Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ARCHBISHOPS BEHAVING BADLY

CAN EVEN GOD SAVE ARCHBISHOP WILLIAMS?

No, the question is valid; I mean it. Rowan Williams doesn’t even believe God can save the planet, so why himself? To announce, as the Archbishop of Canterbury did last month, that the environmental fate of the world is entirely in our own hands and we may destroy ourselves without God intervening marks a flat denial, not the Archbishop’s first, of the Bible and tradition he’s supposed to represent. A prophetic statement like Revelation’s: “O Lord God, sovereign over all, you are and you were…..now is the time to destroy those who would destroy the earth” (Rev 11: 17, 18. REB) involves the idea there will be a time when the planet is threatened and the same God who gave the earth in stewardship to humanity will not permit its destruction to occur.

But no, the Archbishop either hasn’t heard it, doesn’t believe it or isn’t interested. When did you last hear him preaching anything remotely apocalyptic and in any case Rowan William’s skeptical, democratic generosity to most or all positions except the orthodox is such he believes even atheism should be taught as part of religion in schools with the help of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials novels. He has also proposed that some Sharia Law could be introduced to England to help the Muslims, none of whom, like the Archbishop himself, ever seems to have the will to object how Christians don’t even have the basic right to worship in Islam’s centre, Saudi, while under Sharia Law in Pakistan countless women are in jail because they dare to protest their rape under a system which allows such protest only if (improbably!) four men can stand witness to their claims! (Whether the Archbishop’s sympathy for Sharia bears connection to known sympathies with Islam of Prince Charles, rumoured to be privately a convert to Sufism, I have no idea).

What sort of appeasing, retreating, gutless un or anti-evangelical Christianity is this? Indeed what creedal elements of the religious denomination he leads does the basically rationalist Archbishop (inbetween an incongruous cult of icons and the Mary he wants to pray along with) really believe? Certainly he doesn’t believe in the Magi – he spoiled a good few people’s Christmas and possibly faith in ‘07 insisting the Magi probably never existed and the gospel Christmas narratives can be taken as myth accordingly. This itself was nonsense even if one entertained doubts about details of the narrative. Travelling oriental/Persian Magi (astrologers) were such a long-standing, half feared feature of the ancient world the Emperor Constantine banned them in 321 in what was a questionable move the churches have never quite recovered from against the astrology that features in Christ’s birth and we ought to be aware of.

As it happens a Welsh priest of my acquaintance in Australia who had on and off communicated with Williams in the past, recommended and sent through a book of mine dealing with discoveries regarding the astrology of Christ’s birth. Whether from Williams himself or his office, the courtesy of a reply was never received and the world was given the gift of Williams’ skepticism instead. He might at least have acknowledged other lines of thought exist on the magi but prelates don’t seem to think like that. One could say they mostly favour a “fair” skepticism….but rather dogmatically and dismissively!

CAN RICHARD HOLLOWAY BELIEVE ANYTHING AT ALL?

A good example of this corrosive "fairness" is Richard Holloway, former Archbishop or Bishop Primus (it amounts to the same thing) of Edinburgh of the Scottish branch of Anglicanism. His religion is in effect a spirituality of honesty in not believing or claiming anything specifically Christian at all. According to a suitably uninspiring Easter weekend feature in The Australian which influences my comments, Holloway admits to being “completely allergic to people who say that they know the ultimate, absolute truth”. He believes in “the virtue of uncertainty” and “If you know the mind of the mystery you call God, it makes you do terrible things”.

“Terrible things”? This is libel! Are we to suppose that, say, Christian doctors and nurses who are helping people and happen orthodoxly to believe that Christ is “the way, the truth and the life” and hence some kind of ultimate mystery, are actual or potential world destroyers like biblically illiterate, or just plain illiterate, medieval Crusaders on rampage overseas? But for this Archbishop such believers wouldn’t need to be pushing any of their beliefs in Christ anyway, even nicely, because “Evangelism is an abuse of power”. It’s even nothing but a fear based threat and the Church just a power structure. And it seems there would be nothing and nobody to evangelize anyway because the first of the Archbishop’s 26 published books was Beyond Belief: Godless Morality, (1981) which made the point there is effectively no Christian morality because atheists can be good – which doubtless they can be just as they can be evil. But is this the point and is it worth cutting down trees to make paper to publish it? Indeed, what publishers are complicit with promoting this religion of skepticism 26 times over when so much in religion can’t get published? What Holloway represents is an “abuse” of influence by an Archbishop who admits to have changed his mind so many times he is not sure what he believes but is ready to call himself "The Church in Exile". The Church in Auto-Destruct mode might be more appropriate!

