Drowning in Filth

A man collects plastic and other recyclable materials from debris in the waters of Manila Bay after tropical storm Saola hit the Philippine capital

As I think back to my youth, something which is getting harder and harder to do, we packaged our drinks in reusable glass, wrapped our dry goods purchases in paper and string or else placed them in cardboard boxes. We also got our groceries packaged in brown paper bags; all of which were biodegradable and came from renewable resources.

If memory serves me right the move from paper to plastic was a Democrat driven effort to “save the Amazon rain forests”.  From that moment on we have been making the move from paper to plastic in everything and of course styrofoam and plastic ended up replacing the reusable thermos bottles and our biodegradable cardboard cups.

Now, we see the left lecturing us and the world about drowning in a sea of plastic. Well, duh, please tell us now what we should use in its place since you don’t like the other alternative that you already replaced. Do you have a new packaging material in mind or is it just a general observation meant to point the finger at big industry or Republican congresses and presidents?

Back on the ranch, the Republicans mostly would like us to return to the reusable glass and the biodegradable paper of yesteryear so that we can look at the other filth and garbage that the Democrats have saddled us with. These are, of course the untouchable immorality issues that they endorse as a positive good for the country; just like saving the planet from the destruction of trees and creating an oil based, fossil fuel based alternative. They would rather fret and wring their hands about anything that is connected to fossil based fuels, as you know. Of course their electric cars are all the rage though they are recharged with electricity that is produced by coal burning electrical plants. But they will turn their ire on these cars as soon as they get that figured out or when the oceans and landfills are loaded up with lithium from their batteries.

Yes, I guess I just see these leftists as dogs who chase their own tails and when they catch them and then bite them they simply change their direction from chasing it clockwise to chasing it counter-clockwise. Very intelligent bunch you know.

But they do love to have their sacred cows: abortion, pornography, gay sex, gender neutral bathrooms and other terribly important ‘rights’ and privileges that are now in vogue and might gain them a vote or two from some fringe groups. If you get enough fringe groups in your party I suppose you might win a few elections. So too, now is the open border debacle that they have embraced. If they could only turn them into a large group rather than a fringe group it would mean more elections and more leftist progressives to tell us all of the wonderful stuff that they know; which shouldn’t take long at all.

And with that, I end my rant for the day.

Restoring a Catholic Education

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

-1 Timothy 4:1-5

The West needs a resurgence of Catholic education, drawing on the traditions of the medieval period, but taking into account the realities of our modern world. Regulars at AATW all seem to share the conviction that our culture has been infected by a nihilism disguising itself as something positive and creative. There are good apologists out there who are fighting the prevailing culture – but we need more and we need to attack the philosophical roots of this nihilistic trend.

Artes liberales: trivium

The trivium comprised grammar, logic, and rhetoric. These areas of study are closely intertwined because the higher, conscious thinking we carry out is done verbally, whether mentally, orally, or in writing. Poor thinking and communication lead to a number of problems: inability to properly engage with meaningful metaphysical issues (for example, the claims of the Gospel); difficulty in obtaining higher paid jobs; and weakness to manipulation by unscrupulous people in both private and public life (e.g. workplace acquaintances and politicians).

Far from being abstract skills with no everyday application, grammar, logic, and rhetoric are essential for success in the modern, globalised world. Disrespect towards these endeavours is, in part, fostered by standardised teaching rules handed down from governments. It is, in fact, relatively easy to draw up lesson plans that will engage students in the study of rhetoric, provided teachers are free to be flexible according to the composition of a given class. Many students would be delighted at the prospect of sitting down to read actual State of the Union addresses, if the teachers could free up time for them by dispensing with the study literature that the state considers necessary for a child’s education. In a free market, the schools with the better teaching plans would rapidly rise to the top: children who are taught the trivium will be more likely to succeed in life and plan effectively for the future. Schools that continue to plough the field of leftist literature will soon disappear.

