Wednesday, September 06, 2017

National Pride Comes Before Fall

Okay, I’ve had it. This is for my nationalistic, Bible-waving friends: a world history and Bible lesson:

No automatic alt text available. Pride comes before fall

Babylonian Emperor Nebuchadnezzar's North Palace Ruins
Notice the great empires of the world--Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, Greece, Rome, Abyssinia, Egypt, Aztec, Inca, etc—all were known for their nationalism, believing themselves divinely favored, supreme above other nations, thinking they would last forever.

Yet they all either ended up backwater countries or vanished, except for ruins.  Can you believe Portugal, for example, was once the wealthy world-dominating empire?

Empire vs the Barbarians of Northern Europe
Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus
Many ancient empires existed long before my northern European ancestors were considered "civilized", calling them "Barbarians" (from their “bar bar” talk, thinking the hairy northern Europeans were so backward they had no real language).

Now, check out the Bible:

The rise and fall of nationalist empires is the Bible’s central theme. Over and over, Old Testament prophets preached against nationalist empires and their leaders’ arrogant, bragging supremacism, extravagant wealth, world commerce, and world domination.

This included, and especially included, Israel.

National pride comes before fall, they kept warning.

And lipservice to God is what made their national pride and wealth most abhorrent to the prophets.
How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, Son of the Morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground,
which didst weaken the nations!
--Isaiah 14:12 

Note another irony: pious nationalists are often obsessed with the Devil, looking for demonic conspiracy around every corner. But let’s sit down and look at the famous, traditional depiction of the Devil in the Bible:

In Christian and Jewish tradition, the famous story of Lucifer and his fall from Heaven comes from Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Lo and behold, you find this Lucifer is none other than the personification of nationalist, wealthy, commercial, world-dominating Empires and their arrogant, boasting, extravagantly rich leaders.

Sodom & Gomorrah
by John Martin

"Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom:
She and her daughter had pride,
fullness of food, and abundance of idleness;
neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."
--Ezekiel 16:49

All the Old Testament prophets, not just Isaiah and Ezekiel, warn against nationalism, greed, commerce, arrogant leaders, and, especially above all, disregard for the poor, which doom empires to fall, especially when masked under religious piety.  Isaiah and Ezekiel (Isaiah chapters 1, 3, 13, Ezekiel 16) even interpret the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah being due to nationalism, extravagant wealth, commerce, arrogance, and, especially, disregard for the poor and oppressed, with not a single mention of sex.

The very last book in the Christian Bible, Revelation, reiterates this theme: the Fall of Babylon and its arrogant antichrist leader.

Go ahead. Wave around your Bible and flag; brag how your religion and culture and nation is the greatest and divinely favored. See what happens.

Okay, it’s already happening.


  1. Civilizations have a long history of not learning from history. American exceptionalism is a myth. This society is overdue to fall when you compare averages of how long they typically sustain. Watch the signs like ripening of fruit.

  2. You are one of the very FEW people I respect and admire. I live very simply but no where near what you did for all those years. I wish I had your stamina! Dawna Lawrence

  3. Good reminder that well-intentioned people can be duped into doing things that go against their morals, and that corrupt people will use the cover of religion or nationalism to nefarious purposes.

  4. Suelo, what is your take on books and etc. by Jonathon Cahn. He talks about signs of a national fall due to ignoring God.

    1. You will notice that Cahn will not and cannot touch the teachings of Jesus with a 10 foot pole, but avoids them like the plague. And he avoids like the plague what the prophets really say (as I point out above, namely about greed, wealth, and disregard for the poor). And the man is so morally bankrupt he talks about the multibillionaire blatantly lying, blatantly non-repentant con man now in the white house as if he is the Messiah. If Cahn one day rose up, grew a spine and took a whip to overturn the tables of the money grubbers of Evangelical mega-churchianity and in the whitehouse and of the money-adoring televangelists he now schmoozes up to, I would then say he is authentic.

