One important factor in this era of things coming to a point, is the distinction between good and evil becoming ever clearer even in our own hearts - and even within Christianity. Among which, the very longstanding errors and false emphases of Christianity are being exposed mercilessly.
One such error can be seen when comparing the Fourth Gospel with Luke's and especially Matthew's Gospel's - and is related to the idea of Jesus as Messiah of this world, of being a socio-political saviour of his people. And the idea that this will be evident in terms of Jesus, and then of Christianity (and the purported institutional continuation of Jesus's mission) being a positive influence in the development of this world.
It is normal now - and has been from not long after Jesus died - to claim that Jesus made The World (this mortal life) a better place; just as it is common from the enemies of Christianity to claim the opposite. And often to claim this better world as the main 'benefit' for Christianity, the main reason why people should be Christians*.
But in our time, with our pervasive materialistic world view; the arguments for Christianity have become almost entirely this-worldly. And, to make this appealing to the mainstream masses, the effects of Jesus Christ are seen in terms of Christianity promoting the values and outcomes that are currently mainstream.
This can be seen in yesterday's Queen's Speech. Elizabeth II is Head of the Church of England - officially responsible for appointing the bishops who ordain the priests; so that having Christian references is normal and mandatory in her annual address; the question is: what are these Christian references, and what do they imply?
This year, the nature of these Christian references shows clearly the ways that the spirit of Antichrist is at work in this era, here and now; such that references to Jesus and to the Christian churches are framed in social terms quite alien to the spirit of the Fourth Gospel.
Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem. But in time, through his teaching and by his example, Jesus Christ would show the world how small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding. As Christmas dawned, church congregations around the world joined in singing It Came Upon The Midnight Clear. Like many timeless carols, it speaks not just of the coming of Jesus Christ into a divided world, many years ago, but also of the relevance, even today, of the angel's message of peace and goodwill. It's a timely reminder of what positive things can be achieved when people set aside past differences and come together in the spirit of friendship and reconciliation.
This false idea of Jesus as primarily, essentially, the agent of overcoming differences and division, of offering a blueprint for harmony and understanding, and of instituting a society of peace and goodwill; is a modern version of the same error and distortion seen when Jesus was regarded as a Jewish political leader; whose primary mission was to inaugurate a new way of living on this earth and during this mortal life.
Whereas, in reality Jesus was essentially addressing the individual person; and any social changes were secondary to that person coming to believe-on Jesus, have faith-in and love-for him; and desiring to follow Jesus through death to resurrected life everlasting in Heaven.
The influence of Jesus, of Christianity, on this world and mortal life is therefore via the effect of transforming individual minds by the love of Jesus and the expectation of Heaven.
The error of regarding Jesus's mission as primarily political is even more harmful now than it was at and around the time of Jesus's life; because we have (as a society) lost our ability even to acknowledge the reality of the spiritual - and this is also the attitude of the Establishment Christian leadership such as the Queen, Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis.
I call this the spirit of Antichrist, because the idea of Antichrist is to be a fake Christ who uses Christian language and concepts but whose covert motivations are evil; the spirit of those who affect to be on the side of God while operating on the side of Satan. This is done by incorporating selective aspects of Christianity with a false emphasis, and by leaving-out the essence. (Plus, of course, by lying.)
So, the actual religion of the 2019 Queen's Speech is, unsurprisingly, Leftism: we have a Leftist fake Christianity of social reform, and an overt Leftism of that modern 'climate' focused pseudo-environmentalism that has become merely an excuse for a wholesale, Global totalitarian power grab:
Since the end of the Second World War, many charities, groups and organisations have worked to promote peace and unity around the world, bringing together those who have been on opposing sides.
By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost. The challenges many people face today may be different to those once faced by my generation, but I have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate.
Here we have it, the Antichrist spirit; where it turns out that many 'charities, groups and organisations' are involved in (supposedly) promoting peace and unity around the world; with a special endorsement for that most immediately threatening evil of putting-aside-differences (ie. enforcement of sameness and elimination of borders) that is being pursued under the excuse of 'protecting our environment and our climate' [sic!]).
In sum, the Queen is explicitly making an equation between the aims of Christianity and the aims of mainstream charities, groups, organisations, environmentalists and climate change activists.
In other words, since Christianity and Leftism are being regarded as amounting to the same thing, and both are to be pursued by the same strategy of promoting peace and unity. Therefore, in practice: pursuing Leftism is claimed here also to be promoting Christianity. And the Christian message is transformed into eliminating inter-societal and inter-personal differences/ imposing uniformity of thoughts, attitudes and behaviours/ empowering international agencies with total powers of surveillance and control etc.
Thus we see the spirit of Antichrist at work. And, as always, the greatest danger is the failure to discern it; the failure to perceive that - whatever the Christian language - evil is the true motivation.
