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2 Chronicles  7 : 14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
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On Comus & the Mockers
Israel - Middle East
Friday, September 27, 2013
Alf Cengia

It seems an irony to me that one of the gods currently being revived and worshiped by this largely secular, unbelieving world is Comus the god of comedy. According to Wiki, in Greek mythology, he was the god of festivity, revels and nocturnal dalliances. Comus (or Komos) also represented anarchy and chaos and was the god of excess.

In the fact the godchecker.com website (yes they really do have one) adds a "comical" twist to the description of Comus by noting that he "revitalized the sit-com industry."  I would add the Talk-Show industry to that line-up.

Recently, Stephen Colbert used his personal platform to mock Joel Rosenberg's book "Damascus Countdown" as a medium for garnishing a few laughs. And he was successful judging by the reaction of the audience. In the world of entertainment nearly anything is fair game (especially Christian themes) for the sake of a good laugh.

Needless to say, some things are still sacrosanct and carefully avoided - like Muhammad or Islam. And the less said the better on that one. Just in case!

Colbert got a two for one - he was able to have a laugh at the expense of both a weird fundamentalist Christian and conservative Fox News for actually considering him worth interviewing in the first place. One might even say that the whole laughable thing was a god-send for comedy.

Unfortunately, some of this derision against Rosenberg has come from those within the premillennial Christian community. These are Christians who should know better than to impute insincere motives and/or scriptural eisegesis to people with slightly different eschatological viewpoints. One Christian writer recently wondered whether Psalm 83 was prophetic or profitable. He wrote:

"It is sad to see the ongoing hysteria that some modern so-called “prophets” create and maintain by incorrectly interpreting Scripture. It is almost comical. For the last few months, Psalm 83 has been the whipping-boy for alarmists who see prophetic fulfillment in the Middle East every time the sun comes up. Unsuspecting laypersons lock on to these prognostications and fret that the end of time is about to occur." (Emphasis mine)

Ah, there's that rascally Comus again!

It's fair to acknowledge that there are differences of opinion among scholars regarding the Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 prophecies. Some premillennialists hold the view that Isaiah 17 (The destruction of Damascus) has been fulfilled in the past. Although I disagree with past fulfillment, I'm not biblically competent to offer an informed argument to the contrary.

However, the more accomplished Joel Rosenberg has responded to this criticism on his website (as have others) and people should avail themselves to both sides of the conversation, rather than casting aspersions.

Either way, it is patently clear to those of us who have been observing these Middle East conflicts that something very unique has been occurring in that region. While some finer timing details may remain debatable and unpredictable, the big picture is, in fact, slowly coming together as anticipated in the Bible's eschatology.

I further note that some of Rosenberg's Christian detractors have largely missed the prophetic boat by not drawing a parallel to these stirrings in the Middle East with what the Bible has to say about future events in that region. In fact many haven't even bothered to comment on these momentous Middle East events at all.

While antagonism from the Christian community and its selective hermeneutics regarding anything "apocalyptic" or prophetic vexes me, I can somewhat understand the mockers and scoffers of the secular world. That's quite a different story.

It's unfair for me to comment on Stephen Colbert's personal motives or faith, as I don't know him. However, we do have his video commentary and the accompanying laughter to give us a sense of where he and his audience stand on some issues. I also have the Bible's view of the secular unbelieving world (more later).

The secular world sees Christians as gullible believers who naively exercise their faith in a book of myths and esoteric prophecy. That's how the atheist mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell (and others) portray them. Ironically, I was first exposed to the highly regarded Russell in a glowing blurb about him at the back of (Christian) author Tolkien's The Hobbit, published by Unwin Books. He's mostly forgotten now but the fact that he was an academic and an atheist intimidated me at the time.

In his Christian apologetics book Always Ready, Greg Bahnsen took Russell's presuppositions to task. He noted that, far from having answers, Russell changed his philosophic disciplines several times over his lifetime. He finally admitted that he couldn't be certain about what was true about "reality and knowledge" yet he remained convinced that Christianity was false. Bahnsen noted that Russell's logical fallacy meant that he was firing an "unloaded gun."

Russell also stated:

"Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him."

The first fragments of the New Testament date less than 50 years after the original writings and the bulk of the most important manuscripts date around 200-300 years after these originals. Russell embraced Platonism at one point. The earliest extant manuscript of a work by Plato dates from 900 A.D. Plato is thought to have lived around 350 years B.C. That manuscript didn't surface until twelve centuries after Plato; however, that that didn't appear to be an obstacle to Russell's faith in him.

Bahnsen wrote that unbelievers like Russell et al "ironically" and "inconsistently" assert that nobody can know "metaphysical truths" yet somehow they manage to know enough to insist that Christianity is wrong. The Bible has a lot to say about this.

Here I'll paraphrase Bahnsen's excellent summary (pp 183-184):

All unbelievers suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18) and they attempt to hide the truth about God from themselves due to their immoral lives. A carnal mind is enmity against God (Rom 8:7) and minds earthly things (Phil 3:18-19). These are alienated in their minds because of evil works (Col 1:21). They are foolish in their reasoning (Rom 1:21; 1 Cor 1:20) and are led in particular to an anti-biblical mindset (Psalm 10:4).

In fact these secular scoffers routinely construct elaborate scenarios like multi-universes etc to escape a God who hunts them at every turn. They exercise a desperate faith that there is no God because a sovereign God demands to be attended to. They prefer to worship impotent gods like Comus, Bacchus and Eros even if they don't believe in them.

On the other hand, Christian mockers should pay more attention to what is occurring in the Middle East. Is it an accident that Israel is once again a nation after 1900 years, and that its neighbors seek to destroy it? Is it an accident that the region is suffering from unprecedented - may we say biblical - turmoil? Did Zionists somehow cleverly orchestrate these scenarios?

There is a God who gave us His plan for the future. He demands to be heard.

Are we listening?

About Alf Cengia

Last week: Post Red Line Fever



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