Sunday's posts are fairly long and involve a fair amount of work. This week has been chaotic, and there has been little peace when you look at the news. There is a clear sense that the left have won, the coup is over, but I fear this is not the case. There is even a question of if the internet goes down. We may be messaging numerical addresses to each other rather than URLs Bruce Charlton sums this up well.
From the global demonic coup of early 2020, the spiritual has been rapidly and very-completely excluded from public discourse. But - for those who discern the primacy of the spirit - there has been a convergence of the spiritual war with the material. That is why the 2020 Litmus Tests - which discern 'merely' on the basis of political opinions - are also extremely effective tools of spiritual discernment. The conflict over the US election is apparently the last, and most decisive, of these Litmus Tests. Things have 'come to a point' - institutions and discourse have converged onto a single, official-bureaucratic-media permitted and supported, ideology. This ideology is characterised by foundational and systemic untruthfulness about 'facts'; and accelerating value-inversion in concepts - hence is easily identifiable to Christians as a product of Satan (the father of lies). Whole value systems (for God, creation and The Good - or against these) are separating, further and further, with less and less overlap. Therefore; there are now many material correlates of spiritual allegiance; and the correlation is a consequence of the material being a consequence of the spiritual. This is why I regard the current political events of the USA as being (more and more evidently, as days go by) a focused and key instance of the spiritual war of mankind. Since the middle of the 19th century, the USA have become the Christian and spiritual focus of Man - taking over from Britain, and as a development of the British spirit. It is not an accident that the US president identifies with his British descent. America has been, for about 200 years, the main arena of creative Christian developments - most notably the Mormons; but also Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventists, Southern Baptists, Pentecostals - and the many varieties of Evangelicals. Despite that all the major churches have now collapsed (willingly, mostly), and Christian church leaders have taken the wrong (i.e. demonic) side in the current spiritual war (as evidenced by failing one/ more/ all of the Litmus Tests); this historical perspective demonstrates why the US is the place for what seems to be the decisive, and perhaps even final, material battle between Good and evil.Bruce Charlton
I would argue that a fair amount of the Victorian progressive churhc based movements were flawed, at times fatally. You can see that if failed cults from the Shakers to Christian Scientists and the syncretic religions such as Mormonism, Ratana and Ringatu. The interfaith dialogues have failed, because we reject Christ for he caused division, to have such a dialogue
But that is not right now. We can meet with our families. We can walk the dog. Most people don't bother with the COVID tracking stuff, and although there are signs of the inevitable economic decline there is food in the pantry and we can worship. It is a blessing to live in an obscure island nation that most people don't care about, and where most people need to fend for themselves.
However, let's return to the prayers and texts for this day. As usual, the readings are interspersed with videos.
Collect Of The Word
Loving God,Church of Ireland
your Son came to seek the lost
and was baptised with sinners:
grant that we, who have been baptised in his name,
may reach out in love to those in need
with the mercy of Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
for ever and ever.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth was a formless and desolate emptiness, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening and there was morning, one day.Genesis 1:1-5
19 Now it happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “On the contrary, we have not even heard if there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized [a]in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.Acts 19:1-7
4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. 7 And he was preaching, saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to bend down and untie the straps of His sandals. 8 I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came from the heavens: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.Mark 1:4-11
Not the Lectionary.
No apologies about three Hillsong clips. The theme of baptism and being placed under the water to make a radical separation of one from the spirit of this age into a new live, a new birth, where we live not by our own efforts but by the power of the spirit means the songs fit.
But before the rebirth has to come repentance. What Charlton has correct is that the narrative of this time is a lie. Demonstrably false. When you agree with the talking points promoted at 6 Pm on the mainstream providers of Pravda is is lies you say, not truth.
Otherwise, they want to distracted. There is a reason there are gossip magazines (the women's press) and magazines for hobbies, for showing your status. Every deadly sin now has an industry supporting it. If you are binge watching stuff, paying games, all is well: you are converged.
But if you are on your knees graving for your sins the spirit of this world fears. if you stand up for truth you will be feared.
And when that happens, let us praise God. He has the victory. It is our job to be his witnesses in this time, though the nations rage and conspire.