Monday, 23 July 2012

Darwinism and the Great Apostasy




This post was originally intended to be a reply to a comment in an earlier post concerning evolutionism, but the text ended up too long, so I decided to post it on the main part of the blog instead. I believe that the discovery of the theory of evolution was a test of faith deliberately sent by God. The roots of modern atheism (and thus the Great Apostasy) can be traced back to the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859. Christ himself foretold that there would be a time of testing before his return. Starting with the parable of the persistent widow (who represents the Church as the widow of Christ) concerning the importance of perseverance (the primary attribute of Job), Jesus concluded with the rather startling question:

"...when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
(Luke 18:8)

This statement was made in the further background context of a discourse concerning the Great Apostasy before the Second Coming:

"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
(Luke 17:25-30)

So the basic point Christ seems to have made here, was that before the end of the world, there would come a period of testing, when Christians would have to undergo a time of trial - just like Job in the Old Testament. It is this time period that is cut short for the sake of the elect, with the coming of the Second Pentecost:

"And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days."
(Mark 13:20)

And it is this same era in which Satan would be unleashed "for a little while" (Rev 20:3):

"to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle..."
(Rev 20:8).

This time period, when Satan would be unleashed to deceive the earth, and gather its inhabitants for war, is to be equated with the "wars and rumours of wars" that Jesus foretold would precede his Second Coming (which I argue in the book is related to the two world wars of the 20th century), before the final eschatological battle:

"And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains."
(Mark 13:7-8)

When we look at the Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII concerning the hundred years of Satan's power, we find that this too is styled after the trials of Job. And it is also interesting to note that in Melanie Calvat's later (unapproved) 1858 version of the secret of La Salette, she foretold that the gradual weakening of faith that would result in the Great Apostasy would begin in a time period very close to her own - which was around the same general time period of the publication of the Origin of Species.

"In the year 1864, Lucifer together with a large number of demons will be unloosed from hell; they will put an end to faith little by little, even in those dedicated to God. They will blind them in such a way, that, unless they are blessed with a special grace, these people will take on the spirit of these angels of hell; several religious institutions will lose all faith and will lose many souls.
"Evil books will be abundant on earth and the spirits of darkness will spread everywhere a universal slackening in all that concerns the service of God. They will have great power over Nature: there will be churches built to serve these spirits.
"'The vicar of my Son will have much to suffer, as, for a time, the Church will be the victim of great persecution: this will be the time of darkness. The Church will suffer a terrible crisis...

"As the holy Faith of God is forgotten, every individual will wish to be his own guide and be superior to his fellow-men..."
..."The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay. But now Enoch and Eli will come, filled with the Spirit of God. They will preach with the might of God, and men of good will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted. They will make great strides forward through the virtue of the Holy Spirit, and will condemn the diabolical errors of the Antichrist."

(See the earlier post on Our Lady of La Salette, to see why I believe that this later unapproved version may still have a certain amount of legitimacy).

On an interesting side note, Melanie foretold that neither Pope John Paul II (who is generally agreed to be the pope who cannot be killed by his would be assassins in the secret), nor his successor (Benedict XVI) would live to see the Second Pentecost that follows the Great Apostasy - which means that it predicts that this will take place during the pontificate of the next pope:

"The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I will be at his side to the end in order to receive his sacrifice. The wicked will make several attempts on his life, but they cannot harm him. But neither he nor his successor will live to see the triumph of the Church of God."

Turning back to the Great Apostasy, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that this must take place before the Second Coming of Christ, and will ultimately result in the appearance of the Antichrist - much as is predicted in the prophecy of St. Hildegard of Bingen:

"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh."
(CCC 675)

However we can remain hopeful in the fact that during his eschatological discourse on Mt. Olivet, Christ foretold that those who endure to the end of this Great Apostasy will be saved, when the Gospel will proclaimed to all nations during the Second Pentecost:

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matt 24:10-14)

17 comments:

Alencon said...

Good post and I like your take on it being a test. I too believe that God has allowed Satan to put this 'theory' out into the world to see how many would fall.

In response to the following

Blogger Jamey said...

Alencon, my "gut feel" is that evolution is a hoax - do you know any reasonable books/resources that respond and refute the claims of neo-Darwinists that would be understood by a layperson?