*Note added: Jesus came to offer the new possibility of resurrected Life Everlasting - which is the positive meaning of the double-negative theology of saving us from 'sin' - where 'sin' is being understood as 'the mortal condition', which is itself being understood primarily (but not wholly) to be death. That was what Jesus did, what his life and death was for; and Jesus succeeded completely in this objective with nothing of it left outstanding or still-to-do. And the further things that Jesus came to do are contingent; being secondary to this primary completed act of Jesus, and contingent upon the human individual and his circumstances, and to the society at that time and place. Of course, becoming a follower of Jesus necessarily affects your life and this world, but that is not the point of it. Nor can such societal effects be made into a checklist, code, blueprint or System - separable from the souls of specific Christian individuals.
Christianity is unusual (unique?) in rejecting "unity" and "sameness" as something to be sought. A key characteristic of most religions and all New Age religions is to celebrate the jettisoning of distinctions: Everything is One.
God loves the differentiated and distinct roles of every single thing He created. The (worldly) focus on creating sameness and undifferentiation is Satanic.
Paul's description of the church as the body of Christ is the clearest expression of the Christian perspective of the importance of distinctness in the New Testament.
"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness." 1 Corinthians 12:13-23
Yes, the body is one, but the role each constituent part plays is distinct and unique and valuable.
And Christ emphasized _division_ and distinction as the essence of his message. The Spirit of Truth means taking note of divisions and proclaiming them, calling them out and ensuring that people are aware of distinctions, not that they paper over them in the interest of "unity", peace and reconciliation.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." Matthew 10:34-36
"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Luke 12:51-53
A cell can only exist if it is distinct from its environment. The push towards "sameness" is the push towards destruction and nihilism. To Be, we must be SOMETHING. Being without differentiation is nihilism and death.
We see the Satanic attitude towards this in everything from "anti-racism" to the transexual agenda to the pro "refugee" agenda. To create oneness and no distinctions is to destroy everything. And it is colored in moralistic, even Christian terms.
@SN - I agree that is the correct understanding of Christianity, although there have been times and places when the opposite was enforced by Christian churches on their membership.
This is one area in which a pluralist metaphysics of human origins might have been helpful - since if we have each been unique from eternity, then the objective of uniformity and persons becomes more obviously wrong.
Whereas what actually happened - tying Christianity to a Greek-Roman metaphysics of creation ex nihilo at or around the time of conception of birth - does tend to suggest (or, at least, most people apparently have assumed) that we might all have been the same originally; and that therefore differences derive from mortal (singul) experience - and that these differences would be abolished in Heaven.
At any rate, it has been common for The Good Christian to be seen as a single archetype to which all ought to aspire - and, if so, then it seems to make sense that this specific behaviour pattern should be taught to, and enforced upon, all Christians - preumably by as-powerful-a-church/state-as-possible.
"At any rate, it has been common for The Good Christian to be seen as a single archetype to which all ought to aspire - and, if so, then it seems to make sense that this specific behaviour pattern should be taught to, and enforced upon, all Christians - presumably by as-powerful-a-church/state-as-possible."
Or of course there is the mantra 'to surrender to God's will...' which is a very successful interpretation of the divine, seen in another monotheistic alternative to Christianity. As you suggest, perhaps this is another in-built historical error, and self-compounding, worsening with time, associated with traditional Christianity...to insist on monotheism and classical philosophical interpretations, instead of pluralism. A Godhead that is BOTH a heavenly father AND a heavenly mother! In which we were already premortal beings and have unique individual destinities United by faith in Christ. Of course, as we both know Mormonism believes in this interpretation and, to my immense sadness, other traditional Christians (protestants, Catholics, etc.) reject them outright as NOT Christians! I have to say that I find the division of Christians denying Christian status to other Christian groups such as Mormons, fundamentally unchristian, and perhaps and example of where 'diversity within unity' should be encouraged instead of blind conformity to theological dogma. Let's face it, the insistence of omnipotence and the absence of a female counterpart to deity don't really make sense intuitively nor do they satisfy intellectually. In this respect, it is easier to imagine paganism or animism as more spontaneously correct metaphysical interpretations of really...
"reject them outright as NOT Christians!" Agree that this is actually ridiculous - and has indeed been an Achilles heel to Christian churches. They have made it Not Christian to believe any metaphysical philosophy except for the monotheistic 'Trinitarian' formulation, ex nihilo creation and the 'omni-God' - despite not none of these are explicitly stated in Scripture (indeed the opposite is stated in some places), and are incomprehensible to anyone except intellectuals.
It is rational for Mainstream Orthodox Christians to argue that (eg) Mormon theology is wrong, but to state that in is non-Christian is merely to show that one is in thrall to unexamined (and denied) metaphysical assumptions that are being put prior to Scriptural revelation and reason.
In other words, unless one can understand that it is possible to be a Christian and also to deny the validity of Trinitarianism/ ex-nihilo/ monotheistic omni-God - then one has not understood Christianity. Christianity and philosophy Just Are separable.
Goodness, I've just watched it. It's as bad as you say. For the head of the Anglican church there appears to be no difference between the teaching of Jesus and the ideals of atheistic humanism.
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