  5. Replies
    1. “They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings"
      --Bob Dylan

  6. Interesting view, thanks for sharing it with us. I'm not entirely sure if I'd like to live in a moneyless world, but the idea of it seems quite... peaceful, perhaps?
    Kind regards,

  7. This is more Bible thumping. Who cares what the Bible says?

    1. Don't you get it? It's the world's best-selling book (over 5 billion copies), so maybe somebody cares what it says. Maybe a single Bible thumper out of all those will actually take notice. So work with me, ok?

  8. Thanks for replying on Cahn. I noticed the sensationalism used and theatrics when he did some dvds. Made me suspicious. If I could ask you, what did intrigue me, and if you would address about the subject and practice of Shemitah and the 7 year cycle. It seems like if we did this on a moment to moment basis, we wouldn't need to do it once every 7 yrs. I know it was agricultural in foundation. This part interests me. Please I would like to hear your thoughts. It is obvious to me you give heart and thought to your words. Thank you.

    1. "It seems like if we did this on a moment to moment basis, we wouldn't need to do it once every 7 yrs."

      Yes! Exactly! The literal Sabbath Day is for those under law, under money (credit and debt), to give them at least one day a week to have a small taste of what Grace is like, which all of nature is like, to entice them away from the Law (Money = Law, Credit and Debt).

      No wild animal or hunter gatherer observes a sabbath, because every day is sabbath in the natural order. No commerce, no business, is to be done on the sabbath. The sabbath is a day when you give up agriculture (sowing and reaping your own credit, which is also commerce), letting the land rest in its natural state, letting the poor and the animals (who don't observe sabbath) freely take, as they do on all wild land. This, in fact, is the point of the sabbath, completely lost on the Pharisees, who condemned the disciples (the poor) for gleaning on the sabbath and Jesus for healing on the sabbath.

      What "Messianic Christians" (who for some bizarre reason want to return to Torah Law) don't realize is the whole point of Jesus' and New Testament teaching is that every day is the Sabbath, Now is the arrival of the Day of Atonement, forever and ever and ever. It's here, never to end. All debts are forgiven - the point of the Lord's Prayer.

      Yes, the True Sabbath is the Eternal Today, as the book of Hebrews keeps pointing out (eg chapter 4). It is the Eternal Day of the Lord.

      The Eternal Now is the End of Time ("Now is the Accepted Time, Now is the Day of Salvation."). If the End of Time were in the future, as Evangelicals are obsessed with, it would be subject to time. Children of time, of this world, wait for salvation in time.

      But it is Now, Today. "You are my Child, Today I have begotten you". Today you are born again. Today there is Only One begotten, no other. It is the day where there is One, no other, nothing like it.

      The entire book of Revelation is a description of entering this Day of Atonement, before which we hear the 7 trumpets (7 rams horns, the horns of the lamb that is slain). It is the Center Candlestick of the 7-branch Menorah, where we see Messiah. The center candlestick is the Only Day that has no pair, like no other. All pairs, all opposites (all credits and debts) are dissolved into One, forgiven. When our minds are in the Present, there is silence, total forgiveness, all old things are passed away, all things are new. It is the 7th Day after creation, when all creation ends (is annihilated, which is what Genesis literally says). It is the End of the World, yet the Beginning of the New World, every day, always now. "You are a New Creation. All things are passed away and all things are become new." It is the New Heaven and the New Earth, not something we wait for in the future, but what we enter right now. "Enter into his rest." It is the Beginning and the End.

      And, I dare say it is the day that every religion speaks of, the mind in the Present, because it is before all religion, before even language. It is the mind of the infant, who knows nothing but knows everything.

  9. All the flag waiving and talk of one's country being the best is pointless when the social engineers have been dismantling this country for decades now. By the time the bubbas and the billy bobs realize it in significant numbers it'll be too late.

  10. 'the more you shall honor Me,
    the more I shall bless you'
    -the Infant Jesus of Prague