One good resource can be found at
http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/index.html

Dr. Walt Brown has done a lot of research and delved into just about any question that could arise. There are a ton of notes and references to delve as deep as one would like.

And once again Emmett thanks for your insights and God Bless.

Jamey said...

Alencon and Emmett, thanks to you both.

Anne said...

A deeply inspiring post. Thank you Emmett.

Anonymous said...

There is a book by a Catholic biologist called "Darwin's Black Box" on the inadequacies of the theory of evolution....it is an excellent book.

Emmett O'Regan said...

For those who adhere to evolutionary creationism, the work of Richard Dawkins et al is absolutely irrevelant. In his books "Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life" and "The Dawkins Delusion", A.E McGrath completely demolishes Dawkins' assertion that the findings of neo-Darwinism logically leads one to embrace atheism. The main point McGrath makes is that since it cannot be empirically proven (which also goes for the existence of God), adopting atheism requires the same level of faith as theism. He also exposes Dawkins' ignorance of Christian theology.
I would go further, and state that belief in what is basically the "faith" of atheism is seriously deficient in its utter lack of alternative arguements in favour of it. Neo-Darwinism only challenges certain aspects of the teleological arguement (the arguement from design) - just one of St. Thomas Aquinas' "Five Ways". But theism has several other major arguements in its favour - first there is the cosmological arguement (basically a contemporary comprehensive version of Aristotle's "Unmoved Mover" and Aquinas' "First Cause"). Then we have the anthropic principle - the fact that of all the possible universes that could have resulted from the big bang, we live in the one that is so highly fine-tuned that it has allowed the development of life. In addition, there is also the fact science still cannot explain how life on earth began - how inorganic matter can suddenly begin to self-replicate. And we can take the anthropic principle further, and ask why in all of the places that life could have developed, the conditions were again so finely tuned on earth to allow the evolution of homosapiens? The evolution of intelligent hominids is by no means an inevitable outcome of the theory of Neo-Darwinism - which it again puts down to random chance. The "lottery" objection is completely dependant on the existence of a theoretical "multi-verse" (which is unprovable), and the hypothesis that life is the inevitable outcome on a planet containing liquid water.

Jamey said...

Cheers Emmett.

Anon I was checking that book out on Amazon, the one star reviews demonstrate the atheists in full meltdown. Alencon I made the plunge on the book by Walt Brown - I keenly await a book depository arrival.

A quick audio by FSSP priest Fr Chad Ripperger using Thomistic thought in tackling evolution:

http://www.sensustraditionis.org/webaudio/Sermons/Disk4/Evolution.mp3

The mother of my seven year old daughter got a childrens evolution book out for from the library. The little one asked what this book was about - I told her it is a theory that people descended from apes - normally quiet and reserved she burst out laughing and said "That is silly". Her response disarmed the ex and even surprised me! Only children.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Anon - You're right, Michael Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box" is highly important in regard to the "Intelligent Design" arguement. Behe was the first to point to the concept of "irreducible complexity".
I would highly recommend the work of John Polkinghorne for those who want to explore the cosmological arguement and anthropic principle further.

Jamey said...

Emmett, what particular evidence makes you believe in evolution?

Emmett O'Regan said...

It's a bit too complex to address it here, but the culmulative evidence when put together from a wide spectrum of different disciplines seems overwhelming to me. Astrophyicists can determine the multi-billion age of the universe by measuring the speed, distance, direction of the stars and galaxies, along with microwave radiation. Then we have the combined witness of palentology, archaeology, geology, radio-carbon dating, dendrochronology, genetics, etc. all converging on the same conclusion. For me, the only possible problem that the theory of evolution presents is in an absolutely literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis. In my personal opinion, this portion of the Bible should be considered to be "prophecy in reverse", and interpreted in the same way as the Book of Revelation - it symbolises prophetic truths relating to the creation and the human condition resulting from the fall and original sin. I also think it addresses some of the fundaments of theology, such as the problem of evil and arguement of free will, as well as creation ex nihilio via the actions of the Holy Trinity.
Personally, the complexity of this view of creation and the vastness of the universe makes me stand in even greater awe of the Creator - the Eternal Logos, who became flesh to redeem us by His Holy Blood.
There are very few Catholic intellectuals today who would follow the tenets of Creationism - but admittedly both views are tolerated by Magister. Is there any particular reason why you feel the need to steadfastly adhere to Creationism? Evolution does not necessarily affect the doctrine of Original Sin as outlaid by St. Augustine, or consequently the Atonement...
I intend to address this at more length in a blog post in the future.