While synoptic teaching of these skills is inevitable and desirable, they each need their own dedicated time. This will not necessarily be in equal proportions in a given year, and schools should be free to develop longer-term courses that take account of this requirement. One of the problems with annual, state designed testing is that it forces a given school year to cover certain topics, when it might be desirable to leave certain things for later or to let individual students progress at their own pace. Time and again, we have seen that a one-size-fits-all approach is disastrous in education.

Philosophy is a good example to consider. Children are, in fact, implicitly taught philosophy all the while. In their early science lessons they are taught about the necessity of accurate observations and about conducting a “fair test” – but that is about as far as it goes. It is logical to delay the formal teaching of philosophy till later in a child’s development. Maths, so prized by Plato as a preparation for philosophy, is the main arena for teaching abstract thought to children. However, as each year in science comes on, with its annual test, the actual teaching of the philosophy of science gets further away: the specific continually drowns out the general. To make matters worse, those who pursue science at university are not necessarily taught philosophy of science there either: some courses do not offer it at all, while others only have it as an optional module, pursued by those who lean towards the arts.

This deficiency has impacted the poor presentation of science in the media, and the abysmal presentation of a perceived conflict between science and religion in low church diatribes and debates between atheists and theists. No one who is open-minded could think that a man like the late Father Frederick Charles Copleston was a bad philosopher or a bad Catholic – he was neither. He showed us that you can be a pious Christian and a first-rate thinker. But you cannot appreciate his work and the work of others unless you first appreciate that science is what it was originally called: natural philosophy. A Catholic, medieval-based education (that takes the student through the Enlightenment) will allow the student to see this. The average state-provided education in the US and UK does not.

 

How Immigration Ruined the Taxi Industry in America

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I am not unfamiliar with the cab industry as I pushed a hack (cab) in NYC, Boston and Daytona Beach for a total of about 9 years of my life. Sometimes it was just part time work and for a number of years in Boston it was my full time occupation. I met my wife at a cab stop as she was a taxi driver as well; we both drove for the same company. So it is not surprising that I have fond memories of driving a cab and I would, in my retirement, love to return to that job for additional spending money on a part time basis.

But that was before the changes in the Taxi Industry that destroyed this great occupation and turned it into a depressing and anxiety filled nightmare that keeps normal citizens from driving cab anymore. The industry used to work like this: you got hired after you learned the streets and passed a test and background check etc. Then you got your Hackney License which you would carry with you and this allowed you to freelance with any cab company who might need drivers. The company paid for the gas and supplied the cab and you split the amount of the fares that you collected from your passengers (the percentages changed depending on the company and the city etc.) and you kept all your tips. So you called your own shots, worked when and where you wanted and went out for as long as you wanted or as short a period of time that you wanted. What a great job for a writer or for someone needing more cash and needed flexibility in their life.

How it works today: you have to ‘pay rental’ to the company that owns the cab. You must pay this amount to them whether you have made enough to pay them or not. You may have to work 14 to 16 hours on some days to just pay the rental fee before you can start making money for yourself. How did that happen I wonder? It seems so unfair. 

Well it seems that the companies found out that there were a lot of immigrants who were willing to do business this way as they had no other employment opportunities. So there goes your English speaking, college kids, retirees and average working stiffs from the ranks of drivers around the country. You can hardly find an American born driver these days in the large cities due to this. And when they cheat you by driving you all over the place before getting you to your destination their defense will be that they did not understand you or your language.

But who can blame them. The working conditions of a cab driver these days is abysmal and they are making less money than they ever did; thanks to the emergence of Lyft and Uber. Cab driver suicides has spiked and is likely to continue as these drivers are finding that they are now not able to pay their rent or buy groceries. It reminds one of the days when industries used child labor and thus the need for child labor legislation that was enacted.

With more and more immigrants expected in the coming years I think that things are likely to get much worse before they get better. Now I am only speaking to one industry which I know something about but there are likely a number of industries that have found ways to exploit the immigrant and to force US citizens from their former jobs.

If Trump doesn’t stem the tide of this invasion then it will take a long time before anyone takes the time to look at specific industries and fix them so that a US born citizen might be able to hold his job before the rules are changed that make it impossible to continue in their employ. 

