Writter: Evangelos D. Kepenes (April 10, 2022, 13:24)
Politics and Religion
From ancient times, the relations between political power -which deals with the worldly government of societies- and religion -which deals primarily with the belief in the unseen and the union of man with the supernatural and the divine- have been inextricably linked. Despite the anti-clerical policies of various governments and its secularization tendencies, even from within, religion and its priesthood, with the main stimulus being the unknown and sacred fear, always remain the necessary tools for the manipulation of societies, cohesion in government guidelines and their discipline in power, which sometimes also springs from religion (theocracy). Each political power seeks from religion, through the swearing-in ceremony, the divine validation of its legitimacy in exchange for its recognition and the granting of privileges to it, always refraining from having it as an opposition force.
Fear, terror and their timeless purposes
Fear and terror as emotions are caused by the realization of a real or virtual threat or danger and are key weapons in achieving political or religious selfish goals under the pretext of the compliance of the "naughty."
We see other applications in Greek mythology, where Phobos [=Fear] (son of Ares, the god of war, and Aphrodite) as the personification of fear, and his brother Deimos as the personification of terror, accompanied their father Ares in the wars to achieve victory. The figures of Phobos and Deimos adorned the famous shields of king Agamemnon and the hero Achilles.
Also, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, in the theology-philosophy of the ancients, fear and terror taught people the immortality of the soul and urged them to virtue and to avoid evil (“establishing in the first place the [notion of] eternal souls and, on that basis, persuasion toward virtue and dissuasion from vice”).
Let's see the whole relevant passage from the “Complete Works of Josephus.”
“This is the theological view of the Essenes about the soul, which inevitably attracts anyone who has tasted their philosophy even once. For the view has become tenaciously held among them that whereas our bodies are perishable and their matter impermanent, our souls endure forever, deathless: they get entangled, having emanated from the most refined ether, as if drawn down by a certain charm into the prisons that are bodies. But when they are released from the restraints of the flesh, as if freed from a long period of slavery, then they rejoice and are carried upwards in suspension. For the good, on the one hand, sharing the view of the sons of Greece they portray the lifestyle reserved beyond Oceanus and a place burdened by neither rain nor snow nor heat, but which the gentle breath of Zephyrus [=personification of the west wind (Punente)] that comes from the sea refreshes. For the base, on the other hand, they separate off a murky, stormy recess filled with unending retributions. It was according to the same notion that the Greeks appear to me to have laid on the Islands of the Blessed for their most courageous men, whom they call heroes and demi-gods, and for the souls of the worthless the region of the impious in Hades, in which connection they tell tales about the punishments of certain men -Sisyphuses and Tantaluses, Ixions and Tityuses- establishing in the first place the [notion of] eternal souls and, on that basis, persuasion toward virtue and dissuasion from vice. For the good become even better in the hope of a reward also after death, whereas the impulses of the bad are impeded by anxiety, as they expect that even if they escape detection while living, after their demise they will be subject to deathless retribution (‘after their demise they will be subject to deathless retribution’).” (Josephus, Hist. Judean Wars, Book II, 154-158, Cactus Publications)
Similar phobic, cheap, proselytizing arguments are found in all religious systems, which compete for the spoils of their spiritual terror, which are the deceived religious with mass ignorance. Seeking the recognition of their authority by the ignorant, they launch a new model of man, that of the “Immortal-Mortal” who must think about where he will pass / live eternity after his biological Death. (Death = the opposite of life)
Let's look at some examples.
