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As I explain the "Vine & Fig Tree" vision, and examine with searching detail the words of the Prophet Micah, some will undoubtedly ask,
Why bother trying to understand the Bible and some peasant religious nut who lived three thousand years ago? I am "modern" and "scientific" and I have no interest in church or religion. Please don't give me the Bible. What do I need with the Bible?
This is a question everyone asks. And I do mean everyone. Not just atheists, but
Catholics and Protestants. Even Evangelicals and
Fundamentalists -- for all their Bible-thumping -- are a product of their culture, and
our culture is at war with Micah.
And Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
Our culture is at war with the Bible.
Vine & Fig Tree is a movement in solidarity with Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, and millions of working-class families who have given their lives to protect copies of the Scriptures from the violent institutions of church and state, and live that revelation out in their homes and in the world. This is part of what we refer to as Patriarchy.
It goes back to the book of Genesis, the Patriarch Abraham, and ultimately back to the Creation of the World.
If you're an atheist or if you're a modern Christian who believes the Fundamentalists are totally out to lunch on their view of the Bible, then this page is for you. You won't be convinced in the 15k that makes up this web page, but hopefully the dialogue can get started. I hope you email your comments to me at Kevin4VFT@aol.com.
There are two accounts of the Creation and Purpose of Man competing for your loyalty.
THE BIBLE SAYS that the human race was created by a loving, Infinite-Personal God, Who placed Man into a beautiful Garden to live in families and take care of the planet.
MODERN SCIENTIFIC DEMOCRACY SEZ there is no God, except as you decide to create him/her/it. Man is the random mutation of genetic material, emerging without purpose and without meaning from a "primordial soup" of chemicals and energy. Marriage and families are "oppressive," and the planet is to be (a) worshipped [the "left"] or (b) exploited, "for tomorrow we die" [the "right"].
What are the results? What has "modern" actually delivered?
These words come to mind:
violent * superficial * selfish * materialistic * conflict * secular
cheap * undisciplined * lust for power * corruption * illiterate
dictatorship * pollution * war
loneliness * disposable * kickback * hopelessness
People everywhere feel it:
Something's not right.
People everywhere feel powerless:
What can be done? To whom can we turn?
Where are true leaders? Who are our heroes?
People everywhere feel lost:
Are there no absolutes?
Are there no values worth living for -- worth dying for?
THIS IS THE MODERN WORLD
PATRIARCHY -- as seen in Micah's Vine & Fig Tree prophecy -- is a viewpoint which self-consciously defends the Bible as an infallible revelation of the hope, values, and love of God. The "Enlightened" Empire of the Status Quo is at war with the Bible and with followers of Christ who for centuries have believed it to be the Word of God.
The Christian Patriarch accepts as bedrock fact the Bible's historical chronicle of
Eden vs. Empire
Patriarchy vs. Politics
The Kingdom of God vs. the kingdom of Caesar
To ignore these choices is to choose to die at the hand of the Status Quo.
But can I trust the Bible?
And, really now, Kevin, PATRIARCHY!?!
I answer: Can we trust those who say we can't trust the Bible?
I'll say it again: I can't convince you to become a Fundamentalist in one web page. All I can do is infect you with a desire to rethink your opposition to the Bible, and indicate my own willingness to continue to dialogue with you.
Let's take one of the most controversial issues surrounding the Bible: Creationism vs. Evolutionism. I'm a six-day Creationist.
You take the Bible literally?
You believe the world was created in six days?!?
What are you, some kind of obscurantist?
DON'T YOU LISTEN TO SCIENCE?
It is precisely because my eyes are wide open to what "scientists" have done to us that I reject their lies. I find it far more comfortable to side with peasants who stood against powerful, violent Empires -- quite apart from any faith that God used them as mouthpieces of His revelation to us.
Anyone who's honest will admit that scientists were not "forced" to abandon Creationism by "the facts." Evolution was a "scientific"-sounding philosophical rationalization for a hatred of the Bible which resulted from an unwillingness to submit to its Authority. It is simply not a case of "The Facts" vs. the Faith. The issue is ethics, not knowledge. The unwillingness of scientists and philosphers to bridle their wills under the Standard of God's Commandments resulted in the "Military-Industrial Complex," the technocratic institutionalization of violence; the quest for god-like power.
What do I think of when I hear the word "science"?
The Atomic Bomb * monosodium glutamate * smog * MTV * HMO's
"The Death of God"
"safe" abortions * "safe" sex * "assisted" death *
The Death of Man Pretty impressive.
