Hardly anybody participating in public discourse seems objectively to understand our present condition in an explicit fashion. By why I mean a mere handful of persons that I have encountered.
The Christian churches, even leaving-out 'Liberals' and focusing only on those who are serious Christians, have near zero comprehension of the fact that modern people live in a false reality like the Matrix movie: that public discourse in politics, business, and all large organisations takes place inside a world defined by the mass media and an interlinked bureaucracy ruled by a global conspiracy of wealth and power.
Consequently, the churches themselves, and the mass of individual Christian people in particular, are grossly and dangerously naive (stupid) about the fact that they are living-out their lives inside a system of evil manipulative falsehood; but are believing it, and praying about it...
(A lot of modern Christian time and spiritual energy is spent praying-for-the-success-of, and raising-money-for, strategically anti-Christian people, institutions, plans and projects.)
In a nutshell - modern Christians do not realise that The Establishment is primarily demonic - and that therefore the rich, powerful and high status people of this world are of evil intent and effect; they are The Problem not the solution, that they are among the worst of humans, and their agenda is one of damnation.
(This includes many/ most of most self-identified Christian church leaders and functionaries - and not just politicians, financier, journalists and media celebs - but top scientists, artists, poets and writers and musicians, lawyers, the military and police; and the vast worlds of medicine and education and so on. The Whole Lot. There are a few exceptions - but as a strong generalisation: The Whole Lot.)
Modern Christians are therefore trying to live a Christian life while believing demonic lies, in an Bizarro demonic world where truth, beauty and virtue are inverted!
Meanwhile, the conspiracy theorists who accurately understand the extent and thoroughness and success of that programme of deception and manipulation inside which we live; are hopelessly wrong about the aim of the Matrix.
Conspiracy theorists are nearly always atheistic, anti-Christian (especially anti-church); and are either materialists or only vaguely spiritual; such that they reject (as pure manipulation) any narrative of salvation and damnation. Therefore, the morality of conspiracy theorists is utilitarian and based on the promotion of mortal human happiness and avoidance of suffering.
So conspiracy theorists see the evilness of the global Establishment conspiracy as being the desire to create suffering and cause death. They focus on the destructiveness of wars and health scandals, infliction of poverty, enslavement, starvation, disease, mass poisoning and so forth...
Yet the basic fact of life under the evil Establishment over the past half century has been a massive increase in world population, and hugely-improved life expectancy and standard of living. Te basic facts refute the conspiracy theorists IF evil is seem in terms of human suffering and death.
But Christians know that evil does not ultimately aim at suffering and death - these are merely things that evil likes. The goal of evil is the damnation of souls - and the global conspiracy is not to torment and kill people but instead it is a conspiracy to damn souls - that is, to stop people accepting Christ's gift of salvation.
The only sure way to damnation, is for each Man to seek his own damnation; for each to want to be damned in preference to salvation.
That is why we live in a Bizarro world where - increasingly - all values are inverted; and in public, professional, official, legal, as well as media discourse such inversions are already 'normal' and increasingly mandatory - indeed inversion is now being imposed even among friends and within the family; since individuals being 'denounced' for private non-politically correct comments has for the past generation been widely encouraged and celebrated.
So the basic situation is that modern Man (including nearly-all Christians) inhabit:
1. A fundamentally dishonest and manipulation Matrix simulation; that is
2. Operated by demonic intelligences and their slaves, servants and dupes;
3. Whose ultimate aim is the damnation of as many people as possible.
Since this is reality - it can be seen that both Christians and conspiracy theorists are nearly-always seriously wrong about Life, and that only a combination of the two perspectives can capture the essence of the basic situation.
(Further reading: http://thoughtprison-pc.blogspot.co.uk ; http://addictedtodistraction.blogspot.co.uk )
I have to say that while some of the nasty and idiotic criticisms of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I hear or read do bother me at the same time it also reinforces my conviction that the church really is true. If the world embraced the church and all its scriptures and beliefs it would be cause for worry. That most of the world ignores the church and that among those who pay attention it is so often ridiculed and despised tells me that Joseph Smith hit the bullseye and his successors have managed to stay on course.
