Does your church have spiritual authority?
No. And it never will again.
In 2020 the Christian churches of the world voluntarily, without objection, with full publicity - handed-over their spiritual authority to the secular powers.
Whatever kind of Christian church - this happened...
Church buildings were closed. Pastors ceased to visit. There was no mass, no gathering of Christians to pray or sing, no laying-on of hands, no weddings or funerals or baptisms. Missionary activity ceased.
This was all done - willingly, while celebrating the fact - because church leaders handed-over full spiritual authority to the secular powers. Bishops did what they were told, said what they were supposed to say, and apparently thought what they were supposed to think; and did not do/ say/ think what they were told not to; protestant and other denominations likewise.
If, now, churches have-opened or will re-open - this is only because church leaders have been told it is okay. They believe they did right, and would do the same again.
They have also been told what they can and cannot do (say? think?) when the churches re-open - so the ultimate authority of the secular remains.
But what this all means is that spiritual authority in the world has been destroyed.
The secular authorities are atheist in assumptions, leftist in aims, anti-Christian in bias.
So there is no high-level spiritual authority in the world. It Has Gone.
It is gone - therefore it cannot be handed-back from the secular to the church leadership. When spiritual authority was handed over to the secular leadership spiritual authority died.
(Spiritual authority is not the kind of thing that can be put into deep freeze for a year, thawed-out and re-activated!)
Christians really need to grasp that since early 2020 the world has changed, spiritually, permanently.
The Christian church - meaning 'the church' of all professing Christians; and also each of the specific major denominations of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant denominations, Mormon and all others with a large institutional organization - has undergone the biggest and most devastating collapse since the time of Jesus.
2020 was the worst year for Christians, ever. Nothing in history comes close.
And the catastrophe is amplified many-fold by the near total denial that it has happened!
The mass of Christians (and almost all their 'leaders') are currently so corrupt that they cannot even notice and acknowledge when the fundamental supporting props of their church (whichever church) have been kicked away and stamped into dust!
Dishonesty is rife, and horribly compounded by dishonesty about dishonesty. In a world of insane nonsense; the simple and obvious truth is the one thing that is denied - and self-identified Christians are as bad as anybody.
Well, these are The End Times, with all that entails. We can't say we were not warned - for all the good it did.
What was not so clear from the prophecies is that the defining feature of the End Times is that Christians would not even notice!
Although that is a feature of the Antichrist idea - that self-styled followers of Christ would be following an imposter.
But instead of a charismatic and fascinating Antichrist who pretends to the mantle of Jesus; we instead have the grey, managerial puppets of a dreary global bureaucracy of international political institutions, finance, mass media, big business, etc.
We have a System Antichrist that is not even claiming to be 'another Christ', nor Christian, nor religious nor or spiritual in any way...
Yet The System is followed by church leadership and the mass of Christians as if it was The Good Shepherd himself.
It is literally incredible... but the new normal: our everyday reality.
I completely agree with your analysis here even if some people for understandable reasons of loyalty, commitment, even faith, will reject it. However, the facts speak for themselves. One thing I would add though is that this did not happen overnight. It has been gradually taking place over many years and last year was really just the final stamp of approval on something that had already happened.
@William "this did not happen overnight. It has been gradually taking place over many years "
Very true, and that was what prepared the ground and made the catastrophe of 2020 possible.
But when Christian churches were closed all over the world in the space of a few weeks (and indeed, other religions did the same) - there was a change that was so great as to count as qualitative. It was so sudden and so universal as to be a stripping away of all pretense, of all plausible deniability.
In particular, nearly-all the Christian churches that prided themselves of being rigorous, traditional and theologically conservative also fell in line without a murmur of protest.
That was an eye-opener. I really had not thought things were *that* bad. But I was wrong: they *were* that bad.
As far as I know the Georgian Orthodox Church did literally none of the things you mention (church closure, etc.).
They even had several few priests publicly calling the whole virus a fake, and speaking about Bill Gates and conspiracies about Masonic involvement, etc.
@Otto - If correct - this is good news. But I don't mean 'a few priests' but the official church leadership: Patriarch, Bishops, Abbots.
I would emphasize again: the importance is not the closures etc. so much as that closures etc. were supported by nearly-all leadership; and most priests/ pastors and laity.
