Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Harmful Ways of Responding to the Civilizational Collapse We’re Experiencing

So now we know: from a biblical point of view, it is Satan who stands behind the whole Global Technological System (GTS) that spans our globe and dominates our lives. He’s incognito though. It’s the false gods in league with him whom we adore. These are the six conventional yet destructive gods of Olympianity: (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, goddess of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption. Our support for these six obnoxious gods gets a boost from the Flesh, or Unholy Spirit, who dwells within our Olympianity personality (in contrast to the Holy Spirit who burns brightly in our Christian personality).
This whole GTS is nasty. It is the most powerful embodiment of Satan’s Kingdom of Power the world has ever seen. He’s so happy. It stands in stark contrast to Christ’s Kingdom of Freedom. Where the six false gods of Olympianity delight in falsehood, and teach us to do the same, Jesus is the truth. Where the GTS is indifferent to the well-being of human beings, all species, and God’s good creation as a whole, Jesus frees us to affirm their well-being. Where the gods, through their ungodly GTS, cause no end of destruction, debilitation, and death, Jesus calls us to commit ourselves to life and all its vitality.
Now comes the ironically bad news: this whole nasty GTS is coming down. It is irreversibly collapsing and this collapse will take the GTS, our global civilization, all societies and cultures, and untold millions of human beings with it. While as its prisoners we might be glad to see it go, a severe lack of any meaningful alternative means that our lives—if they are spared at all—will be much more difficult. The best we can do now is to work together to create the most meaningful alternative possible--to embody now, as best we can, Christ's Kingdom of Freedom.

To create a viable alternative to the GTS, however, we must be convinced that it is both meaningful and useful to do so. Certainly it is meaningful. As mentioned above, the GTS embodies a very nasty Kingdom of Power quite opposed to Christ’s Kingdom of Freedom. As Christians and churches, we should have noticed this some time ago. Nonetheless, Jesus calls us today, yet again, to busy ourselves with his business.
Perhaps our motivation to work together on a meaningful alternative to the GTS might be strengthened if we were convinced that the GTS was about to collapse. Perhaps not. In an essay entitled, “The Stupid Things People Do When Their Society Breaks Down” ( [via], March 4, 2016), Brandon Smith rightly points out that, when responding spontaneously to crises, people (both Olympians and Christians) generally make poor decisions. Specifically:
1. They Do Nothing. This is the most typical response. It is the response of the vast majority of Christians and churches today. One embarrassing reason for this response: our devotion to Jupiter. We simply assume that the government will either not allow a collapse to happen or will quickly rescue us from it. Also, society and culture have been relatively stable since 1945. Why should anything different, especially catastrophic, happen now?  
2. They Sabotage Themselves with Paranoia. When societal and cultural stability start collapsing, people start to mistrust others and to isolate themselves from them. This is understandable but definitely not good. To survive physically, congregationally, culturally, and spiritually, we Christians need to organize ourselves now. If we don’t, societal and cultural collapse will quickly collapse our congregations as well. We also need to establish some kind of useful relationship with our larger Olympian community. This will grow increasingly difficult to do since, after large breakdowns, our broader societal context will be harsher than it is now and the government will be more controlling.
3. They Become Shaky and Unreliable When the Going Gets Tough. People we’ve known for decades will suddenly act foolishly and in self-serving ways—even family and fellow members of our church. Who can we rely on now? We need to start there. As congregations, we also need to do everything we can to strengthen the relationships between all members of our congregation and between ourselves and other congregations. We should have been doing this all along. We need to get to it now.
4. They Become Hotheads and Tyrants. Hotheads are people who, filled with a sense of doom, want to go down in an unnecessary blaze of violence. Some people will become tyrants because they believe that survival will only be possible through their control of others. Others will do so because they always thought that they should have been in control and, with collapse, they will have the chance to be so.
5. They Become Political Extremists. Some groups will make the mistake of past progressives by demonizing all individual excellence beyond the mediocre. Others will repeat the mistake of past restoratives by demonizing those who disagree with them as weak. These two groups will live off their mutual hatred and violence and both will seek to control the government to triumph over their rivals. Elites will use both. Those committed to reason, like you and me, will be falsely accused of extremism and attacked by extremists of both the left and right.
6. They Become Religious Zealots and eliminate all ideas and people who do not belong to them.
7. They Abandon Their Moral Compass. Those who continue to affirm truth, freedom, love, and vitality will be considered weak, unrealistic, and stupid.

Copyright © 2016 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.