But it's not the inventions; it's the ideology. It's the religious values upon which modern science is built.
The powerful and well-trained minds of the military leaders and politicians who plan their wars and turn the wheels of their war machine in an unmovable path toward death and destruction are dominated by a view of the world -- indeed, of the entire universe -- which is self-consciously at war with reality -- God's reality as it is described to us by God through Jesus and the Prophets.
Scientists want all the world to believe as they do, to accept their view of the universe -- its origin, nature and destiny - and, having accepted this view, to place our trust in them as those who understand best the path to health, prosperity, safety, security -- in short, to salvation.
Everybody wants "salvation." Call it "the good life," or "the American Dream." The question is, How do you get it? Modern science says, "Better living through chemistry." Politicians have learned the lesson: Salvation comes through the barrel of a gun. Urban twelve-year olds carry machine guns in pursuit of this faith. The structures of our society teach Salvation through Power. Christians must be committed to resisting their propaganda.
There are some people today who consider themselves "radicals" or "resisters." They have not resisted as they should have. Most people in the "Peace Movement" believe that the universe is as the President and his generals and scientists describe it. Conservatives listen dutifully to the prophets of the Empire, and spend great sums of money to send their children to their seminaries (Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc.).
The priesthood of the Bush/Clinton regime -- in their white coats or silk ties, working in their university degree-lined offices -- has convinced nearly everyone that Jesus and the Prophets of God are hopelessly misinformed concerning reality. Rather than accepting their Word as an absolute authority, we have been taught to choose for ourselves. We are all "liberals" now, not "Fundamentalists."
The simple fact is that there are two competing religions here: Biblical Christianity, and an idolatry which we might call "neo-Baalism."
We must understand these two religions, see that they are in complete opposition, discern which one leads to life, and then begin to live in terms of the one we choose.
|Who believes in Neo-Baalism?||Who believes in Creationism?|
|Professors||Those who work with their hands|
|Technocrats||Nearly everyone before 1776|
|BATF / FBI / IRS||Jesus|
The Apostle James says,
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
True religion is not a mind full of facts and crafty arguments ready for rapid deployment in a theological debate. And while we ought to strive for "doctrinal purity," the goal is to be "unspotted" from the Empires of the world. A bridled tongue and compassion for the weak are among the Christ-like character traits we must develop. The Apostle Paul says that when we develop these traits, we will not be "carried about" by the Modern World, by defenders of the Status Quo, which is founded on "the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting."
I want my children to choose Micah's religion, not Caesar's. I want them to look forward to a day -- indeed, to make today the day -- we beat swords into plowshares. I want them to resist those who hypnotize us all into forging spears for killing instead of hooks for pruning. I want to see them live in terms of Micah's Vine & Fig Tree vision. I am naive if I expect them to be indoctrinated in this vision in any institutional church or Empire-run school.
To the extent our thinking has not been clarified, and as we are not consistent with our foundational principles, we will not experience the harmony that God intends for us and described through the words of the prophet Micah.
We have already seen this in the 20th century. We have seen it, but we refuse to see it. Over 200 million people have been deliberately killed in this century alone; a greater percentage of the population than any previous century. The century of atheism is the century of mass death. Evolutionism means Genocide.
But modern man seeks the Tempter's fantasy: "to be as gods" (Genesis 3:5). Anything is better than admitting that God is God and we are not. Even death.
All they that hate Me, love death. Proverbs 8:36
And so I write with a sense of urgency. And yet I don't write all I could because I don't have the strength to face the battle. When the nation can silently view televised scenes of the government bringing tanks against citizens whose only "crime" is non-conforming thought, we are only days away from the time when those same viewers will hear the televised call to take up arms against any and all who will not confess that man is god and the State is his savior.
Jesus said His followers must be willing to "take up your cross." In our day He would have said, "take up your firing squad."
I am ready.
Is the Catholic Worker Embracing Modernism or Tradition?
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you,
that I have set before you
life and death
blessing and cursing
T H E R E F O R E C H O O S E L I F E
that both you and your children may live;
that you may love the LORD your God,
that you may obey His voice,
and that you may cling to Him,
for He is your life and the length of your days.
Vine & Fig Treeis my choice; the Bible, not the Status Quo.
Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:14-15
(9) Just as our nation has apostatized from the theology and cultural vision of the Puritans. [Return to text]
(10) We'll be discussing "Baalism" later on. It was an ancient religion which most scientists in our day believe. [Return to text]
(12) Ephesians 4:14. [Return to text]