It is both unfair to the citizens who are displaced but also to immigrants who take these jobs, have to share an apartment with sometimes a dozen or more other immigrants which is the only way they can make ends meet. US citizens aren’t likely to try to compete with that. So it is quite sad on many levels. 

Give your cabbie a good tip next time you take one. It might make the difference between his being able to pay for the vehicle for the day or going into debt.

Two worlds

Since the Enlightenment, there has been a tendency in the West to view the world through materialist spectacles. The rarity of (recorded) miracles preserves the concept: if they were everyday occurrences, they would not be miraculous. It was not always so. The Eden story in Genesis 1 to 3 presents humans living on the “cosmic mountain”, mingling with supernatural beings. Eve’s conversation with the Serpent is presented as a normal event because the cosmic mountain is the seat of God’s Council on earth: the conversations John the Revelator has with the angels in God’s heavenly throne-room are analogous.

The Fall leads to exile of humans from the cosmic mountain. Instead of extended sacred space to cover the whole earth, divine space must be carefully protected by ritual purity laws at a site of God’s choosing. Jerusalem eventually becomes the new cosmic mountain and the decoration of the Temple, especially in Ezekiel’s vision, evokes the Garden. The appearance of divine beings is now much rarer: humans do not freely mingle with them.

The coming of Jesus changes this state of affairs. As God incarnate, His body is a Temple, and He moves freely among the people. Rather than being separated from Him by priests and ritual purity laws, they can touch Him. Instead of destroying the sacred space, as would happen with defilement of the Jerusalem Temple, His holiness makes them clean. This is God doing a new thing. The coming of Jesus represents a beginning to the restoration of Eden. Upon His resurrection, He gives His Spirit to His followers, and they become individually and corporately a temple of God: moveable Edens with a mission to extend Jesus’ ministry to the world till it returns to Jerusalem and Israel when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

This restoration is accompanied by an increase in supernatural events, as explained by the Apostle Peter in his commentary on the prophet Joel in Acts 2. God is showing signs and wonders on the earth as a witness to the truth of Jesus’ claims and as an expression of what His Kingdom is like. In a world run by God, rather than Satan or sinful man, there is life and health and happiness.

But the enemy also can perform signs and wonders. He is no match for God, but his trickery can affect the unwary, especially those not loyal to YHWH. The spread of false religions and cults since the coming of Christ is testimony to the rebellion of both spirits and men. The Apostle Paul tells us that these false signs will intensify close to the return of Christ, when they accompany the revelation of the Man of Sin, who will sit in the Temple of God and usurp God’s place.

It is only after the return of Christ and the destruction of evil that we see the two worlds fully recombined in a new Eden that covers the earth. The wicked are confined to the lake of everlasting fire, and the righteous live in glorious resurrection bodies, living with YHWH, unhurt by elements of the supernatural and natural order.

The Nations of Europe

It is no secret at AATW and NEO that I am a supporter of Brexit, and I continue to appreciate the kind words of NEO, Scoop, and Steve Brown on the matter. I know that some Catholics think of the EU as a Catholic project that could be restored, but I believe that it cannot be. I am pleased not only that the UK will be able, by God’s grace, to break away from the EU, but that there are signs it is coming apart on the continent too. This is not because I bear the nations of Europe ill will, but because I believe the end of this supranational entity is good for them.

It is important to remember that the EU, whatever Catholic ideas may have been in the minds of the founders of the original coal and steel group, is not a Christian entity. It is secular in its outlook and can be used as a tool of men and spirits to suppress the identities of the nations of Europe, which, however similar they appear to an outsider, are quite distinct. The globalist agenda is not the same as the mission of the Church; it is a failing of so many prominent religious figures in the West that they conflate the two, wrongly interpreting verses such as, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

There are several things to say about this verse. First of all, this verse is saying that Christ is the source of unity: it does not promise unity outside of Christ. Indeed, the Bible repeatedly says that there is no unity between those who are of Christ and those who are not. Consider these hard words from Christ Himself and the Apostles.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

-Matthew 10:34-36

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

-1 John 2:15-16

Secondly, this verse does not mean that the characteristics of the nations are supposed to disappear: that would be to carry the verse beyond its intended meaning. It means that different national groups should be able to get alongside one another within the Church and submit to the one authority of Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church. When one national group tries to destroy another root and branch, that is disrespectful in the extreme and contrary to what is revealed of God in the Book of Nature, which is the guide to men who have not heard the Gospel from its appointed heralds. The Book of Nature tells us that God has instituted variety on the earth. Variety is no bad thing: chaos is the problem.

