered Sidon and Tyre in B.C., 332 and 330). In general, the Phoenicians developed the strategy of expansion, which is similar to the progressing malignant tumor, which spreads itself over the body of host through metastases – self–sufficient and self–reproducing systems–cells.

Polybius left a description of Carthage – the Phoenician main center in the time of decline, not long before the ultimate destruction. He asserts that the original Phoenician political institutions were similar to those of Sparta and Rome, yet, corruption and degeneration became their actuality. For instance, the politicians obtain offices with open bribery (the Romans punished by death such entrepreneurial efforts). The ordinary people have the “supreme” influence on the state affairs; such kind of democracy Polybius considers as one of the reason of decline, because in Rome, “the best men” made the state decisions*1*.

The special group of population – professional clergy headed by the king (chief–priest) and queen (chief–priestess) – served deities, offered sacrifices, and oversaw the population. The temple personnel included priests, permanent male and female prostitutes, butchers, and “sacrificers.”

In fact, the “sacrificer” was an executioner, because he cut throat to the victims, drained blood, and then, either put the victims into the hands of the idol from which they felt into the blazing furnace hidden in the idol’s belly or placed the victims with bound feet and faces covered with special masks at the open brazier under the hands of the idol on which victims were cremated in the sight of the worshippers (Cleitarchus describes the idol with the hands outstretched over a brazier on which a child was burnt). Ezekiel the Prophet left a description of the main ritual in his prophecy concerning the Ammonites (who had the similar rites): they are the food of the fire and their blood remains on the ground {Ezekiel 21:28, 32; 22:3, 12}.

The Phoenician pantheon included idols adopted from the Greeks, the Egyptians, and other surrounding nations, yet, two main deities headed the hierarchy in all their cities and settlements:

1/ Moloch or Baal – the flesh–thirsty deity of fire and drought depicted as a man with the head of a bull (similar to the Minoan Minotaur) and outstretched hands; the sacrifices – children, adults, and animals were placed into the hands of the idols and rolled down, into the blazing fire

2/ Astarte/Balaat/Tanit – deity of life, death, fertility, earth, and underworld; as soon as girls reached the child–bearing age, they had to sell their virginity as the sacrifice to Astarte (to become the temporary temple’s prostitutes); only after they performed their service (and the priests of Astarte received payment) they were allowed to return home and to be given into marriage. 

The ruins of temples do not contain images/statutes of Phoenician deities: there are empty thrones and the betyls – standing stones or “divine markers.” Some architectural details contain the depictions of the “sacred” serpents and solar disks. Some researchers ascribe to the Phoenician religion aniconic tradition, as in Byblos [in: Markoe 125]. However, the assumption of aniconism cannot be reconciled with the sacrificial rites performed before the bronze statues of Baal/Moloch. Probably, the empty thrones in the temples, as well as the exceptional place of the fire in the system of beliefs, might be interpreted as the remnants of the memory of God Who has no image and form; in this case, the statutes Baal/Moloch in the places of sacrifice could symbolize the ruthless earthly powers over the cursed men.

The following examples illustrate the Phoenician “piety” [e.g., in: Servadio 97; Markoe 66; Diodorus ref. in: Markoe 133]:

1/ when the Greek army threatened Carthage, the noble families sacrificed own children in an attempt to secure survival of the city: in 306 B.C., two hundred children, and in 310 B.C., five hundred children were burned – almost entire new generation of the Carthage “nobility” was exterminated by own parents who explained the siege of their city with the wrath of their deity (because previously, instead of their own children, they sacrificed children who they purchased from the poor parents)

2/ after one of the victories, three thousand prisoners of war were burned as the token of appreciation for the “assistance” of the deity.

Archeological excavations at the place where Carthage was situated led the archeologists to conclusion that sacrifices of children increased in the last centuries before ultimate destruction. If in the B.C. seventh century, animal sacrifices prevailed (initially, an animal could be substituted for a child), three centuries later, burials contain mostly children’s bones. According to an estimate [in: Markoe 135], in the B.C. fourth–third centuries, it was about twenty thousand urns with the remains of burned infants. Obviously, the increase of victims reflects the accelerated self–annihilation.  

The rationale behind the Phoenician religion cannot be found in the written documents – they did not survive. Seemingly, there is no information sufficient for understanding why their beliefs, which other nations found inhumane and repulsive, attracted even the Israelites who already were given the Law and knowledge of God and who were well informed of the Canaanites’ genealogy and the curse of Noah. The Old Testament Books contain the references to the Canaanite rites – sacrifice of children as well as to male and female prostitution – practiced by the Israelites. Even king Solomon (who with his understanding, glory, and wealth excelled all his counterparts) eventually went after “other gods” including Sidonian Ashtoreth (Astarte), although God had appeared to him twice and granted him the wise and discerning mind, the ability to discern between good and evil, and everything his heart desired {Deuteronomy 32:15–18, 32–33; 3 Kings 3:11–13; 9:2; 10:23–24; 11:1–10; 15:12–13; 18:17–29}.

The Holy Scriptures provide an explanation of the Phoenician history: the Book of Wisdom refers to the native inhabitants of the Promised Land (the descendents of Canaan) as to the cursed from the beginning, as to those with the inborn evil who would not change their thinking, and who in their self–deceit worship loathsome beasts {Wisdom 12:3–6, 10–11, 23–24}. Obviously, the history of the Phoenicians portrays self–annihilation of the people with irreversible abnormal mutations of mind and deep mental disorders (for instance, belief that suicide by jumping into the pure would lead to the eternal bliss).

The Phoenician history provides two clues about the logic behind their religion:

a/ they identified their main deity with fire

b/ they have a particular attachment to maledictions.

The belief in a possibility to purify the people and the land by burning human sacrifices – especially, the first–born – might be interpreted as an attempt to erase the curse of Noah. Noah cursed Canaan for the sin of his father – Ham; Sidon – the first–born son of cursed Canaan became the ancestor of the Phoenicians who sacrificed children as atonement for the sins of the parents. If to consider the particular attraction to maledictions, it could be assumed that the Phoenicians knew the burden of this curse and by burning of children expected to alleviate the punishment of the Present and to prevent the evil Future.

There is no reasonable explanation of “sacred” prostitution besides

1/ the assumption of an attempt to curb the rites of female deity and to control the female devotees, which the Phoenicians could borrow from the Minoans or the Mediterranean nations

2/ the blame put on Eve for the original sin.

The ancient tradition ascribes to the first–born son a particular significance: he is an heir of the family’s legacy and the main descendent intended to continue the established manner of existence. For the Phoenicians, however, the first–born children could be the fruits of the “sacred” prostitution to which they condemned their daughters, and the descendents of the unknown men: the first–born child was not welcome in the husband’s household. From such a point of view, the inhumane ritual served preservation of the familial inheritance, yet, imposed the unspeakable humiliation and suffering on woman.

Wherever the Phoenicians settled, they carried with them their religious rites: it means that they burned their children and prostituted their daughters voluntarily. The Roman Empire destroyed the Phoenician civilization and abolished the inhumane – even from the heathens’ point of view – religion in the second century B.C. Still, four centuries later, in A.D. second century, the population of Tunisia (Northern Africa) secretly continued ritual infant sacrifices [Tertullian ref. in: Markoe 136]. So, the curse of Noah entailed the worst kind of slavery – the slavery of the mind: the descendents of Ham lived and died in the prison of inhumane religion of self–annihilation, which even during the ruthless heathen times made them the subject of hatred and aversion of the surrounding nations.  

However, this aversion does not seem to be logical: the Phoenician cult was consistent with the essence of the cults practiced by the surrounding nations. In particular, all neighboring nations offered human sacrifices to their idols: the society determined the victims and decided the time of their death. The Phoenicians included own infants in a pool of sacrificial offerings (along, for instance, with prisoners of war offered by the state). Yet, the families were allowed to make their final decisions: the family decided would it sacrifice a particular child, would it offer an animal instead of the child, or would it buy a child of a poor family to sacrifice instead of own son. If to assume that a civilization is a particular manner of life based on a particular imaginary world, ultimately, the family carried the essence of the Phoenician civilization as the seed carries the essence of a tree.

The Phoenician civilization became one of the greatest achievements of the unending spiral of the anti–evolution: it has a particular significance, not only because it reveals the potency of evil imagination and its power over the human mind. The Phoenician civilization established the main patterns of corruption, deceit, wars, and self–annihilation embodied into the religious, social, and state establishments.

The prophecy of Ezekiel the Prophet concerning the Ammonites describes also the destiny of Phoenicians, which is similar to the fate of their human sacrifices: they would be given into the hands of the cruel people proficient in murder (the Romans), they would become the food of the fire, their blood would remain on the ground, and there would be no memory about them {Ezekiel 21:28, 32; 22:3, 12}. And indeed, the Phoenicians’ fate is obliteration; their main cities were demolished by Alexander of Macedonia (who slaughtered the population of Tyre in B.C. 332, and Sidon in B.C. 330) and by the Roman Empire during the Punic wars (Carthage in B.C. 146); the Punic wars brought the end to the inhumane civilization: the population was exterminated. Today, still, there are no written documents, which would disclose the life of the Phoenicians’ mind and justify or at least explain their beliefs.

Nevertheless, each Christian Church crowned with the cross, reminds the ultimate victory of divine Love over inhumanity of the cursed people.

And I think that the comprehensive understanding of the history of the heathenism might be obtained only if to take into consideration two curses fallen upon man: the curse for the bloodshed and the curse for the utter corruption, which demands exaltation by any means, even by humiliation and mockery of the father. From such a point of view, the history of Phoenician and other ancient civilizations illustrates that anything, which begins with a desire of exaltation, is ended with destruction and oblivion; the history also reveals

 

        1/ the consequence of the original sin:

a/ Eve had a desire to become “as God”; so, she discarder the warning of God, and obediently followed advice of the serpent–beast

b/ Eve’s actions triggered separation from God, expulsion, and the curse of slavery and pain

c/ Eve thrown yet unborn mankind into the world of death

d/ then, in his desire to be the best and to be exulted over his brother, Eve’s first–born son became the first murderer

e/ ultimately, the Eve’s descendents deified the beast and began to worship beasts

 

        2/ the tragedy of woman, because the heathenism became the setting in which women actualized unnatural desires and cognized the ultimate evil

a/ for the descendents, an image of Eve became the image of goddess, which brings death and life to men; so, the majority of heathen cults included worship to female deity possessing power over life and death

b/ women exercised all opportunities to satisfy their desires and to obtain the complete power over men (e.g., the rites of Astarte, Minoan goddess, Cybele, and of other versions of female deity); through self–identification with the idol, woman had learnt the ultimate evil, which transformed her into the beast: she murdered living being (including own children) –– humans and animals, devoured flesh of her victims, and satisfied her lust with men and with the beasts

c/ simultaneously, woman was denigrated at the level of chattel intended for bodily service to men and reproduction controlled by men who equated woman with slaves and animals (e.g., Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s political utopia – see postings for November 2, 2008, and November 9, 2008); so, woman had learnt the worst kind of slavery

 

        3/ utter perversion and hypocrisy of heathen establishments:  women’s duties of “sacred” prostitution at the temple and the consequent sacrifice of the first–born child (the child that could be a fruit of the “sacred” service), which were performed by male priests in elaborated rites, existed within the same establishment; this establishment

a/ from one side, recognized the goddess as the prime deity and maintained exalted status of women, especially priestesses who served their goddess with uncontrolled sexual promiscuity and in the state of frenzy killed and devoured children, humans, and animals

b/ from the other side, forced young women to prostitution and killed their children

 

        4/ the struggle of the cursed people against God: with establishment of the fertility rites, which demand human sacrifice and bloodshed, with killing of own children, the idol–worshiper attempted to fight God. The rituals and underlying theological concepts of heathen cults reveal the secret core–assumption that sustains existence of all false religions: with the act of bloodshed, man becomes the deity capable of destroying God–Creator.

