A Simple Truth

If you watch the TV evangelists, especially of late, you may note a decided tilt toward attempting to explain why capitalism is, somehow, “God” inspired. That’s right, for the televangelists “God” practically endorses capitalism. Well, at least that is the trend among American televangelists as they continue on their crusade to advance their end-times scenarios and paint the USA into the picture in any way possible. That also, by the way, means that Communism and Socialism are of the devil.

But, let’s be perfectly frank here. The real underlying issue with these televangelists is NOT whether “God” endorses a particular economic system or not. It is that people like these televangelists cannot function in non-capitalist societies. As they seek to export American Christianity to the ends of the earth they see well how difficult it is for their gospel to be propagated in countries where the economic system is not at least based on capitalism.

Have you ever wondered why there are so few evangelical Christian types in countries such as Russia and China? This is the reason. Try as they might, evangelical types in these countries have a very difficult time even surviving exactly because they can’t depend on their followers there to give them the massive amounts of money needed to prop up their ministries.

What that ultimately means is that it is us, you (not I, since I do not contribute) in Western nations, mainly the USA, who prop up these wayward ministries in far away lands (where they are allowed) with your hard-earned money.

Actually, there is a certain perverse logic to all of this. After all, if the USA were somehow to cease as a capitalist nation then this system would fall completely apart. So, in a way, it has to be “God” endorsed, doesn’t it? If American Christians were somehow to cease giving to all of these ministries, both here and abroad, then their evangelistic efforts would also have to cease. No money; no efforts.

It has always (and continues even to this day to) fascinated me that people will give to televangelists who regularly spout such nonsense that one would think that most anyone could recognize the absurdities contained therein. Frankly, you don’t have to be a theologian to spot the multiple errors that you will hear from them practically every time you bother to listen to them. But, as we know from psychology, self-delusion is a powerful thing and it will induce a person to do absurd things that he/she would never do otherwise.

Lately, televangelist Jim Bakker has been touting his new “prayer chapel”, which is being constructed (if we can believe him) mainly via the kind hearts and gifts of others who are contributing money, time, effort, and even (in one case) a block of silver, for it. But it doesn’t take a genius to spot trouble here already. Bakker has begun to expound on how he has been told by multiple people that he should not go ahead with construction of this chapel – that, somehow, it isn’t the right time or something. I, personally, think there is more to it than that, but I won’t speculate on that at this time except to state that I can’t see how this ministry isn’t floundering completely by now (and maybe it is). But I will state this; when he mentioned that they would also be building chalets so that people could pay for a place to stay while they were up on the mountain praying at said chapel I got a deep feeling that what was about to happen was very much akin to that which happened with Heritage USA. It sickened me.

The bottom line here is that these charlatans never really learn from the error of their ways. Once a charlatan; always a charlatan. If you send him (or any of the others) money, valuables, or provide any service for this (or any other ministry with its end-times scenario) and it fails, whether because of incompetence or some other reason, you only have yourself and Jim Bakker (or whoever heads said ministry) to blame. Don’t blame “God”. They will blame “God” somehow. Just listen and you will hear it. But don’t be sucked into it yourself.

Proto-On Death and Sacrifice

Life cannot continue without death. The ancients recognized this, and it is one of the reasons why they made sacrifice, especially animal sacrifice. The greater the animal, the greater the sacrifice. A sacrifice was either given completely to a deity or to the earth herself; or it was partially consumed by humans. Either way, it continued to provide life by way of its death and the cycle continued. Therefore, death was not only recognized as the beginning, it was shown to be the beginning by way of the action of sacrifice.

The monotheist has always striven to short-circuit the process and to blind people to this understanding. The ancient Hebrews did it by making sacrifice an appropriation, a substitute, for human frailties and sins. The Christians did it by claiming Jesus as the final sacrifice. Islam, generally, practices no sacrifice at all.

Today Christian fanatics are determined that they will live to be taken up in a rapture (since we are in the end-times, according to them) and, thus, never die, again short-circuiting the process. Indeed, they are just haughty enough to believe that they somehow deserve to avoid death, by virtue of being the last generation, while everyone else in all of history (including Jesus himself) has had to taste death! But, as each one of these modern-day fanatical “prophets” die, one by one, history will record that fact, and the cycle will still continue as it always has. Even so, I still actually hope that Jack Van Impe really is the “final prophet”, as he claims to be, because, frankly, we don’t need any more like him (or the rest of them, for that matter). Indeed, if endings are what they all seek, then may this be the final prophetic age.