How the Doom & Gloom Disappeared with the Protoevangelium

Image

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)

Image

Jean-Claude Juncker (left) and George W. Bush (right)

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.

An Introduction to ‘Picturing Christ’

Image

Welcome to all those who have found their way to this website. I feel truly blessed by the Holy Spirit to have been given the opportunity and the means to engage in dialogue, discussion, debate, etc. with all of you truth seekers out there. So let’s just  jump right into the purpose of this particular blog among the multitude of others floating about in cyberspace.

Most people are familiar with the peculiar phenomenon in which our time on this Earth tends to move faster and faster as we grow in maturity, sometimes leaving us frustrated and bewildered at how little we have accomplished since the day of our birth until now. I am one of those people, and I find myself in bewilderment many days, but, more than that, I now find myself motivated to really use the gifts of God that have been given to me.

Some of you may be familiar with my writings on economics, finance, culture, psychology, etc. on a website called The Automatic Earth (TAE). If not, and if you are at all interested in those topics, I highly recommend you visit the website and take a look around. The founders of TAE go by the names of Ilargi and Stoneleigh, and they have A LOT of information, insight and wisdom to offer to their readers. While I may continue to drop a post or two on TAE from time to time, my primary focus has definitely shifted from here on out.

The fact is that, if you are reading this website, you are probably very concerned with the state of the world some 2000 years after the earth-shattering events in the holy lands of Israel, just as I and many others are very concerned as well. That is what we spent most of our time investigating and excavating in TAE for quite a few years (I joined in the Fall of 2010, yet the site was founded in late 2008). The only problem was… we never spent any time talking about the implications and universal relevance of that earth-shattering event referenced above.

I soon found that the endless discussions and debates about excessive debt overhangs, hyperinflation, hyperdeflation, the value of silver/gold, the value of the U.S. dollar, the corruption and criminality of politicians, officials and bankers, the issues of resource scarcity and environmental destruction, etc., etc., were lacking a solid foundation from which to interpret their significance to the “big picture”.

That’s what we all crave, right? The Big Picture – the infinitely wise astronaut’s view of planet Earth from outer space, with all of its beauties and blemishes included – and I believe that many of us crave that now more than we ever have before. So this is where the Picturing Christ comes in to offer  a bit of comfort, but mostly a healthy dose of truth. Let me first go into a quick little aside about me, personally (perhaps one of the few times you will hear much of that from me).

I was raised by parents who were born in India and are practicing Hindus. Although I was born in the states, I received a decent amount of exposure to prayer and study in Hindu Temples. Anyone with similar experiences could probably tell you that the emphasis here is much more on ascetic practices and community events, rather than any form of deep theology or evangelism of any sort. It was a pleasant and calming experience most of the time, but it didn’t even come close to satisfying my craving for answers to the biggest possible questions of the Universe, life and humanity.

After that, the rest of my life was spent wavering being atheism and agnosticism, mostly sidelining them both for the worldly pursuits of personal pleasure and intellectual development. This path culminated in my entrance to George Mason Law School in Arlington, VA, where my analytic skills were most certainly refined, but my skepticism of the world’s values and methods only grew exponentially larger. Many of the problems of the world were wrapped up into this one set of institutions.

We had the excessive extraction of emotional and financial wealth from naive customers of “education” (along with the life-long burdens of unpayable debts), disgustingly casual levels of ethical compromise, self-absorbed pursuits of all sorts and a bitter atmosphere of unloving competition and social stratification. That was truly the last straw for me – there was no way I could see myself following my “friends” into the practice of American law without selling my soul to the devil (although my ideas about the latter two concepts were still very unrefined).

To support myself without relying on too much dependence from anyone else, including my parents, I devoted much of my time to the skillful game of poker – a veritable paradise for those who think analytically/logically and want to accumulate money. However, that has also left a HUGE hole in my life as a fundamentally spiritual, rather than material, being. So that all brings me to the last year of my life, which has resulted in the creation of this website in September of 2012.

What exactly is a “Picture of Christ”, you may ask. The answer is that it is truly what it sounds like – it is ways in which world events and historical wisdom have all pointed towards the astounding truth in Christ. I have read about world history, I have studied the works of some great philosophers, I have investigated some of the best-developed theories of our age and I have tried to make sense of all our current circumstances with these things. Yet, when I read the Bible and reflect on it, I am suddenly hit with the realization that ALL of these seemingly disparate issues are providentially encapsulated in the words of the Biblical prophets, and, of course, our loving Messiah.

Judeo-Christian theology and spirituality is truly a “theory of everything”. In my humble opinion, it makes “quantum loop gravity, “string theory” and countless other attempts to model all of reality in the scientific departments of academia look like child’s play; a fundamental desire of fallen men to discover truth outside of the only place where real truth is found – in God and His word. At this point, I would like the readers to refer back to the picture that introduced this post.

The heart encompasses a familiar monogram for those who have ever shopped for Christian apparel or trinkets – N.O.T.W. – which stands for “Not of the World”. Obviously, I am not really concerned here with any brand names or catchy artistic representations (which is not to diminish their importance in spreading the Good News). What I am concerned with is the message that true love only comes through Christ, the creator of our world and the author of all that is holy and good.

Christ was not sent into our world in human form to reinforce the values of the fallen world, but rather to completely deny them and admonish his followers to do the same. It is a message that is equally stark and blunt as it is difficult to follow – but follow it we must. As believers in Christ and the faithful children of God, we are to act as walking billboards for radical change – radical departure from any aspect of the world which would seek to deny God’s truth in scripture.

11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17)

That is the wisdom we must always keep in mind when trying to understand our places and our roles in the world; when deciding what values we are willing to take a stand for in the face of families, friends, acquaintances and strangers who admonish us or tell us to “come back to reality”. Always remember, there is no higher truth or reality than that given us to by our true Creator – our Lord and Savior in Heaven.

So one last thing, then – upcoming posts on this website will deal with the interaction between a variety of different issues, but the bedrock will always be one of Biblical truth. There are no denominational doctrines imposed here for the mere sake of having a denominational identity. There are no man-made creeds that are ever treated to be above the authority of scripture, as given to us by the earliest Christians. There is no censorship of discussion or debates about any issues raised, but there is also no tolerance for repetitive spam attacks, hateful personal attacks or general displays of moral depravity (vague criterion, I know, but I pray it will be clear enough in a Christian context).

Make no mistake here – the primary purpose of this website/blog is to evangelize others in whatever capacities that I can, in the most honest and clear manner possible – hopefully providing insights to both unbelievers and believers alike. However, that doesn’t mean the scope of discussion will be arbitrarily limited in any way. It is also doesn’t mean that people of all secular and religous stripes aren’t welcome to join the fray here, and put forth their own arguments for the ever-important cause of Truth. After one year of Christian faith, I am by no means en expert on the religion or the Bible, but I can honestly say that I have spent many hours in the past months absorbing as much information as possible about these issues from those who are much more experienced and well-versed in them.

I will continue to keep doing so for the rest of my life, and I pray that everyone else who reads these posts will be motivated to do so as well. So, with all of that being said… welcome to my website, Picturing Christ! I hope everyone enjoys the posts and the discussions, and may God bless all of us to walk with Him down the path of righteousness, through the consistent revelations that He has graciously gifted to all of His children, across all nations.