Monday, 18 August 2014

WHO / WHAT IS THE ANTI-CHRIST?

WHO / WHAT IS THE ANTI-CHRIST?

I think it might be a great mistake to think that the ANTI-CHRIST is a person. Maybe, instead, the ANTI-CHRIST is a movement, an institution?

I think we know what Jesus Christ stood for. Maybe the anti-Christ is everything that goes against or tries to negate what the Christ stood for?

Jesus said that: "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests but the son of man has no where to lay his head".

Maybe it is "anti-Christ" to have a Vatican, Lambeth palaces, bishop's palaces, grand cathedrals, basilicas and evangelical mega churches?

Jesus said: "Let the greatest among you behave as if he were the least".

Maybe it is "anti-Christ" to have kings, queens, emperors, princes, princesses, popes, patriarchs, cardinals, archbishops, deans, chancellors, monsignors, canons, archdeacons, rural deans, vicars forane, knights, lords, chaplains to Her Majesty?

Jesus said the first Mass / Eucharist lying on couches on the floor. May it is "anti-Christ" to have marble altars, gold candlesticks, gold chalices, lace altar cloths, lace albs, cloth of gold vestments?


Can you see Jesus in this picture?

Jesus' commandments were: "Love God, love your neighbour". Maybe it is "anti-Christ" to have Canon Law, books of rules, church courts, Roman congregations, rubric?

Jesus wore a single garment for which the Roman soldiers cast lots. May it is "anti-Christ" to have Papal Tiaras, Precious mitres with gems, solid gold pectoral crosses, solid gold croziers, palliums, 30 foot long bishop's trains made of silk and ermine?

Jesus was called Jesus. Maybe it is "anti-Christ" to have titles like Your Holiness, Your Beatitude, Your Eminence, Your Grace, Your Excellency, My Lord?

Jesus was a Jew who came to bring Judaism to its full bloom. Maybe it is "anti-Christ" to have created Roman Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, High Church, Low Church, Methodists, Presbyterians, Free Presbyterians, Baptists, etc, etc, etc.

Jesus spoke aramaic - the common language of the people. Maybe it is "anti-Christ" to want to have all your services in Latin - the language of empire?

Jesus told his disciples not to be overlords and dictators to each other. Maybe it is "anti-Christ" for popes to be superior to bishops; for bishops to be superior to priests and for priests to be superior to those they call "lay" people?

Jesus apostles were mainly married men. May it is "anti-Christ" to insist that all bishops and priests be bachelors?

Jesus had prominent women disciples. Maybe it is "anti-Christ" to say that you must have a penis to be a bishop, priest or deacon?

On one occasion when Jesus was speaking, Peter, interupted him and Jesus said to Peter: Get behind me Satan. The way you think is man's way and not God's way".

So Jesus was accutely aware that man made thinking can be evil. The Christian Church today - in all its forms and denominations - bears very little resemblance to the "church" Jesus founded and intended.

Maybe all these man made changes and additions have so negated the teachings, spirit and will of the Chirst - that they are in fact ANTI-CHRIST?

Maybe instutionalised "christianity" - and not just one person or being -  is in fact the ANTI-CHRIST?

Maybe RELIGION is the anti-Christ?

+Pat Buckley
18.8.2014  


















  





28 comments:

  1. Pat, I have seen that in the past few days you've been given a lot of flack for your blogs. Although I read ur blogs myself, I don't always agree but keep writing . This piece today is a great piece.
    I stopped attending a church that rejects me and uses language that is offensive and nasty simply because I'm gay. Most churches live in disillusioned bubbles and have trampled the true meaning of the gospel into the mud!
    I believe I know The True Christ and I found him outside any mainstream church. I will never surrender that great treasure but falsifying myself at the Altar rails where I need to feel dirty because of who I am and because of what God created me to. In a world where hunger, poverty and injustice are ripe I'd say God gets a terrible pain in his belly when men dawn golden vestments and then proceed to propagate a lie that they can withhold his love from people and then to add insult to injury imprison his son in tabernacles. The whole thing is so far removed from the real Jesus that I doubt they would know him if he walked up to them in the street with a loving smile!
    John, South Belfast

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    1. Its great that you found the True Christ. It would be nearly impossible to find him in the mainstream churches.

