I don’t think there’s any coincidence that the great army of us who discovered that our own brokenness was a result of narcissistic abuse came about a mere ten or twenty years before this conscienceless, sociopathic cabal of self serving narcissists, con artists, criminals, and their flying monkeys (enablers and sycophants) rose to take power over our nation and maybe the world. I truly believe that as painful and unfair as our suffering was, if we were able to recognize it for what it was and escape from it, we are the ones with the right sort of training and emotional resilience to lead the fight against the darkness that is threatening to destroy the world. It’s a kind of holy war, but it has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with good versus evil, and because we got to see firsthand in our own families of origin (or our abusive marriages or other close relationships) how damaging and pernicious this type of evil can be, we have a huge advantage over most of seeing through to the truth of things (and where there is truth, there is goodness and justice).
This was originally posted in March 2013 here: https://nyssashobbithole.com/wordpress/four-resurrections-in-glorious-appearing-lb-review-part-2/ Please comment on the original post.
For pages 354 to 356, oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we stick the Rapture and the Resurrection before the Tribulation! (And when we make the Rapture separate from the Resurrection.)
Where do I start? This is so convoluted and imaginary. Get this scheme of things, which in all my years of being a premillennial dispensationalist, never cropped up in anything I heard or read about the End of Days:
First, you have the Rapture, which is the beginning of error, because it is not biblical and mangles the doctrines and timelines of the Second Coming and Resurrection. Then this Rapture applies only to Christians and not to Old Testament saints.
Then the authors split the Resurrection into two resurrections, one of life and one of death (condemnation). Um, I thought they were supposed to happen at the same time for everyone, after the Tribulation and at the end of time, then we’d all be judged, and some would go to Heaven and some would go to Hell.
But the first resurrection (of life) gets split still further, with timing depending on when you lived.
Christians who died before the Rapture are resurrected at the Rapture, Resurrection #1.
Old Testament saints and Tribulation martyrs are resurrected between the Glorious Appearing (ie, Christ coming to stop Armageddon) and the Millennium, Resurrection #2.
(Like they did between the Rapture and the Tribulation, the authors have inserted an interval here which they seem to have pulled out of their butts. And what about Christians who died of natural causes during the Tribulation, so aren’t martyrs?)
The Millennium believers are resurrected at the end of the Millennium, even though they’re all still alive (yes, the book points this out), Resurrection #3.
But all the condemned are resurrected at once no matter when they lived: after the Millennium, during the Great White Throne Judgment, Resurrection #4.
On page 357, we read, “…[A]pparently it was God’s intent that the Millennium start with a clean slate. All unbelievers would soon die.” All unbelievers are doomed, doomed, doomed!
On page 358, we read,
The various groups of believers might find each other, but what were they to do? Would there be enough of them to start rebuilding the country as, finally for real, a Christian nation?
Oh, they get their theocracy! You often hear from the religious right that we’re a “Christian nation,” even though we are pluralist. Then we find that everyone is to live in Israel. So they don’t even get to choose where to live?
On page 363, the authors totally misinterpret Christ’s representation of the sheep vs. the goats (Matt. 25:31-46). We read,
“Some call this a Semitic jugment,” Eleazar said. “Jesus will judge you Gentiles on how you have treated His chosen people. Those who honored the Jews are the sheep, and those who did not are the goats.”
NO, NO, NO! The passage is very clear on what is meant: The sheep showed love for other people–Jew or Gentile–by treating them as if they were Christ, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, that sort of thing. The goats showed disdain for other people by being selfish and self-centered.
Don’t make this into some political statement about Christian Zionism, let’s all vote for the Republican Party so we don’t get labeled a goat, when it’s really about love for one’s fellow man! Especially since for centuries, there was no political Israel. And before Israel existed, there was no Israel, period.
The story of the sheep and goats says absolutely nothing about nations or Jews or Gentiles–or, for that matter, religions, period.
(Realizing this fact is one of the first things that got me wondering if I had been taught correctly about the Judgment, which ultimately led me to Orthodoxy, which also recognizes that this passage is not about correct religion, but love toward one’s fellow man.)
In United States politics, Christian Zionism is important because it mobilises an important Republican constituency: fundamentalist and evangelical Protestants who support Israel.
The Democratic Party, which has the support of most American Jews, is also generally pro-Israel, but with less intensity and fewer theological underpinnings. —Christian Zionism
Then after this heresy we find the grammatical heresy of Eleazar saying “When Jesus slayed all his enemies.” Slayed?
