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The Cosmic Conflict and the Future (of America) Loma Linda May 21, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cosmic Conflict and the Future (of America) Loma Linda May 21, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cosmic Conflict and the Future (of America) sktonstad@llu.edu Loma Linda May 21, 2011

2 What Happened to Cosmic Conflict Theology? ORIGEN AUGUSTINE 100 245 312 430 CONSTANTINE

3 CONTRACTION ‘OLD’ PRIORITY COSMIC CONFLICT ‘NEW’ PRIORITIES TRINITY SALVATION CHRISTOLOGY POWER

4 Biblical Perspective – 1 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). ‘Separation of church and state’ ‘Separation of church and state’ Character of ‘the kingdom of God’ Character of ‘the kingdom of God’

5 Biblical Perspective – 2 Rev 13:1-2 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And the dragon gave it his power and his throne and great authority. Rev 13:1-2 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And the dragon gave it his power and his throne and great authority.

6 A Kingdom of This World – 1 “they had made it their very first action to cleanse the world from hatred of God” Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. X “The Church had acquired a protector, but it had also acquired a master.” A. H. M. Jones, Constantine and the Conversion of Europe, 107. “The Church had acquired a protector, but it had also acquired a master.” A. H. M. Jones, Constantine and the Conversion of Europe, 107.

7 A Kingdom of This World – 2 “Christianity thus became the official, and gradually also the normal, religion of the Roman empire. The effect on the Church was mainly bad. …. To the empire the official change of religion made little difference: the old corruption and oppression of the masses by officials and landlords went unabated, and the last remnants of public spirit faded away.” A. H. M. Jones, Constantine and the Conversion of Europe, 206.

8 Eclipse of Freedom Augustine writes “the only full justification, in the Early Church, of the right of the state to suppress non-Catholics.” Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo, 235. “…the capitulation of all who held to the classical proclamation concerning human freedom, once regarded as the heart of the Christian gospel.” Elaine Pagels, “Politics of Paradise,” 99.

9 The Christian State Justinian “engineered an incalculable number of murders. His ambition being to force everybody into one form of Christian belief he wantonly destroyed everyone who would not conform, and that while keeping up a pretence of piety. For he did not regard it as murder, so long as those who died did not happen to share his beliefs” (Procopius 1966:106, emphasis supplied).

10 A Roman Christian Empire “Under Gregory I (589-603) Rome was its pope….like the last warm glow of evening, the late Roman senator’s love of Roma aeterna had come to rest on the solemn façade of papal Rome.” Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity, 132, 135.

11 Donation of Constantine “…in order that ….the supreme pontificate may not deteriorate, but may rather be adorned with power and glory even more than is the dignity of an earthly rule: behold we are giving over to the oft-mentioned most blessed pontiff, our father Sylvester the universal pope, as well our palace, as has been said, as also the city of Rome and all the provinces, districts and cities of Italy or of the western regions; and relinquishing them, by our inviolable gift, to the power and sway of himself or the pontiffs his successors-do decree, by this our godlike charter and imperial constitution, that it shall be (so) arranged; and do concede that they (the palaces, provinces etc.) shall lawfully remain with the holy Roman church.”

12 The Shape of Temporal Authority “On Christmas day, 800, as Charlemagne rose from prayer before the tomb of St. Peter, Pope Leo suddenly placed the crown on the king’s head, and the well-rehearsed Roman clergy and people shouted, Charles Augustus.. Emperor of the Romans, life and victory!” - Normal Cantor, The Civilization of the Middle Ages, 181.

13 Church vs. State Roman pontiff alone rightly called universal Power to depose and reinstate bishops He alone may use the imperial insignia. All princes shall kiss the foot of the pope alone. He has the power to depose emperors. Judged by no one Gregory VII (1073-1085)

14 High Tide of Temporal Power Innocent III (1198-1216) Most influential of the medieval popes 4th Crusade (Christian Jihad) Sack of Constantinople in 1204 Persecution of Waldenses Intervention in temporal affairs ratione peccati

15 Lessons Learned “Napoleon planned his coronation (1804) with as great a care as he did his wars.” Pope Pius VII (1742– 1823), was content to bless the coronation. Pope Pius VII