 

        And I think of misery of mutated mind: just imagine, the pieces of disintegrating flesh, which are deceived and enslaved by the habit of self–exaltation until such a degree that they have lost the faculty of deliberation and ability of thinking, believe that they are capable of destroying God! Indeed, there is an addition to the curse of Cain and the curse of Canaan – the self–imposed curse of corrupted imagination, which creates idols and false religions, and then, throws humans onto altar of the beasts. There are inevitable consequences of rejection of God:

 

man becomes an idol–worshiper – the living dead

who struggles to fill the inner void with the images and to sustain own existence with self–exaltation

worship to the idols transforms man into the beast

anything, which begins with self–exaltation, is ended with destruction and oblivion…

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

Notes:

 

*1*. Polybius’ remark reveals the true essence of the Roman Republic:

1/ the Roman mob – “the people” – did not have the actual influence on the state decisions

2/ the features of an establishment created after the Plato–Aristotelian utopia (see the postings Philosophy: Plato – November 2, 2008, and Philosophy: Aristotle – November 9, 2008).

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

References:

 

James, E.O. The Ancient Gods. 1960. Edison, New Jersey: Castle Books, 2004.

Marcoe, Glenn E. Phoenicians. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 2000.

Servadio, Gaia. Motya: Unearthing a Lost Civilization. London: Phoenix, 2000.

 

 Sunday, August 2, 2009

 

 

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

       

The Evolution of Fear

 

 

…God is love,

and the one abiding in love abides in God, and God in him…

…There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear,

because fear has punishment,

and the fearing one has not been perfected in love…

{1 John 4:16, 18}

 

 

        God is perfect Love; fear does not co–exist with perfect love, because perfect love casts out fear. Fear is linked with punishment: those who have fear have not been perfected in love, yet, those perfected in love have confidence in the Day of Judgment {1 John 4:16–18}.   

        If the one loves God and loves his brother, he fulfills both main commandments of God and becomes the dwelling–temple of God: on love to God and on love to brethren all the Law and the Prophets are hung {Matthew 22:37–40; John 14:23}. For such a man, the Day of Judgment will be the day of joy, because for him it will be neither fear*1* nor punishment – he is protected and saved by the perfect Love that is by God.

        The teachings of love is the cornerstone and the essence of Christianity; it is the foundation of freedom granted by God to all who accepts His Word and comprehends His truth {John 8:31–35}. To the contrary, the world, which rejected God and hates His followers {John 15:18–19, 23–25}, has another foundation: slavery. The world founded on slavery perceives freedom – and especially, freedom of the fearless spirit – as the greatest threat to its very existence: fear sustains slavery. There is no possibility to conquer the world without fear, and those who have no fear cannot be transformed into – in Aristotle’s definition – human chattel or social animals–property–slaves of their own creations – political, religious, and social institutions.

        Consequently, the greatest attack on Christianity began with modification of the teachings of perfect love that has no fear. In the third century, heresy of Origen initiated the open introduction of fear into the Christian theology (see False Teachers: Origen, posting for October 5, 2008).  Following Gnostic traditions, Origen asserted existence of the secret knowledge hidden within Christianity – the knowledge intended only for the saints and for the mature, fearless, and bold souls of “guardians,” which have to supervise the “small and undeveloped souls” of the ordinary believers.

Origen’s perception of other men essentially, does not differ from Plato’s vision of his contemporaries: all the others are the inferior creatures, which need supervision.

“The enlightened philosopher” Plato designed the Nocturnal Council – pre–cursor of the Inquisition to supervise the others’ beliefs and behavior and to punish for deviation, for instance, to imprison and to execute atheists and heretics: the heathenism also has its very own heresies, for instance, freedom of spirit and free thinking such as those for which Socrates was executed.

Origen introduced division into the Christian communities – the elite/guardians and the others; he implied necessity of a new kind of treatment: the others (the brethren whose sins were expiated by Lord God Jesus Christ) comprise the flock of “small and undeveloped” souls, which should live under supervision of the guardians – “doctors of the church or angels.” Moreover, a “small and undeveloped soul” should not be nourished with the words of God. The “small and undeveloped” souls must be kept in fear as children; the mystery of all–forgiving love of God should remain hidden, and they must be “fed on images” – the “spiritual milk” of images created for them by their guardians – theologians and “doctors of the church.” Such feeding makes the soul acquainted with “a taste of greater things” because anyway, the soul cannot desire something it know not [Origen God IV.953–958 342–343; Spirit III.638 240].

Consequently, if all–forgiving perfect love of God must remain mystery, the small souls should be kept in obedience through fear and firstly, through fear of punishment. Punishment and suffering occupy the special place in the Origen’s world. With the unhealthy lust, he discusses the intensity of pain and the Future of sinners. Concerning punishment of “the impure,” which as Origen believes would be “something worse than hell,” he commands to St. Paul the Apostle: “Name it, O Paul! Say what the punishment is!” [Origen God IV.912–919, 962  332–333, 347].

In fact, Origen created his own god: his god “torments the wicked,” but like a devoted father, “mitigates the torment with mildness” [Origen Soul I.54 51; Spirit III.448 185; God IV.919 333]. The Origen’s description resembles fantasies of the heathen philosophers who knew and judged their gods and who exalted themselves as “the tutors of humankind” [e.g., Seneca in: The Wisdom of Stoics 27]. Origen’s image of the punishing and torturing god and Origen’s self–mutilation are consistent with mentality of the ancient heathens–authors of Greek and Egyptian myths, yet they are not compatible with Christianity.

If to compare the Origen’s image of his god and his assertion of the necessity of fear [Origen God IV.912–919, 952–954; 962  332–333, 342, 347] with the texts of the New Testament, it is evident: Origen does not comprehend the essence and meaning of Christianity. His perverted concept of god who punishes and tortures his creations is completely incompatible with the Gospels and evidently has the roots in the heathenism. Origen’s thought operates within framework of Gnosticism, which conveyed many heresies into Western theology and facilitated advancement of the mentality of the inquisitors (for instance, the Plato’s second death of heretics and Cicero’s double punishment imposed by gods – mental tortures during life and such ignominy after their death that people joyfully approve the extermination of criminals [Cicero De Legibus II. xvii.44]).

Origen’s version of the Platonic–Gnostic doctrine of secret knowledge of the initiated and the assertion of necessity to conceal all–forgiving love of God, because the ordinary people must be kept in constant fear before the punishing and torturing god, inspired the consequent generations of “guardians” of the “small and undeveloped” souls. Origen’s adaptation of the heathen concept of torturing god not only facilitated incorporation of the heathen doctrine of fear and punishment into the teachings of the Western Roman Church; it began a new stage of degeneration of human societies, which initially had been granted the freedom of Christianity. Fear became the comprehensive foundation of all spheres of religious, social, and political life: heads and leaders of communities, churches, societies, and states kept the “small and undeveloped” souls of their subjects in constant fear before physical punishment and death of body in this world and in fear of eternal punishment and suffering in the after–life’s inferno governed by the sadistic “god” invented by Origen and embellished by his followers. Generally speaking, Origen and his followers deprived of true knowledge of God all those who had no other source of knowledge: the heathen teachings of fear took the place of Christian teachings of love.

In the fourth century, Augustine of Hippo came, with his assertion of the coercive power of the church and Compele Intrare – the infamous doctrine, which laid the foundation of the papal Inquisition*2* (see False Teachers: Augustine, posting for October 12, 2008).

The Augustine’s Compelle Intrare (Compel Them To Come In) reveals how Augustine misinterprets the Gospels according to his needs and pretends to prove that the Gospels justify coercion by the Church and use of the force of the state oppressive structures when it is needed to return heretics and schismatics to the community of believers.

In the commentary to the parable of Great Dinner {Luke 14:16–24}, where the Master of household sends his servants to gather all whom they find into his house instead of the guests who rejected the Master’s invitation, Augustine compares those whom the servants gathered from “the highways and hedges” with heretics. Augustine asserts [Augustine Political Writings 190–193, 196–199, 203–207, 217–219, etc.; also, ref. and qt. from different Augustine’s works in: Deane 195–215]:

1/ the Church has the responsibilities “received by divine appointment” to conduct the “righteous persecution... carried on in the spirit of love” to compel heretics to return to the Church.

2/ the state and its rulers have the “obligation” to support Church in her struggle against heresies and schisms; they must use the power of state to punish heretics, and the civil ruler–servant of God must be the servant of Church.

Augustine justifies his assertions with the example of successful coercion of the Donatists – heretics who became Catholics under the fear of penalties. However, even if fear transforms the heretics into the Catholics, it does not make them the Christians, because

a/ the human power of coercion cannot force the Holy Spirit of God to come and to dwell within the apparently obedient victim of coercion; all forces and all powers of men combined are incapable of transformation of anyone into the temple of God

b/ the true Christians do not coerce men to change their beliefs, and they do not punish people for their beliefs – they imitate the perfection of God and love all creations of God irrespective of the convictions and manner of life; for the Christian, only God is the ultimate and Supreme Judge of all, and no one has the right to usurp the authority of judgment of beliefs and opinions and to interfere with the freedom of conscience  

c/ God of the Christians is the perfect love that has neither fear nor suffering: the true Christians have no fear*1*, they have love and freedom. Consequently, they respect the right of all to believe and to love as they wish. However, the recognition of freedom of all does not imply rights of all to interfere with the freedom and beliefs of the Christians: any attempt to influence beliefs of the others or to impose own vision of the world unto the others identifies the heathens

d/ such manifestations of inner beliefs and criteria of evaluation of the mentality of men as number of believers–subjects–followers, public confessions, apparent sanctity, force of coercion, power of the ruler or state, etc. do not describe the Kingdom of God; faith, love to God, love to one another, and freedom are the properties of the Kingdom of God that is within man {Matthew 5:43–48; Luke 17:20–21; John 1:12–13; 14:23; 15:12–17; 1 John 4:7–12, 16–21}.

Augustine mentions but then, discards the clear instructions of the Apostles that evil must not be repaid with evil and that the evil must be overcome or conquered with good {Matthew 26:52; Romans 12:17–21}. However, he instantly disputes the meaning of prohibition to use force even to defend God; his highest truth is his own opinion: “always both the bad have persecuted the good, and the good have persecuted the bad”; thus, the bad should be compelled to become the good through fear of suffering [Augustine The Political Writings 192–193, 202–203].

To the contrary, Christianity is the universal doctrine of love – God is love; His main commandments (to love God and to love one another as God loves each one of us) make each human being able to abide in God, to receive the knowledge of God, to dwell with God, and to be sanctified with the truth of God. The Apostles make perfectly understandable that love and coercion are not compatible: love does not asserts its own way; love is not arrogant, it is above everything, even above faith and hope {John 14:23; 15:12, 17; 17:14–23; 1 John 3:14–24; 4:7–21; 1 Corinthians 13:1–13}. Any attempt to impose alien opinions or to coerce a human being to act in accordance with somebody else’s beliefs signifies the lack of love, thus, incompatibility with Christianity.

