Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal



Thursday, May 25, 2017

It may be even more horrifying this time



Guinness is a senior fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics in England. Last Friday he gave an address during the opening session of Wilberforce Weekend 2017 hosted by the Colson Center at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just a few miles outside of Washington, D.C., declaring that "we are in the midst of the gravest crisis of the American republic since the Civil War" and added that the world is witnessing the "decline of Western civilization [being] crucially shaped by the Gospel."

He went on to observe that much of the deepest divisions in American society are occurring between the "heirs and allies of 1776 and the heirs and allies of 1789," or the American and French revolutions.


"You can see how many of the movements, such as multiculturalism, political correctness, the sexual revolution, they go back, not to the ideas of the American Revolution undergirded by the Jewish and Christian faiths, but to 1789 and Enlightenment ideas which lead in a very, very different direction," he said. "Which brings us to where we are tonight."

.... "America today, in many places, is sitting on the fence," he added. "Although the elites — recently in the White House, many in the universities, many in the press and media, many of them unwittingly are espousing philosophies closer to the French Revolution than to the American Revolution and they will end in disaster."

... "The church is [at] the low ebb of America today. ... The scandal of the American church, unlike almost every European country except Poland, is that in this country, the church is a huge majority, yet culturally, uninfluential."

Guinness explained that even though the Jewish and LGBT communities, for example, are only a small percentages of the American population, they tend to "punch way above their weight with cultural influence."

"And we who are a huge majority as followers of Jesus are not the salt and the light that our Lord called us to be," Guinness asserted. "So yes, we speak and I hope we all speak out with courage and with clarity and with compassion, as in the words of our [Wilberforce Weekend] ideals. But at the same time, we have to say, 'Lord, restore this nation, yes. But Lord, revive Your church. And Lord, in Your mercy, revive me.'


*******

Historian Arnold Toynbee wrote of the "Tower-of-Babel" cult in revolutionary France:

In the Revolution a sinister ancient religion which had been dormant suddenly re-erupted with elemental violence. This revenant was the fanatical worship of collective human power. The Terror was only the first of the mass-crimes that have been committed ... in this evil religion's name.

France on the eve of revolution frighteningly resembled America today, as well as pre-Nazi Germany. Historian Otto Scott writes:

French intellectuals, middle and upper classes had grown ashamed of their country, history, and institutions. Such a phenomenon had never before arisen in any nation or race throughout the long history of mankind, and deserved more attention than it received. [Otto Scott, Robespierre: The Fool as Revolutionary, p.6, The Reformer Library, New York, 1974.]

A great loosening began as the country slowly came apart.... For the first time since the decadent days of Rome, pornography emerged from its caves and circulated openly in a civilized nation. The Catholic Church in France was intellectually gutted; the priests lost their faith with the congregations. Strange cults appeared; sex rituals, black magic, Satanism. Perversion became not only acceptable but fashionable. Homosexuals held public balls to which heterosexuals were invited and the police guarded their carriages.... The air grew thick with plans to restructure and reconstruct all traditional French society and institutions. [ibid, p.8.]

Scott writes that "...the heirs of the Enlightenment of the late eighteenth century ... launched the first revolution in all history against the idea of Christianity, and Christianity's God." [ibid, preface to the second edition.] Christianity stood in the way of the progressive elites' Utopia on earth. The destruction of Christian values resulted in the destruction of cultural norms of behavior. Christianity held the nation together, and now it would unravel.

So it is in America. In France the target was the church, the monarchy and the aristocracy. In America it is Christianity and everything White. The federal government has undertaken the promotion of homosexuality and abortion which are crimes against nature and nature's God. The aim is always to destroy the cultural cohesiveness and bring a revolution. The press plays its major subversive role. Scott writes of France:

The press ... was the spearhead, font, and fuel for these discussions ... the journals were mixtures of politics and smut. They admired agitators extravagantly and never discussed the Church without mention of scandal nor the government without criticism. They relied heavily on tales of sin in high places and high-handed outrages of the Court; no name, however highly placed and illustrious, escaped. [ibid, p. 8.]

Through its journals and pamphlets ... it could distort, color, plead, argue, lie, report, and misreport the information upon which the balance of the realm depended. In recent years it had used this weapon with unscrupulous force to arouse and direct the mobs as well as the intelligentsia. [ibid, p. 40.]

Such ideas never originate with the working class. They emanate from power and privilege. The French Revolution in fact began with the aristocracy. Hitler's National Socialism and the Sixties counter-culture began on university campuses. Sixteenth century reformer Martin Luther warned that the universities could become "great gates of hell." He was correct; they did.

In his book Slouching Towards Gomorrah, Judge Robert Bork writes, "It is important to understand what the Sixties turmoil was about, for the youth culture that became manifest then is the modern liberal culture of today."

During the Sixties, American culture and institutions were assaulted by leftist student radicals who committed vandalism and arson, seized administrative offices, assaulted and terrorized faculty, and disrupted classes. Terrorist groups such as the Black Panthers and the Weathermen flourished on campuses coast to coast. Protests were characterized by a dark, revolutionary nihilism and totalitarian behavior. Drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, hedonism, and hatred of law and order became rampant in the Sixties. The social fabric was coming apart.

Bork writes regarding this time frame:

University establishments collapsed under moral, and sometimes physical, assault, and often publicly accepted the Left's indictments of themselves and of America. In this, Yale and Cornell were entirely typical. Scenes such as these, and worse, were played out on scores of campuses. Almost nowhere did the faculty and the administration stand firm. [Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, HarperCollins, 1996.]

