What Is He Talking About, Again?
C.S.Lewis wrote in one of his volumes about the problem of "Christ and...", that is, the tendency to ignore the sufficiency of Jesus and his atonement, and then insisting that something else can/may be added to the mix to improve it, rather like sprinkling a touch of gunpowder onto a nuclear bomb. I have run into this personally when being invited to become a Mason. "It helps you to be a better Christian!"
Glad someone found a way to fix inadequacies in the grace of God! I'm sure the Almighty lost some sleep 'til they bailed 'im out on that one.
Occultists through the ages have found sundry schemes and scams to add nitro to the chugging engine of the Faith Once Delivered, generally Gnostic in nature (the apocryphal, pseudipigraphal bits of first century fanfic like the "Gospel of Thomas). Gnosticism revolves around the idea that to really be (fill in spiritual preference HERE____________), you need to access the Hidden Knowledge that Few Attain. Christian faith is not alone in this problem. Jewish Qabbalism is a magical mystery religion that purports to reveal the gnosis to its followers, what's really going on in the law and the prophets! The gematria, the mystic geometry of words in the Hebrew Scriptures, is a result of this thinking. Add a computer, and an End-Timey-Wimey Rapture bunny attitude, and you get the Bible Code. Hear what Wikipedia saith:
The Bible code (Hebrew: צפנים בתנ"ך), also known as the Torah code, is a purported set of secret messages encoded within the Hebrew text of the Torah. This hidden code has been described as a method by which specific letters from the text can be selected to reveal an otherwise obscured message. Although Bible codes have been postulated and studied for centuries, the subject has been popularized in modern times by Michael Drosnin's book The Bible Code and the movie The Omega Code.
Careful, your shopping list may be revealed for all to see in the pages of Torah, if you choose the right skips.
The Japanese fascination with the almost Christian, the Christian Other, is of interest to me. The Santa Claus on a Cross, itself apocryphal, sort of codifies the thing. Anime series like Anno's "Neon Genesis Evangelion" (probably my favorite series. Jay, pass the Tang!) reveal the Vita-mixed understanding Japanese popular culture has of Things Christian. Christ and is the order of the day. An eeee-vil cabal, Seele (say-lay) is wishing to immanentize the Eschaton, much as the irreligious Left was worried that Reagan wanted to do, between his finger on The Button and his support of Israel. They thought that by starting Nuclear War, Pres. Reagan would force Jesus' hand and bring about the Second Coming of Christ. Sweet Hal Lindsay on a stick! But there it was.
Seele wants to bring about a more Nirvana-esque end, where everyone melts into single consciousness, utilising the Qabbalistic Angels that almost destroyed the world years before.
This does not sound like any Chick Tract I've ever heard of.
"Evangelion" includes a roster of the named angels from Jewish mystical tradition, and the Christian symbolism, down to cross-shaped explosions, fills the series, but no Atonement, no Jesus, just Qabbalism with a coat of Christian imagery, and unpleasant people doing unpleasant things. But stylishly.
|"OH NO! ... It's ... It's Jack Chick!"|
I have been watching "Cyber Team in Akihabara", and it too is rife with cultic pseudo-Christian themes and imagery. The 500-year-old Christian Rosenkreuz (the founder of the Rosicrucian order), disguised as a school principal, seeks to bring about conditions which shall ensure his immortality. The ensuing assemblage of robotic battle suits and mysticism is murkier than "Evangelion's" mix of Jungian psychology and Christian/Qabbala syncretism. And it has middle schoolers as the heroines, because apparently the Japanese believe that only middle school girls are capable of saving the world.
Giant robots with crosses.
Copyright © 6-23-13 Weatherly Hardy
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