For more information on Nemrut / Nimrod see Nemrut? Where Is It?
Nimrod is a prime example of a political leader joining forces with a god, but he is by no means unique. Throughout throughout all history the god(s) were called upon – invoked – to empower and bring to pass desired results in every aspect of life for everyone from individuals to empires.
The process often involved making a contract between the god(s) and the leader,
- based on laws
such as modern contracts such as employment and financial agreements. Think coming under the terms of a contract between a loan shark and his godfather. The conditions are enforced by an authority regardless of the consent of the governed.
In contrast, a covenant is a
- morally informed,
agreement that depends on the covenanting parties for enforcement. Covenant examples include marriage and acceptance into a religious system under the authority of the religious leader and divinity.
- The Pre-Ceremony Actions
- The Selection of the Covenant Representatives and the Cutting
of the Covenant Sacrifice
- The Exchange of Robes, Belts, and Weapons
- The Walk unto Death
- The Pronouncement of Blessings and Curses
- The Seal of the Covenant Mark
- The Exchange of Names
- The Covenant Meal
- Before enacting the covenant, the two parties would discuss the terms, conditions, the promises of blessing, and the warning of curses, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the treaty. In the case of large groups like nations, a covenant representative was chosen on behalf of each party to assess whether the personal sacrifices demanded by the pact were worth it. At Mount Sinai Moses represented God, and the elders of the people represented the millions of people.
- To start the ceremony, the representatives would sacrifice an animal, cutting it down the middle from head to tail. As on any butcher, they would be splattered with blood. Seriously, you’ve got to stop visualizing the Bible in Sunday School cartoons and see humans as God sees us.
- Intrinsic to most covenants was the concept that the parties – individuals or groups – were sharing benefits, i.e. they no longer wanted live independently but as one. In lieu of a signed and notarized document, the representatives would exchange a token symbolizing a new social position, new character, and new authority. The exchange of weapons symbolizes a political alliance, the responsibility and the power to defeat each other’s enemies. At Mount Sinai, the most powerful weapon was given, by God alone, in the form of his words, by which he creates and destroys anything in the universe. Two tablets of stone were not needed to fit all the writing. One was a copy for God and the other a copy for the people.
- The two representatives would look to heaven and make a vow to fulfill their obligations or die. After this step, there was no way out. Ironically, failing to rest on the Sabbath day is the first mention of death as a consequence of breaking the Mosaic covenant. This rest from one’s own work is explained later as proof of one’s faith in God’s promise to provide, rather than dependence on one’s own efforts, therefore does indeed have a foundational spiritual aspect.
- Then each would speak into existence the terms of the covenant – the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. The blessings would often include abundant harvests, prosperity, good health, and numerous children. Curses would often include retaliation by the injured party, destruction, disease, poverty, famine, and defeat at the hands of their enemies, invoking their national deity(s) to bring about the blessings and curses.
- If the agreement was a blood covenant, pagans would seal the covenant by drinking wine commingled with the blood from each representative from cutting. Often they would also take a dark substance and rub it into the cut to create a tattoo, a public reminder that the two were now covenant partners. The Mosaic law prohibited drinking blood, cutting, or making marks; therefore, biblical covenants were often sealed instead with wine, the blood of grapes.This knowledge of ancient customs should help us understand any number of biblical accounts: circumcision as a mark of the covenant of stewardship over the territory God designated for himself, Abraham’s covenantal sacrifice ceremony, and Jesus’ sealing with his disciples of the new covenant in his blood, soon to be shed in sacrifice, by a cup of wine.
- Exactly as in marriage, the covenant partners would next share their names to establish that that the two entities – nations, armies, whatever – became one and now share personality, character, reputation, essence, and authority. This is recognized in the common practice of taking the name and character of one’s deity as one’s e.g. Yeshua = YHVH is salvation, or Sennacherib = the moon god Sin replaced my brothers (with me). With this information, the change in names of both Abram to Abr-ah-am and Sarai to Sar-ah by adding “ah” has a deeper meaning than just the translation, it added an element of YHVH’s name to indicate covenantal union. Don’t overlook the fact that YHVH also took on the name of his partner as part of the terms of the covenant, from henceforth being known to all the nations as the God of Israel.