Ecumenical Church Days in Germany reveal an almost offensive degree of corruption and opportunism towards secular power on a regular basis, as for example NATO representatives are free to present there propaganda that masks aggressive and expansive military interventions as peacemaking. This year NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg delivered a speech titled “Safeguarding peace in an uncertain world”. I think, in 2017, Ex-President Obama and German chancellor Merkel were invited to present there vision of the world, that forced me to finally leave my protestant church community, as I was opposed to such a degree of political influence by advocates of military power and intervention as a legitimate form of political action.
It seems to me that this was already an openly and appalling anti-christian stance, that should not have been acceptable for any serious Christian. Finally, it's not too surprising, that institutional Church follows the birdemic politics blindly, as many common people and thus also Christian community members seem to be too eager to have ever stricter rules implemented, at least here in Germany.
@Otto - BTW - I was (it turns-out, naively) expecting that the major Eastern European and Russian Orthodox churches would carry on as usual through the supposed-birdemic, and that the birdemic-narrative and response would be rejected by Russia and at least some of the central European nations. But in fact the all major powers are in it together - as is retrospectively pretty obvious.
Nonetheless, the Big Picture wrt the Christian churches is clear and simple; and it is dishonest to grasp at straws of resistance and dissent, here and there. These just prove the main lesson that as of 2020 Christians cannot look to external spiritual guidance; which already is, or very likely soon will be, compromised.
Here in the rural regions of the American state of Oklahoma, the Pentecostal churches seemed to resist the madness .... the ones with which I'm familiar continued with services throughout the COVID period, even moving them outside when needed. Just one small perspective from a unique environment .....
If the anonymous comment above is true - and confirms my impression that now the best Christians are those in the smallest and least bureaucratic groupings.
This is not surprising for 2021 - yet it represents a change. In the past it was assumed that the largest and most organized churches were the strongest and best able to defend their members from state and other persecution.
Nowadays, the large and more-powerful churches have joined-with the state (and others) in persecuting real Christians. They claim (and try to enforce) a monopoly of spiritual authority; yet (overall) use it to lead their members away from following Christ and into following the Antichrist System.
I'd backup anonymous's comment by adding some info another group I know kept having services and even communion, but I feel like I'd be narcing on them. Their small size kept them under the radar. When the governor said 10 people max, they had little to worry about because they only break 10 people when they have visitors from out of town.
@capt - I know of some others. But we need to be clear that this represents a qualitative change in what most Christians have regarded as 'church' for c 2000 years; and only emphasizes the reality of the 2020 catastrophe.
Christians need to recognize that this kind of thing is not really a continuation of what was before on a smaller scale; but represents the start of a new era.
If this is recognized, Christians will be much stronger than if they regard themselves as merely continuing what went before on a smaller and secretive scale.
This is not a return of some 'early Christian' way of the middle and late first century - like the secret Christians in a Roman catacombs - it is something unprecedented.
I don't think the other major monotheism has ceded its spiritual authority. In many/most areas, they kept their mosques open. Of course, it helps that the secular authorities don't dare to mess with them too much, and sometimes won't even enter their no-go zones. But that's because they've shown spiritual courage as almost nobody else has, for as long as they've been invading our territories. I would like to better understand the source of their spiritual courage.
@Jonathan - That is Not my impression or observation. I think All religions have caved, everywhere, top down - with only local exceptions.
It's shocking, but also amazing. What I like about your perspective of God in time is the magnificent drama it gives to life. I'm reminded of how, when growing up, I always just assumed my mom knew everything. Now when I consider her life, I don't feel bad about it, as though she was lying, but I'm amazed by how well she navigated the struggles of life in real time.
So for me, because I agree with your God in time assessment, I can look at the current events with a sense of wonder at God's Goodness and persevering love for children so easily distracted and diverted. It seems to fit in, we were warned, as you said.
In many ways I feel a sense of relief that I find hard to explain, except to say this has been years in coming. It's like driving into town after a long road trip. The "are we there yet?" question of the children gives way to looking around and noticing and realizing.
@Lucinda - "the magnificent drama it gives to life."
Yes. Those who do not recognize the catastrophic nature of recent events, also miss the astonishing fact of living through such truly epic times.
As always seems to happen, they are - however - epic in a very different way from expected; almost the opposite.
Bruce, where is it laid down that spiritual authority, once abrogated or relinquished, cannot be reclaimed?
@Mike G - It seems pretty obvious, from the nature of spiritual authority.
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