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Posts Tagged ‘Materialism’

Moving from the arenas to the grandstands: Christianity now & then

Moving from the arenas to the grandstands: Christianity now & then

I’ve expounded before on the tragic abyss between what Christianity has become and once used to be, (and in my opinion ought to be), due to the fact that fundamental teachings of Christ Himself and His early spokesmen are purposely being ignored by His modern supposed followers, resulting in the constant discomfort of having to apologize to the rest of the world for pertaining to a group of people, which, originally, truly was a ray of hope for anyone who believed in the depth of his heart that there had to be something else besides the usual games people play, with their rules of acquisition of power, fame, fortune and temporal glory.

As a Christian, I see it as part of my duty to rectify that the crimes Christianity has been found guilty of for the past 16 centuries (and unfortunately, during the current one more than ever), were not at all in its Founder’s intention.

Somewhere around the 4th century, after having failed to wipe out the church (meaning “ecclesia,” Greek for “the called out ones”) through persecution, Satan finally changed his attitude toward Christianity into “If you can’t lick’em, join’em.” The result is the sad picture of what Christendom has become since.

But what was it like before that? What were the differences, and which was the way the early followers of Christ lived that are such a stark contrast to what may be labeled “Christianity” today, but really, only amounts to not much more than Churchianity?

One blatant contrast that jumps in my face time and time again, is the materialistic attitude that has taken hold of probably the vast part of Christendom throughout the past millennium and a half, as totally opposed to what Jesus Himself, and His most ardent representative of the 1st century, the apostle Paul of Tarsus (aka St. Paul) had to say on such subjects as money, wealth, and one’s dedication to the acquisition of such.

Most Christians are apparently totally oblivious to the fact that the Early Christians lived in a totally unique style which could perhaps be termed “total, holy Communism.” In fact, it was the prototype of communism, and the only type that ever worked, since it’s impossible to achieve it by leaving out the main Factor, which happens to be God and His supernatural love.

The reason most people are totally ignorant of this, is because they either simply don’t read their Bibles, or they only read and remember the parts they like.

Apparently none of those Sunday morning assemblers who proudly present their attire and vehicles in those pompous palaces they named after the assembly of those who died as martyrs in Christ’s footsteps, after having lived their lives in modesty, has ever seriously pondered the statements we find in the Book of Acts on how Christians lived back then.

It doesn’t say there, “And all that believed assembled once a week in the temple to sing, pray and listen to the preacher for an hour, and then drove home, each in their car and to their own houses, spending the rest of the week in the pursuit of their happiness, aka financial stability.”

What it does say, is, “And all that believed were together and had all things common. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. …Neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” (Acts 2:44, 45, 4:32).

You can only imagine the average Christian’s head-shaking attitude toward such a radical life-style, of people living together and sharing all things…

When it boils down to it, neither Jesus, nor Paul, John or James had much good to say about money, or rich people.

The next vast gap between Christianity now and then – which I have repeatedly addressed in my blogs, because i just can’t do the subject justice – is the current “Christian” attitude towards war, their silent consent to their nations’ government sending their own sons (and daughters) off to foreign countries under often more than shady and questionable pretexts, to kill and maim their often totally innocent citizens by the hundreds of thousands.

It is unthinkable that Christians during the first 3 centuries would have given their consent, had the Romans called upon them to join the empire in one of its military actions against other countries.

Of course, all that changed with the crusades. But whether you can rectify having the audacity of calling that “Christianity,” you have to decide for yourself, especially in the light of all Jesus had to say on the subject.

Christians in the first 3 centuries were a persecuted minority, not – as has been the case since fake Christendom became a world power – a persecuting majority and ruthless authority. It is really no wonder that some people think that the world would be better off without the scourge of Christianity falsely so-called, and if you ask me, that’s where the future of “Christendom” is headed: elimination by the same tactics it has applied on the inhabitants of much of the world for centuries. Luckily, this will separate the true sheep from the goats and expose who was really “in it” for the right and wrong reasons…

In the final analysis, it seems that Christianity was certainly better off in its original state, and from the looks of it, we’re going to have to face the fact that that’s where Christianity is headed again: back to the ranks of the persecuted minorities, instead of those of the ruthless oppressors, even if it will be the latter that will bring the persecution upon themselves, (and even if most of them probably won’t see the writing on the wall before it’s too late).

What Christians worldwide ought to do is get “Back to the Basics,” “trim the fat” and return to its humble origins, instead of trying to play the rulers in a world that is currently run by Christ’s enemies. They’d do a whole lot better to heed the Words of their Founder, instead of the false prophets’ tales of peace when there is no peace, and of prosperity gained by the exploitation of the poor of the world, which God simply cannot bless.

As long as Christians chime, “God bless America, no matter what,” they show that they put themselves above the very laws of God, and thus become an abomination to Him, and will only reap the consequences accordingly.

They should seek their God for the kind of courage that their spiritual forefathers many centuries ago had, who were willing to be despised and persecuted as members of that obscure sect that followed a Leader Who had challenged all the existing values of the world.

Unfortunately, not many of us seem to be nearly as strong as Jesus was when the Devil tempts us with the riches of this world. Most of us give him a warm welcome, throw our arm around his neck and say to Jesus, “See ya on Sunday!”

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Advertiser No.1

Satan: Advertiser No.1

My mind still keeps rattling on the theme of my last thoughts on the “beginnings of advertisement” that I stumbled across via Yin & Yang (even though I should actually get to work…)

The first product ever advertised in history was, basically, evil.