16 Temporal Power in Decline Pius VI (1775 -1799)

17 Roman Catholic Self-Understanding “God's purpose in providing the successors of St. Peter with temporal jurisdiction was to enable them to perform their spiritual duties in complete freedom and security.” “God's purpose in providing the successors of St. Peter with temporal jurisdiction was to enable them to perform their spiritual duties in complete freedom and security.” Pius IX (1870)

18 Pius IX and Temporal Power “We now again solemnly declare to you that We are determined to retain all the dominions of this Holy See and its rights whole, entire, and unviolated, and to transmit them to Our successors. We will never accept and obey unjust demands which are presented to Us.” “We now again solemnly declare to you that We are determined to retain all the dominions of this Holy See and its rights whole, entire, and unviolated, and to transmit them to Our successors. We will never accept and obey unjust demands which are presented to Us.”

19 ‘Pastor and Prince’ - 1 “And indeed as Our predecessor Pius VII said: "To do violence to this highest power of the Apostolic See, to disjoin its temporal authority from its spiritual power, to disassociate, separate by force and cut off the duties of Pastor and Prince, is nothing less than to overturn and destroy the work of God.” “And indeed as Our predecessor Pius VII said: "To do violence to this highest power of the Apostolic See, to disjoin its temporal authority from its spiritual power, to disassociate, separate by force and cut off the duties of Pastor and Prince, is nothing less than to overturn and destroy the work of God.”

20 ‘Pastor and Prince’ - 2 “It is nothing less then to attempt to inflict the greatest damage on religion and to deprive it of its most effective defense. Then the highest Ruler of the Church would be unable to offer help to the Catholics spread all over the earth, who request his help and support because of his spiritual power."[7] “It is nothing less then to attempt to inflict the greatest damage on religion and to deprive it of its most effective defense. Then the highest Ruler of the Church would be unable to offer help to the Catholics spread all over the earth, who request his help and support because of his spiritual power."[7]

21 First Amendment Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.... (1791).

22 “I believe the notion of the separation of church and state was the figment of some infidel’s imagination.” “We are out to change the First Amendment.” - The late Dr. Jerry Falwell. The Cosmic Conflict and the Future (of America)

23 ‘Christian’ America KING: We have a separation of church and state. DOBSON: Who says? KING: You don't believe in separation of church and state? DOBSON: Not the way you mean it. The separation of church and state is not in the Constitution.

24 Voice of Principle I'm a Southern Baptist, and I have always believed in a total separation of church and state. And I think the interjection of religion into politics is not good for this country....I don't accept human definitions of what I have to believe, you know, to be a Christian. (Jimmy Carter, interview, USA Today, May 12, 1986)

25 “The Holy Alliance” “In that meeting, Reagan and the Pope agreed to undertake a clandestine campaign to hasten the dissolution of the communist empire. Declares Richard Allen, Reagan's first National Security Adviser: “This was one of the great secret alliances of all time.” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/ 0,9171,974931,00.html#ixzz1MvvmNXst http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/ 0,9171,974931,00.html#ixzz1MvvmNXst

26 Roman Church Power Redivivus “Today it is possible to say that what happened in Eastern Europe in the course of the past years would not have been possible without the pope, without the leading - the political – role he played on the world stage.” Michael Gorbachev, op- ed in La Sampa, 1992

27 God’s Politics: America and Israel KING: You said that the support of Israel is God's foreign policy. DOBSON: No, well, I didn't say that. I think that was a headline somewhere, but… KING: I'm sorry. I thought they were quoting you. DOBSON: I do believe that Israel is covenant land. That's very controversial, but I read the Bible literally, and I believe that God gave them that land, all the way back to Deuteronomy. That's what we're reading right now; there it is.

28 US and Israel “As the U.S. Jewish community mobilized to defend the embattled Jewish state, more than 3,500 evangelical Christians converged on Washington last week…” Israeli and American lapel flags were in abundance, as were red, white and blue buttons that read, “I vote the Bible.” (2006)

29 Theology in Congress “One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in “One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington.”- Bill Moyers, 2004

30 The Cosmic Conflict and the Future (of America) 1. A key element in cosmic conflict theology is the embrace of the church by the state, and vice versa. 2. The notion of the Christian state – Roman Catholic or otherwise – is an enduring feature of history. 3. For the past thirty years, this notion has been fervently promoted by professing American Christians and by dominant political forces in the United States.


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