Thursday, May 15, 2008

Army of the Church

I was thinking about the history of the Catholic Church and some of the practices set up under the government known as Vatican City. I started thinking about exorcisms and how Catholics (as far as I know) are the only ones that have documents on how to perform an exorcism properly. This isn’t an ancient practice scribbled on a scroll from 2,000 years ago, its something that could still be performed today. In fact the last exorcism I can think of that was public was performed sometime in the 1950s if I’m not mistaken. Of course the most famous exorcism has been immortalized in the film “The Exorcist.” That of course has its basis off of an exorcism performed near St. Louis Missouri in 1949.

I started wondering if perhaps the Vatican had a special investigative team dispatched to investigate supposed demons, miracles, and antichrist sightings. I imagined a super group dressed in church garb (They wear robes and pope-like hats in formal situations, but the black with white collar priest-wear other times. I’ve always thought priests look cool in that dress.) with their demon hunting kit. It’s probably a pine box, lined with soft velvet innards containing wooden stakes, a crucifix, holy water, a bible, a book of demonology; medieval stuff like that. Maybe they are sent to investigate popular cults to make sure the anti-Christ hasn’t started a church.

Anyways my fantasy let me to think about what the Antichrist might look like or what form it would come in. Is it the mythological demon with the horns, red skin, goat-tee artists dreamt up hundreds of years ago? Is it a spirit that takes over a body like in an exorcism? Many generations have already dubbed tyrants as the anti-Christ in the past. You have Nero, Genghis Kahn, Vlad the Impaler, Napoleon, Hitler, Mao all great candidates for Satan, but no matter how evil these men were, they always turned out to be nothing more than horrible men.

Since we are creations of God, we obviously have a part of God in us. However, are the evil intentions, sins, thoughts in us a little piece of Satan. The anti-Christ wants to destroy the Earth, and humans are already doing a great job of that, maybe collectively we have enough evil in us to bring on the end of the world and anti-Christ.

If my thought has any bearing, then perhaps some of us suppress and personally battle this inner demon better than others through scripture, church, good actions, and proper use of our gifts. I guess it’s almost like a containment unit. No one will ever rid themselves of the little bit of evil, but it can be fought. Every crisis of faith allows a little more of this demon into our bloodstream, and only those willing to fight back can fight this virus back into benign tumor.

I then I started wondering if perhaps there is more to the message than what we get. Obviously the apostles received a little extra teaching from J.C. that wasn’t recorded or repeated. What kind of secrets do they know? Is there anyway we can get to them? Maybe if humans weren’t so fickle we would’ve gotten that message from the higher power, but the prophets directly speaking it would have to preach similar things over and over again. For instance, what if the original group of Jesus groupies followed him for say two years, then he said something they might not have liked and they moved on. A new group comes and J.C. has to start his preaching all over again to catch people up. This keeps repeating over and over so we never get the extra part of the message. However, the Apostles were there all along. They stayed with Jesus. Perhaps after hours he sat them down with a glass of wine and gave them some real juicy stuff. Things humans can only understand if they have the basis of what Jesus was trying to tell them, but they kept moving on or questioning what was said and never got it.

I wonder if perhaps some of this message is documented and kept in the Vatican archives. Or why isn’t anyone permitted in the catacombs running under Jerusalem? I find it hard that one of the most religiously significant spots on the planet has more unexplored, man made places, than most. Even the Mormon temples. I’ve had many conversations with Allyn about the Mormon faith and I get a great deal from him, but what are they hiding in there. I don’t know if its one of those “since I can’t have it I want to know about it” things, but what if Allyn, Becca, and their buddies are hiding some significant meaning and hidden scriptures within those gorgeous buildings. Even some of the catacombs under Cathedrals… there has to be something within. I just feel like we have such an insignificant piece of a greater puzzle… I mean obviously because none of us are experiencing the afterlife, but I’m talking about things that are tangible here on Earth.

Anyway, those are just a few things I daydreamed about while proctoring standardized tests today. These were probably brought on by a documentary Sal and I watched last night called “Jesus Camp” about a Pentecostal Church out of Lee Summit Missouri, and a camp they run in the summer, and also a book I’ve been reading called “The Story of B” about a Priest sent to investigate a man that is becoming extremely popular as some sort of philosophical prophet. Check them both out, and if you do, I’m willing to discuss.