To justify coercion in the religious matters, Augustine asserts that the Roman emperors are members and protectors of the Church and “the ministers of God to execute wrath” upon the evildoers; he argues: no one should “wound the Church by schism” with an appeal to the example of St. Paul the Apostle, whom – according Augustine – “Christ coerced” by “the great violence” to become a “member of the Holy Church.” Then, Augustine portrays Lord Jesus Christ also as the victim of coercion, because “God spared not His Own Son” [Augustine The Political Writings 190–196].

To the contrary, there is no such thing as schism in the Church–body of Christ: schism is separation of heretics from the Church of God, and at the very moment they become heretics, they cease to be the members of the Church of Lord God Jesus Christ. Besides, the Church, as the body of God, cannot be wounded – humans with all their worldly power, yet without God, are dust: people wound themselves and activate own annihilation when they leave God.

Augustine’s uncontrollable imagination and logic of reasoning nurtured by his Manichean past and Platonism’s present made him unable to comprehend the Gospels, in particular, the words of God:

“No one takes My life from Me, but I Myself lay it down:

I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to accept it again…”

{John 10:17–18}.

The mind, which admits a possibility of fear and coercion toward the others, is the mind of slave, the mind that itself lives by fear and coercion. Such a mind is not able to comprehend the greatness and ultimate freedom of the mission of love. With the reasoning of heathen, Augustine dares to judge love and actions of God, although he is unable to understand the necessity and the meaning of the Lord Jesus Christ’s mission. Only God incarnated in man could re–create the fallen nature, redeem all sins of the world, annihilate death by death, and grant life to those who cognized evil and who had to die for their transgressions against God and against their brethren; only love of God saved the world {John 17:23; 1 John 2:2; 3:16; 4:9–10; 5:11–12}, not fear and not coercion.

Then, it was no violence in conversion of Saul (who by the mercy of God became St. Paul the Apostle): man who was breathing with violence and murder encountered the Light and comprehended the evil he committed. This comprehension made him his own executor: his own darkness came upon him, and only the Holy Spirit saved him from his own judgment {cf.: Acts 9:1–19}.

The Augustine’s attempts to justify coercion vividly illustrate how he misinterprets the texts of the Holy Scriptures, and how he discards their actual meaning. He utilizes any text (even irrelevant or contradictory to his point of view) to corroborate own assertions. His profane references to God disclose the misconception of the mind, which because of contamination with heathen philosophy degenerated until such a degree that it became able to discard the main law and the very foundation of Christianity: to love God and to love one another. Such a mind is unable to understand that revenge and Christianity are not compatible; it is not able to comprehend the nature of the good – the good does not revenge or fight. The Absolute Good (the attribute of God) annihilates evil, because evil is not able to exist in presence of the Absolute Good. The evil exists only at the level of the material structures; it might destroy a human body, yet it incapable to destroy the human spirit, which caries the image and likeness of God.  Augustine does not realize that the mind is the main battleground, and if the mind uses the methods of evil to win, it fails because the use of evil transforms the mind into the very same evil, which it initially attempted to overpower.

Augustine’s Compelle Intrare allowed proceeding

from

knowledge of thoughts and beliefs acquired by members of a religious establishment on a voluntary basis,
for instance, through request of advice and confession of sins

to

physical intrusion into the life of the different–minded
by members and structures of the religious establishment.

 

Still, Augustine designates the restricted use of force, only for infliction of bodily pain and fear. In the letters to Proconsul Donatus and to Marcellinus, Augustine asks to spare the sinners, because it is not their death but their “deliverance from error” and from the eternal punishment that the Christian community seeks to accomplish with the “help of terror of judges and of laws.” He does not intend “to deviate from a fixed purpose of overcoming evil with good”: he implores the secular rulers by the faith and mercy of Lord God Jesus Christ to spare life of those Donatists from Hippo (where Augustine was a Bishop) who violently killed Catholic presbyters, and to satisfy justice without taking lives. He solemnly declares that his (the Bishop’s) recommendations to show mercy and apostolic moderation serve the interest and good of the Catholic Church [Epistles C and CXXXIII (No.100, 133) in: Political Writings 241–245, 247]. Although the Augustine’s Church approves use of force for infliction of bodily pain in attempt to influence the mind, it still, seeks “deliverance of error” and appeals for mercy and forgiveness of murderers. Augustine did not declare the right of the Church over the life and death of heretics yet; he made only the next step on the road, which led to the Inquisition: by the authority of the Bishop of the Christian Church, Augustine asserts the right of the Church to apply the physical force toward a body with the purpose to forcefully change the mind.

Compelle Intrare  formed the foundation for the Inquisition’s reality: Augustine’s benevolent “paternal” care of the Church, which uses force of coercion and bodily pain and fear in the similar fashion as parents punish their children for the sake of children’s own good, was transformed into the right of life and death over members of the religious establishment (in this case, the papal church of Rome) similar to the right of slave–owner of the human chattel. The history of this concept illustrates the pattern of development of any thought, the core of which contains inhumane heathen philosophy.

In the thirteenth century, the main papal theologian Thomas Aquinas (see Thomas Aquinas, posting for November 16, 2008) concluded Augustine’s doctrine with justification of the Inquisition and mandatory execution of the relapsed heretics. In particular, Aquinas instructs,

a/ heretics ought to be separated from the Church and handed over to the secular authorities for extermination “from the world by death” [Summa Theologica  II–II Q.11 a3]

b/ correction by punishment is the act of justice and it is an act of “fraternal correction,” because by punishment of “one’s brother” the other through fear might be deterred from sins; “such a correction belongs only to prelates,” and it is the business and “a grave responsibility” of prelates “to correct by means of punishment” [Summa Theologica  II–II Q.33 a3].

        With justification of the Inquisition and the doctrine of relapsed heretics, the Aquinas’ “Christianity” emerged as the eternal prison, which people have no freedom to leave, and where they live in fear because they

–– might be deprived of life, property, and good repute for the sake of the common good of their superiors

–– might be executed for disobedience to the superior even if the superior’s commands contradict to the word of God and constitute the crime against humanity

–– might be executed for an attempt to choose another manner of life, another system of belief, or for adherence to the Christian teachings, for instance, similar to execution of Jun Hus and consequent murder of his followers during the papal crusade against Bohemians

–– have to live under the total surveillance, give up the freedom of thinking and submit own conscience and mind to the judgment and the will of their superior

–– have to live under the fear of disgraceful agonizing death (e.g., to be burned at stake or tortured to death), which as their executors asserted is accompanied with eternal punishment.

       
         The Aquinas’ depiction of the Christian teachings is immeasurably far from the reality: as any doctrine based on fear and coercion, it is irreconcilable with Christianity. 

        According to the Gospels, God Himself chooses His servants – Christianity is the greatest gift of God, and the distinctive mark of the Christians is love to one another. Christianity is the unity in God and with God in the perfect love without fear and suffering and in the truth that makes man free {John 6:44–45; 8:31–32; 10:27–30; 13:34–35; 15:12, 16–17; 17:21, 23, 26; 1 John 3:14–17; 4:8, 16–21}.

Christianity is God’s gift of freedom to any human being who willingly and freely accepts it. Christianity cannot be forcefully taken away and no one can be coerced to accept it because God is the Spirit, and the religion, which He granted people, belongs to the soul and mind: it does not need slavery and does not make slaves; it enlightens the mind/soul and brings the Absolute Good and highest freedom.

The ultimate freedom promised and granted by God is an explanation why Aquinas falsified the word of God and substituted own slavish outlook for Christian teachings: the papal establishment does not need free people who learnt the perfect all–forgiving love of God and who have the Law of God in their conscience–heart–mind; it needs the unreserved slaves – the moving matter/flesh–body–chattel, which is deprived of faculty of deliberation and which is conveniently managed by fear and pain.

The history of perversion of the Christian teachings reveals how fear transforms freedom into slavery, and true religion into the heathen phantasmagoria:

        – the Origen’s notion about the necessity to keep the general population in ignorance and in constant fear before the punishing and torturing god was a beginning of transformation of the Christian Church of Rome into the papal eternal prison

        – this papal eternal prison is sustained by doctrines of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas; it is built with the efforts of the Inquisition, Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, and “paternal severity” of the Roman popes; for instance, such as Roman popes’ joy because of death and suffering of those denounced as heretics and schismatics the Greek Orthodox Christians during the sack of Constantinople by the Catholic crusaders and the Huguenots during the St. Bartholomew Night’s massacre in Paris*3*.

The religion, which took the place of the Christian teachings, is established on fear introduced by Origen and utilized by doctrines of Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas; it has the typical features of all ideologies sustaining slave–owning establishments

a/ it serves the needs of religious–political establishment (currently, the Vatican state, aka the papal church of Rome), which enslaves and subdues human beings in an attempt to achieve the absolute power over their body and mind

b/ it results in disparagement of man, because it casts him down into idol–worship, which is the essence of any heathen religion

c/ it transforms a human being into the beast (for instance, the Inquisition was supported by the voluntary informers who betrayed their brethren and shared their possessions after execution of the betrayed as “heretics”) with the mind controlled by the phantasms and with a body controlled with fear of physical coercion, pain, and death.

Now, the centuries of cultivation of fear founded on heretical misinterpretation of Christian teachings have brought their poisonous fruits; for instance,

–  it is not possible to recognize the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ in some contemporary interpretations of Christianity

–  there is no trace of original Christian communities in the hierarchical establishments, which cover themselves with the name of Christian churches, yet, which intervene with the politics and pursue political and material advantages

–  ecumenical movement threatens the very existence of Christianity by acceptance of the heathen Aristotle–Aquinas’ doctrine – Catholicism as the Christian theology, by recognizing papal church of Rome as Christian Church, and by preparing the complete union of the orthodox churches with the papal church

–  since its establishment in 1965, The North American Orthodox–Catholic Theological Consultation (which includes members of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and the members of the papal church, including the Jesuits trained in blasphemies against God – see: Spiritual Exercises by Ignatius of Loyola and The Constitutions of The Society of Jesus and Their Complementary Norms) held seventy–six meetings devoted to preparation of catholic–orthodox unity, including “the orthodox papacy” and “universal primacy”: they discuss the “points of conversion” intended to “reconcile” the Christian dogma with Aristotle–Aquinas’ heresy, and through “reconciliation,” to justify union of this what was the Greek Orthodox Church in America with the papal church of Rome

–  the members of Greek Orthodox Church in America already participate in joint masses and prayers, make visits and tributes to the papacy, diligently work in joint committees, and accept “honorary” degrees, for instance, from establishment named after Ignatius of Loyola – the founder of Jesuit order (see Hierarchical Church, posting for November 30, 2008,  Church Militants, posting for  December 7, 2008, and Ecumenism, posting for December 14, 2008).

