Tuesday, November 11, 2014

America as a Type of Antichrist

Father Seraphim Rose has said,

     The very nature of Antichrist, who is to be the last great world ruler and the last great opponent of Christ, is to be anti Christ—and "anti" means not merely "against," but also "in imitation of, in place of." The Antichrist, as all the Holy Fathers say in their writings about him, is to be someone who imitates Christ, that is, tires to fool people by looking as though he is Christ come back to earth. Therefore, if one has a very vague notion of Christianity or reads the Scriptures purely from one's own opinions (and one's opinions come from the air, and the air is not Christian now, but anti Christian), then one will come to very anti Christian conclusions. Seeing the figure of Antichrist, one will be fooled into thinking that it is Christ.

Source:  ‘Signs of the Times’, http://www.desertwisdom.org/dttw/truth/signs-of-the-times.html, speech given in Redding, Ca., Summer 1980, accessed 11 Nov. 2014

Most Americans would not want to admit it, but this is what has happened here:  The ‘Idea of America’ together with ‘holy men’ like Lincoln and Reagan have taken the place of Jesus Christ the Son of God as our Lord and Savior and King and God, and of His Church.

David Gordon gives a good account of this in his review of David Gelernter’s chilling book Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion.

David Gelernter starts with an undoubted fact and uses it to construct a bizarre fantasy. The origins of America have been profoundly religious; in particular, the Puritans affected American thought in pervasive fashion. Their influence long persisted their demise as a distinct movement in the nineteenth century. Thus, historians who view the Founding Fathers as creatures of a secular Enlightenment are badly mistaken.

Unfortunately, this useful theme is not enough for Gelernter. He argues that Americans, using Puritan thought as a starting point, have constructed a new religion. Abraham Lincoln ranks foremost as a developer of the new faith and as an idolatrous object of its worship. He does not stand alone: Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan are accorded lesser, but very honorable, places in the new pantheon. Franklin Roosevelt belongs among the exalted also, though he suffers from a flaw. He did not take America into war by persuasion but waited until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor left no alternative. The new religion, Gelernter holds, is a great spiritual achievement. We ought to bow down and worship according to its tenets. In doing so, we need not abandon Christianity or Judaism. Quite the contrary, the new religion is fully compatible with the ancient faiths.

As Gelernter rightly notes, “the Bible and Puritanism molded America as a potter molds wet clay. Some secularists don’t like to face this fact… The Puritans who dominated those first English settlements, who did so much to shape this nation and its faith, were fiercely, fanatically dedicated to their God” (p. 9).

But did not the Founding Fathers break radically with the Puritans? Gelernter is not convinced that they did: True enough, John Locke’s thought lies behind the Declaration of Independence. But the “Bible was very important to Locke’s writing. Whenever he based his arguments on history and human experience, the Bible was his main source” (p. 29).

Had Gelernter expanded and documented his claims, he could have written a valuable book. Instead, he takes off into the empyrean. The Puritans, it seems, began to create a new religion. They often spoke of America as the New Israel: like the Jews of old, they were now God’s chosen people. “In sum: passionate belief in the American community’s closeness to God and its obligation to God and the whole world — Americans as a new chosen people, America as a new promised land — that is American Zionism” (p. 69, emphasis removed).

Gelernter fails to ask a fundamental question: when the Puritans and later writers spoke of Americans as a chosen people, how literally did they intend their remarks? Granted the Biblical orthodoxy of the Puritans, would it not have been the rankest heresy if they meant their comments as other than metaphors? What in the doctrines of any of the major Christian churches authorizes one to place America and its people above other nations? Is the matter any different for Judaism?

Amazingly, Gelernter denies the obvious point that the “religion” he expounds contradicts the teachings of orthodox Judaism and Christianity, in which particular modern nations occupy no special place. “The American Religion is a biblical faith. In effect, it is an extension or expression of Judaism or Christianity. It is also separate from those faiths; you don’t have to believe in the Bible or Judaism or Christianity to believe in America or the American Religion” (p. 4). Gelernter does not tell us how an “extension” of a faith can radically change its content. Perhaps this eminent Yale professor has so capacious a mind that he can readily embrace clashing principles.

