I’ve been reading Brian Zahnd’s “Farewell to Mars”, Rob, am about halfway through it, and am in deep thought concerning his message as well as yours. The book is already highlighted and with my own sideline remarks throughout. I loved his father’s advice about the majority almost always being wrong and found his own analogy of the crowd being “antichrist” right on target. When he writes, as well, though that “The spiritual experience of expressing a shared hostility can even be confused for the Holy Spirit… because of how it feels”, he comes close to my own thinking, my own hesitations to simply swallow any group’s “call to arms”, even when that last use of wording is endorsing the very opposite of what it seems to imply.
Your declaration here of it becoming clearer every day that humanity is being challenged with a stark choice to either learn and adopt the Gospel of peace or face self-destruction is without argument, in my opinion. Yet, when you say that humanity needs a “mechanism to periodically reduce our propensity to resort to violence” and suggest that Gospel “revelation” fulfills such a role, I’m left to ponder whether you refer to just the Book or the One who, in breathing it into, must now, as well, breathe into me. You give me hope when you speak of our needing more than “common sense or enlightenment” to ward off all threats, for, as Zahnd seems to imply, a believer, even a “born-again, filled with the Spirit” believer, still stumbles down the path clad in his own humanity. Where does that leave us, though?
I’m not wanting to give debate. We are agreed, hopefully, in the urgency before mankind as a global community. My own walk, however, has determined that the best that any individual can manage in this is to be a vessel for the reality of His resurrected Presence within us; and that involves a trinity: the Bible as well as we can decipher it; His tug on that paternal umbilical cord restored unto us via the Holy Ghost; and the journey, itself, as a lesson unto us as we go. I do ponder this present-day Church that seems to make a totem pole out of the Book, assume for themselves what, in truth, belongs to “Christ in me”, or throw it all out, lock, stock, and barrel, to create their own solution for what it takes to eventually enter through the Pearly Gates. The ecclesiastical institution, as a whole, as much, or more so than anything else, gives indication to me of “finality”. Judgment, it is written, must begin at the House of God.