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τῆς θλίψεως τῆς μεγάλης

August 18th, 2017

“’Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them.”  So said Thomas Paine in The Crisis, penned 23 December 1776.

Yet it runs, mongered by fear, stoked and prodded into ridiculous stretches and contortions. It is vaudeville mimicking life; a three legged race, hobbled by the ropes of bizarre if not totally mad creeds, each competing in an off-balance chase after public favor however fleeting.

We no longer live in an age of “15 minutes of fame”. It is now nanoseconds. Worse, the number of news sources (if they merit being styled as such) has gone viral.  The sheer number alone is deafening.   And every one of them claims to have an angle.

As Mr. Paine wrote long ago, these are the times that try men’s souls.  All nations have also, in times like these, been subject to the artifices of charlatans.  Here, we refer to certain so-called evangelists who have been hawking their own odd wares of late…namely Revelation’s “Black Moon” as they style it.

You need do nothing, so the argument goes. You can drift along, since you will be “Raptured”…and being self described as righteous, of course, you will be immune to the tribulation which is to befall everyone else.

In the heavens, as the pitch goes, is evidence…a sign of the times. Ominous and foreboding, the “Black Moon” of the Great American Eclipse is set to traverse our nation in a matter of a few days time.  And with it is yet more news noise; in this case from an extreme fringe portion of America’s cultural spectrum, or rather the chaos that “intelligent” discourse has become in our nanosecond world.

Nothing new under the Sun, we remind.

La Luna has predictably been casting shadows in broad daylight for countless millennia. And in any case, an excuse to do nothing has been around as long as humankind has; so too has self-righteous presumption.

Scriptures even mention the “do nothing” human flaw.  Said James—faith, if it hath not works, is dead in itself.  Yet, suspending credulity, the infomercial shouts:  “Salvation has never been easier!  Do nothing!  But wait, there’s more!”…again, everyone’s got an angle.

As for the astrologists, Isaiah mentions the “measurers of the heavens…those who prophesy by the stars”. Omens of boasters fail (as predictably as the next eclipse), making fools out of diviners…this Black Moon will be no exception.

For our part, those whose attentions are fixed on the heavens above looking for signs have lost sight of the ground below their own feet. If there’s salvation to be had, it rests within not without.

But “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.” (John 4:48).  So it goes.  Nothing new under El Sol.

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