      Faith is a relationship - not a slavery.

      Pat

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  2. Bishop Pat,

    Richard Dawkins believes that religion is a virus of the brain, and like any other virus it mutates from one living person to another, from generation to generation and can become the corruption of many societies. As a Christian believer let me say that i believe Richard Dawkins is correct in this regard, however it isn't a black and white issue.
    The crux of the matter is this. Jesus came to set people free from religious indoctrination and religious obligations that were taking the human soul away from the truth of his gospel message.
    1) In the Old Testament sin was measured with 10 commandments that were translated by the Jewish priesthood of the temple into 613 precepts. The greater the sin the bigger and bloodier the slaughter and the heavier the financial penalty to the priesthood.
    2) In the New Testament Apostles struggled to set themselves free from the confines of the law and to see the message of God's love and fidelity was open to all.
    3) In the early era of the church, and this is well documented, there were no bishops, no real priestly structure. The head of the apostles wasn't Peter but James the brother of jesus (Yes Mary Had Other Children). They met in communities, broke bread and lived lives of loving service.
    4) Constantine used the Christian people to bring his empire into order. Roman religion was splintering so the belief in one united religion suited him. Local magistrates became bishops and dioceses were born out of Roman administrative boundaries.
    5) To adhere to the truth of the Gospel councils etc.. were born to establish creeds that were to be followed by all. Punishable by death for those who strayed.
    6) In medieval Europe, against the huge rise of Islam across conquered 'Former' Christian territories, Palestine , Turkey, north Aftrica and into the Middle East, the Church built armies to conquer and nearly lost altogether. Becoming a papal state and empire across Europe - which abused power and caused division. Tens of thousand died.
    7) Discovery of new worlds by christianised Europe saw missionaries.
    8) Today we have a splintered Christian people with as many held views as there are letters in the bible.
    9) Most churches have their teachings, councils, catechisms, codes of laws, leaderships structures, seminaries, multi-million pound institutes and bank accounts etc...
    Antichrist??? People need to wake up and realised that we can now come full circle back to point 1 - expect bloody sacrifice is replaced with ornate buildings and directed by leaders who live lives the Old Testament Jewish priesthood could only dream off.

    Love one another as have loved you. There is no greater commandment than this, to love The Lord Your God with all your heart, and to love your neighbour as you love yourself = Christianity and living a life to the full. (Trust in Jesus - Not Religion. Jesus will set you free but religion will imprison your mind body and soul)

    Gerard, Derry

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  3. What if I told you, Jesus came to abolish religion?
    What if I told you getting you to vote republican, really wasn’t his mission?
    Because republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian,
    And just because you call some people blind, doesn’t automatically give you vision.
    If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?
    Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?
    Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever been divorced
    Yet God in the Old Testament actually calls the religious people whores
    Religion preaches grace, but another thing they practice,
    Tend to ridicule Gods people, they did it to John the Baptist,
    Cant fix their problems, so they try to mask it,
    Not realizing that’s just like sprayin perfume on a casket
    Because the problem with religion is that it never gets to the core,
    It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores.
    Let’s dress up the outside, make things look nice and neat,
    Its funny that’s what they do to mummies, while the corpse rots underneath,
    Now I ain’t judging I’m just saying be careful of putting on a fake look,
    Because there’s a problem if people only know that you’re a Christian by that little section on your facebook
    In every other aspect of life you know that logics unworthy
    Its like saying you play for the lakers just because you bought a jersey
    But see I played this game too; no one seemed to be on to me,
    I was acting like church kid, while addicted to pornography.
    I’d go to church on Sunday, but on saturday getting faded,
    Acting as if I was simply created to have sex and get wasted.
    Spend my whole life putting on this façade of neatness,
    But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness.
    If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean,
    Cuz its not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken
    I no longer have to hide my failures I don’t have to hide my sin,
    Because my salvation doesn’t depend on me, it depends on him.
    because when I was Gods enemy and certainly not a fan,
    God looked down on me and said, “I want that man!”
    Which is so different from religious people, and why Jesus called em fools
    Don’t you see hes so much better than just following some rules?
    Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the bible, and I believe in sin
    But my question, is if Jesus were here today, would your church let Him in?
    Remember He was called a drunkard and a glutton by “religious men”
    The Son of God not supported self-righteousness, not now, not then.