Pages 364 to 365 demonstrate the worst heresy of Calvinism–and the reason why I could no longer, in good conscience, believe the stringent Evangelical/ Fundamentalist teachings about the Judgment (and discovered, to my delight, that even the Catholics and the Orthodox are not nearly so strict):
Priscilla Sebastian says, “But it doesn’t sound like there will be much to judge [at the Great White Throne Judgment]. People either received Christ as their Savior, or they didn’t.” Eleazar replies,
Right, but we believe that God, being wise and fair and wanting to demonstrate how far men and women fall short of His standard, will judge them based on their own works.
Obviously, all will fail to measure up. This will show that the punishment is deserved, and as I have said, they will be sent to the lake of fire for eternity.
So how do you know they’re all going to fail?
From the Orthodox Study Bible:
–The Orthodox view is that unbelievers are judged according to the natural law, the law written on the conscience which every human being has. We are naturally good; to sin is to act against our nature.
–Habitual sins can dull the conscience; the conscience is also the means by which unbelievers can ultimately be saved. The goal is not man’s praise, but pleasing God. This is based on Romans 2:14-16 and 29.
–Also, those of us who are aware of the Mosaic Law (particularly the moral one, which still stands) are also aware that it is impossible to keep it perfectly; it cannot make us righteous.
–We are accountable to both the natural and Mosaic Law. Those who “become righteous by grace through faith fulfill in Christ both the natural and the Mosaic Law” (pp. 341-343, The Orthodox Study Bible).
Jesus Christ’s Parable of the Last Judgment (Matt.25:31-46) indicates that for many people the Judgment will become a moment of insight, recognition and conversion, while for others it may turn out to be a great disappointment and frustration.
Those who were sure of their own salvation will suddenly find themselves condemned, while those who perhaps did not meet Christ in their earthly life (‘when did we see Thee?’) but were merciful towards their neighbour, will be saved.
In this parable, the King does not ask people about matters of belief, doctrine and religious practice. He does not ask them whether they went to church, kept the fasts, or prayed for long time: He only asks them how they treated His ‘brethren’.
The main criteria of the Judgment are therefore the acts of mercy performed or not performed by people during their earthly lives.
According to the teaching of the Church, the Last Judgment will be universal: all people will undergo it, be they believers or non-believers, Christians or non-Christians.
If Christians will be judged by the Gospel’s standards, pagans will be judged by the natural law which is ‘written in their hearts’ (Rom.2:15).
Christians will take full responsibility for their deeds as those who ‘knew’ the will of God, while some non-Christians will be treated less strictly for they did not know God or His will.
The Judgment will ‘begin with the household of the Lord’ (1 Pet.4:17), that is, with the Church and its members, and not with those who did not meet Christ nor hear the message of the Gospel. —The Last Judgment
The Catholic view:
So, in the Orthodox view, what does it mean that Christ is the “Way, the Truth and the Life”? It does not mean that belief in Christ is the only way to Heaven, or that Christ is a gatekeeper keeping out the unbelievers. (One Orthodox forum poster jokingly referred to this belief as “Bouncer of Heaven.”) Rather, it means that Christ is the Judge of who receives salvation.
How will people be judged if they were not properly taught about Christ? We don’t know. But, as my priest says, we who were properly taught have the responsibility to believe/live the faith, be an example of it, and pray for those who are not Christians.
And how do the Orthodox answer the question, “What’s the point of missions, then, if good Muslims/Hindus/etc. can go to Heaven anyway?”
The point of missions is not to get spiritual notches on your witness belt, or to increase believer counts, or to snatch people out of Hell. Our eternal life begins now, not in Heaven, and here we begin sanctification (“theosis”).
The point of missions is to spiritually feed the church and then the people outside the church, getting them started on theosis right here and now.
“You ask, will the heterodox be saved….Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins…” –St. Theophan the Recluse
I just finished reading The Seduction of Eva Volk by C.D. Baker. This brilliant book is from the perspective of German Christians living in the post-WWI and then Nazi eras. It depicts how good people could get caught up in believing in Hitler and Nazi lies.
The book pulls you into their world, so you can understand how they were so deceived by Hitler. You see ordinary people–farmers, preachers, Protestants, Catholics, teenagers, shopowners, etc.–and how their daily lives were affected from the 1920s through the end of the War.
It also depicts vivid battle scenes in the Russian Front and in Germany at the end of the war, from the point of view of the sensitive poet Andreas, a soldier bound by his oath to Hitler. The author consulted Johann Voss, a former German soldier and author of the memoir Black Edelweiss, describing what it was like to be in the Waffen-SS.