- And lastly, the covenant was celebrated with a feast including bread and wine representing the body and blood of the covenant partners. As the new partners ate and drank they made their concluding declaration to live as one in their vows to live for each other. From this point forward, the two parties and all who they represented were viewed as one inseparable individual.
Using the Bible for its historic value, we find the word “covenant” first used with regards to Noah:
“behold, I…destroy all flesh…But with thee will I establish my covenant…And of every living thing of all flesh…to keep them alive with thee;” (Genesis 6:17-19)
What covenant is that? Don’t assume it starts with Noah. God is not saying he is making a covenant, but that he is establishing / making to stand firm / confirming / deeding over an existing covenant despite the imperative to destroy all flesh.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen…My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him…My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” (Psalm 89:34)
This can be no other covenant than to give dominion over the earth to mankind,
“And God said, Let us make man…and let them have dominion…over all the earth….And God blessed them, and God said unto them…have dominion.” (Genesis 1:26-28)
One-sided so can’t be a covenant? Good point. But at this point in, well not time, because death hadn’t occurred yet, but this point in the account, The Triune God and the two humans were identical – all made in the image and likeness of each other. So, OK, no covenant, but still an oath
“1) men verily swear by the greater: 2) and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, 1) confirmed it (swore) 2) by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:” (Hebrews 6:16-18)
And there definitely was a covenant made when two parties emerged after one of the adams split ranks and joined up with the Serpent, and the other adam stayed true to his instructions to leave his father and mother but to never leave nor forsake his partner even to death. (Genesis 3)
- The Pre-Ceremony Actions: The Adams hid from God because they were afraid – knew they had broken the law and were doomed, but God seeks them out.
- The Selection of the Covenant Representatives and the Cutting of the Covenant Sacrifice: Mr. Adam is appointed representative / ruler because he stepped up to bravely care for his partner. God sacrifices animals.
- The Exchange of Robes, Belts, and Weapons: God makes clothes of animal skins for the Adams
- The Walk [Lifestyle] unto Death: Mankind doomed to suffering, the Serpent doomed to destruction.
- The Pronouncement of Blessings and Curses: Undoubtedly repeated and memorized by the Adams as they were spoken into existence by God, but most especially of the Redeemer who would deliver them from the Serpent, Sin and Death.
- The Seal of the Covenant Mark: Gender changes from unisex in God’s image to male and female.
- The Exchange of Names: Adam keeps his name, his partner gets a new name Eve
- The Covenant Meal: Change from vegetarianism to omnivorous with meat consumed at least during sacrifices during renewed covenantal vows of dependence on Creator for life.
“Praise ye the LORD…in the assembly of the upright,..the LORD is gracious and full of compassion…he will ever be mindful of his covenant. He hath shewed his people the power of his works…verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever…He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalm 111)
Any covenant, because of the moral basis, requires acknowledging and accepting the oversight, and therefore worship, of the gods of each party. Therefore it is impossible for a monotheistic family / nation to make any covenants with a polytheistic nation. No mutual defense treaties, no trade agreements, no marriage alliances to secure national boundaries. The truly monotheistic nation is utterly dependent on their God only. Having his status lowered to equate with that of minor gods is anathema to YHVH, the God of gods.
Notice that although Laban had his own gods, he only covenanted with Jacob by The God of their ancestors going back to Abraham and his brother Nahor, Laban’s grandfather. (Laban had gone native.)
“And Laban said to Jacob… It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt:
- but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad…
- yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? And Jacob answered…With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them…And Laban searched [all the tents] but found them not [because Rachel was clever as well as brave]….And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban…
- Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
And Laban answered and said unto Jacob…
- let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
- And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
- And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones…and they did eat there upon the heap.
- Jacob called it Galeed / Witness And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
- And Laban said to Jacob…I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us.
- And Jacob sware by the fear [of retribution from the God] of his father Isaac.
- Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
With this knowledge of covenanting in mind, consider what happened at Mount Sinai during the development of the covenant between Almighty God and the Hebrews.
“And Moses went up unto God…Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I…brought you unto myself. Now therefore,
- if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant,
- then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Exodus 19)
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him…And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he…made it a molten calf:
- and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
- Aaron…built an altar before it;
- and Aaron made proclamation,
- and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.
- And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings;
- and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” (Exodus 32:7-10)
In less than six weeks of verbally agreeing to the covenant, but before it was finalized, the people broke virtually every single one of the Ten Commandments, but most of all the first commandment – “thou shalt have no other gods before me”. Read that “in my face”.
Under the terms agreed to so far, the people were subject to annihilation.
This explains why Moses broke the two tablets of stone – a copy for God and a copy for the people – before it could be ratified by those fools down at the bottom of the mountain thinking God would share his glory with the devils who crept into camp.
The Law Code, i.e. contract of Hammurabi and the Mosaic Covenant both explicitly state that their purpose is “to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land.” The difference is – and this is huge – the Mosaic Covenant dealt with spiritual laws and personal and national holiness. As a result, the Mosaic Law dealt with the cause of destructive behavior, not just its effects.
Hammurabi or the Supreme Court of the United States or any other leader can’t simply arbitrarily call into existence the rightness or wrongness of actions. Like defying laws of physics, breaking laws of human nature will inevitably lead to destruction.
“After nearly thirty years, the data suggest that abortion has been anything but good for the United States.” The economic consequences alone are that abortion (the modern clinically approved manner of child sacrifice)
- reduced the size of the economy,
- undercut one main cause of the American economy’s current dynamism: innovation,
- reduced the standard of living of the average America household
- is single-handedly responsible for anticipated imbalances in the Social Security retirement system,
- is perhaps the single largest American economic event of the past century, more significant than the Great Depression or the Second World War.
Had abortion remained illegal, the American population would
- be significantly larger
- contain a larger share of intact marriages and two-parent families
- have higher average living standards.
“…the analysis warns that if it continues unchecked, legal abortion will progressively erode both America’s relative economic importance and her average absolute standard of living.”
The Mosaic Covenant provides greater benefits to its subjects than Hammurabi’s Laws.
the Covenant protects the disenfranchised members of society, regardless of their place or rank in society, while the Code of Hammurabi is interested only in the free men class and gives special protection to the middle and higher social classes of Babylon…the lower classes, the wardu (slaves) and the mushkenu (free person of low estate) have no such protection…While biblical law sees human life as more valuable than material possession, the Code treated significant material loss as sometimes worthy of death (Code of Hammurabi, p 338). Conversely, God requires a life for a life, but the Laws of Hammurabi may only require financial compensation, and the life of a slave might only bring a fine…
The superiority of God’s Laws is that obedience (and holiness) is the desired outcome, so that a relationship with God is made possible, but the Law of Hammurabi’s goal is for longevity of the king and prosperity for the nation, regardless of who gets hurt. For example, the death penalty for theft (Hammurabi) seems extremely harsh as compared to the Covenant which required restitution. The death penalty for thievery in Babylon seems to indicate that the nation valued goods over human life, while the Covenant valued people over things, not requiring a thief to die. Another example was when anyone caused a pregnant woman’s child to die. The Book of the Covenant required a life for a life while the Code required they pay a fine…God sees the sanctity of life…the Code does not
As much as irreligious people like to fault the laws of Moses, objectively speaking the Mosaic Covenant provides well for the quality of life of its subjects in the kingdom.
- There is one day out of seven free from labor as opposed to the Egyptian and Roman one day out of ten,
- as well as one full year’s vacation out of seven,
- redistribution of resources to those unable to provide for themselves via a low ~22% income tax,
- and periodic elimination of debt.
- ensuring equal distribution of resources to all subjects, with no wealthy elite gaining power over the impoverished.