Thirdly, this verse does not abolish the authority of earthly princes in the Age of Grace. Paul, expounding on Genesis 11 tells us, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26). Christ has not yet returned, and it is not the job of any institution to usurp the lawful authority of earthly priests. When the Kingdom extends from Jerusalem and the nations present themselves at the throne of the Messiah, that will be a different matter. This age will have ended, and the headship of the nations will have returned to Israel. It should be noted that, even in the Messianic Age, the nations still exist: “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2). Whether these are members of the Church, whose national origins are remembered, or unsaved nations living under the earthly rule of Christ is not material to our discussion: it suffices that they are present on the earth as distinct entities in passage that is clearly placed after the return of Christ.

The EU as it currently stands must end. It presents a danger to the nations of Europe, and they recognise it. Far from being united behind a globalist agenda, the peoples of Europe, including many Catholics and Protestants, are saying that they want their individual nations to regain their freedom.

 

Doubt and Deceit

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.

-Matthew 24:24-25

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

-2 Thessalonians 2:8-12

These passages constitute some of the most serious warnings about the end times in the Bible. They indicate a time of such deceit and confusion comingled with persecution  with the result that the path of virtue will lead to martyrdom. Only those who truly value truth, who sacrifice themselves to it, will be able to find and keep hold of Christ in the cloud of deceit. There have been many false messiahs in history already and there are a number in the world today. These range from people claiming to be Jesus of Nazareth, such as a man who holds court on a mountain in Siberia, to those pretending to be the saviour figures of other religions, such as men who claimed to be the Mahdi of Islam.

We have also seen false prophets, figures who have amassed followings and given messages and predictions that turned out not to be from God. These people, as with the messiah claimants, have appeared within Christianity and without, often forming their own separate religions.

In these times, syncretism and compromise are among the most prominent forms of religious deceit. A blurring of religions poses a threat to the naïve and rebellious, because salvation in biblical terms is based on exclusive loyalty to YHWH. Those who worshipped other gods were apostates, whether they called themselves that or not. This is important for the modern reader, not an idle excursion into history, because the apostates of ancient Israel did not usually claim to have rejected YHWH. They often worshipped him alongside other gods of the Canaanite and neighbouring pantheons. On one famous potsherd, the inscription says “YHWH and His Asherah” and there are pictures of two humanoid figures. The prophets mention Israelites making cakes for the “Queen of Heaven”, and the Elijah saga tells of Baal worship.

Today there is a persistent claim made by both Muslims and Christians that they worship the same god. One Cathedral in England permitted a Muslim call to prayer to be made within the sanctuary. The answer to the question of whether Muslims and Christians worship the same god or not is important, particularly in the current political climate. If they do not worship the same god, then attempts at syncretism are really apostasy and idolatry and will result in perdition, unless the worshipper repents sincerely before death – and that repentance ought to be as public as possible.

YHWH and Allah are not the same god. Although Allah is cognate with El and Elohim, this word only communicates what God is – a spirit – not who God is – His character. YHWH, by contrast, and Jesus, which name contains the word YHWH, tells us who this spirit is. This Spirit is existence itself, the Creator, whose existence is necessary, but on whose existence all others are contingent. Jesus indicates that YHWH is the Saviour, and the New Testament tells us that He effected salvation for us by death on the cross, and that He is the only Saviour.

The fact that Islam claims to worship the Creator is not sufficient to show that Muslims and Christians worship the same god, because Islam makes claims about what Allah is not or has not or has not done. These claims contradict claims made by Christianity, so both cannot be true. Furthermore, because Islam makes claims about what Allah is like or has done or will do and many of these claims are also in contradiction to Christianity, from a Christian perspective they constitute blasphemy. Making claims about God that present Him as evil constitute blasphemy.