    Now back to the topic, one thing I think is vital to mention,
    How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,
    One is the work of God one is a man made invention,
    One is the cure and one is the infection.
    Because Religion says do, Jesus says done.
    Religion says slave, Jesus says son,
    Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free.
    Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.

    This is what makes religion and Jesus two different clans,
    Religion is man searching for God, but Christianity is God searching for man.
    Which is why salvation is freely mine, forgiveness is my own,
    Not based on my efforts, but Christ’s obedience alone.
    Because he took the crown of thorns, and blood that dripped down his face
    He took what we all deserved, that’s why we call it grace.
    While being murdered he yelled “father forgive them, they know not what they do”,
    Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you
    He paid for all your sin, and then buried it in the tomb,
    Which is why im kneeling at the cross now saying come on there’s room
    So know I hate religion, in fact I literally resent it,
    Because when Jesus cried It is finished, I believe He meant it.

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    1. That's pretty good. Do you mind me posting it on my Facebook?

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    2. Amen to that!!!
      Anna, Halifax

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    3. Anything on this Blog can be reposted anywhere

      Pat

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  4. Antichrist..? Reminds me of the horror films. I would see antichrist behaviour as a system that takes advantage of people when they are down under the guise of providing help. Most religions have a sort of hidden agenda as in I am the best. Many registered charities struggle to survive because of ongoing cutbacks from funding providers. Society wants to help more and more people, politicians included but government and government agencies give less and less in funding. A housing association sent a plumber (now being trained as a painter) to paint a mans ceiling. 3 times the plumber returned with his paintbrush. Would it not have been cheaper to send a painter in the first place to do the job properly. Then there are these modern apprenticeships. What percentage of these is another name for cheap labour. Am I raving? It would not be the first time if I am. Sean

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  5. Broad Minded Parishioner18 August 2014 at 22:45

    WOW. So many thought provoking comments and a GREAT blog. Has really made me think and be a little sad too because there is so much truth in it all. This religion thing is looking very ropey to me all of a sudden. I read of so many people on this blog that have left the church, as it stands, behind and for reasons that are hard to argue with. I have always taken Catholicism with a pinch of salt which probably didn't/doesn't make me a good a Catholic and it is not a case of cherry-picking what I like or what suits me. I don't see why they have to rail against gays, I don't see why women have to be left out of the priesthood, I don't see why 10 commandments have become hundreds. My faith has always been based on the "do as you would be done by" philosophy. I'm not ready to go it alone so to speak but you have all made me think.

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    1. Thanks. You don't have to go it alone. You have Jesus, your God given conscience and many like minded friends.

      Pat

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    2. Dear Broadminded Parishioner your comment reminds me of a quote I heard in college many a time-Christianity is not a religion. However many denominations like to think they own the Jesus Franchise. I was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith & by choice am now a member of Church of England. C of E like R C has a hierarchy. This has not yet been a source of conflict for me. The one thing to remember is that the Church exists to minister to the individual. The individual does not exist to bow and scrape before church leadership. Sean

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  6. Broad Minded Parishioner18 August 2014 at 22:47

    Oh and Pat your sense of humour just kills me. I laughed so hard at "can you see Jesus in this picture".