The book also centers around a love triangle–Eva, Andreas, and Andreas’ Nazi brother Wolf–which symbolizes the seduction of Germans by Hitler, and the eventual unblinding of their eyes.
The book does not take sides of one country against another. While deploring the barbarism and atrocities of Hitler and the Nazis, the book also notes the atrocities on the side of the Allies. You see characters wavering between what they hear from the Nazi propaganda machine, and rumors of brutality being done by their own side, not wanting to believe the rumors. It is a warning against falling for Hitler-type characters, against the mass suffering and death which they can bring about. Millions died on all sides.
The final chapters are engrossing and fast-paced, leaving you wondering until the very end how it’s going to turn out, who will survive as Germany collapses into rubble and starvation and death. Yet the epilogue does not leave you with a typical American happy ending: It’s satisfying, but grim as you recognize the toll the war and Naziism took on all the characters.
Over the years of reading blogs by and about survivors of narcissistic abuse, I’ve come across the concept of checking up on your abuser even after you’ve broken off contact with them. This seems to be a natural human tendency: checking their blog, website, Facebook timeline, Twitter. Of course, the common advice is not to do this because you need to cut yourself off, go through the withdrawal process, then move on and heal.
But I have another reason to put forth: Maybe with Facebook or Twitter they won’t know, since those platforms (from what I can tell) don’t allow you to collect stats from your visitors. But many blogging and website formats do allow it in some form. Even WordPress.com allows you to install a Statcounter–You get limited information, but enough. Blogger blogs allow both a full Statcounter and Google Analytics. Especially if you have those two stat collectors working together, if you have a stalker after you–such as your abuser or narcisssistic family or sociopathic ex–you can track that person’s activities on your blog for years.
This is helpful for a blogging abuse/rape/other trauma victim. But don’t forget:
It works both ways.
One of my stalkers has recently revealed to me where she works now. It’s not through direct contact, but by checking my blog from work. She has also been checking my church’s website from there, even though she hadn’t looked at it for some time.
(And yes, this makes me wonder a bit, the day after nearly getting into an accident on my bike. I was riding with traffic, on the right, following all the laws, when somebody turned right in front of me. My son said this person looked at me before they turned! A few months ago, the same color vehicle started backing up into me right in the middle of the road. I don’t want to live in fear or paranoia, but it’s enough to make a person wonder if somebody’s gunning for you.)
I had no idea where she was working. Last I knew, the newspaper said she’d graduated college, but that was a few years ago. I never would’ve thought of this place. I wasn’t looking. I avoid Googling her as if it were going to burn me. But here was the information, given to me on a silver platter, unasked-for.
So keep that in mind when dealing with your narc ex-whatever. Maybe they already know where you live, but you’ve changed jobs. Or maybe you’ve moved. Keep in mind that stats do NOT reveal home addresses without a subpoena, but work IPs reveal employer information because it’s a public place of business.
Now, I’m not some crazy stalker out to track down and harm my abusers. But information like this in the wrong hands–I began to think I should post a public service message for my readers:
Don’t check the website/blog of your abuser/rapist/stalker/narc family/troll/etc. Don’t think they won’t know. Don’t give away where you are. Just let them go. Cold turkey! I know at first it can be tough, but over time, it becomes easy.
On page 14 is a reminder of how, well, fake everybody seems, like Stepford Christians: All around Rayford and Chaim on their way to the Temple, people shout the same thing, passages taken from the Bible. Rayford stands “with arms outstretched, reaching toward Jesus.”
There are multiple scenes just like this throughout the series, things like people praying stretched out on the floor. It just doesn’t seem…real. Like real people just wouldn’t behave this way.
Also, the book’s Jesus tells everyone, “Jerusalem shall be holy,and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.” So…immigrants are banned now?
Pages 15 through 16 are full of technical details describing the Temple. They sound like they were taken from the Pentateuch, basically a bunch of boring description that makes that part of the Old Testament such a chore to trudge through. I’m lost: With my NVLD, trying to visualize all that technical detail hurts my brain. So skip past it….
Page 16 talks about priests, burnt offerings, sacrifices–Obviously some Old Testament prophecies are being confused with End Times prophecies. On page 23 it’s explained by “Jesus” that the Jewish people “must continue to present memorial sacrifices to Me in remembrance of My sacrifice and because they rejected Me for so long.” WHAT??!!
Then on pages 27-29, Tsion is thrilled “to learn that the glory of the Lord would fill the temple and that the Mosaic laws would be observed–even the sacrifices.”