Jamey said...

Thanks Emmett you did good to summarise that.

For me evolution destroys the reading of Genesis - as simplistic as it sounds, the sacred book screams creationism to me. There is no hard proof that we have changed form over time (I appreciate this may be hard as fossils deteriorate over time). In particular this is something that popped up in my head - if a species evolved, multiple individual members would have to do so at the same time otherwise how would they reproduce and where does it stop (barring divine intervention)?

The other difficulty I have with evolution and we will probably disagree based on your comments, but I do think it requires a revisionism of our religion - as a result how much does our religion change over time and is relegated to the mythical and symbolic, and what was really true to start with.

Intellectually I am ignorant of much of the facts/arguments and couldn't fight my way out of a wet paper bag so really just going with gut feel. I appreciate feelings in a fallen world aren't always a perfect indicator of the truth.

I do think those fraudulent finds gave the movement much momentum and I have people say "what about those finds and the drawings in the old textbooks (mythical ape-man)" people aren't aware they were fakes. There is much ridicule and hostility to be suffered by creationists.

No doubt the universe is very complex and scientists will keep blowing up their minds trying to figure it out. When they discover one thing, something else jumps up and throws a spanner in the works.

I am personally quite fascinated with life on other planets/universes I personally know genuine people who have said they have seen UFO's. I am not entirely sure what to make of his NDE he seemed very genuine as did his transformation but Howard Storm was shown life on many other planets/universes and that planet Earth is one of the places that is least spiritually "evolved". Other planets accepted Jesus' message no problem, but humans murdered him. Storm attributes his salvation due to a nun praying rosary for him, and first studied the bible at the local Catholic church before becoming a Protestant minister.

Emmett O'Regan said...

The evolution of species occurs over thousands of years through random genetic mutation and natural selection. Any slight genetic mutations that prove helpful to any given species is passed down the genepool, causing the species to slightly change form over that course of hundreds of years. The changes are then magnified over thousands of years. This speed of this process can be accelerated through artifical selection - for example in breeding cattle, where only the largest cows were selected for breeding. Modern cattle are a lot larger than they were just a couple of hundred years ago. Dog breeding is another example, where we have a wide variety of different breeds through artifical selection.
Richard Dawkins takes great delight in spelling all this out in his book The Blind Watchmaker, and successfully dismantling creationist arguements. That's why he has acheived such great popularity. But it has no impact on evolutionary creationism.
There are some unanswered problems though, such as why the crocodile hasn't continued to evolve - given that it has been around as long as the dinosaurs. Some species seem to reach a certain point, and then stall.
I get the feeling that UFO activity may be preternatural rather than extraterrestial. Scienticists still cannot explain how life developed on this planet - how a random mixture of chemicals and amino acids suddenly collected together, forming a living organism which could self-replicate. There is still a strong possibility that life is unique to this planet.
I think that people who experience NDE's can be open to deception via diabolical influences, as well as having genuine angelic encounters. Oftentimes there is a very thin line between the two in the higher levels of mysticism.

Jamey said...

Given your description of evolution there with gradual change and much variation within a species I wonder where the point is where all of a sudden they can no longer reproduce with other "similar" members and particularly why?

I thought that creationists accept microevolution but not macroevolution so there is a certain amount of variation or potential in the gene.

For example when I went to Croatia I was amazed how low the doorways of the buildings were(400-500 years old). In the case of the cows could it be they have selected the largest plus modern nurtrition means their "utmost gene potential" has been reached. I remember seeing evolutionists disagreeing with each other on similar "evidence" regarding horses.

I am personally suspicious of the honesty of scientists, things used as evidence seem closer to being a theory. The other thing that could be considered say if evolution of plants/animals are true this doesn't mean our creator used the same process for us, this would be in line with being a test. As usual with his ways he may also provde contra evidence such as what you mention regarding crocs. If honest scientists found fossils/some other evidence that absolutely demonstrate humans specifically evolved from apes I would accept it, but I dont think they will.