But what if this objection is right? A defender of Gelernter, if not our author himself, might respond that his new religion still remains a live option for those who do not embrace the undiluted teachings of the old faiths. This response, though, invites a further objection. Why should we think that American Zionism, with its accompanying American Creed, is true? What is the evidence that America enjoys special Divine favor? If one need not believe in a “standard” God to accept Americanism, what exactly must adherents of the new faith accept as the Power behind America’s special place?

Evidence? What is that to Gelernter? From him, blind faith is enough. “The religious idea called ‘America’ is religious insofar as it tells an absolute truth about the meaning of human life, a truth that we must take on faith. (‘We hold these truths to be self-evident,’ says the Declaration of Independence. No proofs are supplied)” (p. 2, emphasis omitted). Gelernter confuses recognizing something as self-evident with blindly accepting a controversial position. Surely even he cannot seriously think that the extravagances of “American Zionism” are self-evident. If not, our question returns: why believe it?

The new religion is even odder than I have so far presented. Gelernter elevates Abraham Lincoln to Mount Olympus. Lincoln “transformed Americanism into a full-fledged, mature religion — not by causing America to embody its noble ideals but by teaching the nation that it ought to embody them. He changed Americanism by interpreting those ideals — liberty, equality, and democracy — not as words on parchment but as marching orders” (p. 105). Further, in “the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Lincoln produced the two greatest sacred narratives in the English language (outside of the English Bible itself)” (p. 106).

 . . .

This demonic strain of nationalism, described well by Richard Gamble in another review of Gelernter’s book

seems to be quite old in the Union.  In 1880 a vision, if it happened, has many marks of a demonic delusion - strange sensations of the body, beings of beauty and light manifesting themselves to one who was not cleansed of the passions (Washington was well-known for his bad temper), and so on.

But it helps lay more of the foundation for America as the messianic nation, the world’s new savior.

Perhaps more accurate than Gelernter’s, Bill O’Reilly’s, Lincoln’s, etc. vision of America is William Blake’s.  In his poem ‘America a Prophecy’ (1793), the plague of the tradition-destroying, restraint-hating American Creed is shown crossing the Atlantic and ravaging Europe.  Some relevant lines:

Am14.16; E56|        In the flames stood & view'd the armies drawn out in the sky
Am14.17; E56|        Washington Franklin Paine & Warren Allen Gates & Lee:
Am14.18; E56|        And heard the voice of Albions Angel give the thunderous command:
Am14.19; E56|        His plagues obedient to his voice flew forth out of their clouds
Am14.20; E56|        Falling upon America, as a storm to cut them off
Am14.21; E56|        As a blight cuts the tender corn when it begins to appear.
Am14.22; E56|        Dark is the heaven above, & cold & hard the earth beneath;
Am14.23; E56|        And as a plague wind fill'd with insects cuts off man & beast;
Am14.24; E56|        And as a sea o'erwhelms a land in the day of an earthquake;   t163

Am14.25; E56|        Fury! rage! madness! in a wind swept through America
Am14.26; E56|        And the red flames of Orc that folded roaring fierce around
Am14.27; E56|        The angry shores, and the fierce rushing of th'inhabitants together:
Am14.28; E56|        The citizens of New-York close their books & lock their chests;
Am14.29; E56|        The mariners of Boston drop their anchors and unlade;
Am14.30; E56|        The scribe of Pensylvania casts his pen upon the earth;
Am14.31; E56|        The builder of Virginia throws his hammer down in fear.

