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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is Anything Sacred, or Holy?

What is sacredness, and holiness? What do the words mean? The dictionary says the sacred is, 'devoted or dedicated to a deity or some religious purpose; consecrated; entitled to veneration by association with divinity.' And of holiness it says, 'exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.' 

All the great religions of the world recognize these qualities; even if they don't agree on specifics, or the nature of God.

So, if one does not believe in God,  nothing can be sacred or holy. We live in an atheistic era that worships science, reason, and the works of man. Materialism is the new religion of the world. There is no room anymore for the sacred and holy, except as window dressing or decoration, and few people - relatively speaking - believe in them.

Here's a test: Ask your friends and closest associates if they believe in the sacred and the holy. You may be surprised at the answer. If they say no, you should seriously consider dropping them as close friends. The condition of the world and the events looming on the horizon - which will arrive soon - are going to require great faith and commitment to God, and strong belief in His goodness and holiness. The holy and the sacred will be obvious and welcome to those who believe; but entirely unrecognizable and frightening to those who don't.

Not very long ago, around 1900, the vast majority of humankind believed (or took it for granted without thinking) that the world was composed of a mix of things, qualitatively. The deeds of men and women, and their souls (people believed in souls back then) and the goods of the world were either good, neutral, or profane; meaning, 'debased by wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use; irreverent and contemptible.' Occasionally, sacred and holy things appeared in the world and were celebrated and venerated. Often they came in the form of music, art, and more rarely, as people - known as saints. Sometimes miraculous events took place that the world regarded highly, such as the appearance of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal.

On the 13th day of six consecutive months, starting on May 13, 1917, she appeared to tens of thousands.

The world is very different now. Profanity and abuse of Judeo-Christianity is common, and considered a mark of sophistication. Slander of the  sacred and holy are entertaining to many, and some people of faith go along just to get along. Ironically, much of the abuse comes through fanatical Islamists who mercilessly - and in some places commonly - torture and murder Jews, Christians, and other religious people who have different beliefs.

We can't control what happens overseas, but within America's borders we must resist this trend - the pressure to allow the profane to thrive and dominate. Our present world war is spiritual, but it's expressing itself now through politics. The Democratic Party is almost entirely the province of atheists and the most profane citizens of the United States. Nearly every day some 'progressive' celebrity or politician makes headlines with a profanity-laced attack on someone, usually Sarah Palin, because of her faith. This never would have been tolerated in America until recently. Ironically, the other day several Democrat Congressmen were publicly saying, "f*** Obama!".

Public lying - along with profanity - is dramatically increasing. Example: On  December 15, employment figures were released that show unemployment at 9.8%. The Democrats have failed in all their attempts to solve it. They're suggested that this is "the new normal", something out of their control. On a weekly basis they publicly blame the Bush administration, even though Democrats have controlled Congress - and all federal spending - since January, 2007.

Imagine what Democrats would be saying if a conservative were in office, or a liberal Republican. Democrats were screaming “Depression!” in 2006, when unemployment was 5%, under George Bush. They’ve become entirely predictable. Whatever they do is high, noble, and good; whatever those who disagree with them do is low, mean, and malicious.

Their intentions are always “good”, so no matter how badly their policies fail, it’s never their fault or problem. Conservatives’ intentions are always “bad”, or suspect, so even when those policies succeed, no credit will ever be given to them. Democrats even try to steal credit, as with the success of the ‘surge’ in Iraq. Vice President Biden said in July that Iraq was their “big success”.

“Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue” – Matthew Arnold

When individuals display such a shocking double standard between their actual behavior and the appearances they try to project, it shows an undeniable awareness of right and wrong. They cannot expect endless mercy for their transgressions. We have God's promise that an end is coming, when we least expect it.

There will be no room at all for the profane in the world to come. Ask yourself if you can live in a world without profanity. You must choose one or the other. The two can no longer live together. The profane is strangling the sacred and holy to death, and they must be permanently separated.

Now is the pivotal time of testing, the climax of spiritual warfare. We who recognize the signs and work daily with full knowledge of the battle at hand – helping the Creator in His work – are very fortunate, and our reward is great.

This is Jesus’ End of Days prophecy from Mark 13:19-22:

“For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.” Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. “And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.”