However, it looks like those who work on the convergence decided to proceed slowly until the corruption and disintegration of the Christian communities will reach the stage when the distinction between Christianity and heathenism would be lost, and until artificially cultivated ignorance in Christian teachings will reach the threshold behind which there is no difference between knowledge and ignorance, therefore, there is no difference between Christianity and Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology/Catholicism, so, the “small and undeveloped” souls of the ordinary Christians will not rebel against the sacrilegious union. Indeed, the official press releases reveal: already there is no understanding that the deadly irony of the arch–evil sustains the very idea of unification of the orthodox Christian Churches with the papal church of Rome; it is already forgotten and never mentioned that

a/ the papal church of Rome has supplanted the Christian teachings of love with political theology of imperial establishment headed by men obsessed with the idea of universal absolute power over body and mind of unreservedly obedient subjects; political theology justifies death penalty for heretics and schismatics; it makes lawful murder, robbery, and the mortal sins against God and against men if they are committed according to the commands of the superior; it establishes unreserved obedience to the pope as the condition of eternal salvation

b/ the papal church worships the pope who is elevated at the place of the earthly deity, who has the right to change the meaning of good and evil for his subjects, and who pretends to possess the right to decide life and death of human beings – the right which the papacy usurped from God, and which Aquinas asserted as the pledge of security of the papal “common” good

c/ the papal church of Rome is responsible for the Crusades, the Inquisition, centuries of religious persecution and wars, suppression of freedom of thinking and freedom of conscience, extermination of the different–minded, anti–Semitism, co–operation with and blessing of Fascism*4* and Nazism, the utter corruption of the priests for which even the special term was coined “priests who are in mortal sin”*5*, the past and the present scandals, which reveal perversion, pedophilia, physical and spiritual abuse of children in the catholic churches and “charitable” institutions

d/ the crimes against humanity committed by the papacy and by the papal subjects became the ground for mistrust and rejection of the Christian teachings and for the penetration of other religions, atheism, and materialism into life of the Western societies

e/ the continuous pretense of the popes to speak on behalf of the entire Christendom and assertion of papal universal authority in the matter of Christian faith convinced the non–Christians that the papal church with all its deeds is a true embodiment of the Christian teachings. In fact, with its deeds (for instance, such as referred above, in “c”) the papal church of Rome compromised the name of Christianity: the papacy and its subjects are responsible for the current association of “Christianity” (in fact, papal political theology) with bigotry and hatred.

And I think, what is the reason behind the lofty words of “Christian unity,” “brotherly love,” and the “necessity” of reconciliation, with which some orthodox leaders force their flock into the sacrilegious unity with heathenism and into slavery – is it insatiable pride and expectations of worldly advantages, is it fear before spread of Islam, is it any other fear, is it a desire to have a second chance, which the Byzantine Empire did not have?  Whatever the reasons or expectations are, nothing is able to change the simple truth: slaves live by fear; Christians live by love of God.  Love and freedom are not compatible with fear and coercion in the same manner as Christianity is not compatible with heathen Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology – Catholicism (see Political Theology, posting for November 23, 2008).

And I also think that if in the Antiquity, the words “Greek” and “freedom” were synonyms, how much brain–washing has been done to force those who identified themselves as “Greeks” to admit a possibility of genuflection and to bow down before the mortal man? Do they know that the papal subjects – even kings – have the “honorary” duty to kiss the papal shoe and kneel before the pope? Do they expect that as the special reward for betrayal of Christianity and violation of the first and second of The Ten Commandments {do not have other gods, do not bow down and worship other gods – Exodus 20:1–6; 34:14}, they always will be spared from the duties of slaves to kiss the shoes of their master and lifted above other papal subjects? Yet, whichever gifts, rewards, and other “honorary” distinctions a slave receives, fear is not able to transform

the slave into freeman

and

papal/idol–worshiper into the follower of Lord God Jesus Christ.

 

Besides, the betrayal of Christianity by the members of any Orthodox Church will not slow down disintegration of the societies, decay and death of the Western civilization; it will accelerate these processes…

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Notes:

 

*1* The only mention of fear in the Christian dogma is the reference to the “fear of God” as the fear to violate the commandment of God and pervert own nature, yet even this fear vanishes when a human being advances in love and reverence to God until such a degree when any violation of the commandments of God simply becomes impossible.

 

*2*  Establishment of the ground for the Inquisition lasted from 1184 (Ad Abolendam) through 1207 (Cum Ex Officii Nostri) and 1215 (decisions of The Fourth Lateran Council); the power of the law was assimilated in 1231 (through Excommunicamus issued by the pope Gregory IX). The edict Ad Extirpanda (the pope Innocent IV, 1252), which was integrated into the civil law, became the “charter” of the Inquisition. The edict permitted anybody to arrest a heretic and to confiscate his property, authorized the torture as the method of inquiry, and obligated the civil authorities to apply torture to those who did not confess their heresies. The edict also became the first formal recognition of the death penalty for heretics referred indirectly in previous decrees and edicts.

In pursuit of the papal purposes, the Inquisition assumed functions and methods of the inhumane suppressive structure “revealing ferocity unknown in any beast”: it handled the problem of the papacy’s opponents by coercion, repression, and by fear of tortures and disgraceful death. For those who in spite of tortures and coercion “in the name of love” were not able to give up their beliefs and convictions, the Inquisition employed the Plato’s idea about more than one death for atheists and obstinate heretics. The method of execution by burning at stake, as many other things, the papacy borrowed from the heathen Roman Empire: in 297, the Manicheans of Egypt had been burned at stake for the attempt to intervene with the imperial cult [Chidester 127; Durant 776, 784, (qtd.) 784; Plato Laws 908–909].  

The manuals for the inquisitors issued in the thirteenth–fifteenth centuries provide some details concerning the doctrines and procedures of the search for heretics (e.g., through the confessions), posthumous condemnation of those who died before the Inquisition convicted them, process of interrogation, etc. The source of the inquisitorial literature included theological works (with the Augustine’s Compelle Intrare, and especially Aquinas’ writings), laws, and experience of the local inquisitors sanctioned by the papal church of Rome. Continuing the Aquinas’ tradition, the papal theologians and lawyers provided the Inquisition with the systematized theological excerpts, definitions and explanations of the laws and canons; they also justified any method and any action necessary to terminate the heresy:

        –– the first book of canon of law issued in 1234 provided detailed definition of heresy and heretics

        –– the Augustine’s Compelle Intrare – doctrine of “righteous persecution in the name of love,” as the perverted interpretation of the all–forgiving Christian love and God's commandments, was the first logical step for the Inquisition to have free hands for extermination of heretics

        –– Aquinas elaborated the Augustine’s doctrine into justification of the capital punishment of the heretics

        –– the inquisitor handbooks contained the relevant citations from the writings of Aquinas and other papal theologians [Peters 62]

        –– papal theologians Henry of Susa (1271) and Jean d’Andre (1348) both asserted that the execution by burning at stake was sanctioned by “the law of Christ,” when Christ told the disciples about withered branches gathered, thrown into fire, and burned {John 15:6} [Vacandard 128].     

The papal theologians not only portray God as “the author of the criminal code of the Inquisition” [Vacandard 128]; their assertions disclose the depth of decay of mind reached by the “Doctors of the Church” who defend the Inquisition’s crimes against God and humanity by falsifying and misinterpreting the words of God and by transforming the Christian teachings into the ideology of imperial repression.

The Inquisition had three centuries to flourish and to achieve its purposes with persecutions, inhumane tortures, and executions of the opponents of the papacy identified as heretics, schismatics, witches, scientists, philosophers, and other “free thinkers”; ultimately, as any oppressive structure, it failed. The Inquisition’s power over the human life was terminated within the societies, which accepted the Reformation, and discarded the papal claims on the absolute power.

 

*3* In 1204, when the Crusaders captured Constantinople, the Roman pope Innocent III expressed joy and called the capture “magnifica miracula” [Innocent III’s letter qtd. in: Runciman 151]. Historically, murders, pillage, destruction accompanied all military invasions, and it is not proper for the Christian to feel joy because of suffering and death of people and to continue to identify himself as the follower of Lord God Jesus Christ. The history preserved another example of joy experienced by another Roman pope: in 1572, after the St. Bartholomew’s Night in Paris, when the Catholics killed approximately 50,000 Huguenots, the pope Gregory XIII congratulated queen–mother Catherine de’ Medici and ordered to celebrate the massacre with lightening of bonfires [in: Trager 197].

 

*4*  The execution of Jun Hus in 1414 and the consequent unsuccessful crusade against Bohemia initiated by the pope Martin V began the manifested state of the destruction of the Holy Roman Empire [Trager 141–142], which ended the spiritual dominance of the papacy over Europe. Humiliation and confinement of Pius VI and Pius VII (at the time of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Napoleon’s Empire in 1804–1815) and complete liquidation of the papal secular power in 1870 brought to the end the papal supremacy over the secular authorities. The scale of deprivation of power might be comprehended through transformation of that what was the vast papal empire into the Vatican – the smallest state in the world (108.7 acres) [New Catholic Encyclopedia 10:964–965; 14:555]; besides, this autonomy along with the partial restoration of the papal secular power the papacy achieved because of cooperation with fascism (the Concordat of 1929 with the fascist Italy).

 

*5* The Council of Trent (1545–1563), which, according to its participants, was guided “by the mind and spirit of St. Thomas” [Walz ref. in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:134],  declared that the “priests who are in mortal sin” still discharge their duties “by the power of the Holy Spirit” received in ordination [Decrees of Ecumenical Councils 242, 707].

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

References:

 

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). The Political Writings of St. Augustine. Ed. with an Introduction by Henri Paoluccli, including an Interpretive Analysis by Dino Bigongiari. Chicago, Gateway Editions, 1962.

Chidester, David. Christianity:  A Global History. New York:  HarperCollins, 2000.

Cicero, Marcus Tullius.  De Republica. De Legibus. With an English transl. by Clinton Walker Keyes. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London:  William Heinemann, 1943.

The Constitutions of The Society of Jesus and Their Complementary Norms:  A Complete English Translation of the Official Latin Text. Saint Louis, Montana:  The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996.

Deane, Herbert A. The Political and Social Ideas of St. Augustine. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1963.

Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Ed. Norman P. Tanner. London and Washington, DC:  Sheed & Ward, Georgetown UP, 1990.

Durant, Will.  The Story of Civilization. The Age of Faith. (A.D. 325–1300).  New York:  Simon and Schuster, 1950.

New Catholic Encyclopedia. Washington, DC:  The Catholic University of America, 1967.  17 vols.

Origen. Origen, Spirit and Fire. A Thematic Anthology of his Writings by Hans Urs von Balthasar. Trans. Rober J. Daly, S.J. Washington, D.C.:  Catholic University  of America Press, 1984.

Peters, Edward.  Inquisition.  New York:  Free Press, 1988.

Plato. Complete Works. Edited with Introduction and Notes by John M. Cooper.  Associated Editor D.S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, Indiana:  Hackett Publishing, 1997.

Runciman, Steven. The Eastern Schism:  A Study of the Papacy and the Eastern Churches During the XIth and XIIth Centuries. Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1955. New York:  AMS, 1983 (reprint).

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Summa Theologica. v. 2: Parts II–II, III. First Complete American Edition in 3 volumes literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco: Benziger Brothers, 1947. 3 vols.

Trager, James. The People’s Chronology:  A Year–by–Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. Rev. ed. A Henry Holt Reference Book. New York:  Henry Holt, 1992.

Vacandard, Elphege. The Inquisition: A Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Power of the Church. 1915.  Trans. from the 2nd edition Bertrand L. Conway. Merrick, New York:  Richwood Publishing, 1977.

