About the Name of this blog

This blog's title refers to a Dani fable recounted by Robert Gardner. The Dani live in the highlands of New Guinea, and at the the time he studied them, they lived in one of the only remaining areas in the world un-colonized by Europeans.

The Dani, who Gardner identifies only as a "Mountain People," in the film "The Dead Birds," have a myth that states there was once a great race between a bird and a snake to determine the lives of human beings. The question that would be decided in this race was, "Should men shed their skins and live forever like snakes, or die like birds?" According to the mythology, the bird won the race, and therefore man must die.

In the spirit of ethnographic analysis, this blog will examine myth, society, culture and architecture, and hopefully examine issues that make us human. As with any ethnography, some of the analysis may be uncomfortable to read, some of it may challenge your preconceptions about the world, but hopefully, all of it will enlighten and inform.

Friday, November 4, 2011

To Everything There Is A Season


The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Until the mid 1900's, you had many Protestants believing the Pope was the Anti-Christ.  Today, Evangelicals are up in arms that the Pope has called for the appointment of the Anti-Christ.

And no, this isn't about the fact that the Vatican hosted a conference on sub-nuclear physics and the "god particle."  I'm sure that in weeks to come, they will be raked over the coals for entertaining the possibility that Quantum Physics might explain the origins of the universe.

No, right now the problem is something else the Church is doing.

It seems that the Catholic Church, concerned about the rolling economic crisis currently tearing countries and governments apart, is calling for a global public commission to overhaul the world's economy, and put reforms in place to keep this from happening again.

Jake Jones, of the examiner.com put it this way in his article:  (I am quoting it at length because of the head-smacking nature of it)

Now at this point, if you are an Evangelical Christian, you are probably scratching your head and saying to yourself, “have they lost their mind”?

The Book of Revelation, specifically chapter 13 tells us all we need to know about the consequences of this kind of a “Global” structure that would define our everyday lives, what we do, and who we answer to.

Revelation Chapter 13:17-18 says (KJV):
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

So, whether the Vatican realizes it or not, they have called for and formation of global powers that tell us how to live, i.e. “Buy and Sell”!  This document also approves of the establishment of the Anti-Christ or at very least the beginning of the process.  An appalling idea by biblical standards to most Christians, Evangelical or otherwise.

What strikes most Christians that I talk to about this is that it would seem that the Vatican just doesn’t understand what it has done.  Do the folks in the Vatican actually understand the Book of Revelation?  I’m sure they do, but why come up with a contradictory document that makes people believe otherwise.  Do they understand the consequences of what they are proposing?  One might say "no they don't".

Current events when compared with biblical prophecy are falling more and more into line with one another.  All one needs to do is read the newspapers, view on-line news sources, watch the TV news, and then check the Bible!  Your eyes will be opened."

First, the Anti-Christ is NOT mentioned at all in Revelations.  The entire concept of the Anti-Christ derives from a Midrashic reading of the Bible called Dispensationalism.  The enemy named in Revelations is the Beast with Seven Heads.  He has been associated with the Anti-Christ, but there is no mention of the Anti-Christ in St. John's Apocalypse.  (Plus, the Beast, which can in lay terms be described as the Anti-Christ, was probably Nero.  I've discussed this before.)

Jones asks "(Does) the Vatican actually understand the Book of Revelation?"  I'd say better than you if you are stating that Revelations talks about the Anti-Christ.  Not to mention that the Catholic Church has had two millennia of Scholar Monks parsing every word of the Bible for every possible interpretation, and Evangelicals have only been at it for less than two centuries, I would place my bets on the Catholic Church having a better interpretation of the bible.

I have my differences with the Catholic Church.  I find some of their actions bizarre, as documented in yesterday's blog post, but in this case, I think the Church is trying to act in humanity's best interests.  (Generally, I do think they try to do the right thing in that they truly do attempt to help the poor, the disadvantaged,  the downtrodden.) This proposal may not work, but at least someone is trying to make a proposal to solve a genuine crisis.

I do not understand how trying to make the world a better place has become evil.  I have blogged about this in the past, and I still do not understand.  Are the Evangelicals so in bed with big business, that they pull the Anti-Christ card when someone suggests regulating the Banksters?

And by the way, as I have sad before, stop throwing around the term Anti-Christ every five minutes.  It keep throwing fuel on the fire.

Some Christians desperately want the world to end.  They want to be sucked up into Heaven by God's Divine Vacuum Cleaner so that they can watch the rest of us Burn.  (That's what the Rapture is, God's Chosen will get avoid Armageddon.)

The problem is that this can become self-fulfilling prophecy.  If people keep praying for the Apocalypse, they may just get it.

Given how much the Evangelical Community prays every day for the Rapture and the End Times, I'd think they'd welcome this development with open arms.  

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