Well, except for the Passover lamb, which would not be sacrificed, to remind the Jews that “Jesus had been the perfect and once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world. And for these observances, even the Gentile nations would be required to have representatives sojourn to the temple.”
And if you neglect to send them, your whole country will suffer dire consequences, as Egypt later discovered….
WHAT??!! A restoration of the law that the Apostles said, in Acts 15:10, was a yoke that neither they nor their ancestors could bear, so they released the Christian church from this burden?
A seemingly endless set of laws for every minute detail of life, including that you can’t mix fabrics or eat shellfish, and women have to be separated for eight days a month? And Tsion is thrilled about this?
Where the heck does this even come from? It flies in the face of 2000 years of Christian theology, no matter which denomination you belong to. It certainly doesn’t match anything I heard back when I was a premillennialist studying up on this stuff. It would make the Millennium not so much of a paradise after all.
On page 29, we meet King David, who the authors tell us is “plain.” Say what? Here’s evidence that the authors don’t know the Bible as well as they claim, because 2 Samuel 16:12 describes David as healthy and handsome, with beautiful eyes.
This book is padded with all sorts of biblical quotes, which is not new, but now we also get to re-read stories we’ve already read many times before: Old Testament heroes speak to the children, and the children cheer, giving us absolutely nothing to advance the plot. I did a lot of skimming.
This does not apply to the Jews, but any of the Gentiles who do not accept Christ by age 100, die on their birthday and burn in Hell eternally. The ones who do accept Christ, age very slowly, since they are not to die at all during the Millennium (millennium=1000 years). So by age 100, they’re still adolescents.
But of course, anyone who has reached middle-age knows that teenagers often rebel against religion–but eventually come back to religion after reaching maturity. This rule is put in the book to pound the prophecies into a literal fulfillment, but ends up being draconian and arbitrary.
On page 46, the first adolescent dies at age 100, shocking many–but not all. Some people knew she was not the good Christian she appeared to be. Now Cameron ponders speaking during her funeral about the need to be saved.
(He used to be Buck, but now he’s Cameron again. Are nicknames unrighteous and not allowed in the Millennium?)
Rayford says on page 47, “The only benefit I see coming from [Buck–er, Cameron– speaking at the funeral] is if [the parents] allow you to warn other young people of the consequences of putting off the transaction with Jesus.”
Transaction–UGH! Salvation is not a business deal!
On page 70, rebellion has already begun, with an underground group of young people doing everything they’re not supposed to do. Their nightclubs “are frequently raided and revelers arrested and imprisoned.” Anyone who commits “actual crimes” is put to death on the spot by lightning from God.
So–does that mean the ones imprisoned, have not actually committed crimes? Are they just imprisoned because of their beliefs–a trait of oppressive regimes around the world, considered a human rights violation?
And the ones who do commit crimes–They get no chance at all to repent or rehabilitate before they go to Hell and burn forever? It’s no wonder this group is rebelling!
Yet we’re supposed to be on the side of the believers, even though their side is trying to turn into the USSR or some Middle Eastern despot, just because they’re on the side of “God” and the “good guys”?
But hey, at least it provides a plot for this book, some evil baddies to fight! Though the main plan of action is to fight them by indoctrinating–er, converting–the young.
The baddies are The Other Light, or TOL, trying to build Satan’s army for Armageddon–knowing they’ll die at 100, but hoping to pass on their beliefs to the next generations first. They expect to be resurrected by Satan.
The speech of the young people is also stilted and unnatural, like they swallowed a dictionary, with none of the usual “teen speech” you normally find in every generation.
They even use big words and academic speech, which is okay for textbooks and professional work, but just does not fit in the everyday life of teenagers. So is slang evil, too?
Then on page 255, Kenny calls his girlfriend “sweetheart.” Why must these kids sound like they grew up in the 1940s?
On pages 79-80, Qasim, a worker at COT (day care center used to evangelize children)–and potential recruit for the group of “good guys” infiltrating the TOL–is grilled on how holy he really is, with questions like, “Have you led children to Christ?” “How did you come to Christ?”
The verdict: He is not a real Christian, because he hasn’t led any of the children in prayers of salvation, and his “passionless recitation of the steps to reconciliation with almighty God.”
Eh, lots of us Christians don’t have a tally of souls we led in the prayer of salvation. Lots of us were also baptized as babies, or became Christians so young that we don’t have much of a story to tell. That doesn’t mean we’re not Christians.
To be continued.
(Comment on original post here.)