The Wisdom of Stoics: Selections from Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Edited with an Introduction by Frances and Henry Hazlitt.  Lanham, Maryland:  University Press of America, 1984.

 

 

Sunday, July 5, 2009

 

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

 

The Criteria of Judgment

 

 

…And answering, the King will say to them:

Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of these,

the least of My brothers, you did it to Me…

{Matthew 25:40}

 

 

        Our Lord God and Savior reveals the destiny of mankind: in the Last Day, the Judgment Day of the world, God will come in His glory and sit on the throne of His glory – the King and Master of the Universe, all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. One part will be gathered off His right, and another part will take its place off left. Then, the King will say to those who are at the right: Come, the blessed of My Father, to inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was alien (ξενος – alien), and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then, the righteous will ask: O Lord, when did we see You and did all this to You? And answering, the King will say to them: inasmuch as you did it to one of these, the least of My brothers, you did it to Me. Then, the King will say to those at the left: go away from Me, the cursed ones. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was an alien, and you did not take Me in, I was naked, and you did not clothe Me, I was sick, and you did not visit Me, I was in prison, and you did not come to Me. And they also will ask: O Lord, when did we see You and did not minister to You? Then, answering, Lord God will say them: inasmuch as you did not do it to one of these, the least of My brothers, you did not do it to Me {Matthew 25:31–45}.

        In this text of The Gospel According to Matthew, our Lord God Jesus Christ summarizes responsibilities of a human being toward other human beings and discloses His Own criteria of judgment: the essence of everything and the key to the eternal life are love and mercy to all – all that we do to our brothers–neighbors–aliens – we do it to our God.

        In other texts of the Gospels, God summarizes responsibilities of a human being toward God:

 

– love and imitate your God – be merciful and perfect

as your Heavenly Father is merciful and perfect

– love the others as God loves you.

 

God’s beloved disciple, St. John the Apostle, wrote: God is the perfect Love without fear and suffering, and His Love, His only begotten Son – the Word–God – by love and mercy saved the world and bestowed life everlasting to all those who love God and His creations and who follow the commandments of God. These commandments are well known since the beginning of the human civilization (that is from the moment of revelation of The Ten Commandments): they are not hidden from a human being, because they are within the human heart. These commandments convey the nature of a human being created into the image and after likeness of God: Love is the source of the Law and the prophets; the one abiding in love abides in God and God dwells in him {Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:36; John 13:34–35; 14:23; 1 John 4:7–21; 2 John 6; Genesis 1:26–27; Deuteronomy 30:11–14, 19–20}.

        And I think of incompatibility of the today’s world with the world of God; I think that the judgment of so many of us became incompatible with God’s very Own criteria of judgment. Who today, in this time of economical and other difficulties, in the world divided by ideologies, false religions, hatred, social and economical inequality, wars, competition and scarcity created by men, who is able to do all or at least some of these deeds by which we all will be judged?

        Nations are in the constant manifest or hidden wars for possession with the scare resources and for advancement to the world domination.

        Societies became the cages for slaves deprived of freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom of information and kept under total surveillance. The only permissible or universal religion is idol–worship –– political, religious, social, and simply wealthy and powerful bosses of all ranks, celebrities, and other idols, which usurped the place of God, eat each other in the uninterrupted war for “absolute” power over their subjects and followers.

        The highest mission of the public education and sciences is to remove any knowledge of God from the mind of children and adults and keep them within the imaginary worlds of false and evil populated by “supermen,” monsters, diviners, murderers, criminals, and perverts.

        Some churches became the social clubs existing for convenience, socializing, and treachery: the rituals and illusions supplanted the faith; the false and evil took place of the teachings of Christ; love to children degenerated into pedophilia and perversion; corruption, extortion, and fraud are the ordinary deeds – daily life of preachers and “priests.”

        The simple mortals – those who still believe that they believe in God, donate things they do not need for themselves, close eyes do not see the wolves under the mask of sheep, reconcile themselves with criminals and thieves who took the place of public servants and sell interests of the countries, which they were elected to serve and protect, to anyone who is willing to pay. Led and stirred up by the politicians striving to get elected to the positions with the access to the power and public resources, they demand to deprive the poor and the illegal aliens from any human assistance. After all of that, they believe that they accomplished God’s commandments of love and forgiveness and fulfilled their responsibilities before those in need!

        However, even true charities as religious and social institutions do not take from each of us our main responsibility. By giving money away or sponsoring social programs, medical and other research, we still do not accomplish the main purpose of our existence – imitation of God, and as a part of it – personal participation in the acts of charity and love.

        In addition, do the medical and social researches, which are conducted now, have any right to be called humane, or, in other words, can they be defined as conducted in love to God and in love to His creations? Do the scientists and researchers love us, the simple mortals, for whose benefit they apparently work, and from whom they extract the means of their own living? The only criterion of judgment we have is the results: we have to judge everything by the fruits {Matthew 7:15–20}, as well as we will be judged by the fruits–consequences of our own deeds. So, some of the fruits of the contemporary biomedical and social sciences are

        – mutated viruses, which already began to indicate the face of coming plagues

        – poisonous drugs, which instead of healing, increase suffering by triggering other physical and mental disorders, developing drug addiction, and making death agonizing

        – sophisticated biological and other weapons of mass destruction

        – elaborated methods of enslaving, propaganda and deceit

        – improved techniques of torture and surveillance

        – modification of animals for inhumane experiments

        – perversion of animal and human nature.

        In summary, the fruits of contemporary atheistic–aristotelian–darwinian biomedical and social sciences increase immensity of suffering of humans and animals and through the animals, humans again, because we, the people, are bonded with those who we slaughter, consume, and make suffer in the illusion that their death and suffering can bring us healing and happiness and prolong our life.

        God created everything good and perfect; and what about men? Is for instance, one of the last innovations – genetically modified monkeys – perfect and good? These poor creatures are to be made for suffering from human diseases with expectations, that they would be biomedical models, which would allow finding of cure for humans. Yet, do these expectations have any basis, any foundation in the normal nature of human and normal nature of animals, which by no means should be combined or modified? The authors of this and similar experiments with modification of genes of humans, animals, insects, plants, etc. have forgotten one simple truth: creations of God do not need any modification. Only God is Creator of this world, and in this world, nothing which is not created by God, is able to bring any good. All what humans “create,” they do “with the borrowed spirit”; they are not able to create or prolong life: all unnatural experiments with life have the only end – death.

        When the researchers modify the living beings into “transgenic animals,” with which they expect to decide their problems, these unnatural creatures lose features and characteristics innate for their original nature, so any drugs developed for the modified creatures would not be beneficial for those with the original features. Besides, such modifications trigger the further perversion, which eventually will cause extermination of mankind. Last 30 years, the research institutions experimented with modification of rodent and human genes and combining human and rodent genes. Periodically they promulgated their “victories,” for instance, such as development of new powerful remedies for human diseases. Because of the media campaigns, they successfully sold their fruits to investors and consumers, and then, continued to lead humans and animals into the next, expanded circle of inferno.

        However, despite all propaganda, as it could be inferred from the current set of human diseases and overall health of mankind, after years of promises and expectations, uncountable resources spent, immeasurable suffering of animals and unsuccessful treatment of humans (for instance, those who were treated with drugs developed for mice), nothing beneficial for man was achieved. Moreover, some of researchers openly recognized that there are some differences between “evolutionary distinct” humans and mice*1* (it means that something suitable for humans is not suitable for mice, and that something suitable for mice is not suitable for humans). Yet, what about all those funds, grants, and other resources spent during all those years in which the scientific geniuses were not able to differentiate humans from rodents?

        Now, the focus shifted to primates, in particular, small monkeys, which are considered to be “closer” to humans than rodents. Consistently with the current scientific logic, the genome of jellyfish was incorporated into marmoset embryo, and the new transgenic creature is expected to prove possibility of manipulation with genetic engineering of humans. The goals also are set: to establish population of transgenic monkeys, which mimic human disorders and then, to advance in manipulated reproduction of humans*1* (presumably, for removing genes responsible for inherited disorders), although the original task seems to be creation of biomedical model for finding remedies for human diseases. Could it be that we have to face a new shift in scientific thought and we must prepare ourselves to the new paradigm, which would identify old–fashioned (normal) human reproduction without intervention of biomedical censors as the disease or disorder?

        And I think, how many lies and deceitful promises will be accepted as truth, how more resources and funds would be wasted by those who continue to push mankind into the unhealthy and dangerous game with the nature? Arising against the Law of God, they alter – in fact, pervert – the nature, yet, all that they already achieved and all that they will have are unfulfilled expectations and acceleration of irreversible processes of destruction, which are the inevitable consequence of any perversion.

         The only cure is to return to God, to live in accordance with His Law, and to follow His commandments of love: only the divine Love is able to cure the diseases of mankind. And it cannot be otherwise, because only sins of our ancestors as well as our own {Psalm 105:6}*2* are the reasons of our misery: we eat the fruits, grown by all those who lived before us as well as those we brought upon the earth. Only humans are responsible for human disasters; neither traditional victims of mankind – animals nor those who the contemporary societies sacrifice to their idols ever would be able to alleviate the burden of the Past.  Yet, if we realize that only in God is our salvation, if we begin to beg God for mercy and forgiveness, if we stop further perversion of human and animal nature, would we still be able to have the normal offspring deserving to be called human beings, not the social animals with flesh made from the mixture of rodents–viruses–swine–monkeys–jellyfish–carrots–and–whatever–else? Is anything left from human intelligence, does the human mind still carry the image of God, or it has lost it forever? Is anyone from those who sustain existence of the contemporary “science,” still able to have understanding that only God is the last hope of this perverted world of death and suffering, the world of today, into which we modified the Paradise created by God?

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-----------------------------

References:

 

*1*  Connor, Steve. “Gene Breakthrough Offers Hope of Treatment for ‘Incurable’ Parkinson’s Disease and MS.” The Independent, May 28, 2009. Online edition: http:  //  www.  Independent  .  co .  uk / news / science / ……

 

*2*  The references to the Psalms follow the Septuagint; in English editions of the Bible, the numbers are different, for instance, the Septuagint’s Psalm 105 is Psalm 106 in the King James Version.

 

 

 

Sunday, May 31, 2009

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

 

Mercy and Judgment of Men

 

…and mercy exults over judgment…

{James 2:13}

 

 

        Through the centuries, the faithful kept the understanding of the connection among three seemingly unconnected things: law of freedom, judgment, and mercy. In a few words, St. James the Apostle reveals the meaning of this connection – concise code of the essence of the law on which all judgment of man should exist: we must speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of freedom, for judgment without mercy awaits the unmerciful, and mercy exults over judgment {James 2:12–13}.

        The acts of mercy, of which the Apostle speaks, are mentioned by our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ: in the last day, every one of us – the living and the dead – will be judged by our deeds of mercy to our brethren, because whatever man does to the least of his brothers he does it to God {Matthew 25:31–45}. Until then, mercy is the highest degree of freedom obtainable by man; any earthly establishment based on slavery does not recognize mercy, and a slave by the spirit is not able to comprehend the meaning of mercy as well as the meaning of freedom. Yet, the slave does not remain in the house to the age; only the son remains to the age {John 8:34–36}.