There is a kind of gradation. Being fallen creatures, trying to learn more about God through relationship with Him, it is the case that most, if not all, Christians will have mistaken ideas about Him. The nature of the idea is important, however. People who hold to Trinitarian theology and believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father are still Christians, even if they are not disagree about the role of works and faith in salvation. But people who deny the Trinity are dealing with deeper claims about God’s nature and His character: they are calling God a liar. Such people, and Muslims fall into this category, do not worship YHWH. The figure they worship is someone else. Is there an actual spirit involved? That must be the subject of another post.

Is the Church but a Shadow of its Former Self?

APTOPIX Vatican Pope

This article at Vox Cantoris today elicited a lot of head scratching from me this morning. I began to think more about the plight of the Catholic Church in today’s modern world and the uncertainty that we have as Catholics to the validity of our Masses, Confessions and other sacraments outside of Baptism (which does not require a priest). The point of this article was, in fact, based on an established fact that Bella Dodd and others succeeded in getting over 1000 infiltrators from the Communist Party, homosexuals and outright apostates ordained to the priesthood. This fact alone brings into question the validity of their priesthood ordination. So I looked to see if Canon Law might help sort this out.

I found this on Canon Law Made Easy which answers a portion of my confusion but not all. It quotes the words from Sacramentum Ordinis by Pope Pius XII which deals only with matter and form. It states that the only matter required is the ‘laying on of hands’ and the only form required is ‘the words of ordination’ as given by the Church. The article goes on to point out that 2 points were ommitted because at the time they were not even imagined to be something that would cause any controversy; ‘intention of the ordaining Bishop’ and the fact that the recipient of ordination is a Baptized man of the Catholic Church . . . no women need apply.

But that left me without much help in determining if the recipient was acting in good faith, was not a complete apostate and had no intention of becoming a priest as the Catholic Church regards a priest. If their sole purpose was to ruin the Church and sabotage Her would their consecration be valid? It did, however, postulate that if the Bishop did not intend to ordain the priests at ordination then these priests would be invalidly ordained and none of their sacraments, save Baptism, would be valid.

So that shows us a large, perhaps larger than imagined, problem within the Church that could be growing like a fast growing cancerous tumor. For example, if invalidly ordained priests themselves become bishops and ordain other priests without having a shred of belief (truly apostates of the Faith) then the priests that they ordain would likewise have invalid ordinations. And so it goes and so it grows year after year from there. And we all know that an apostate bishop can decide on who is to teach the priests in formation at their seminaries and the qualifications for these potential priests. He may be looking for the effete or the outright homosexual or signs of it. He may hire apostate theologians to teach these young men and when they are formed in his own image he would then ordain them.  Would they really be priests or would they simply be faux priests which would only be a mockery of the Faith?

When I couple that with the recent happenings in the Church regarding a number of issues and the recent polls that indicate that nearly half of our diocesan (Novus Ordo) priests do not believe that Christ is truly present in the Sacrifice of the Altar but merely symbolic, it leaves one a bit unnerved as to how many communions and perhaps confessions were actually valid. It is a depressing thought that brings with it no consolation as the recent conversations within the Church and the recent polls which I have noted might indicate.

And what becomes of our Church should we no longer have a validly ordained bishop to, in turn, ordain other priests and bishops? One can imagine a Church that has ceased to exist. But we have Christ’s promise to fall back on for that situation. For the Church will still exist when He returns though He does not guarantee much in how many will still abide in the Faith.

Seems to me that we, our priests and our bishops should get busy ferreting out the apostates amongst us and cleaning house if we wish to carry out Christ’s mandate to teach all nations and to save souls for the greater Glory of God. In such confusion as we have today it is incumbent that we at least attempt to clean house or face His judgement on our slothfulness and indifference to the health and life of His Church in our times. We may already be in hospice, so if nothing else, we must pray that the Church might make a miraculous recovery as we are incapable to withstand such an onslaught of diabolical and satanic attacks on our own.

Whatever Happened to Self-Control?