The presumption here is not that loans are made to exploit commercial opportunity, but rather to avert disaster. Indeed the Mosaic law encourages such lending: 7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Rather be openhanded and freely lend him what he needs. (Deut. 15: 7-8, NIV)
Thus in regulating intra-community debt, the Mosaic tradition imposes a structure of obligation that constrains the lender as much as the borrower. Debt, indentured servitude, and the alienation of land are viewed as the result of misfortune, with the result that creditors acquire an obligation not only to lend but also to remit debts periodically in the interest of justice…the obligations of the strong towards the weak…have been a central feature of Jewish belief since ancient times. Permanent bondage of debt or servitude were not to be countenanced within the tribes of Israel, in covenant with the God they believed had delivered them from slavery in Egypt.
Compare the assurances of debt relief in the Mosaic Covenant with the Mesopotamian reactionary debt release practices during crises.
In Hammurabi’s time…The peasantry was provided with land…tools, draught animals, livestock, and water for irrigation, so that they could grow food…they had to pay to the State as rent…When the harvest was poor, they accumulated debts. If peasants were unable to pay off their debts, they could also find themselves reduced to the condition of serfs or slaves…members of their family being made slaves. In order to ensure social peace and stability, and especially to prevent peasants’ living conditions from deteriorating, the authorities periodically cancelled all debt and restored peasants’ rights.”
“historians have identified with certainty about thirty general debt cancellations in Mesopotamia from 2400 to 1400 BC…
No further act of debt cancellation has been found for the period after 1400 BC; inequality increased and intensified. Land was taken over by big private land-owners and debt enslavement became commonplace. A large part of the population migrated north-west towards Canaan, with incursions into Egypt, which displeased the Pharaohs.
The ensuing centuries…have evidence of violent social struggles between creditors and debtors.”
Lebanon’s destruction at the hands of its power hungry governmet leaders is a prime example of the natural course of unchecked power.
The nation’s leaders mismanaged the economy for decades with a Ponzi-like scheme whisking away the hard-earned money of Lebanese people from banks to keep the government afloat, pay off public debts, and line the pockets of those in charge. The troubled policy screeched to a halt after the country’s banks simply ran out of money last year — meaning Lebanese workers lost savings they’d stored in accounts…
And the big explosion that rocked Beirut [August 4, 2020], likely set off by 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a port warehouse for six years, showed how Lebanon’s leadership didn’t bother to remove a dangerous substance despite plenty of time and ample warning.
Decades of corruption and financial engineering that had led to stark inequality drove Lebanese into the streets in their hundreds of thousands in October. Life since then has gotten exponentially worse. The people have faced near economic collapse, a pandemic and the third-largest nonnuclear explosion in the world, which killed almost 160 people…Up to 300,000 were made homeless, and countless businesses are in ruins, in a country where so many already struggled to make ends meet…
Several thousand protesters marched through the destroyed areas of the city Saturday, with rubble piled on either side…By the time the security forces had forced all of the protesters off the streets in the early hours of Sunday, over 700 had been injured, according to figures from the Lebanese Red Cross and the Islamic Emergency and Relief Corps…A researcher for Human Rights Watch reported seeing government forces firing tear gas directly at people’s heads…firing rubber bullets at their upper bodies…an NBC News journalist witnessed men in army uniforms viciously beating protesters, journalists and human rights workers throughout the night…Live ammunition was fired into the air near Parliament, scattering young, unarmed and terrifies protesters – it was unclear whether the army or the Internal Security Force fired the shots.
Those who felt they had nothing to lose stood their ground in resilience and continued to clash with the security forces.
“They have started a war,” several protesters said in response to the government’s violent crackdown.
Contrast with the oversight and restrictions placed on leaders in God’s kingdom.
“Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
And the priest’s custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice…the priest took for himself… And if any man [objected to improper sacrifice] then he would answer him…give it me…and if not, I will take it by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD…
And there came a man of God unto Eli [their father and chief priest] and said unto him… Wherefore… honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?…thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.” (I Samuel 2:12-36)
“And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people…And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king…and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.” (I Samuel 13:13-14, Acts 13:22)
Here we see the sharp contrast between laws simply cursing the unrighteousness and covenants blessing the righteous. As described in previous posts, the continuity of a man’s life through a dynasty of heirs is a form of eternal life. This applies to Melchizedek Jesus , “son of Melchizedek David, son of Melchizedek Abraham the Hebrew.” (Matthew 1:1).
