Compassion VS. Antichrists
By Eileen Fleming
26 February, 2010
William Blake wrote, “Imagination is Evidence of the Divine” and I agree totally, but must add that genuine Compassion is a Manifestation of The Divine.
All of the Koran's 114 chapters except one begins with the phrase "Allah [which is Arabic for God] is merciful and compassionate."
A true Muslim recognizes the brotherhood of man and will respect and treat even a non-Muslim as a brother.
A true Muslims understand that compassion and charity, is serving God.
The Koran states, "No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”
The cult of ‘Christian’ Zionism is what the concept of the Anti-Christ is all about.
This heretical theology of Premellenial Dispensation worships a god of Armageddon and not the God of love, forgiveness and compassion that Jesus/AKA The Prince of Peace modeled even while being nailed to a cross.
The Left Behind series of fiction is the epitome of what millennium of theologians have always understood to be what the term anti-Christ is truly about.
The term “Antichrist” only appears five times in the Bible, but a cult not based on sound theology has created an urban legend that seeks Armageddon.
The term “Antichrist” never appears in John’s Revelation or Daniel, two disparate works of literature written three centuries apart and under very different circumstances, yet the Left Behinder’s weave them together.
The small texts that mention the “Antichrist” were written to attack the Gnostic understanding of who Christ was. A Gnostic relies on intuition and not on dogma and doctrine. Gnostic’s were most certainly free spirits and most all of the writings we have about Gnostics, have been the attacks upon them. That all changed when the Nag Hamadi Library was translated and published, for what had been deemed heretical by those in power in the fourth century can now be read in most every language.
Biblical scholars today agree that many books of the Bible were written by others in the name of an apostle, for the quickest way to gain credibility is to trade on another’s reputation. We may never know if the author who coined the term “Antichrist” was actually the apostle John who wrote I John and 2 John-the only sources where the term appears.
John also say’s much more: “Dear Children, as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many have come.”- I John 2:18
“This is how we know who the children of God are not: anyone who does not do right; nor anyone who does not love his brother.”-I John 3:10
“If anyone has material possessions and see’s his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Let us love with actions and in truth.”-I John 3:17
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment [and God is love].”-1 John 4:18
The theology promoted in the Left Behind fiction is a theology based on fear and punishment. These misinformed Christians worship a punitive father as God. They do not have eyes to see that nature is God’s primary temple, and war the greatest abomination.
During the time when John was writing about the spirit of Antichrist, Gnosticism was still in its evolution and far from the intricately developed system of the second and third centuries when the church and its institutional hierarchy became firmly established. During the time John was writing against false teachings, the Gnostics were by and large libertines who denied Christ’s humanity. Some Gnostics claimed that Christ only appeared to have a body; others said the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at his baptism and left him when he died.
The Gnostics left no testimony in their behalf, so all we have to go on is what was written against them until the discovery of the Nag Hamadi Library. These Gnostic texts offer no new information, they provide no answers, but they do illuminate us to the fact that 2,000 years ago that follower’s of Christ were very diverse and engaged in lively debates on who he was and what was his purpose.
The Armageddon groupies believe they will be lifted out of the misery of the world, and neglect to reflect upon the Antichrist within their own heart. The term anti/against Christ means to be anti/against his teachings. A neglected and ignored fact is that Christ is quoted in Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-29, and Luke 12:10 which are all simpatico with the Gnostic gospel of Thomas saying 44:
Jesus said: “Whoever blasphemes against the father will be forgiven, whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either on earth or in heaven.”
The Holy Spirit has always been understood to mean the spark of the Divine within all beings, for the spirit of God is within all created things.
One should wonder what spirit is driving those that want to bomb another, for just who would Jesus bomb? Just who would Jesus torture?
Jesus has been hijacked by the right wing fundamentalists and the time has come to liberate him. Christ was no Christian, that term was not even coined until three decades after he walked the earth. But, Christ was a social justice radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up/intifada and challenged the job security of the temple priests by claiming there was no need for ritual baths and animal sacrifice to be OK with God, for God loves all, just as they are!
Jesus was crucified because he disturbed the status quo of the occupying forces of Rome by teaching subversive concepts such as all people are equal and valuable. Christ taught that to be his sister and brother one must forgive to be forgiven and that one must love ones enemies. He modeled that one must always work for peaceful resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with forgiveness and compassion as he did while being nailed to a cross. Christ always dealt compassionately with sinners and outcasts, but hypocrites received his wrath.
Compassion, which is sorrow for the suffering of others accompanied by the urge to help, is what should define the Christian attitude.
