Anyone who is familiar with my writing at The Automatic Earth will know that I am no stranger to uber-doom and uber-gloom. The crises we humans face as a species are unprecedented in history, and, no, that is not an over-statement. History is full of natural disasters, slavery, bloody conflict, mindless terrorism, civil wars, international wars, genocides and the general human depravity that accounts for many hours in many days of our lives.
Yet, now is a time unlike any other. We exist at a scale of global civilization in which the consequences of all depraved acts of human beings have the potential to metastasize like a cancer throughout all segments of humanity. Perhaps the most well-known example of this fact after 2007 is the global financial crisis – a handful of greedy and ruthless bankers exploited the system, issuing reckless loans, packaging them into mind-boggling products and deceiving others into investing with them, with the aid of corrupt public officials.
The exorbitant salaries and bonuses of these bankers and high-level corporate executives came at the expense of the entire global economy, and every saver, worker, taxpayer, retiree, etc. that was unfortunate enough to find themselves existing within it. We have yet to see the full extent of economic, political and social destruction that such depravity will heave on humanity. And that’s just one example of a systemic crisis that threatens to consume us all… there are many, many others.
So what if I told you that in this year of 2012 – typically associated with some sort of apocalyptic transformation in Western culture – was the year in which I realized just how GOOD we all have it? I ended 2011 worrying about just how badly people will end up suffering over the next year, but I started 2012 figuring out just how blessed the human species has been from the very beginning.
Before we get to the heart of this particular post, I want anyone who considers themselves entrenched in the “Doom & Gloom” crowd, yet very skeptical of evangelical Christianity, to simply keep an open mind for now and follow along with the spiritual logic. I ask those people to put just a little bit of trust in a blogger such as myself, because I promise that we will eventually talk about the trustworthiness of the Bible and Christianity in future posts, along with many other questions atheists or agnostics tend to have.
So now we return to the question of why I was blessed enough to discover victory over Doom this year. It is true that humans are quite capable of creating the conditions for Doom all by themselves, through their freely chosen decisions, but let’s also keep in mind the original author of Doom – the Devil (Satan). When humans were first created and placed in the Garden of Eden, it was Satan who tempted them into giving up innocence and righteousness for the experience of evil. It was Satan who started this whole ball of Doom & Gloom rolling for generations upon generations to come.
Yet, it was also Satan who was immediately judged for this evil transgression in direct conflict with God – he was perhaps even the first part of creation in the Universe who experienced the guaranteed wrath of his Creator. It was in the beautiful and peaceful Garden of Eden where humankind was created, and where humankind first witnessed its first magnificent picture of Christ our Savior. The following bolded verse is what many scholars call the “protoevangelium”, or the “first Gospel” in Latin:
14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3)
In other words, God promised to save humanity from the Devil and his Doom right from the start – and, if you are familiar with Biblical prophecy, you know that God always keeps His promises. The seed of Eve here is none other than Jesus Christ, born to the virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem. He was sent to Earth in human form by the Father some 2000 years ago to bruise the head of Satan, and give us all the gracious opportunity to be free from a life of bondage to sin; a life filled with nothing but an unending sense of Doom.
If the seed of Eve was Christ, through whom all can be saved, then some may be wondering who the seed of Satan was. Did Satan actually have angelic children, and is there actually meant to be “enmity” between those children and ours? No, that’s not what was meant. The real answer to this question can be found easily enough in the New Testament, perhaps most starkly in Jesus’ admonition to the Pharisees who refused to heed His wisdom.
42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8)
That is who is meant by the seed of Satan – those who abhor God’s truth and crave selfish, material desires over all else. It is those who would lie, cheat, steal and murder to hold on to their own fleeting notions of wealth and power. These are the politicians, bankers and corporate executives who have manufactured systemic crises for personal gain; the people who have taken all of humanity hostage and held it for ransom, while trying to tell us that it is all for our own good.
When I reflect on the passage above, I can’t help but remember the infamous remark of Jean-Claude Juncker, current Prime Minister of Luxembourg and President of the Euro Group (position of political responsibility over the currency union) – “when it gets serious, you have to lie”. If that’s what he is willing to say out in public, then you can probably guess what people like him are willing to say or do in private. It may sound harsh to call these people the children of the Devil, but I really can’t think of any better way to describe them.
Jesus knew exactly what he was referring to when he called them out as such. In fact, it is arguable that it was Christ Himself who orated the protoevangelium back in the Garden of Eden, sentencing Satan to his final judgment and promising the faithful among us that we would never again have to worry about all of the Doom & Gloom that is heaped on us by ministers of evil. There will no doubt continue to be Earthly pain and suffering, and there is no excuse to sit back and watch the evil progress with any smug sense of satisfaction.
While the Doom may have disappeared 2000 years ago with the fulfillment of Christ’s promise through Jesus, the work of grace is not finished. There still remains enmity between the children of Satan and the children of God, and it is our holy imperative to bring as many of the latter as possible into the folds of our righteous family. When you start to feel like all hope has been lost for those around you, just remember that no one is immune from the infinite grace of God… not even Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon or the families of the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers.