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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Glorious Temples

From very earliest times, humankind has felt a need to consecrate certain places and take refuge in them; making them sanctuaries. Even very primitive societies made little shrines and objects for veneration, and certain spots - such as mountaintops - were felt to be special, sacred, or holy. Often temples were built there, and in many cases, these structures became the central focal point and expression of the very finest these societies could produce in art and technology. Nimrod's Tower of Babylon was one, as are the pyramids of Egypt, and the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis in Athens.

The Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, dedicated to God the Creator, was the most honored in its time; and even today is the most controversial. The Temple was built of fine white stone and beams of cedar, massive amounts of gold and bronze, and decorated with fine fabrics and gems. Pilgrims from all over the known world came to worship. Its mere foundation, called the Wailing Wall today, has sparked wars. Both Jews and Muslims claim ownership of it. 

Sometimes temples are used to honor certain kings or ancestors, but more often they honor a god. It's a very natural thing to do. Even in our modern age we build monuments to our desires, achievements, or loves. Consider the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Space Needle in Seattle, and the Eiffel Tower.


Modern science is coming to realize that our brains are hardwired for worship, and it's critical to our survival.  Research is showing that we must believe in and venerate something; if not the One God, then a false god: love, money, power, or other material things. 


We humans can't help but recognize that great powers - natural or man-made - can toss us around like rag dolls. We hate feeling vulnerable and powerless.  Take a look at this:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/sep/04/religion.uk

It matters a great deal what god we believe in. Power and money worshipers have a shockingly bad track record, and they frequently self-destruct. The same is true of sex and drug devotees


Similarly, Utopian ideas such as Marxism, Liberalism, and Collectivism  have been enormously popular and destructive. Look at Europe today, and what similar policies have done to the United States. Bankruptcy is rife.

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Have you seen the Temple of Liberalism/Collectivism? It exists largely in our minds, but is very real, and it has nourished hundreds of disastrous political systems and false religions. It's crumbling now, and should be pulled down as soon as possible. Worshipers are still making offerings to it, giving everything they have, even their lives, in vain.


It stands on four pillars of belief that deceive worshipers:


 1) Pacifism: Wars are brought on by people preparing for war or national defense. Peace is the normal state of mankind and nature. If we disarm, others will too.

This is patently false. The world is and always has been a very violent place, as Charles Darwin proved. Do police provoke crime by driving their special cars, wearing uniforms, and carrying weapons? No. The opposite is true. Weakness invites criminality.

2) Fairness: Inequities between individuals caused by gender, different levels of talent, and ability are "unfair", so a powerful central government must be used to "level the playing field".


Life is not 'fair' as we perceive fairness. But people prove their worth and succeed in many ways we don't see or appreciate. God does see. Moreover, all attempts to engineer societies and outcomes have led to tyranny, collapse, and suffering. Both Maoist China and the old Soviet Union proved this.
 

3) Atheism/Agnosticism: Belief in God and religion is a mark of weakness and lack of intelligence  It is absurd and impossible that the world is unfolding according to a Divine Plan. Either God is an illusion or God is distant and inaccessible. Science and reason are supreme. Morals and any concept of salvation are decided by the majority, collectively. Therefore, a powerful central authority using science as its guide must be created to dictate personal/national/world events and outcomes. This is historically inevitable and "right".
 
Again, human political systems are not wise enough or rich enough to accomplish this. Governments playing god bring on catastrophe. Friedrich Nietzsche declared, "God is dead" in the late 19th Century. Then he committed suicide. The wayward European empires followed in 1914. 

4) Reparations: Ancient grievances never die, and old ethnic, religious, and cultural conflicts and injustices must be retroactively corrected. This is done by monetary and legal compensation. Centralized government must confiscate wealth from those who have, give it to the poor, and put "disadvantaged" peoples  ahead of the line for jobs and benefits. It's the Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Hindu thing to do, and is 'right'.


There is a statute of limitations for all grievances, and the aggrieved must learn to forgive the sins of others.

Religious people know that truly effective charity must come from individuals, as Jesus, Moses, and all other true prophets have told us. Again, governments are a necessary evil, and are like children playing with fire when they play god. 

The rotten and corrupt Temple of Liberalism/Collectivism has to be demolished so that the new Temple of Solomon can be erected in its place. Scripture promises that it will be done, and we can assist God by remaining awake, and by helping others to see what's happening.