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We used to get amused at the antics and zany actions portrayed in movies such as, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. But that was in the days when grownups generally behaved as grownups and displayed, for the most part, a high degree of self-control. And when they didn’t they were looked at as being completely daft or acting like wild, undisciplined children which struck us as being so bizarre that it was actually funny and worthy of a good belly laugh. 

That is no longer the case I fear as we have nearly half a country today that has turned what used to be a civil society into a truly mad world; one which is eked on by the media, Hollywood and the supposed comedians who aren’t even funny anymore. 

Schools applaud this madness and encourage outlets for the rage that they inspire about things which mostly they know little to nothing about. It is what we teach kids today. Give vent to your anger with outrageous behavior or inspire others to do so. Go out and start a riot. Publicly humiliate people you disagree with. Beat or perhaps kill those whom you don’t agree with. This is what the so-called main stream media and the democratic party have descended to. 

It has now even manifested itself within certain departments of the government and once these people are entrenched it is like trying to rid an apartment in the slums of New York of a cockroach infestation. You can see an example of this new undisciplined and childish behavior which is sweeping the land here. What has happened to civility and self-control?

Rush Limbaugh recently spoke on his radio program about how irresponsible the media and the wild-eyed leftist loons have become, here. Note the Hollywood types, like Peter Fonda, and their use of their Twitter accounts to call for the killing and sodomizing of the children of those who might believe something different than they do about the immigration laws that are in place.

If self-control was once looked at as a virtue and part of growing up into a mature human being, we are now at a point where the only virtue that is recognized is to support the craziness of the left wing progressives and modernist effeminate children that roam about looking for their next riot or target for their vindictiveness. 

Maturity is not what it once was. Maturity today (at least among the democrats and progressives) is seeing who can be more outrageous, filthy and loathsome than the next person. That is what makes you a celebrity and a voice worth listening to.

I am sad to say that even the Catholic Church and other Christian churches have joined in on certain political issues; either because they fear the left, get money for doing so, or have become infested by these same loons within their leadership.  An example of this is seen in the actions of a bishop who wants to excommunicate anyone that disagrees with him on the immigration issue. You can read that here.

If this is the new, unbridled world of juveniles who are now manipulating society and the news, what is the future going to look like? Besides being a mad, mad, mad, mad world, I think it’s going to be more like the society we saw in the production of Mad Max.

Aspects of the Gospel (2): Exodus

The Exodus narrative is incredibly important for understanding the Gospel. Christ was crucified at Passover. The unleavened bread of the Passover rite took on a new significance in Christianity: with yeast as a symbol of corruption, and the bread as a symbol of Christ’s flesh, this food came to represent both the sinless body He offered in death, and the perfected, divine body of His resurrection. The eucharistic tradition He began as the sign of the New Covenant thus became a reminder of what He achieved at that Passover, and what all true Christians will become when they rise in glorified bodies for the Day of Judgment. The Exodus story is the substratum of the Easter story, but it is also the model for the return of Christ and Day of Judgment, as becomes clear upon a careful reading of the Prophets, the Olivet Discourse, and the Book of Revelation.

The Exodus was a historical event that marked the separation of Jews from Gentiles, much as the departure of Abram from Ur of the Chaldees and again from Haran, and it sent a message from Yahweh to the gods: “I AM the Creator.” When the Exodus story is divorced from its supernatural context, it deprives Yahweh of His glory and diminishes the significance of the event. Beyond that, it makes aspects of the crucifixion and return of Christ unintelligible.

If the gods of Egypt were mere blocks of stone and wood, there would be no glory in defeating them. “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord” (Exod. 12:12). It is unfortunate that the term “elohim” poses problems for English translators. In Hebrew, it denotes an inhabitant of the spiritual realm and is used of Yahweh, lesser spirits, and the human dead.

