Anarchist to Abolitionist: A Bad Quaker's Journey

in theology •  26 days ago  (edited)

Some Thoughts On The Antichrist, or, Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds

To understand what an antichrist could be, one should first consider what a Christ would be. Spoiler alert: Christ is not Jesus' last name. It's from an Egyptian word meaning "anointed" and was a part of the preparations of a mummy. The Christian concept comes from the Hebrew expectation of a king from the Davidic line that would be anointed (by God), and would restore Israel and usher in the New World. Christians generally believe that Jesus was God as a man, therefore in a way, Jesus was a pure man created by God for His Spirit to dwell in while He was on earth. Therefore, an antichrist would be the opposite. It would be a creature not created by God, but created by mankind, so it could not be a man. (Nor could it be a woman, since the scripture says "when I speak of man I speak of woman also.") (Many theologians believe the antichrist is the product of Satan, but I'll deal with that in a moment.) This creature would not come to usher in the New World, it would be the product of and guardian of the old world. It would oppose the creation of the New World.

Mural from the Osogovo Monastery
Mural from the Osogovo Monastery, Wikimedia

Now think about what Jesus pointed out as his prime order to us; do unto others as you would want them to do to you. If all of humanity adopted it, Jesus' simple teaching would liberate every individual human to reach their highest possible level of achievement, while setting every individual free of the bonds of the will of other humans. Jesus' teaching was one of true anarchy. You treat everyone with equal respect and they do the same in return. That is the cornerstone of the Zero Aggression Principle. A government of any kind violates this principle. To govern literally means to control. If you're controlling even one person against their will you're violating Jesus' prime teaching. The same goes for property, if you are taking so much as a fraction of a cent from one person against their will, you are violating Jesus' teaching.

The antichrist's message would then be the opposite; maximize control of all of humanity and their property, under the will of one tyrant or one central committee of tyranny. That perfectly describes the ultimate government, and it is the logical apex of government worldwide. During the early 1800s, there were some 550 independent states in Europe alone. Today there are only 196 independent states in the whole world, and all but three of them are members of the United Nations. The State is consolidating, and will continue in this logical fashion until it engulfs all of humanity, or until humanity recognizes the threat and kills the State.

The story is told in the scripture, of the temptations of Christ. Before Jesus begins his ministry, he fasts for an extended period of time, and then is confronted by a tempter with three separate temptations. This tempter tries to get Jesus to break his fast with bread, but Jesus declines. The tempter also tries to get Jesus to escape his fate of death by torture at the hands of the Roman government, by casting himself off of a high spot. The theory used by the tempter being that if Jesus is the actual Christ, then God wouldn't let him die that easy. God would not let him kill himself. This would prove that Jesus was the Christ. But Jesus refuses the easy death and embraces his fate, stating that it is not right to tempt God. Then we read about the third and final temptation.

The "devil" or "Satan" takes Jesus away to some "high place", some say a mountain. There, Jesus sees "all the kingdoms of the world". The devil then offers Jesus a deal, so that Jesus can be a worldly king of these nations, and, therefore, Jesus can do good using the power of government. Now, if we are to take this as some have said, it could mean just Rome, or perhaps Rome and Egypt, or Rome, Egypt, and some other kingdom, but none of that really makes any sense in the context of the story as it relates to history. Certainly, Jesus couldn't see Rome and Egypt from one mountain. The curvature of the earth doesn't allow such magic. And what of India and China and all the other nation states at the time, from one mountain? Perhaps we are to believe God didn't know about China and India? Does that make any sense? Of course not. By the way, Rome wasn't a "kingdom". That's an English word forced into the narrative. One more thing; was Satan the actual ruler of these so called kingdoms, that he could delegate them to Jesus, or was that temptation simply a trick? Who would Satan be that he could offer such power to Jesus? Is Satan just some former angel with good connections in government? Unlikely to say the least.

So what about this story actually makes sense? Let's analyze it in each of its parts.

Rather than some hill, perhaps a "high place" is a location of the mind, where Jesus can see things that can't be seen with the natural eye. Perhaps Jesus was shown all the governments of men, past present, and future. Wouldn't that be a more logical temptation than simply the kingdom of one human lifetime?

Now let us consider the actual temptation. Could some "devil" trick Jesus with the temptation of government power, which the devil didn't actually possess? Could Jesus be dumb enough for some former angel to offer Jesus something that this devil couldn't produce? Jesus would need to be rather stupid for that to be a temptation. I offer another possible explanation. The "devil" held the power of all governments, past, present and future, because this devil was not a fallen, unemployed angel, but was the god that man had created. I propose that the "devil" in this story was that entity I have described elsewhere in this writing as the State, the god that man created when he chose man as his lawmaker rather than God.