As one priest remarked to me, people like this may be brilliant scholars (Williams is a linguist fluent in perhaps ten languages) but they would be better in academic posts where they would be free to change ideas and perspectives by the week rather than leading whole churches. I would agree their role is now so negative it belongs with Miltonics like “the hungry flock look up and are not fed”, or, more darkly and cynically if one were to cite Baudelaire, “It’s the Devil who holds the strings that make us dance”. In 2002 Richard Holloway did actually resign his post as was appropriate. Today he oddly describes the real beginning of his disillusion as being the 1998 Lambeth Conference with its fireworks over the subject of homosexuality. Gays and their cause seems to be the one of the few things the Archbishop can feel able to barrack for with any conviction. Admittedly Lambeth ‘98 seems to have been a conference to end all conferences…...

I attended a party a few years ago and not realizing I was talking to a bishop told him, when he asked me, about my doctoral studies which were in gay spirituality. This prompted him to inform me just how horrific the Lambeth Conference had been. So bad he said he never wished to attend anything like it again in his life. The atmosphere had apparently been electric with venom and potential and actual aggressive behaviour unworthy of Christians. But if such was the case the party chiefly guilty for stirring the pot was another unworthy Archbishop, Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria, of whom there were tales about trying to throw a gay delegate on the floor – possibly in attempts to exorcize him since he apparently believes gays are mostly demon possessed. From the under-belief of prelates western style we pass to over-belief African style.

CAN THE FANATIC ARCHBISHOP AKINOLA JUST SHUT UP?

I shall pass over whatever Akinola may have said and done since ‘98 (which includes hysterically calling all homosexuals "lower than the beasts",trying to split the entire Anglican Communion over homosexuality and make himself alternative head of some split off group) to quote him only in the very recent past. In recent attempts by the Nigerian government to move legally against gays (who get assaulted and generally persecuted in Nigeria as in other African countries like Uganda and aided and abetted by the churches) Akinola has made representations to a parliamentary committee. He has proposed gay marriages should be entirely illegal with anyone involved in such being jailed for 5 years and even anyone attending such marriages jailed for a year. He regards homosexuality as “capable of engendering moral and social holocaust” (i.e. the condition is catching if gay unions were permitted the population rate would either decline or be wiped out by AIDS!).

According to Akinola (as cited in Blaze Gay Magazine for South Australia, March 25th) “Same sex marriage apart from being ungodly is unscriptural, unnatural, unprofitable, unhealthy, un-cultural, un-African and un-Nigerian. Homosexuality is capable of existinctating (sic) mankind and as such should never be allowed to take root in Nigeria…”

Well, of course same sex marriage is unscriptural because the chiefly relevant biblical society (Israel’s) like most ancient societies didn’t envisage it - though it virtually does in the peculiar covenant union of David and Jonathan. One wonders what the Archbishop would think if we reminded him that Archbishops themselves are unscriptural, no such individuals are ever mentioned in the Bible. And heaven knows few Archbishops have done the churches much good. However, this angry and meddlesome Archbishop who doesn't wish to be in the same room as a homosexual and certainly won't take communion with them, is either grossly ignorant or else a gross liar if he contends that homosexuality is “un-African”. Lock this troublemaker up for 5 years and force him to read anthropological studies like Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities (eds) Stephen O Murray and Will Roscoe, a couple of anthropologists….! A biology text wouldn't hurt either as this prelate remains under the pre-scientific illusion that homosexuality is not found in nature as amusingly in the case of Ninio the elephant in the Warsaw zoo and the penguins in Berlin's.

AND COULD ARCHBISHOP AKINOLA READ THE BIBLE?