Am14.32; E56|        Then had America been lost, o'erwhelm'd by the Atlantic,
Am14.33; E56|        And Earth had lost another portion of the infinite,
Am14.34; E56|        But all rush together in the night in wrath and raging fire
Am14.35; E56|        The red fires rag'd! the plagues recoil'd! then rolld they back with fury

Am15.1;   E56|        On Albions Angels; then the Pestilence began in streaks of red
Am15.2;   E56|        Across the limbs of Albions Guardian, the spotted plague smote Bristols

Am15.3;   E57|        And the Leprosy Londons Spirit, sickening all their bands:
Am15.4;   E57|        The millions sent up a howl of anguish and threw off their hammerd mail,
Am15.5;   E57|        And cast their swords & spears to earth, & stood a naked multitude.
Am15.6;   E57|        Albions Guardian writhed in torment on the eastern sky
Am15.7;   E57|        Pale quivring toward the brain his glimmering eyes, teeth chattering
Am15.8;   E57|        Howling & shuddering his legs quivering; convuls'd each muscle & sinew
Am15.9;   E57|        Sick'ning lay Londons Guardian, and the ancient miter'd York
Am15.10; E57|        Their heads on snowy hills, their ensigns sick'ning in the sky

Am15.11; E57|        The plagues creep on the burning winds driven by flames of Orc,
Am15.12; E57|        And by the fierce Americans rushing together in the night
Am15.13; E57|        Driven o'er the Guardians of Ireland and Scotland and Wales
Am15.14; E57|        They spotted with plagues forsook the frontiers & their banners seard
Am15.15; E57|        With fires of hell, deform their ancient heavens with shame & woe.
Am15.16; E57|        Hid in his caves the Bard of Albion felt the enormous plagues.
Am15.17; E57|        And a cowl of flesh grew o'er his head & scales on his back & ribs;
Am15.18; E57|        And rough with black scales all his Angels fright their ancient heavens
Am15.19; E57|        The doors of marriage are open, and the Priests in rustling scales
Am15.20; E57|        Rush into reptile coverts, hiding from the fires of Orc,
Am15.21; E57|        That play around the golden roofsin wreaths of fierce desire,
Am15.22; E57|        Leaving the females naked and glowing with the lusts of youth

Am15.23; E57|        For the female spirits of the dead pining in bonds of religion;
Am15.24; E57|        Run from their fetters reddening, & in long drawn arches sitting:
Am15.25; E57|        They feel the nerves of youth renew, and desires of ancient times,
Am15.26; E57|        Over their pale limbs as a vine when the tender grape appears

Am16.1;   E57|        Over the hills, the vales, the cities, rage the red flames fierce;
Am16.2;   E57|        The Heavens melted from north to south; and Urizen who sat
Am16.3;   E57|        Above all heavens in thunders wrap'd, emerg'd his leprous head
Am16.4;   E57|        From out his holy shrine, his tears in deluge piteous
Am16.5;   E57|        Falling into the deep sublime! flag'd with grey-brow'd snows
Am16.6;   E57|        And thunderous visages, his jealous wings wav'd over the deep;
Am16.7;   E57|        Weeping in dismal howling woe he dark descended howling
Am16.8;   E57|        Around the smitten bands, clothed in tears & trembling shudd'ring cold.
Am16.9;   E57|        His stored snows he poured forth, and his icy magazines
Am16.10; E57|        He open'd on the deep, and on the Atlantic sea white shiv'ring.
Am16.11; E57|        Leprous his limbs, all over white, and hoary was his visage.
Am16.12; E57|        Weeping in dismal howlings before the stern Americans
Am16.13; E57|        Hiding the Demon red with clouds & cold mists from the earth;
Am16.14; E57|        Till Angels & weak men twelve years should govern o'er the strong:
Am16.15; E57|        And then their end should come, when France reciev'd the Demons light.

Am16.16; E57|        Stiff shudderings shook the heav'nly thrones! France Spain & Italy,
Am16.17; E57|        In terror view'd the bands of Albion, and the ancient Guardians
Am16.18; E57|        Fainting upon the elements, smitten with their own plagues
Am16.19; E58|        They slow advance to shut the five gates of their law-built heaven
Am16.20; E58|        Filled with blasting fancies and with mildews of despair
Am16.21; E58|        With fierce disease and lust, unable to stem the fires of Orc;
Am16.22; E58|        But the five gates were consum'd, & their bolts and hinges melted
Am16.23; E58|        And the fierce flames burnt round the heavens, & round the abodes of men

Am16.24; E58|        FINIS

This has come true not just in Europe but in many other countries of the world as well.