        Within the contemporary political, social, and religious establishments, the judgment of men is based on everything connected with the power: power of political organization, power of wealth and connections, power of weapons, power of corruption, etc. Whichever apparent doctrine a particular establishment professes (for instance, tyranny openly follows the personal cult of tyrant, and “free” or “democratic” societies use the very well known old catching words such as democracy, freedom, common good, human rights, and so on), it still acts on the basis of coercion by sacrificing rights and freedom of a person (replaceable part–property of the whole) for the sake of “common good” of the establishment (or the whole – society, state, nation, ideology, religion, etc.). At the present stage of development of the Aristotelian civilization, the essence of social, political, and religious establishments with the political and social doctrines based on the Aristotelian democracy and religions based on Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology became evident, at last: these establishments inevitably undergo conversion into heathenism with such consequences, for instance, as degradation of human virtues up to transformation into their opposites.

For instance, if to define the Christian teachings with two concepts, these concepts are

1/ God’s perfect all–forgiving love and comprehensive mercy

2/ human imitation of love and mercy of God.

If to recall that the contemporary educational institutions still evaluate value–neutral sciences as normal development of human thought liberated from prejudice and glorify Nietzsche as a philosopher and one of the most influential thinkers, it could be inferred that they already reconciled themselves with the fruits. In particular, the fruits–results of the value–neutral sciences and of Nietzsche’s appeals for abolition of mercy to the weak are the Nazi concentration camps – the most efficient slaughterhouses ever created by men.

So, in an attempt to find the beginning of the road, for instance, to the atrocities of World War II, or a point of the first significant disagreement with the Christian teachings of love and mercy, can we identify the particular human thought that became the deadly seed of the unthinkable inhumanity of the Past and the Present, which demotes the contemporary civilization to the level of the heathen establishments?

The history of Christianity knows many apostates and false teachers: many wolves in the sheep clothing came to destroy the Christian communities built by the Apostles of Lord God Jesus Christ. Some of them were recognized as saints, teachers, and “fathers” of the Church, some of them were condemned as heretics, nevertheless, their assertions were woven into the Western theological thought {e.g., see False Teachers: Origen – posting for October 5, 2008 }. The works and overall legacy of Augustine of Hippo (354–430), illustrate the process: they reveal how the heresy of human imagination makes its way into the articles of official faith (see False Teachers: Augustine – posting for October 12, 2008).

The first task of any deadly attack usually is destruction of the foundation: the doctrine, concept, or system of thought, which is accepted as the absolute truth, must be perverted openly or covertly and then, gradually replaced with the new assertions, which would made possible the assimilation–conquest of the target.  Two concepts of the Christian teachings are fundamental: love to God and love to brethren. Those in the beginning were afraid of open rebellion against God – atheism and manifest blasphemy were the deadly sins even in the heathen societies. So, deterioration of the concepts of love and mercy to brethren began. One of the Augustine’s notions led to abolishment of mercy as the foundation of social and political life, while mercy is the attribute of God, the virtue with which man–child of God must imitate God {Luke 6:36be merciful as your Father is merciful}.

Augustine’s conversion from Manichaeism culminated in acceptance of heathen philosophy, especially, Plato and Aristotle’s concepts, to which the imagination of the former Manichaean attributed similarity with the Holy Scriptures. In particular, Augustine assumed that Plato could learn teachings of the Hebrew Prophets during his journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean countries [The City of God VIII, XI 3:51–55]. In the Platonist books, he discerned “the same spirit” and the same truth as he found in the Scriptures [Augustine Confessions VII. 20–21; New Catholic Encyclopedia 1:1041, 1043].

Consequently, he began to include the heathen philosophy into his theological–political–social doctrine, which the consequent generations of philosophizing theologians accepted under the name of Christian teachings. In particular, in the Augustine’s interpretation, the Aristotelian concept of superiority of the good of the society (as the whole) over the good of man (as a part–property of the whole) became justification of inhumanity and coercion by any means in the name of the good of the Christian society.

Augustine’s logic and inner system of values might be inferred from the texts in which he considers the moral responsibility of a judge who has to torture a man to prove his guilt or innocence; he evaluates the risk that the innocent man would prefer to admit false accusation better than to suffer the pain of torture or – as soon as men “often die under torture or as a consequence of torture” – the allegations would not be proved and the crime would not be punished in accordance with the society’s laws. In such cases, the judge “has both tortured an innocent man in order to learn the truth and put him to death without learning it," that is in his ignorance, the judge committed “many great evils.” Then, Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo and Catholic saint, asks the question: would a wise judge perform his duty, therefore, would he accept the risk to sin by torturing and putting to death an innocent man, and replies: “Clearly he will... for to desert his duty to society he counts abominable,” besides, his ignorance and sins are “determined by the binding claim of society,” which needs his service [The City of God XIX.vi VI:145–147].      

Augustine’s text allows conclusion: for the Bishop of Hippo, the due punishment is the greater concern than death of innocent man. As soon as the service to the society justifies ignorance, inhumanity, and such crimes as torture and execution of innocent men, it also means that innocent man has no value for the society; therefore, Augustine re–iterates the Aristotelian concept of man–property–part of the polis–community–whole and makes it acceptable for the Christian establishments. The Augustine’s wise judge concept contradicts the commandments of God and Christian teachings; it eliminates love to the neighbor as the main principle of arrangement of the Christian society. Consequently, the Augustine’s society has the “binding claim” on “many great evils” including a possibility of torturous death of an innocent man. Such “binding claim” on “many great evils” incorporated the main patterns of political and social arrangements of the heathen communities/states into contemporary societies. 

Before evaluation of the ultimate meaning of Augustine’s vision of judge, it should be recalled that for man, from the beginning, God, righteousness, and justice are inseparable. God is just and right; God is “just in all His ways,” and He will bring justice to all nations – to Gentiles and to His Own people. God does not exclude anyone of His creations from justice and mercy; in His perfection, He sends rain and makes sun rise for the righteous and for the wicked, and the Christians must imitate His perfection and His mercy {Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 144:17; Matthew 5:45–48; 12:18–21; Luke 6:35–37; John 5:22; 9:39; Revelation 15:3–4}.

Therefore, the very meaning of justice (which by the definition excludes any false, evil, injustice) is not consistent with an idea of inflicting any harm to innocent man only because of suspicion or lack of evidence. Therefore, Augustine’s “wise judge” contradicts the very foundation of Christian teachings: it is perversion of the concept of justice – divine as well as human.

Each written or spoken word contains the seed of the possible Future, which might be realized even without knowledge or approval of man who uttered or wrote the word. Perhaps that is why at the end of times, everyone will realize the grave responsibility for own words {Matthew 12:36–37}. The Augustine’s wise judge concept along with Compelle Intrare (“compel them to come in”– the doctrine, which asserts the right of the church to use the power of coercion) became the channel, the point of entry through which inhumanity penetrated the Western theological thought, the papal church’s policies, the daily life of the societies under the power of papal church of Rome; they culminated in justification of the Inquisition.

 Indeed, if Augustine (the saint, theologian, and the Bishop who presumably has the authority to speak on behalf of God, or at least on behalf of his establishment) justifies death of innocent man with the good of the establishment, the simple mortals simply are obliged to follow directives of the saint and discard the commandments of God along with the human ideals. Furthermore, in resemblance of the Aristotelian concept of the dominance of the state/society as the whole over a citizen as its part, the Augustine’s answer grown up into the concept of supremacy of responsibilities before the papal hierarchy, which the popes equated with the Church of Rome, over the person’s good. Then, the idea of absolution of the sins of inhumanity if they were committed for the good of the community

– prepared the basis for the pope’s decision to apply torture as an interrogative technique for the suspected heretics

– asserted the duty of the inquisitors to discard any mercy to the heretics

– justified use of the criminal methods for the service of the papacy and inspired the Jesuit Marianna’s doctrine of murder of the kings, which, evidently, became the part of the policies of the papal hierarchy (e.g., assassination of French kings: in 1589 – Henry III by Dominican monk, in 1610 – Henry IV who defeated the Catholic League in 1590 and who was excommunicated by the pope Gregory XIV in 1591 by a Catholic extremist [Grun 262; Lacouture 362; Trager 204, 205,218].

Almost sixteen centuries later, another Catholic illustrated the ultimate version of the Augustine’s wise judge concept: for the sake of the good of the establishment, in this case – the Great Germany, the rebellion must be stopped even if innocent beings have to be killed. In December 1942, during discussion of the anti–guerrilla operations, Adolf Hitler explained to his subordinates the goal and the “supreme duty” to annihilate the opposition and restore the order at the occupied eastern territories by any means: everything that helps to wipe out the military gangs “will ultimately be considered justified.” For instance, if the guerillas cover themselves with women and children, the German troops must fire regardless and set fire in houses where the guerillas barricade themselves in along with women and children. The Führer’s explanation was supplemented with the secret directive, which sanctioned use of “any and unlimited means, even against women and children” including 1/ burning down of villages, from which the guerrillas came from or where they found shelter and food, along with all their population and 2/ extermination of families of guerrillas as the reprisal [Hitler Directs… 5–7; Note 5 at page 5].

Later, the executioners of the referred above and other Hitler’s directives were tried by the Nuremberg Tribunal and condemned as the war criminals. Yet, nobody ever asserted the responsibility of Augustine for his concept of the “wise judge” who does not hesitate to condemn to death the innocent for the sake of the establishment he serves and the consequent inferences from his writings, for instance, such as the “wise” inquisitors, the St. Bartholomew Night’s massacre, and military criminals of all following centuries who covered their crimes against humanity with the concept of good of their establishments.

Thomas Aquinas (1225?–1274), Dominican monk and a main theologian of the papal church of Rome came eight centuries after Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. When Aquinas developed the ideal role model of the executor of the papal laws, he elaborates the Augustine’s vision of the wise judge who tortures and puts to death the innocent man, yet, does not sin against humanity because “the binding claim of society” justifies his ignorance [Augustine The City of God XIX.vi VI:145–147]. The following Aquinas’ assertions summarize his vision of the executors of the legal justice (1 through 4).

1/ The judge who pursues the common good must form his opinion concerning the public matters according to the knowledge he obtains through “the public judicial procedure”; this knowledge is the knowledge of “a public person,” not his own knowledge. Even if a judge knows that a man is innocent and cannot find the motive to acquit him or to send the case to the superior, the judge does not sin when he sentences the innocent man to death according to presented evidences. Those who presented the false evidence are guilty in the death of the innocent man [Summa Theologica II–II Q.64 a6 ro3; Q.67 a3].

This assertion was very useful for the Inquisition: Aquinas not only relieved pain of conscience (if any) of his brethren–inquisitors; he separated the “public person” who serves the common good from a person (an ordinary human being) and introduced the idea of supremacy of the public figure and the public figure’s knowledge over an ordinary human being and truth – even if the public knowledge is false, it still dominates over the knowledge of a person. This Aquinas’ idea also had found embodiment in the oppressive structures of the totalitarian regimes.

2/ There is no place for the judge’s mercy in the matters determined by the human or divine laws; the merciful judge inflicts “injury on the community” when he spares the sinners who must be punished for the sake of common good [Summa Theologica II–II Q.67 a4 ro1, ro3]. This conclusion is consistent with the Aquinas’ assertions through which he substituted legal justice for the righteousness:

– legal justice, as the cardinal virtue, transcends mercy, liberality, and all other virtues

– the common good transcends the individual good of one person. 

