A Voice in the
"Do not learn the way of the nations...For the customs of the people are vain; for one cuts a tree out of the forest with the axe, the work of the hands of the craftsman...They must be lifted up and carried, because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them; for they are not able to do evil, neither is it in them to do good." (~Jer10:1-5)
"..a piece of wood is a discipline in vanities.." (vs8b)
While we have noticed the growth in recent years of a one-world spirituality, nothing has energized that concept in America quite like the aftermath of 9-11. Countless funerals and bagpipes squawking out the strains of "Amazing Grace"; nationally televised memorial services of multicultral ethnicity of the deities of all the world's religions. Even the Vatican, which makes a global claim of being "the -christian- church", lining up the practitioners of all the primary world religions for worship, and ethical and moral pronouncements.
While Biblical Christianity is banned from public places, and the Ten Commandments cannot be posted in official buildings, nor manger scenes erected in public squares; many of America's school children are now being taught, by these same institutions that ban the Bible, to memorize from the Koran and bow to Mecca.
On a more 'local' level where I live (Spokane, WA), there is a very 'evangelistic' effort by one of the local TV conglomerates to 'preach' about "spirituality" in their station 'promos/spots' given during the commercial slots. (For you who know the area, you will recognize TV channels 2 & 22)
The news/sports/weather anchors, led by their 'queen bee' ("christian") from ch2, and the youth-personalities from ch22, all 'preaching' to the Spokane area: regarding the "spirit". The -human- spirit. The "spirit-of-America". All the things about man's goodness and unity. The community "spirit". The "-spirit- of the Inland Northwest".
Add to all this, the "spirit" of the 2002 Olympic games in Utah. The Olympic tradition lights the Olympic torch on Mt. Olympus, and is carried from participating country to country. And seeing as how the Olympics are held in America this year, the torch has been travelling throughout the country. I forget, is it touching the soil of each of the 50 states? For the long legs (Alaska/Hawaii) it is flown. But otherwise, people carry it, running, walking, being pushed in their wheelchairs.
On January 24 the torch came to Spokane. Quite a brew-ha-ha was made over the event. Coverage by all the local TV stations, with the anchors (not just the field reporters) being on-site to cover the event. It was run, walked and wheelchaired around a circuit, amazingly circumscribing the center of this past year's series of multitude of earthquakes. [Ed: I was already developing some personal 'theories' about those earthquakes, back then, occuring in a traditionally 'non-earthquake' zone; and the 'timing' of so many of them. This observation only adds fuel to those speculations. But until I discover any facts, those speculations will remain 'private' for now.] This circuit passed right by my store (situated next to one of Spokane's main arterials), which, had it been conducted in day-light where a sign could have been visible, I had seriously considered 'picketing' by the way-side with an 'appropriate' message.
The Olympic Torch this year is not -just- a "torch". It is a "spirit". I suspect this has been the case in the past. Only, this year, they are making a real 'point' of it. This event of the torch circuiting through Spokane was called, "Carry the Spirit". And leading up to this event, the media has made a very evangelistic promotion of it being the "SPIRIT".
What would my picket sign have said? Something like...
"What sort of spirit must be carried? Certainly NOT the Most High God!"
During the day, a pot-hole repair crew went past the store. The driver driving real slow, and the other man walking behind... looking for any sort of irregularity or pothole by which a runner/walker might trip. They found one in front of my store, stopped, put some tar in it and tamped it down with their hand-tamper. Does the Most High need pot-holes repaired?
Much to-do was made of some of the runners. A local coach was chosen to be a "stand-in" for one of the runners. Should the runner get tired, or stumble, or begin to fall... the stand-in is there to 'catch' the "spirit", lest it fall to the ground.
The procession was surrounded by support vehicles, police cars and motorcycle police escort. A veritable 'rolling-fortress'. Their "spirit" cannot even protect itself.
Remember how, when the Philistines had defeated Israel and taken the Ark, how "Dagon's" head and hands fell off. (1Sam5:2-4) Dagon could not protect himself from Jehovah.
The Olympic "spirit" is contained in this hi-tech 'container'. Some sort of device which ensures that the flame does not go out. The torches are specially designed to withstand winds. If memory serves, for the Australia Olympics, they even had under-water torches. Specially designed technology. Their "spirit" cannot keep itself lit. They require man's technology.
All day, the 24th, there was a -spirit- "in-the-air". During the running, news anchors who normally were reserved and stayed, at this event were all chatty and hyper... just running off at the mouth as to the excitement of it all, and the priviledge of being witness to such a once-in-a-lifetime event.
About the same kind of -hyper- excitement I remember in the village I grew up in, in Japan, at O Matsuri time. The large wagon carrying the god's shrine, pulled down the streets by hundreds of little children with these long ropes. Or, other smaller shrines, situated on poles, much like God's "Ark" would have been, carried jostlingly by young men, dancing down the streets in celebration.
Interesting how God paints the picture for Israel, regarding their idolatry. A man goes out and cuts down a tree. With part of it he builds a fire to keep warm. With part, he cooks his meals. And with a little left-over chunk, he engraves an image, bows down to it and asks for its pretection and blessing. (Is44:14-20) Today's man is more "hi-tech". He mines the ore, makes a high-tech device which holds fuel. He "lights" the torch. He guards it with guns and security forces.
And this year...what will the opening Olympic "worship" time be like? In Atlanta we noticed the one-world joint worship. In Nagano the worship was with Japanese tradition. In Australia a major emphasis was given to the Aborigine.
What will this year be like? We already know that they are proclaiming the "spirit". As the evening of the 24th progressed, suddenly, in my spirit, I knew that the oppressive 'spirit' of the day, that 'cloud', had suddenly lifted. Within a minute I calculated that it coincided with when the "Carry the Spirit" festivities would have been concluded. Indeed, it -is- "spiritual". But it is NOT -God's- Spirit! That being the case, there is only one other spirit it can be!
Man celebrates -man's- achievements. The 'spirit' -carriers- were picked for various virtues. One man, paralyzed and in a wheelchair, for his selfless 'spirit' in putting himself in peril, saving some children sliding down a hill to certain injury, and he was injured as a result. A blind person, celebrating the indomitable human spirit. LOOK AT MAN!
But their 'gods' must be -carried-. They are the works of men's hands. The world is in awe of the Olympic Spirit. A piece of technology. In more simple terms, a chunk of 'left-over' 2x4. Yes, while it certainly does represent the 'spirit' of Satan, "do not fear" it...
The Most High, rather than needing to 'be' carried, carries His own...
"Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; shepherd them also, and BEAR THEM UP forever." (Ps28:9)
"There is none like You, O Jehovah; You are great, and Your name is great in might. Who would not fear You, O King of nations? For fear is befitting to You, because among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You" ... "The gods who have not made the heavens and the earth, they shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens. He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by His understanding." (Jer10:6-7, 11-12)