“Thus, the final ideal is the total psychosomatic resurrection of the pious believers at the end of the secular time, after a titanic battle between angels and demons, which will lead to the confrontation of Ahura Mazda (the Good) with Ahriman (the Evil) and to the final victory of the Good. The roots of this epic Zoroastrian eschatology are traced to Early Indo-European (!!!) mythology.” (Zoroastrianism-Wikipedia)
“Ten thousand winters will pass, the sun will stop shining. The day, the month and the year will be shorter and people will become wicked. After a battle between the good and the bad, the final judgment will take place, at which time the bad will be punished for three days but will eventually be forgiven (World Salvation - Origen - Universalism). Then, the whole human race will be happy. Hell will be sealed and Ahriman (the Evil One) will be completely weak. People are free to choose between good and evil, and depending on the choice they make in this life, they will have the corresponding reward on the Day of Judgment. Believers are encouraged to do good deeds, to think right, and to speak well.” (Zoroastrianism-Wikipedia)
“Muslims, like all believers in the scriptures (Quran), believe in the Resurrection after death, in which everyone will receive just rewards or punishments in eternal life, either in the bliss of the Gardens of Paradise or in the hot flames of Hell.”
“We hope that this book (Quran) will help as a guide for the seekers of truth, for those who will seek happiness in Paradise, for those who seek true salvation from the Fire of Hell and its eternal humiliating tortures, as well as for those who seek the honorable abode of Paradise.” (Source: IslamHouse.com)
Non-apostolic patristic Christianity
The iconoclast John of Damascus was in the service of Caliph Walid (705-715) before becoming a Byzantine monk and priest and is recognized as a saint by the Lutheran, Anglican and Orthodox churches. Thanks to his eloquence he was also named “Chrysorroas,” while for his rich musical work he was named “Master of Music.”
He also waited for the historical Antichrist to come (!!!) even though the apostle John wrote to his contemporary Judeo-Christians that he would come in their generation.
“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (A’ John 2:18)
As an excellent scholar of the Religion of Islam, he treated it as a heresy and characterized it as a misleader of the people and forerunner of the Antichrist.
“The hitherto prevailing and misleading religion of the Ishmaelites is the forerunner of the Antichrist.” (John of Damascus: About Heresies, 101, ΕPΕ 2, 306.)
But while, on the one hand, he characterizes the religious beliefs of the Ishmaelites as "worthy of laughter" and "beastly", on the other hand, he promises the immortal-mortal followers of Islam that instead of the pleasures they expect, they will taste eternal hell, agreeing with them in the beastly view of eternal humiliating suffering.
“There is darkness and endless hell; sounding fire, a sleepless worm and tartar demons.” (John of Damascus: About Heresies, 101, ΕPΕ 2, 320.)
The official position of Orthodoxy on eternal suffering
The official voice of Orthodoxy and the denominations that embrace its doctrine of the posthumous experiential state of the “unbelieving” immortal-mortal man is a clear acceptance of Platonic anthropology and ancient religion and is formulated as follows:
“Hell is the spiritual state to which man is voluntarily led, due to the denial of his participation in the saving grace of the Holy Spirit. Hell, contrary to Western tradition, in Orthodox theology is not a place prepared by God for the condemnation of man, but an experiential state into which man enters on the basis of preparation from his worldly life.” (Hell - orthodoxwiki.org)
Spiritual terror is against God's loving relationship with man. It is practiced by untheological and bigoted fanatic representatives and followers of anti-biblical and anti-Christological doctrines and finds ground among unhagiographical and unhistorical listeners, who in turn recycle it, confirming the popular Greek saying that “when you eat broad beans, you talk broad beans” (broad beans cause gas).
Earthly man has always been maintained in biological life with perishable food from the earth and with oxygen, which the Creator prepared before his creation for his survival for all the days of his earthly life. Jesus said about food:
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” (John 6:27)
The tree of life in Paradise was a symbol of God's promise of immortality to those who received Jesus, the Life. The exclusion of man from the tree of life because of transgression was not eternal, but was a temporary punishment / hell / severance until the time when the seed of the promise, Christ, would come. Those who received Jesus, the Life, received the immortality -God's Gift- which only God had and still has (1 Tim. 6:16). The denial of acceptance of the Gift of Life brings about the eternal punishment / hell / severance from the immortality that pre-symbolized the tree of life.
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Mat. 25:46)
Every theory of the eternal experience of suffering belongs to the ancient religion and contradicts the biblical anthropognosia (= understanding of the human being). No life form can exist after the natural biological Death except the Life given by Christ.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Christ our life