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  7. Broad Minded Parishoner: greetings. You've started a journey. I turned a corner, without realising it then, and started on that path about 45 years ago. Looking back, I've absolutely no regrets, and the path is much clearer, firmer, and easier to follow. The "do as you would be done by" philosophy you follow suffices.
    Bon voyage.
    MourneManMichael

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    1. Thanks MMM.

      Hope I have made up for recent "sins" :-)

      Pat

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  8. Nope! Not sins, as you rightly put it in quotation marks: just the occasional "headstagger" (good NornIron phrase that), we're all inclined to. Or rather those with passion, convictions and courage enough to "set their stall out".
    I'd very much rather that than the collusive insipid crowd pleasing lackey: and you'll never be called that!
    That lovely man, Anthony Wedgewood Benn, aka Tony, who gave up a hereditary title to represent the ordinary people, spoke eloquently at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2000. With Roy Bailey accompanying him singing songs in the same vein, Roy traced some of the significant changes in English history brought about by ordinary people with convictions strong enough to stand apart from the crowd and withstand the inevitable consequences of criticism, oppression and in some cases even death. A bit like Christ I think.
    It's certainly worth listening to, available on CD as CFCD405. Likes of Amazon should have it. Roy's website is: www.roybailey.net
    Tony, now sadly dead, said for years that he stopped being an MP "so I can devote more time to politics". So he left "the club" of parliament. Any parallels?
    MourneManMichael

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  9. I loved Tony Benn. Maybe because my Dad (RIP) was a life time socialist and trade union official. I was on picket lines with my Dad sine I was 3 years old :-)

    Pat

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  10. Interesting and says it all really that you save your appreciation for those who praise your blogs and who placate your huge ego Pat. Yet those who challenge you, those who ask you to examine your conscience and reflect on your mercilessness towards those whom your perceive as being against you and your made up religion, you reserve for them your ire, condemnation and bile. Pat you are a practitioner of religion, whatever you may say. The official church would not make you a bishop and so you made yourself one at the hands of a former harbour police man from the south. The many times you have published blogs about the validity of your "episcopal orders" is a proof, if proof were needed, of how much you are a church man, a company man, albeit a disappointed one and a discontented one. If your really followed the call of Jesus of Nazareth you would not be prancing around in mitre, pectoral cross, ring and purple socks. For goodness sake have some self respect and know what you are. As much a product of the system as the cardinals, bishops and priests you so mercilessly condemn.

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    1. I do my best to be a "practioner" of spirituality.

      Your mention of the "former harbour policeman" reminds me that the first disciples were in the main also connected with harbours and the sea - they were fishermen.

      I do not believe that Jesus ever made a "bishop". But in the very early Christian Community ministry developed into a three fold minister - the episcopi overseer or bishop - the presbyter or priest and the deacon.

      I think this was a perfectly acceptable development until the Bishop of Rome threw in his lot with the emperor Constantine - and from that time on bishops became more and more bosses, dictators, overlords etc.

      I believe that the challenge to the Christian Churches today is to return to the relative simplicity and powerlessness of the early church - with the Scriptures and the 7 Sacraments (including Holy Orders) as the basis structure.

      I believe that our small community in Larne - which is not perfect - is something like the early Christian gatherings were - with a meaningful Sunday Eucharist foollowed by a cup of tea, a chat and a laugh in the kitchen.

      Pat

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  11. The only time I ever see Pat wear a mitre is durning a Chrism mass. His pectoral cross is silver plated and most Sundays he celebrates mass with a simple alb and stole. As for purple socks, well they can be bought in tescos, £5 for half a dozen.