Another sign of America as a type, and precursor, of Antichrist:  Their unbounded enthusiasm for antichristian Israel and the rebuilding of the Temple.  Returning to Father Seraphim, he says,

    A few years ago a book was printed in English which has become a fantastic bestseller for a religious book. It has sold over ten million copies in America. It's called The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, a Protestant Evangelical in Texas. In a rather superficial style he gives his interpretation of the signs of the times. He believes it's the last times we are living in now. He believes that everywhere around us there are being fulfilled these signs which our Lord talked about. If you read this book, you find that sometimes he gets something more or less correct according to our Orthodox understanding, sometimes he is totally off, and sometimes he is partly wrong, partly right. It's as though he's just guessing, because he reads the Scripture according to his own understanding. He has no basic Orthodox Christian knowledge, no background in the true knowledge of the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers. Therefore, if you read this book seriously, you will find that you become very confused. You don't know what to believe any more. He talks, for example, about a millennium which is supposed to come before the end of the world. He talks about the rapture, when Christians are supposedly gathered up into the heavens before the end of the world, and then watch how the people suffer down below. He talks about the building of the Temple in Jerusalem as though this is a good thing, as thought this is preparing for Christ's coming.

    If you read such books as this (there are many other books like it; this one happens to be a bestseller because the author caught the imagination of people just at one particular time), and if you take them all as truth, you will find that instead of recognizing Christ—which is the whole reason for our understanding about the signs of the times—you will be accepting Antichrist.

    Take, for example, the very question of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is true, according to Orthodox prophecies, that the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. If you look at people like Hal Lindsey, or even the Fundamentalist Carl McIntire, they are also talking about the building of the Temple, but they're talking about it as though we are building it in order for Christ to come back and reign over the world for a thousand years. What they are talking about is the coming of Antichrist. The millennium, according to the Protestant interpretation, as being a special thousand year reign at the end of the world, is actually the reign of Antichrist. In fact, there have already been people who have arisen and proclaimed their thousand year kingdom which is going to last until the end of the world. The last one was Adolf Hitler. This is based upon the same kind of chiliastic idea: that is, interpreting the millennium in a worldly sense. The actual thousand years of the Apocalypse is the life in the Church which is now, that is, the life of Grace; and anyone who lives it sees that, compared to the people outside, it is indeed heaven on earth. But this is not the end. This is our preparation for the true kingdom of God which has no end.

Now comes talk from Israel herself that the Temple’s rebuilding is a definite goal:

Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel says Israel will eventually replace Al-Aqsa Mosque with a Jewish temple.

According to the Middle East Monitor, Ariel told Israeli radio station Kol Berama - controlled by the Jewish extremist movement Shas - the status quo could not continue at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as it "was built in the place of the holiest place for Israel".

Ariel added that the construction of a third Jewish temple at the site is the primary demand of the Torah "as it is at the forefront of Jewish salvation", the report from Middle East Monitor said.

 . . .

Source:  IBTimes, ‘Israel: Al-Aqsa Mosque 'Will be Replaced by Jewish Temple' Claims Housing Minister Uri Ariel’, http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/74997.htm, posted 8 Nov. 2014, accessed 11 Nov. 2014

Far too many Southern evangelicals, brainwashed by the satanic global Elite’s propaganda regarding the rapture, the millennium, the Temple, and much else besides, will no doubt shout their approval.

It would be a grave mistake, but apart from the light found only in the Orthodox Church, Southrons cannot be expected to have the discernment needed in this matter.  We implore our Southern brothers and sisters again to turn away from the mistakes of our Protestant and Catholic forebears and embrace the fulness of the Faith in the Orthodox Church while there is still time.

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