From the Pastor Angelicus Pius XII
"If anyone examines the state of affairs outside the Christian fold, he will easily discover the principle trends that not a few learned men are following. Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism." (Humani Generis).

Very good point about the fine line in regard to NDE's - St John of the Cross eventually couldn't tell whether he was being visited by Jesus or the Devil so prayed that the apparitions would cease. Unfortunately alot of the people who have nde's automatically assume the beings they see are angels. I think at best some are suspect at worse fraud.

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion. I can understand natural selection, from small cows can come big cows. But I don't get how a small rodent becomes a even a small cow according to evolutionists. There is also no evidence of these missing links that have been evolving. Where is the rodent cow? Does that make sense...the halfway point? Where is that animal?

The other problem I have with evolution is that it implies that human beings are still evolving. Doesn't that mean we are evolving towards something? And what is that? To be a God? And isn't that an excuse for what is termed
progessivism? A totally secular political system? I know, as Jamey said, people were much smaller in years past. but that is better atributed to natural selection and a healthier diet. It's interesting that if you take the dimensions of the Shroud of Turin that Our Lord was about 5'10", which is about the average size of a man today. Can you imagine in His lifetime He must of towered over everyone? And, as Christians, don't we believe that He is God? So, are we to think that the human race can evolve to something greater than God?

The philosopy of evolution seems more geared to atheism or secularism to me. I believed in it when I was younger but as an older gal I see the terrible implications it has for making the case that we are moving on to better quality human beings (since we're helping this evolutionary process along) by using all sorts of science to create the perfect human being without any regard to moral codes or ethical standards, not to mention the complete lack of the spiritual dimension of humanity. God save us all!
rose

Jamey said...

Emmett,

I have been contemplating your statement that it is a fine line between mysticism and demonic activity. This seems to go with many seers/mystics and possibly saints. Thomas Merton had some very powerful books packed with spiritual insight almost unique, such as No Man is an Island. Then toward the end of his life you could sense he was getting into dangerous territory and was possibly losing a bit of faith. Why do you think that line is so fine? A test? I find myself walking a spiritual tightrope often.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Satan knows that this is where his greatest victories can be won. Mystics such as St Pio and St John Vianney endured terrible diabolic attacks, where they when even physically assaulted by the Evil One. Although I think this was more rage at them not sucumbing to his temptations.
Sr Lucia said that the Devil particularly sought to corrupt those consecrated to God, since this would drag numerous souls to hell. We can see how effective this stragedy was in the paedophile scandal that has rocked the Church.

Jamey said...

Emmett,

thank you for directing me to Alister McGrath's book Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes and the Meaning of Life. I was at the local library yesterday noticed it and have since got stuck in to it. Most impressive work thus far, very lucid.

Was checking out some youtube footage of Michael Behe the other day and amusingly he said along the lines "If you wish to check out any critiques of my work, go online and type in my name followed by a common swear word." Scientists such as he are very brave considering the current environment. May the Archangel St Michael defend Michael B. and like minded scientists in their hour of battle and give them the courage to speak the truth.

Emmett O'Regan said...

McGrath issued another booklet called "The Dawkins Delusion" as a rebuttal of Dawkins' highly popular work "The God Delusion". He is uniquely placed to critique Dawkins, given that he has a doctorate in molecular biophysics, as well as a doctorate in theology. He was given a chance to air his views in Dawkins' documentary "The Root of All Evil" - which ended up on the cutting room floor. You can find the footage of the debate between Dawkins and McGrath at the below link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxc0NpTZE18

(It's in 15 parts though, so just click on part 2 after the 1st one is finished).
McGrath is a fellow Belfast man - although he is from "the other side of town" so to speak.
John Polkinghornes' work is also outstanding - which I think you will find very interesting. Polkinghorne is a highly respected theoretical physicist and theologian, who forwards a fine defense of Christian belief from the cosmological arguement and anthropic principle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne

Another documentary you might be interested in is "The Trouble with Atheism":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i20vLIgBt4M