    Occasional oratory attendee

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  12. Well then! While I think there's an element of validity in what you, anonymous 20.59, say, for I too have wondered why Pat appears to underline/place emphasis on his episcopal status, Your comment (like those of Pats on Brady) however comes across as unnecessarily personalised.
    I'm not bothered by Pats bishop-status-thingey. I've never met him. I just like the way he pokes at the pomp and duplicity of the catholic church as an institution, and shows up the whole farrago by the behaviour of some of its "eminent rulers". Of course their pecadillos and more serious faults could simply be seen as failings of weak human nature? I think not. They're indicative of something deeper, more corrosive, and rotten.
    So I reckon Pat does well to expose them. I don't like to see him personally criticised, just as I don't like some of his highly personalised criticisms of others, and have said so. As a humanist, I accept the wonderful diversity of all our talents and frailties. And if Pat likes a little bit of purple, so what?
    PS. I'm guessing you're the D&C PP supporter who wrote a while back you would not be revisiting Pat's blogs?
    MournemanMichael

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  13. A few years ago when my young brother was dying of cancer Pat visited him regulary in hospital in Belfast. One day my brother admired his cross and chain and Pat took it off and put it around my brother's neck. That cross and chain remained with him as he suffered and died. In fact he died holding Pat's cross.

    When he died Pat came to the house to sympathise with us. We handed him back his cross and chain. Pat went over to the coffin and put the cross and chain back around my brother's neck. It was buried with him and it consoled us all greatly.

    Anyone who thinks that Pat is into possessions does not know him.

    M. Co. Down

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  14. Our son was dying of cancer in Belfast City Hospital some years ago and we wrere crying in the lift when Bishop Buckley stepped into the lift and asked us why we were crying. We told him and he offered to come to our son's room and pray with with us as a family. He then told us that he was on the way back from a wedding in Dublin and that he had everything he needed in the car to offer Mass in the room if we wished. We were delighted to say yes. Bishop Buckley said Mass at the end of our son's bed on the movable bed tray. He only wore a simple white robe and I cannot remember seeing him wearing anything that would make you aware he was a bishop. We had a most beautiful Mass that lasted an hour and that Mass gave us the grace of acceptance. We wanted to give Bishop Buckley a donation for the Mass but he absolutely refused. When our son died he attended the funeral and we asked if Bishop Buckley could take part in his funeral Mass and our parish priest refused so he sat with the family. He later came to our home to say an anniversary Mass for our son and again refused a donation. We have not met him for years but will never forget how he ministered to us at a very painful time.

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  15. Those last two anonymous comments, for me sum up something noticeably absent in most catholic clergy, a genuine care WITHOUT strings attached.
    A few year ago, out walking with my sister, an expensive car with four "jowly well nourished looking" catholic priests all about 50 yrs old, stopped us to ask directions to a nearby four star hotel/restaurant. It was about 7 pm and fairly obvious they were on their way to an expensive meal. My sister, much more deferential than I started to tell them when I interrupted by saying, "I think gentlemen your collars would be better served by going and helping out for an hour at the local food bank, so I'll direct you there if you like". I said it pleasantly and politely, but with my, at times when appropriate, steely stare.
    They didn't wait for any directions. Now I wonder why.
    The pompous power of the catholic hierarchy here in Ireland will only go when ordinary people tell the clergy at all levels their day of lording it over us is gone, laugh at their man made rules and regulations, follow their consciences, and above all, simply refuse to contribute in any way financially to the perpetuation of the catholic ediface as it has become.
    From what I've gleaned from these blogs/comments, the Oratory community seems more like what I understand the early Christian church to have been
    MournemanMichael

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  16. Daer MMM,

    Thank you for your continuing insightful contributions.

    I laughed at your story above.

    I have no problem with priests going out for nice meals. I confess to doing it regulraly.

    We all need to socialise but this must be only a small part of a good priest's life. If those 4 priests were dedicated to their vocations and flocks - and had the habit of sharing and helping the poor - no problem.

    Jesus never condemned those who HAD - but rather those who HAD AND NEVER SHARED.

    In my experience far too many priests do the minimum of pastoral work and spend a lot of time wining and dining; golfing, playing poker with each other; visiting the homes of the wealthier parishioners and going on 5 star holidays.

    A good priest is a rare treasure. I have been privileged to know a few.

    A self serving priest is a total contradiction - and if there is a God - will have a lot of explaining to do before him.

    Pat

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