3/ the Church cannot imitate God in His mercy to the relapsed sinners [Summa Theologica II–II Q.11 a4 ro2]

In fact, Aquinas fights against Lord God Jesus Christ Who named imitation of the mercy of God–Father as the condition of becoming the sons of God {Luke 6:35–36} that is the highest good and the highest reward of man. The “saint” and “main theologian” of the papal church makes own correction of the God’s words; he asserts that if mercy is not consisted with the struggle for the absolute power, legal justice of “the wise judge” must overcome the mercy of God. Moreover, even the Church – God’s establishment and God’s possession – is deprived of necessity to imitate (that is follow and obey) God; she must submit herself to the authority of “the common good.”

Legal justice is the property–attribute–subsystem of any state or secular system even if such a system is inhuman and oppressive.

For example,

–– according to its own concept of legal justice, the bolshevist–communist state of the post–1917 Russia exterminated, imprisoned and persecuted aristocrats, merchants, priests, educators, scientists, wealthy peasants, followers of any religion, and all the others who did not recognize communism as the only truth and the cult of personalities of such criminals as Lenin and Stalin as the only religion: all atrocities were in compliance with the communist version of legal justice

–– in Nazi Germany, humiliation and discrimination of people because of their nationality and race were legalized by the Nazis’ breeding laws according to the Nazis’ very own vision of legal justice. Therefore, the presentation of necessity of the state as the cardinal moral virtue might result in elevating of evil into the rank of the state virtues (while the assertion of any necessity as supreme over mercy contradicts the Christian teachings).

4/ When the judge has to punish sin of rebellion against the Church, the manifest rebellion itself “stands instead of accuser” [Summa Theologica II–II Q.67 a3]. The method of self–accusation facilitated the Inquisition’s judicial procedure and saved time of the inquisitors and other members of the papal hierarchy by releasing them from such formalities as proof of guilt of the accused. Such a practice was not new in the time of Aquinas: in the same way, the Sanhedrin condemned Lord God Jesus Christ and handed Him over to the civil authorities for execution {Matthew 26:59–66; Mark 14:55–64; John 18:28–40}.

With the elaboration of Augustine’s concepts of the common good, justice, and judge, Aquinas arranged the theoretical foundation of the Inquisition, which had the objective to exterminate without any mercy all those who threatened the stability of the papal hierarchy, while the papacy attempted to keep appearance of the Christian Church. Although the Aquinas’ concepts of the common good and justice are covered with the wordings from the Scriptures, they contradict the main commandment of God – love to God and to one another – and substitute inexorable Nemesis of the ancient pagans for love and mercy of God.

Another Aquinas’ text supplements the Augustine’s wise judge concept with the notion of “correct conscience,” which perfectly binds against commands of “the superior.” With the reference to God as to the “Lord of death and life,” Aquinas connects the slaying of innocent men with the will of God and declares that the subject has no right to discuss the judgment of superior. If the subject assassinated innocent man, he is not guilty because he obeyed the superior’s judgment – in particular, the judge who sentenced this innocent man to death [Summa Theologica II–II Q.64 a6].

History convinces that any inhumane theoretical concept introduced into the policies of any establishment culminates in the greater evil that the author could ever foresee. Initially, Aquinas falsified the Gospels and misinterpreted the word of God with the intention to justify the death penalty for heretics, sinners, and schismatics; he asserted impossibility for the Church to imitate God in His mercy to relapsed sinners and he demanded the mandatory death penalty for relapsed heretics. Then, that what Aquinas named “justice” degenerated into ultimate inhumanity.

For instance, initially according to the decision of the Second Lateral Council (1139), the inquisitors should not be present during the torture of the accused. Then, the pope Alexander IV in 1260 and the pope Urban IV in 1262 permitted the inquisitors “to assist at the questionings under torture” and to grant “dispensation” to one another from “the irregularity” in the chamber of torture. In elaboration of the Augustine’s wise judge concept, the main papal theologian Aquinas defined irregularity as the sinless act of taking human life, e.g., “in the case of a judge who justly condemns a man to death” [Summa Theologica II–II Q.64 a7 ro3]. Yet, later, the term “irregularity” began to designate death of the accused, which is the result of tortures applied by the inquisitors without any “wise judge” participation. The inquisitors began to torture their victims themselves under the assertion that when secular judges put heretics to torture, it produces unwanted publicity or even complaints of the civil authorities concerning inhumane severity of tortures used by the inquisitors [Durant 782; Rule 57]. Thus, for the members of the papal hierarchy, the very fact of inflicting death by torturing the alleged heretics became neither sin nor crime; it was just the “irregularity.”

        Before conclusion concerning overall significance of the Augustine’s wise judge concept supplemented by Aquinas, the following events should be considered. These events disclose the meaning and significance of the law of inviolability of human life – one of the main laws, which God established for the created by Him Universe:

        1/ the creation of man in the image and after likeness of God, for dominion over the earth and other creations of God {Genesis 1:26–28}

        2/ the God’s words about the blood of Abel, which was crying to Him from the earth, about the curse, which God imposed on Cain who killed his brother Abel {Genesis 4:8–12}, and God’s explanation that all the people are the brethren {Matthew 23:8}

        3/ the promise of God: “I will make each man to answer for the blood of his brother. Whoever has shed the blood of man, by man his own blood will be shed: for man was created in the image of God” {Genesis 9:5–6}

        4/ the commandment of God – “you shall not kill” {Exodus 20:13}

        5/ God has shown the way how man who killed another man should be treated {Genesis 4:8–15}: he must be cast away from the society, barred from any possibility to inflict any harm to the others, and let him live until his death comes to him

        6/ the God’s reference to the human body as the temple {John 2:19–21}, which St. Paul the Apostle repeats, when he refers to the human body as the holy temple of God, where the Spirit of God dwells, with the warning that God will destroy those who destroyed the temple of God – a human being {1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19}

        7/ despite all significance, which the king David’s wars had for ancient Israel, God rejected David as the builder of the temple because he had shed too much blood on the earth: his son – the man of peace – was chosen to build the temple for worship to the name of God {1 Chronicles 22:8–10}.

        The summary of the referred above texts means that anyone, who intentionally harms, murders, executes a human being, commits the crime against God by the attempt to destroy the image of God and by the attempt to interfere with the plans of God: any murder and capital punishment of a human being – even justified with all human laws, all logic, and all wisdom of men – is the crime against God–Creator. When one human being destroys the image and likeness of God – another human being, the assassin commits the unnatural act inconsistent with the main law of the Universe – the act, which creates the singularity of evil and activates the laws of disintegration {cf. in: Genesis 9:5–6; Matthew 26:52; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17}. The history of mankind had proved the basic axiom–law of inviolability of human life: whoever killed a human being (a person, group, society, or state) had faced own inevitable destruction. Historically, the death penalty was the most convenient tool widely used to rule the societies, states and empires by fear and coercion; however, no one establishment, which applied death as the means to resolve its problems, survived long enough to disprove the promise of God that He would held responsible anyone who shed the blood of man because He created man in His image {Genesis 9:5–6}.

        If the state assumes the authority over man’s life and death, the state opposes God, because only God–Creator has the authority over His creation’s life and death. If the Church condemns her children to death, such church contradicts the Law of God; therefore, she already was transformed into an ordinary social or political oppressive structure and ceased to be the Christian Church, because the very essence of the Christian Church is incompatible with murder, punishment, or inflicting of any kind of physical and spiritual suffering.

        Consequently, the meaning of good in the states, nations, societies, which practice the capital punishment, is transformed into the opposite: the death becomes more attractive than life, and the word “freedom” camouflages slavery. Human justice is not all–knowing and perfect: many innocent people were executed for the crimes they never committed. If the state’s legal system has any flaw, which makes possible to execute innocent man, the ruling group of the state sooner or later, yet inevitably, will employ the death penalty as the political weapon for termination of the opponents, different–minded, or simply unfit persons (for instance, does legalized – sanctioned by the state – euthanasia for the aged and terminally ill people differ from the death penalty?). It means that within the establishment, which discards mercy as the main virtue and the main component of its foundation, the justice degenerates into injustice and law is transformed into lawlessness. Although separation of the state and the church should never be overturned, all states must accept the main doctrine of Christianity – mercy – as their very own foundation and make inviolability of human life the main law.

         And I think that if Augustine could foresee the consequences of his “wise judge” concept, for instance, such as Inquisition’s chambers of torture and then, admission of a possibility of torture and execution of the innocent man into the legal justice of the societies which in the beginning identified themselves as the “Christian societies,” what he would do?

        If anyone of us could foresee the consequences of our own judgment, would we ever judge the others?

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-------------------------

 

References:

 

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). The City of God Against the Pagans. With an English translation by: v. 2 – William McAllen Green, David S. Wiesen, Philip Levine, Eva Matthews Sanford, and William Chase Greene. The Loeb Classical Library. London:  William Heinemann; Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard University Press, 1960–1968. 7 vols.

 

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). The Confessions. Trans. R.S. Pine–Coffin. University of Chicago. Encyclopædia Britannica, 1990.

 

Durant, Will.  The Story of Civilization. The Age of Faith. (A.D. 325–1300).  New York:  Simon and Schuster, 1950.

 

Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History:  a Horizontal Linkage of Peoples and Events. Based on Werner Stein's KULTURFAHRPLAN. 3rd revised ed. New York:  Simon & Schuster and Touchstone, 1991.

 

Hitler Directs His War: The Secret Records of his Daily Military Conferences. Selected and Annotated by Felix Gilbert, from the Manuscript in the University of Pennsylvania Library. New York:  Octagon Books, 1982.

 

Lacouture, Jean. Jesuits:  A Multibiography.  Trans. Jeremy Leggatt. Washington, D.C.:  Counterpoint, 1995.

 

New Catholic Encyclopedia. Washington, DC:  The Catholic University of America, 1967.  17 vols.

 

Rule, William H. The Brand of Dominic, or Inquisition at Rome “Supreme and Universal.”  New York:  Carlton & Phillips, 1853.

 

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Summa Theologica. v. 2: Parts II–II, III. First Complete American Edition in 3 volumes literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco: Benziger Brothers, 1947. 3 vols.

 

Trager, James. The People’s Chronology:  A Year–by–Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. Rev. ed. A Henry Holt Reference Book. New York:  Henry Holt, 1992.

 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

The Lesson in Mercy

 

 

…And going out, Jesus saw a great crowd and was filled with pity toward them,

and He healed those of them who were ill …

{Matthew 14:14}

 

 

 He was John the Baptist, the greatest from the prophets sent to the chosen nation; he was the voice crying in the wilderness and heralding the coming glory of God and salvation; he was the messenger in the spirit and power of Eliu; he was sent to prepare the way of God. He witnessed coming of the Light and called all people to repent of their sins and iniquities, so they would be prepared for the meeting with God. He baptized humans with the water, into repentance, and he promised the coming baptism with the Fire, the Holy Spirit of God, into the eternal life. God said of His servant: among those born by a woman no prophet is greater than John the Baptist {Isaiah 40:3–5; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1–12; 17:10–13; Luke 1:13–17; 7:24–28; John 1:6–8, 19–34; concerning Eliu the Prophet – 3 Kings 17:1–24; 18:1–46; 19:1–20; 4 Kings 1–11}.

