We interrupt the Glorious Feast of the Nativity according to the Flesh of our Lord, God, and Savior to bring you this special bulletin...
During this Nativity season I have really tried to avoid things that bring out negative emotions, which typically lead me into sin. But, I am afraid I will have to stand up and say something here, though I suspect none of the few people who read this blog are any big fans of what I am about to slam.
Someone I know from work once told me that a great movie to watch is The Omega Code 2. I smiled and said "Hmmmm..." knowing all the while that I had no interest in the protestant end-times nonsense. However, I like this this guy at work and he is a devout Baptist. He and I chat on a semi-regular basis, though I think he has no idea what I mean when I tell him I am Orthodox. Anyway, last night I was relaxing in front of the mind-numbing television set and began my typical channel surfing while pausing on the local religious (oops I'm sorry "having a personal relationship with Jesus") channels and was suprised to see Michael York in some movie on TBN. As it turns out, it was the very movie I was advised to check out by my friend at work...so I lingered, and how I wish I hadn't.
I chimed in right as the Anti-Christ was making his blasphemous proclamation in the newly built Temple in Jerusalem amongst a modest live crowd and a perceived huge world-wide crowd by television. What jumped out to me was that in the crowd richly applauding the anti-christ were all the people (I assume) who missed what is known in evangelical circles as the "Rapture" - in other words all those folks who didn't really know Jesus. And prominantly displayed in that crowd was a man who was obviously dressed as an Eastern Orthodox Bishop. Now don't get me wrong, I don't doubt that an Orthodox Bishop can be deceived - Lord knows that more than one has been declared a heretic by the Church...but I suspect that TBN (who produced the film) had more in mind by including this man (As you'll see later). Of course shortly thereafter we see this "bishop" crossing himself and he does so with a fully open hand, so obviously the film makers didn't do much homework.
Later we get a glimpse at the Anti-Christ's office and I noticed a couple of things: One was a religious vessel prominantly placed on the beast's desk, which I recognized as being a container used by Roman Catholics to hold the Host during Eucharistic Adoration (A practice we Orthodox do not do). And just accross from this I noticed a Byzantine Icon of Christ as well! Hmmmm...all on the desk of the Anti-Christ? And anti-Catholic/Orthodox message? From TBN? Couldn't be! (please note sarcastic tone)
Toward the end, we get another appearance of the Orthodox Bishop who finally rejects Anti-Christ. But being unenlightened, the bishop cannot see him for who he really is and the best that he can offer is to proclaim the Anti-Christ a heretic. Ahhhh...if only the good bishop had read Hal Lindsey....if only he had watched TBN....or read the Left Behind series, he might have know. Indeed, if only the bishop had truly accepted Jesus Christ, he would have recognized the beast. (sigh).
Besides all of this (and I only saw about 20 minutes of this rubbish), it was done with all the quality I have come to expect from TBN movies. Want to know why I am sometimes bitter about my experience in evangelicalism? Watch the ignorance displayed in this movie.
One more rant...I did a little searching on this movie just prior to writing this and was suprised to find numerous christian websites that lamented about how inaccurate the movie was in portraying what is REALLY going to happen in the end and of course they set us straight on the matter. Let me be clear: any protestant blowhard who says they got St. John's Revelation and the End Times all figured out ain't worth the bandwidth they wrote in.
Rubbish Rubbish Rubbish....
Ok, now we leave the world of negativity and return you to the Feast of Christ's Nativity already in progress...
CHRIST IS BORN!
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 7:42 AM [+]