Monday, January 31, 2011

Of Gods and Men

Armstrongism has taken a great deal of effort over the last 70 some years to denigrate Catholicism in it's various forms. Most of the accusations are made in complete ignorance because the only book most Armstrongites have ever read about Catholicism is Hislop's Two Babylons.  It has such a toehold in conservative Christian groups in the US that Armstrong and Ralph Woodward both bought into it.  Woodward wrote his own book based upon Hislop's book and HWA's interpretations.  Woodward finally decided a few years ago to really start researching the claims of the book and found that it was filled with all kinds of errors.  Woodward wrote a new book refuting his previous book, called The Babylon Connection?  You can read an article Woodrow wrote here  called The Two Babylons: A Case Study In Poor Research Methodology

All of that antiCathoilic vitriol that Meredith, Thiel, Malm, Flurry and others continue to spit out does nothing except make themselves look like complete e idiots.

Below is a movie clip of a new movie about Catholic Trappist monks in Algeria in 1996.  Can you imagine any Armstrongite EVER taking such a stand?

Xavier Beauvoir’s Of Gods and Men is a beautiful, extraordinary achievement. Understated at all times, highly sophisticated and understanding of its subject, beautifully scripted, it explores the life and death of the Tibhirine Trappist community in Algeria in 1996, during the civil war. The monks live a simple, self-sustaining life of prayer, kindness and service. As the political situation deteriorates, they find themselves caught in a shooting war, driven by Islamist fundamentalists. The army offers protection of a sort, but this raises other questions for the monks - questions of calling and integrity as well as a basic issue about whether life in an armed camp is actually compatible with what they believe their community should be. Do they stay or do they go? As Dying, Yet Behold, We Live!

A quote from one of the brothers in the monastery:

If a day should come, and it could be today, to fall victim to the terrorism that seems to be engulfing foreigners in this country today, I would love my community, my Church, my family, to remember that my life was given to God and this country and also that the sole Giver of all life was no stranger to such a brutal ending. They should also associate my taking off with so many other equally violent but anonymous deaths. My life is no more valuable than any other, nor less. Anyway, it lacks the innocence of childhood. I have lived long enough to know that I myself am part of the evil which, sadly, seems to prevail in the world, even the evil that could suddenly befall me.  

I could not seek such a death, and I could not die happy to see these people, whom I love, indiscriminately blamed for my death. That would be too high a price to pay for what could be called the grace of martyrdom by an Algerian, whoever he may be, above all if he is motivated by what he may believe Islam to be. I know the contempt in which natives of this country are already held around the world. I also know caricatures of the kind of Islam that encourages Islamism.  

For me this country, and Islam, are something very different. They are body and soul. This is what I have always said publicly, as I believe it and have known and seen this theme in the gospel I learnt in my first Church, at my mother's knee. This I have practised in Algeria, and always from the start in respecting Muslim believers. My death could, plainly, give substance to the arguments of those who think I am just naive, or a starry-eyed idealist. But they need to know that this will finally liberate my most ardent curiosity, in that I may be able, God willing,to submerge my vision in that of the Father, in order to see his Muslim children just as he sees them. In this thank you letter, which says everything about my life from now on, I want to include you all, friends of yesterday and today, and even you too, friend of my last moments, who will not understand what you are doing.  

Yes, even for you, I genuinely want to thank you and bid this Adieu, commendation to God, May we one day meet again, in Paradise, as happy thieves, if it pleases God, Father of us both. Amen.

1 comment:

Douglas Becker said...

If only we could forget the Inquisition.

Yes, the Armstrongist ministers have shown themselves to be less than courageous -- in opposition to the stellar example set in this movie.

One only needs look at how Conscientious Objectors were treated by the ministry to get the picture of what they really think of pacifism -- let alone stand up for what they believe in adversity.

It's always been about salary and prestige. Take those away with no possibility of achieving either, and most Armstrongist ministers of the old guard will be gone in a flash. We know this because they have already shown they would do it time and time again.

So let us pray that the Armstrongist ministry do stand for their god and not just appear to be Laodocean by being refined in the fire by being martyrs for what they believe.