There were elohim in Egypt: powerful spirits, worshipped by humans. They opposed, through their agent Pharoah, the release of the Israelites. Yahweh defeated them. Similarly, the gods, united behind the figure that Jews at the time called “Satan”, “Be’elzebub”, and “Belial”, opposed Christ, Yahweh in the flesh. As St Paul remarks, had they known that they were playing into Yahweh’s hands, they “would not have crucified the Lord of glory”. As in the time of the Exodus, Yahweh effected the release of those who put their faith in Him through the blood of the Passover lamb (which a careful reading of Exodus tells us included non-Israelites), so the blood of the Lamb of God effected a release of those who put their faith in Christ from the tyranny of the gods. Those who will not avail themselves of Christ’s blood will die with the gods and their leader Satan.

The Israelites would see the power of their God in the parting of the Red Sea. Going through these waters, they would receive laws that would change their morals and their outward culture, setting them apart from the peoples of the world. Christians, passing through the waters of baptism, are also set apart from the peoples of the world: Christ’s teachings are their law code, and its chief principles are to love God and love our fellow man. Both groups were promised an inheritance: for one, the land of Canaan; for the other, eternal life in the age to come.

Looking forward to Exodus as a model for the return of Christ, we see various motifs replaying themselves. There is a human adversary who oppresses the people of God: Pharoah becomes Antichrist. There are supernatural plagues of judgment: the Ten Plagues and the plagues unleashed by the Two Witnesses and the plagues connected with the Seven Trumpets and the Seven Bowls. There are prophetic voices: Moses and Aaron and the Two Witnesses. Supernatural forces resist the will of God: Jannes and Jambres counterfeited the miracles of Moses and the False Prophet counterfeits the miracle of Elijah; the gods of Egypt resisted Yahweh, and the Dragon resists Christ.

There are many more parallels, and I hope the readers will contribute them in the comments below.

 

A Simple Reflection: Archaeologists have been dating Egypt incorrectly?

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As many of you are aware, I have been interested in the history of the Exodus. For some time, I have been putting forth a hypothesis based on a thesis written by Richard Elliot Friedman that the Exodus wasn’t a large event but a smaller event of Levites. Of course, my approach combines other research to include a more plausible event the can coincide with what we know from the Exodus text.

However, after giving a brief example of my hypothesis to a Lutheran pastor who seemed very adapt to historical studies of the scriptures. He informed me of a minority view within Egyptology proposed by a David Rohl that the Egyptian dates for the Exodus are off by several hundreds of years. Many scholars date the Exodus to the reign of Rameses II because of this particular passage in the Exodus 1:11 text:

11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens; and they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Ra-am′ses.

After thinking about this for a period of time, I thought to myself, “Well isn’t it ironic that a text that secular scholars say isn’t historical is how they attempt to map out an event against other archaeological evidence?”

David Rohl proposes that the evidence for the Hebrews in Egypt is found in the Middle Kingdom rather than the New Kingdom. He believes that the mention of the city of Raamses is an anachronism from when the text was written rather than what the city is more commonly known as Avaris. An example, in Genesis 47:11 of the use:

11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.

Of course, Rameses couldn’t be the Pharaoh of both Joseph and Moses. So, it would be like someone writing a history of the Byzantine empire about the waning years approximately three-hundred years before it’s collapse and the rise of the Ottoman empire. In our Political correct-climate instead of using the name Constantinople, the author decides to play it safe and uses Istanbul. So, imagine 2000 years from this point, several collapses of civilizations and dark ages, new historians find this text and compare it with the few other pieces of evidence and start looking for information of groups of Latin Christians in the Byzantine empire during the time of the Ottomans and conclude, “The Latin massacre never took place because there is no evidence of Western Christianity at this point of time; of course looking well after the massacre and expulsion. ”

Naturally, there is one of the best archaeologists in the world working in the area named Manfred Bietak from Austria. Bietak has found in the area of Avaris large settlement of proto-Caanites during the middle kingdom but asserts because they’re too early for the Exodus event these cannot be the same Semites.

But, if they’re gone a few hundred years after we start looking for Semites, where did they all go?

Is this new dating plausible? Most Egyptologist entire careers are tied up in the old dating system so many would fight it tooth and nail, but historically speaking with the lack of information, it could be plausible. I’m not entirely confident enough to jump across a conventional dating system.

Thoughts?