After all, is a traditional devil really needed in the formula of the story? Isn't man's creation, the State, a better fit to the description of Satan? Does theology demand a creator God to make an archangel, who then forsakes Him, only to have this same God make man, who also forsakes Him? What kind of omniscient God would this be who makes the same mistake twice? And why only twice? Why not have this slow learning God make the same mistake three times, or four hundred times? The fact is, none of this makes a consistent theology.

It makes no sense that an all-knowing God would create two separate beings that both turned their back on Him. This Satan that we're taught about is the creation of Dark Age era clergy, not the scriptures. When you see that Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, and the Devil are all modern creations by theologians, either attempting to incorporate pagan beliefs into Christianity, or blatant attempts to scare people into supporting and fearing the clergy, then you begin to see this story in a different light. In the original languages, there appears no "proper noun" version of "Satan". In the original versions of the scriptures, satan is a generic noun meaning "accuser" or "adversary", which is used throughout to refer to ordinary human adversaries. Believing in Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, or the Devil is literally heresy, used by the clergy to control the body of Christianity.

If God made mankind, and if mankind abandoned the Creator by usurping His natural laws (replacing them with manmade laws), and, then, in time, the system of manmade laws produced a being, the State, that fed on the sweat of humanity while enslaving and destroying God's creation, then wouldn't that product of man's evil be the antichrist? Wouldn't the State, as described elsewhere in this writing, be the antichrist?

If the Christ is a pure product of God, wouldn't the antichrist be the pure product of man's abandonment and replacement of God with man's god? Wouldn't this manmade god need all the trappings of an actual religion? Wouldn't this god need temples and priests?

The State has them in every capital city.

Lincoln memorial

Look at Washington D.C., at the Lincoln Memorial. Would anyone deny that Lincoln's temple is a Greek Doric temple, with Lincoln seated on the throne of Zeus? And what of the objects under Lincoln's oddly oversized hands, aren't those Roman fasces, the root of the word we use today as fascist? According to the National Park Service's web site, the actual columns of Lincoln's temple are symbols of fascism as well. Also, Lincoln's temple was finished in 1922, during what could be called the golden age of fascism, when Mussolini was elected and the ideology was a growing fad in the U.S., Germany, and Spain. This was before fascism was discredited by the behavior of the Nazis, and actual fascists mostly stopped calling themselves fascists.

If you don't see Lincoln's temple as evidence, have a look at the Apotheosis of Washington, stationed in the center of the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building. By the way, apotheosis literally means divinization and deification of a human to the divine level. And that is exactly what is portrayed in the Apotheosis of Washington. It is George Washington's deification, as he becomes a god. It couldn't be spelled out any clearer than it is.

Do you need more evidence? Have a look at the pageantry that surrounds the British monarchy. We're told they hold no real power, but every official event that involves their monarch is, in every way, an echo of a holy Roman Catholic ceremony.

Remember how the scriptures describe Satan, "...the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour". That sounds to me like the State, constantly consolidating power, while absorbing or exterminating any free people he encounters, and subjugating any nation state that opposes him. It certainly doesn't sound like the invention of theologians who were adapting and adopting pagan deities into Christianity, centuries after Jesus had died. Remember, "that ancient serpent" as I talked about earlier in this book, wasn't some fallen angel created by an unwitting God. He was created by that very human tendency of lust for power and the desire to control humanity by becoming the lawgiver. That "ancient serpent" was the State, and although he is always adapting, he has never changed.

It was mankind that created the tempter, and it was the State and State power that tempted Jesus. But he rejected the State and commanded it get behind him and out of his sight. Jesus was lawfully arrested by the authority of the State; he was lawfully given a trial by the State. Then, he was lawfully executed by faithful servants of the State, who were just doing their job.

The State is the antichrist. It has its hymns and its idols, and if you dare disrespect the State by failing to stand or kneel for its holy hymns, or if you fail to pledge allegiance to its holy symbols and idols, you can expect to suffer at the hands of its faithful followers. The State is the religion of mankind, and he walks the earth, seeking whomever he may devour.

See also: The State as God

An Appalachian Tale

First post & table of contents

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I have not made this connection myself, and neither heard it proposed by others, before. I find the concept of the institution as the antichrist compelling. I note 'the state' is just another institution, as I also pointed out in a previous comment that the criminal acts of the state are identical to criminal acts committed by gangs, which are simply institutions just as is the state.

Corporations, governments, and gangs are just particular labels slapped on institutions that seek to differentiate them. However, institutions, or 'legal persons', are identical in one definitive particular: human rights and authority are delegated to an agreement between various individual people.

I submit that it is the institution that is the antichrist, and differentiating between states, gangs, and corporations is unnecessarily confusing the issue. I find this a compelling and rational concept that explains and validates the various descriptions of the antichrist in religious traditions, as well as reflects well the objections to despotism and tyranny folks intent on increasing and defending their freedom and prosperity undertake.