You are right about demonic influences seeping in to churches. In my church you hear talk of "self esteem" or "equality" or "fairness" and feminist influences are also evident. These all have the potential to tear things down and dilute and pollute the gospel if taken to their extremes. The leadership have to deal with the world and they have to do it in such a way as to minimize contention and defang enemies with as little conflict as possible. They have to deal with the world while attempting to convert as many as will listen which means the door is always open and not all that enter are our friends or have our best interests at heart. That they succeed to the degree they do is another sign of the truth of the church.
@Sean - As I once commented at the Junior Ganymede blog, my impression is that (over the past few decades) perhaps the main ethical difficulty for (especially economically and professional successful) Mormons has become the pervasive dishonesty and strategic Leftism of the major institutions in which so many Mormons work: Law, Medicine, Civil Government, Universities, the CIA etc.
These are deeply corrupt environments, which impose routine misrepresentation (often incuding outright lying) as a condition of employment - or, at least, of promotion. Te first problem is being corrupted by the environment; the second is actively assisting the evil agenda by one's hard work.
Mormons may behave better than 'average' within organizations and corporations, but the question is whether this is good enough as the average continue to decline?
(A comparison would be that nowadays Mormons divorce much less than the modern average Americans, and less than most other Crhristians and other religious groups - but Mormons still divorce a lot more than even average people used to.)
I don't have an answer to this problem - but it is a big and growing problem.
The basic need for a place to live as a Christian has been ignored since the dawn of the modern state. This would require a real economy, and the ability to provide for oneself and the community. It would also require a group of elders actually willing to obey the directives St. Paul directed at elders, rather than pretending widescale, but mostly content free emotionalism works as evangelism. Surely, if you lose the people you started with, you are in trouble, no matter how many new people you run through.
@August - Of course, repentance is the core of Christian living - not a perfect life. But I get teh feeling that most modern Christians don't realise that much of what the world regard as 'good causes' ought to be repented, and most people held up for their admiration are models of demonic influence; sometimes even the probably-demonically possessed (such as Jimmy Savile - whom we were taught (in the UK) to regard as one of the greatest moral exemplars of the modern era for his many 'charitable' works; he was only an extreme of what is near-normal among the highest in status nowadays).
for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. this I believe should be at the forefront of our minds whenever we observe anything that the powers that be our engaged in.
if I was to don my own tin foil hat, I would conclude that IT, was ALL leading up to one thing. one ultimate goal. to get everybody chipped, or more likely electronically tattooed, patent pending.
One problem with that idea Christianity is spreading faster than it ever has before and large swathes of the 3rd world Africa and increasingly Asia are Christian.
And while yes the "West" is less Christian than before, nearly everywhere else is more. If the goal is "Less Christians" said plan is a pretty big failure as there are more Christians today than ever before and with the growth elsewhere , I'd say a greater percentage or at least the same percentage is Christian as was when the White population was 25% of humanity
@Whitestone - Yes, and masses of people will queue-up and pay money to get chipped.
@ ABP - I am talking only of the West.
I think the powers of evil actually have a difficult job in 'harvesting' souls, because of Christ - and being a Christian is not at all crucial to salvation (although it should help a lot in theosis) - what matters is whether an individual person will actively *reject* the gift of salvation after their mortal death, when that person knows (because he is shown) that salvation is real and true.
This requires not just indifference to Christianity (or lack of knowledge of it) or Religion or Spirit - but *inversion* of The Good (real virtue is seen as sin, sin as the true virtue etc. - as with modern sexuality) - so that salvation is understood as evil, and hell is seen as preferable.
This state (apparently) has been achieved in The West, on a large scale, for the first time ever.
I don't think that the 'mass' human species as a whole is threatened by this - but that isn't how either God or His enemies see things - they perceive the spiritual war one soul at a time. CS Lewis was more or less literally accurate in the Screwtape Letters!
It takes a lot of work to damn a soul, because salvation is the 'default'; but nonetheless the enemy have been doing very well in The West.
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