“...say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee…to be ruler over my people…And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels….and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.“ (II Samuel 7:1-17)
Both Hammurabi’s and Moses’ codes also share the same claim to further the welfare, not just of one nation, but “for all of mankind”. By now we should recognize that Hammurabi’s government is the Antichrist’s, competing with God’s Messiah / Christ rule over all creation. And his is so right-sounding that it disarms even people who claim to be Christ-ones.
The difference between the two codes – and this is a big one – lies in
- the proof provided in the past of the enduring power of Moses’ God to enforce his law, therefore
- certainty of future punishment for all mankind who abhor his judgments andfaith in future freedom for all mankind who follow his judgments.
There is confusion in current America about what it means to be a nation covenanted under God, like Israel was, versus a Republic, like Rome. Get on the wrong track and you end up in the wrong place.
In the Puritan New England colonial context, covenant theology inspired church and civil communities. Citizens bound by covenant were obliged to exceed the narrow specifications of an agreement, realizing the spirit as well as the letter of the law in their daily activities. There is an emphasis on self-control as a part of self-rule, the primacy of commitments based in consent, giving meaning to ideas such as justice and liberty
The Declaration of Independence (1776) follows the covenant form and, when linked to the frame of government supplied by either the Articles of Confederation (1781) or the U.S. Constitution (1787), established a national compact in the federal tradition.
But to be clear, the “tradition” is not the same thing as the current reality. Just look at Christmas.
Most importantly, the Constitution of the United States is not a covenant between Americans and the Christian God.
Many of the founding fathers—Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Monroe—practiced a faith called Deism. Deism is a philosophical belief in human reason as a reliable means of solving social and political problems. Deists believe in a supreme being who created the universe to operate solely by natural laws—and after creation, is absent from the world. This belief in reason over dogma helped guide the founders toward a system of government that respected faiths like Christianity, while purposely isolating both from encroaching on one another so as not to dilute the overall purpose and objectives of either…
Uh, no. America was never covenanted under the Christian God. How could the Deist Founding Fathers create a mutual agreement with a Being they believed had left everything up to them?
A treaty of peace and friendship between the United States and Tripoli – a Muslim city-state that became part of Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya – was approved by George Washington. It explicitly stated: “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…”
We need to understand that monotheism is a radical break from the norm. And the Founding Fathers were not monotheistic. They were deists founding a Republic modeled on Roman, Greek and Egyptian heritage.
The following description of Rome’s absorption of conquered gods and practices reflects the standards for any non-monotheistic culture.
they not only respected and honored the gods of the newly conquered lands but often brought these foreign beliefs and practices with them back to Rome…From the Roman perspective foreign gods were simply different manifestations, with different names, of the standard Roman gods.
Thus, Jupiter, the head of the Roman gods, was not only the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, but also of the Egyptian Amon-Re and the Syrian Bel (Baal)…The result of this was widespread syncretism, with conquered peoples adopting Roman beliefs and practices while the Romans themselves adopted the beliefs and practices of those peoples. As a consequence, in the name of religious tolerance and respect for all ancient traditions, the religious makeup of the Roman Mediterranean was radically transformed to the point that the Roman from the second century BC would not have been able to recognize the Roman religion of the third century AD as his own.
Let me pause and make it clear that I’m not trying to incite riot against faiths other than Christianity. Not at all. I 100% support freedom of religion in America as well as separation of church and state. My point is that Christians who do get upset about their loss of primacy in the public sphere are utterly mistaken when they think they ever had it in the first place.
The controversial phrase “under God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, under President / General Eisenhower’s urging as America’s international influence was growing after WWII. The original pledge, written for the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World, is clearly influenced by the recent American Civil War.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands — one Nation indivisible — with liberty and justice for all.”
This clarification becomes important when attempting to understand biblical concepts. People who misidentify America as a Christian nation are not just misled by false political leaders, they apply their misunderstandings to biblical accounts and are misled by false religious leaders.