Nihilism is a philosophy of extreme skepticism that rejects all distinctions of moral and religious values and sees the destruction of all existing moral and social institutions as necessary for future improvement. The Enlightenment softened up the French intelligentsia until they became guilty about everything in their own culture and gave themselves up to nihilistic sophisms. Modern liberalism is a reincarnation of the Enlightenment, and has done the same to America's upper crust.

British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard observes:

The American elite, I am afraid to say, is almost beyond redemption. Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush -- sophistry washed down with Chardonnay. [Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton, p.366, Regnery Publishing, 1997.]

As Judge Bork observes, many of the student radicals graduated and even pursued advanced degrees at the institutions they tried to burn down. Instead of entering business or the conventional professions they joined "the chattering class," the army of talkers that fill the ranks of influence. They now comprise the bureaucratic elite in America. They are teachers and university professors. They occupy positions in the major news organizations, journalism, foundation staffs, and public policy organizations. They run Hollywood. They gravitate to any position where opinions may be influenced. These are now called "coat and tie" radicals who are not attacking the social order on the streets, but are destroying it from within.

Pre-revolutionary France resembled America in other ways. Even though the government was almost bankrupt, the nation's economy was booming, the result of borrowed capital. A popular national lottery was created. The finance minister theorized that the appearance of prosperity would create the real thing. France was Europe's leading military power as well as eminent in science and the arts. The future seemed to glitter with promise. Concerning the national mood Scott writes:

Socially the trend [of equality] was promising.... a sort of leveling took place ... [as] the ideas of Rousseau suffused the land.... A season of peace seemed to envelop the land. It was as though the misty and dreamlike ideas of Rousseau had, for the nonce, taken tangible form.... The fact was that the situation was grim beyond anyone's knowledge. [Scott, Robespierre p.23]

The resulting political changes during the French Revolution were not brought about by the majority of hungry peasants. As in America today, Frenchmen were a herd of cattle controlled by a minority of leftist radicals. Scott writes:

Paris, like America, was divided into the politically active and the passive, between the many confused, disorganized, and abstracted, and the highly concentrated, organized, and intent few. [Scott, Robespierre, p.153.]

As the old order in France collapsed, Frenchmen freely exercised sexual as well as political freedom. The old morality was considered part of the bondage of the past. Churches were invaded and turned into temples of debauchery. Fornication was committed in the aisles. Homosexuality, bestiality, and every other perversion imaginable flourished. Christianity and all its symbols were outlawed while witchcraft, black magic, and demonic worship were widespread. Indescribable disorder resulted. The Christian age was dead. The Age of Reason had arrived.

Immoral sexual practices always bring darker passions in their wake. In ancient times the worship of Baal, the god of sensuality, was followed by the worship of Molech, the god of human sacrifice. The mobs of France were seized by a demonic blood-lust, causing them to commit atrocities that are beyond description, all in the name of "Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood."

On July 14, a Parisian mob stormed the Bastille prison. This fateful day marks the beginning of the Revolution, as well as a macabre orgy of human butchery. Several unfortunate soldiers and the Bastille's governor were slaughtered, their heads severed, stuck on pikes, and paraded through town. Other body parts followed--torsos, hands, genitals, and entrails were bobbing along the street on pikes. Later members of the Swiss Guard were torn apart, their internal organs used for batting practice. The crowds who witnessed it cheered. These scenes would be repeated countless times throughout the revolution, scenes of unthinkable barbarity committed by humans stripped of every decent impulse.

The number of prisons in Paris increased from nine to twelve. Two-hundred thousand prisoners languished in France, most accused of vague crimes against the Revolution. The work of execution proceeded too slowly. The government, fearful of an outbreak, hired goons to slaughter inmates in what is known as the September Massacres. Men and women prisoners were shoved into the courtyard where they were butchered. More grisly parades began.

The infamous Reign of Terror began when the "Law of the Suspects" was passed by the Assembly. It condemned to death "all who by their actions, by their connections, speakings, writings, have shown themselves to be ... enemies of freedom." France was turning into one large, grisly graveyard. Of this cult of death David Chilton writes:

The Reign of Terror, that eminently logical application of the Enlightenment claimed 40,000 victims in 1793-1794, but that was only the beginning. For, as the Revolution progressed, its leaders calmly calculated the number of citizens who would have to be exterminated, laying elaborate plans for the methodical liquidation of two thirds of the population -- more than sixteen million people (see Nesta Webster, The French Revolution; A Study in Democracy, 1919, pp. 423-429) [David Chilton, Essay on James H. Billington's Fire in the Minds of Men ((part 1). 23:25), Institute for Christian Economics 1984.]

The ruling elite in Washington and elsewhere might want to consider the fate of their counterparts in Revolutionary France. Those that led at the beginning of the Revolution were later beheaded in the guillotine they set up for others as they were replaced by other, more radical elements who later met a similar fate. Even the Duke of Orleans, the wealthy patron of the Revolution who supported and financed its subversive activities during the monarchy, literally lost his head. The blade of the guillotine fell without prejudice.

There is a group of Americans that the Washington elite mockingly refer to as "the black helicopter crowd." While these Americans may be wrong about the mission of dark unmarked helicopters, they are not mistaken in their fear of history repeating itself. Their anxiety is justified as this century has produced more horror in the name of Utopia than the two centuries preceding it.

More may be written about the parallels between America today and pre-revolutionary France. And while there are many parallels, there are also some notable differences. Doubtless there will be differences in the final outcome as well, but the immutable results of progressive philosophy will be the same.

In preparation for the gathering storm, deepen your relationship with Christ and His church. On a practical level, especially if you are responsible for the welfare of others who are defenseless, arm yourself (while you still can.)

It may be even more horrifying this time.

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