Yet, the ruler of Israel beheaded John the Baptist because of promise to a girl who danced before him and his guests: the greatest prophet was murdered for the sake of vanity and lust {Matthew 14:3–11}.

After beheading of John the Baptist, Lord Jesus Christ left the place where He was: He took the boat and went into the desert place to be alone. Yet, the great crowd followed Him by the shore. When He saw the people, He had pity on them: He went out and healed those who were ill {Matthew 14:12–14}.

The Gospels’ texts describe the actions of God; they do not reveal His thoughts and His evaluation of the committed evil. The only one who knew Him in the wilderness of the world populated by the living dead, His forerunner and messenger – the greatest of the prophets born by a woman, was beheaded by the adulterous and corrupted ruler. Anyone in a position of power would attempt to fight back and to punish even the lesser crime. God is almighty and omnipotent: He created the universe and He can destroy it by one thought, so, what is one criminal – a miserable particle of lifeless dust without the future – if all nations are counted almost as nothing, just as a drop from a bucket {Isaiah 40:15}? Yet, God does not avenge execution of His servant immediately: the evil will be annihilated in the allotted time {Acts 12:21–23}; He leaves and goes into the desert place to be alone. However, in the place, which He left, there are the people who follow Him, seek His help, and beg for His mercy. After they found Him, He goes out and heals those who are ill.

Although human mind is not capable of understanding the ways of God, there is the profound lesson behind the brief description of the actions of God. The Gospels teach those who desire to follow God and to imitate Him {Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:36}: the true power is not in retaliation; the true power is in mercy, in the ability to take into consideration misery and illness of those without reason and even those without hope to obtain understanding.

Lord God Jesus Christ came to His Own, into the world, which He created and which lives by Him, yet, His Own did not receive Him; people from the chosen nation wanted to kill Hum because they became the children of arch–evil and He had no place in them. He was alone among the moving animated dust – the living dead. Yet, by His mercy, some of this dust – those chosen by Him {John 6:44–45; 15:16} – received the Light and Fire, were re–created into His image, and were born as the children of God into the life everlasting. However, the more mercy He had toward His creations the more His creations wanted to kill Him; even His disciples left Him in the hour of completion {John 1:1–5, 9–13; 3:3–7; 8:37–59; 10:23–40; 11:25–26, 47–53; 13:18, 21, 37–38; 18:17–27; Matthew 26:31–49, 56; Mark 14:27–42, 50, 60–72; Luke 9:60; 12:49; 1 John 3:1–2; 5:1}.

Since, similarly to Him, His followers have to pass through the hostile and dark world, similarly to Him, they must be the light of this world, and similarly to Him, they must serve the others {Matthew 5:14–16; John 13:13–17}. Although this world now is left by God to its destiny {Luke 13:35; John 8:21}, because it became a place of corruption, evil, and desolation, although this world is filled with those

who despise and reject truth,

who need neither God nor memory of Him,

who defy truth and pervert the Christian teachings,

who are ready to betray friends and to assassinate the different–minded,

who have chosen darkness, ignorance, and death,

 and who rejected wisdom, light, and life of the Word {John 8:12}, ––-

still, there is the work to do, and there always is someone who needs help

{Matthew 5:43–48; Luke 6:20–23, 27–38}.

        The lesson in mercy is clear: it is not the business of man to judge the others; the business of man is to assist anyone – whoever this anyone would be, good or evil, and to do any good, which would make existence less miserable and darkness less intimidating.

        And I think that many of us can find the similarity between own destiny and the earthly life of our Lord and Savior: there are multitudes of those who were and are misunderstood, betrayed, left alone in the time of trouble, illness, or death…

        Multitudes of hungry, poor, illiterate, homeless, rejected, thrown away human beings are the living proof of illness of this world of our sins and iniquities – the evil world, which rejects (or, perhaps, became unable to receive) the mercy of God – Creator and Savior…

 

 

 

Sunday, November 30, 2009

 

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

 

The Forgiveness of Debts

 

 

…And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors…

{Matthew 6:12}

 

 

When the disciples asked Lord God Jesus Christ to teach them how to pray, the Lord gave them the prayer to God the Father {Luke 11:1–4; Matthew 6:9–13}. 

Among other life–sustaining things, we ask for forgiveness of our debts – that is our sins, in the same manner as we forgive those who are our debtors. Who are those referred to as “our debtors”? They are those who have sinned against us, those who we hold guilty in our mind: who insulted us, deprived us of our possession, told us lies instead of truth, persecuted, deceived, and wronged us by any possible way. They are those who inflicted harm or murdered our relatives and friends, and those who threatened our life, well–being, and health. There are many ways and many roads leading to sin; they differ by a degree of deprivation of good and by intensity of suffering inflicted upon the others.

In general, the essence of sin is the failure to create or to cognize good. Sin also is creation of evil instead of good: everything and anything that contains the seed of evil, that might become evil or leads to evil is sin. Each time when we fail to create good, we sin before God: we become debtors who fail to fulfill the obligations before God and bring Him “the fruits of the harvest”: our efforts to be adequate to the world founded upon and living by the Almighty Love.

 Our God is the Absolute Good and the Almighty Love; He is perfect and merciful. Love of God is the life–creating and life–sustaining power. Consequently, the greatest sin, which leads to death, is hatred to the others. Those who have hatred to the others dwell in death: they are murderers, yet any murderer does not have the life everlasting within {Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:35–36; 1 John 2:4–5; 3:14–15; 4:7–8, 16, 20; 5:16–17 }.  Still, we have to forgive our enemies – those who hate us, who anticipate our death, and who are happy when we suffer. There is no other way for those who identify themselves as
“the Christians,” and it cannot be, because our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ asked for forgiveness of those who crucified Him {Luke 23:33–34}.

        And I think that the measure of true greatness is the ability to forgive those who sinned against us, because by forgiving the others, we imitate our God {1John 2:6}, therefore, become His children and prove our readiness for His kingdom…

 

 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

 

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

 

The True and Last Judgment

 

 

 

…The one hearing My word and believing in Him Who sent Me,

has the life everlasting and does not come into judgment,

but has passed out of death into life…

{John 5:24}

 

 

The essence of human civilization, as well as the meaning of evolution, is the search for the knowledge of good and freedom from sin and death: man the beast must be transformed into man the child of God. The evolution began with preparation of the human heart/mind: it had to perceive the Law and to cognize own true nature. Then, it had to accommodate the Word of God, to be transformed into the dwelling–temple of the Holy Spirit, and to be ready for the eternal kingdom – the new world where God will dwell with His creations. By the Word–God the world was created, exists now, will be ended and created anew. The Word–God comes from God the Father, fulfills the will of God the Father, heals the people and saves them from destructions. God promised to make the new covenant with His creations: to give His laws on their mind, and to write them on their hearts – all of them will know God, and God will not remember their sins. The accomplishment of this covenant is possible only if the Word–God comes into the human mind–heart. The Holy Scriptures are all about the Word–God – Λογος, the life and the light of men. Those who remove themselves from God, those who do not have the Word within, they will not come to life: they will perish {Psalm 72:27; 106:20; 118:11; Isaiah 55:11; 66:22; Jeremiah 38:31–36 (in English translations Jeremiah 31:31–36); John 1:1–4; 4:34; 5:38–40; 6:45; 8:42; 14:15–17, 21, 23; 1 John 5:7; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; Hebrews 10:16–17; Revelation 21:1–5}.

The teachings of Lord Jesus Christ provide the life–giving knowledge {The Gospels}. God said that those who hear His Word, who believe in Him Who sent His Word into the world for salvation and for the remission of sins, and who observe His commandments – those have the life everlasting. Moreover, they do not come into judgment: they have passed out of death into life. With these words, God revealed the main condition of forgiveness and salvation: the knowledge of God should become the essence of human heart and mind. It means that the human mind must perceive and accept the Word of God, accomplish the will of God, and to embody the words of God into the actuality of own existence, so the image and likeness of God would again become the nature of man. Only those who carry the Word–God, which revealed God–Creator in the Son of man, only those are able to live forever: by the breath of God man became the living soul, by the Word–God, man enters the eternal world of God {Genesis 2:7; John 5:21, 24; 6:44–47; 10:27–30; 11:25–26; 14:9–10; 17:26; 1 John 1:1–3; 5:11–13; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22, 45–49, 57; 2 Corinthians 4:6}.

Gospel According to John conveys the words of Lord Jesus Christ. These words were said in the beginning and then, in the end, after the glorious entrance in Jerusalem when the people greeted the Lord as the King of Israel and the crowd witnessed resurrection of Lazarus. In those days – the last days before the crucifixion – the Lord almost completed His mission. He revealed Himself to the world, and He gave the knowledge of God to observe, to fulfill, to live: those who believe in Him, who accept Him and observe His commandments, would have the life everlasting. The people also heard that the Son of God did not come to judge world – He came to save the world. Those who do not accept His teachings, they will be judged by the Word – Λογος {John 5:22–30; 12:12–18, 44–50}.

In other Gospel’s texts, the Lord refers to Himself as to the Resurrection and the Life: the one who believes in Him, he shall live even if he dies, because he has the life everlasting within. The will of God the Father is that nothing that belongs to the Word shall be lost, but everything shall be resurrected in the last day {John 6:39–40, 47; 11:25–26}.

Other texts of the Holy Scriptures portray the Last Day of the world – the Judgment Day, when all the nations will weep, when those who rejected evil will inherit the new world, and those who carried evil will share the destiny of the evil. They also reveal the power of the Word–God – Λογος is seen as the sharp sword, with which God may wipe out the nations and smite the earth {Isaiah 11:4; Revelation 1:16; 19:11–16; 20:11–15; 21:1–8; 22:14–15}.

  So, how to reconcile the horrifying visions of the Last Judgment and the words of God that

– the one who has the Word within does not come into judgment, but passed out of death into life

– God does not judge; the Word that He spoke would judge men?

 The answer is that the presence of the Word–God within the human heart–mind is the true and last Judgment. The Word – Λογος is the ultimate Law that carries life and annihilates evil and sin. If the essence of mind is evil and the Word–God has no dwelling in it, such a mind already passed into death.

 And I think that life, indeed, is permanent Armageddon: each moment might be decisive in the never–ending battle with evil; each decision might be the step either into death or into life; each piece of new knowledge might lead either to accomplishment of good or to destruction of evil. The life is only chance

either overwhelm the mighty realm of evil, into which all of us are born,
and become the child of God destined to the eternity

or

succumb to evil, slide down, into darkness of irresponsibility and ignorance,
and degenerate into the beast – the animated dust destined to oblivion.

 

Logically, the summary of all the battles would define the ultimate destiny of man. Yet, by the mercy of our Lord God and Savior, even one last thought of acceptance and faith, one last prayer might free a human being from life–long service to evil as it happened with the criminal who was crucified with Lord Jesus Christ – the Son of God and the Son of man {Luke 23:32–43}. 

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

*1* Concerning different aspects of Judgment see the following postings:

 

The Prodigal Son and Judgment of Man – March 16, 2008 – Archive_Page_3

The Criteria of Judgment – May 31, 2009 – above

Mercy and Judgment of Men – June 7, 2009 – above

The Evolution of Fear – July 5, 2009  – above.

 

 

 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

 

 

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

Copyright (c)2010 Sunday's Thoughts & JustHost.com