There is a group in the US who brought out a film shortly before the 2018 midterm elections called The Trump Prophecy. This film likened the US president to Cyrus, the first emperor of Persia – a pagan used by God to bring about his purposes…
Sure, Cyrus was responsible for freeing the Jewish population from captivity in Babylon, but I think I missed the bit of the Bible where God’s people campaigned to be subject to his rule in the first place. It all sounds like an excuse for people desperate to justify voting for someone who Christians should be rebuking, not supporting.
…one thing I know for sure is that we are instructed to love God and to love our neighbour – and that means that someone who separates children from their mothers, bans Muslims from entering his country, and countenances torture, is worthy of rebuke…
The politicisation and tribalism of Christianity is dangerous and, in the case of Trump, stands in direct opposition to the values of the saviour who…gave up his rights to save others rather than trampling on the rights of others to promote himself…
The choice of American Christians to publicly back Trump now, and George W Bush before him, has been a dangerous move in a culture war that now means that half of the US has its fingers in its ears when it comes to the gospel. My challenge to Christians in the US is this: what matters more to you, the identity of the person in the White House or the promotion of the good news about Jesus Christ?
America was founded on Renaissance Humanism, not the Reformation of Godless Religion, at a time when the options were made very clear.
- The Protestant Reformation is a vivid example of how religious transformation could set in motion institutional changes, leading to profound consequences for economic and political development.” The Reformation had a considerable [positive] social, economic and political impact on Scotland. There was an attempt to improve the lives of the poor and to open new markets for trade…to increase the number of schools in Scotland. Literacy rates improved.
- Renaissance Humanism was focused on the ability of humans to act free from religious rules. Humanists thinkers make the most of life for themselves.
The difference between the results of the Reformation’s biblical enlightenment and the Renaissance’s secular Enlightenment could not be more stark.
The American Revolution came first, was influenced by French philosophers and financed by French interests. The French Revolution was fired by the success of the American Revolution.
France then took Renaissance Humanism to the next logical step. Denying the accommodation of deism, France was the first Renaissance nation to deny religion altogether. Accepting only what the senses could experience, it set up the atheistic Cult of Reason. It replaced the Hebrew 7 day work week with Rome’s 10-day work week, and sacred days of worship with pagan sensual festivals.
Robespierre, one of the most influential leaders of the revolution, detested the amoral culture spawned by atheism. Believing, like Nietzsche did later, that belief in a god was necessary to achieve the virtue essential to a Republican form of government, Robespierre replaced the Cult of Reason by the Cult of the Supreme Being. Within the year Robespierre was executed, and his religious reformation wiped out.
Promising enlightenment through scientific discoveries, freedom from religious dogma, and political democracy for all classes the French Revolution rapidly degenerated into an orgy of blood, not just for France, but for most of continental Europe under the first of two lowly privates catapulted to Supreme Dictator of the reorganized Roman Empire seized from the Church.
Like Charlemagne who kicked off what became retroactively known as the 1st Reich with the “Holy Roman Empire,” Napoleon crowned himself Emperor in the presence of the Pope. This enhanced Napoleon’s intended impression, that he was the highest authority in France, more powerful than the Church.
Like Augustus Caesar before him, he already had absolute power through his position of First Consul for ife. Unlike Caesar, by doing this, Napoleon did away with the flimsy illusion of the Republic. Napoleon further undid any democratic reforms of the Revolution by re-establishing the French aristocracy, the French Court, and granting titles and land to those that served him well throughout his campaigns.
The second lowly private was, of course, Hitler with his Third Reich. Again with the Pope’s approval.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
America is not One Nation Under God, any allusion to God by politicians is subterfuge, and Christians who think the President of the United States is going to save the world are dreadfully mistaken. Humanists can only promise enhanced life in this body for a short time. Only a covenant with God can transform material existence and the horror of a disembodied soul into eternal life through reconnection with his Singularity.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
- he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;
- but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
Read up on the biblical meaning of corruption if you haven’t checked it out yet, and stay tuned for World War Z.