It sort of reminds you of the scene in “Time Bandits” where the bandits arrive at the Castle of Perpetual Darkness and its evil tenant puts on this show and offers them “the most fabulous object in the world…” and they all wind up trapped in a cage hanging from the ceiling and swinging above everlasting darkness…

Isn’t that what advertisement is? You’re being offered something you didn’t know you ever needed or wanted, but advertisement paints it so pretty that you simply can’t resist it.

Well, that’s what Satan did to Eve when he advertised the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (adding the ingredient of evil to an already existing world in which all was good, thus creating the Yin/Yang system of duality I expounded on earlier…): nobody needed it. Nobody knew how much they were going to regret buying that crap. Nobody knew what it was supposed to be good for, but they did it anyway, just in order to have it.

Sounds just like any old regular afternoon at the mall…

No wonder I never liked advertisement. It has all the qualities of the first hoax in history that resulted in every catastrophe that ever happened since… Clothes. Lies. Murder… the shebang.

The difference between Satan’s products and God’s is that God doesn’t need any advertisement for His:

Everybody knows you only get good stuff from Him. And best of all, it’s always free, no strings attached.

Nobody ever asked for a re-reimbursement for the air they just inhaled because it wasn’t their favorite flavor.

You get hungry and you eat the food that comes to your fridge via good ol’ mother earth.

(Did you ever realize that with all the fancy stuff man created, they haven’t managed to successfully reproduce food synthetically, I mean, starting from scratch with no ingredients from the Maker? After all, you can’t eat plastic yet, and even that is based on a natural resource…)

So, next time you feel that urge to bust your credit card due to some 256 commercials you just watched while ironing your shirts: think again!

Or before you allow your kids’ lives to become a non-stop repetition of the darkest hour of the Garden of Eden!

The Bible has something to say about greed: “Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as ye have” (Heb.13:5).

If Adam and Eve had known that, they would have saved themselves – and us – millennia worth of trouble.

The secret is just being happy with what we have, instead of ever craving what the Jones’ have got.

Especially in the light of the fact that 10.000 people still starve each and every day because they haven’t got anything, not even the barest of necessities…

So much on the beginnings of consumerism. It seemed good enough at first, but the end of it was wailing and gnashing of teeth that we haven’t seen and heard the end of yet…

And if you really want to be happy, why not try to make somebody else happy and make a donation instead of buying yet another item you don’t really need? Let’s get back to the Garden!

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There’s a seemingly insignificant line in an old song written by Kris Kristofferson, made popular by the Sixties Legend Janis Joplin, that has turned out to be a revelation of truth, proven time and again: “Freedom’s just another word for ‘nothing left to lose'” sings the chorus of “Bobby McGee.”

Since we get to play for a lot of well-to-do people, and sometimes for the extremely wealthy, it has been our observation that if what Kristofferson wrote there is true, that the free people must live somewhere else.

Last night we observed another confirmation of Bobby McGee’s profound truth, as we played in the luxurious home of a prestigious artist, towering over a spectacular view of the probably most beautiful part of the lake of Constance with a garage full of century old cars, each of which worth a multiple sum of all our meager possessions put together.

It’s funny, though, that once you get to know enough of this sort of extravaganza, it pitifully ceases and fails to impress at some point, especially when it becomes apparent that the essence of what really constitutes a rich and fulfilled life is missing from the picture of such abundance.

Most rich people we’ve had the pleasure to play for so far, usually made an effort to at least try to create an air of equality between themselves and their staff, or any other human beings from strata of society less materially blessed, but that effort was being purposely avoided in this situation, apparently with the intention to impress the laden guests all the more, which gave the unbiased observer the slight impression that perhaps slavery has not been abolished yet down here in the south of Germany.

It gets one thinking. Where is the point where people start building walls of separation between themselves and other humans that set them apart from them, as something – exclusively in their own minds – “better” than their fellowman? What is the sum that one needs to own that entitles them to the claim of being on a higher level than those other, “mere mortals?” – Because it’s obvious that such semi-gods deem themselves immortal, or at least they behave in such a way that they would never expect having to stand before their Creator at any point, Who, as it is written, is no respecter of persons, and does not have any preferences based on material criteria.

Maybe “the love of money is the root of all evil” because it’s the primary building material for the pride of life that erects those walls around us. After all, it’s usually rich people who send their subjects off to kill their fellowman in other countries, and – as it usually turns out – not at all for the noble reasons they claimed their war was necessary for…

It’s not that it’s wrong or a sin to be rich, but what matters is what your money makes you become, and whether one has the maturity to keep in mind that no amount of possessions will make a difference between themselves and others that will last. Obviously, it takes some folks less to get to the point where they think themselves better than others and separate themselves from “the rest of the mob,” or elevate themselves to some self-erected mental shrine of some sacred state above the crowd, and I find it helpful to regularly remind myself of Kris Kristofferson’s little piece of wisdom and ask myself, how free am I today? What have I got to lose today?

There’s an old German fairy-tale called “Hans im Glueck” (roughly translated “Lucky Jack” or “Hans in Luck”), about a boy who finds out that the more he possesses, the more miserable he becomes, and that the way to happiness is giving it all away. Of course, like most people, I detested that story as a kid. Before I learned the lesson from “Bobby McGee,” that is, which happened rather recently.

Jesus put it like this: “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Or in modern English: “Your life does not consist of the bunch of things you own.” In fact, a life that consists exlusively of the value of the material things one possesses always turns out to be an empty life, an “empty shell, groomed and fed so well…

One would think that we, the enlightened society of the 21st century would have grasped such basics of life by now, but since that’s obviously not the case, I’m afraid it only proves just how enlightened we really are…

What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Jesus asked 2000 years ago. The answer is, obviously: nothing. The same amount that would have ensured your happiness during your life-time. So, it all comes back around to nothing. The only difference is whether you’ll fall for the illusion of “something” or even “a whole lot,” or not.

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