If there is no compassion within a Christian, then it is the spirit of the Antichrist that rules.
Christian Zionists desire to convert the Jews to Christianity or leave them behind to perish in a nuclear holocaust, for they believe that is Gods desire.
A short history on where this corruption of Christ’s message came from:
In 1891, Christian fundamentalist and lay-preacher, William Blackstone appealed to President Benjamin Harrison to help establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Blackstone was a disciple of Dwight L. Moody and they both were influenced by the father of premillenial dispensationalism, John Nelson Darby.
Darby had great success in connecting with the post-Civil War survivors and was able to transmit his new heretical theology into the heartland of America. Despite the horrifying news of Czarist pogroms that could have been the catalyst to establishing a Jewish state before the Holocaust, the Christian fundamentalists moved onto the Scope’s Trial and forgot about the Jews for a while.
Fifty years later and after six million Jews and five million other innocents were cold-bloodily murdered because good people did nothing for a very long while-and only after the British Mandate ran out, Israel was born.
Most evangelicals interpreted the establishment of Israel to be the fulfillment of -how they understood and interpreted- certain prophetic scriptures. They interpreted the Israeli victory in the 1967 War and the capture of Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan Heights to be an act of God and never considered the fact of Israeli superior military might and USA Intelligence.
The American Bi-Centennial in 1976 was a watershed year for the religious right. While mainline churches declined evangelical fundamentalist churches became the fastest growing sector of American Christianity. TIME magazine named 1976 as The Year of The Evangelical and suddenly they became a legitimate political and religious force.
Following the War of 1967, Israel gained an increased portion of USA foreign aid and military budgets, becoming the ‘western pillar’ of the USA strategic alliance against Soviet incursion into the Middle East...During this period AIPAC and other pro-Israeli lobby agencies began their ascent to power in shaping USA foreign policy. The Roman Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations began to develop a more balanced approach to the Middle East, bringing them closer to the international consensus on the Palestinian question. Pro-Israel organizations interpreted this shift as being Anti-Israel and in turn began to court the conservative Christians.
In 1977, when President Carter stated “The Palestinians deserve a right to their homeland,” the Christian fundamentalists and Israeli lobby responded with full page ads stating: “The time has come for evangelical Christians to affirm their belief in biblical prophecy and Israel’s divine right to the land...and affirm our belief in the Promised Land to the Jewish people.”
The Reagan White House hosted a series of seminars from the Israeli lobby and Christian right. This was when Hal Lindsay, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the Moral majority infiltrated the West Wing.
Falwell received a Lear Jet from the Israeli government for his personal travel...When Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear plant in 1981, Prime Minister Begin called Jerry Falwell -before he called Reagan- to ask him ‘to explain to the Christian public the reasons for the bombings.
In 1996, Netanyahu and Likud ideology dominated Israeli policy and 17 evangelical USA pastors pledged their support of the illegal colonies in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and full support for a Jerusalem under sovereignty of Israel.
The Christian Zionists launched a PR campaign under the banner: “Christians Call for a United Jerusalem.” They ignored the fact that they were in conflict with American policy and the Oslo process as well as a direct attack on Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant unity with the Churches for Middle East Peace that called for a Shared Jerusalem.
“The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty,” Hagee wrote in 2006, in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. “Israel and America must confront Iran’s nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide.”
The theology of the fictional Left Behind series is the epitome of the spirit of the anti-Christ: which is the evil within ones own heart that leads one to fear “the other” and compels them to violence.
Thomas Jefferson did America and the world a great service when he penned The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth which illuminates just how far these Christians have strayed from the message Christ delivered and modeled with his life:
Which was consistently compassionate and nonviolent and to be just: for justice comes from virtue which comes from the heart.
To treat people the way we want to be treated.
To always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with COMPASSION.
To consider valuable the things that have no material value.
Do not judge others, do not bear grudges, be modest and unpretentious.
To give out of true generosity, not because we expect to be repaid and that being true to ones self is more important than being loyal to ones family,
And those who think they know the most are the most ignorant.
According to Christ, to be his follower, one must do what the Father requires. The Hebrew prophet Micah summed it up best: “What does the Lord require? He has already told you o’man: Be Just, Be Merciful and walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8:
To be just is to be fair and reasonable.
To be merciful means to treat all people the way we want to be treated.
To be humble is knowing oneself; the good and the evil, for both cut through every human heart.
Christ taught that the only way to resist evil is with good and he modeled that one must always work for peaceful resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with compassion and forgiveness. Jesus did just that, even after being mocked, whipped and nailed to a cross for he prayed: “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com
Author of "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory"
Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"