…..But if he won't confront anthropology and biology at least make Akinola study the Bible. There are a few things Archbishop Akinola needs to know including about the Bible. One of them concerns what and who according to the Sermon on the Mount risks the hell fires. The very symbol used for the anger which is the root of violence and murder is the attitude which exclaims “Racah, you fool” (Matt 5:22). In the Aramaic it means something like abusing someone as an “effeminate pervert” or cursing someone as a faggot. Accordingly something like an ancient form of homophobia is used here as symbolic of the root mentality behind discriminating hatreds against outsider minorities of all kinds, social and racial, that can prompt bashings or even murder. Under the old Law, to the extent what probably referred there to sacred prostitution can even be applied to “homosexuality” as we now understand it, capital punishment was involved. But by rejecting hatred of marginal people as a potentially murderous attitude unacceptable to God, Jesus is tacitly rejecting whatever laws of his time might penalize same sex relations because under the old Law, angry attitudes like Akinola’s that justified discrimination and even execution would be acceptable.

Even if you don’t agree with this particular reading of the text, there are other hints in the gospels that Jesus did not regard what today we call “homosexuality” as the evil and unmentionable subject clerics like Akinola have made it over the centuries and we may affirm that point no matter what St Paul may or may not have thought and taught in this area. The Pauline position is something which for modern scholarship is anyway a contentious issue, far less clear than Christian conservatives care to acknowledge…..

Once again, as it happens, I somewhat addressed this issue in the mentioned book, reception of which the Archbishop of Canterbury didn’t acknowledge. I had more to say in my A Special Illumination, based on a world first doctorate from a religious studies dept and assessing the varieties of gay theology and spiritualities. It also happens that an acquaintance of the Archbishop (Rev.Canon Martyn Percy of Cambridge) described what I’d written as probably the best treatment of gay theologies ever done. Yet although the Archbishop has complained the church lacks guidance and knowledge in dealing theologically and otherwise with the gay theme, again, no recommendation of my work has had any effect. What might have helped clerics and committees debating gay issues to have more facts and a broader critical overview has not been cited or used. But since on most subjects those Anglican attitudes which count are still too often just snobbishly or cliquishly determined by the old boy network “no good thing comes out of Australia” may well have played its part. (I don’t just speak for my own work. For example it’s hard to see how a useful, magisterial study on the interpretation of the Sodom story across history from another Australian scholar - Michael Carden’s Sodom - could have been quite so ignored).

HOMOSEXUALITY BECOMING THE MAIN SUBJECT FOR BAD ARCHBISHOPS

There is something that unifies my bad Archbishops story and could extend it (since I haven’t explored Archbishop Jensen of Sydney, an ally and advocate of the infernal Akinola) and it’s the subject of homosexuality which is coming to outdo all other theoretically more important issues for Christianity from creedal orthodoxy to actual cure and care of souls.

Again the wavering Rowan Williams seems much to blame. He has giddied back and forth on the subject of homosexuality in a theological incertitude which like so much in Anglicanism has owed something to mere politics. (Anglicanism itself is a state church whose archbishops are selected by the Prime Minister who may care nothing for religion so that a lot of what spirituality and theology should be regulating can become a matter for social compromises and the supposed needs of national consensus rather than the church itself). When the economically powerful evangelical block was threatening withdrawal of funds over issues of gay ordinations and unions Williams became more conservative though enraging conservatives by unannounced attending a Eucharist with gay Christians as though to appease and apologize to them.

I believe that the blessing of same sex unions is and was a more vital pastoral issue than whether or not in the interests of simple equality there should be gay bishops in our generation. But had Williams taken a firm line in harmony with his original stated beliefs and purposes and ordained as first gay bishop, Canon Jeffrey John who was no longer in gay relationship he could well have forestalled other more serious controversies and schisms. These broke out over the unilateral decision of American Episcopalians, determined to have some gay bishop since Williams wouldn’t act as expected, to instead make a divorced bishop in a relationship (and as it turned out had alcoholic problems too) flag bearer for the new protest line. This poor piece of PR was then the trigger to the debates and politicking which brought out Akinola and his poison in full force.

Yet Akinola is really more political than almost anyone engaged in Anglicanism’s wrecking ball gay debate. Anglicanism’s own Robert Mugabe, Akinola is excused enormities and not described as a thoroughly despicable person largely, I think, because he is black and we don’t wish to be charged with racism. His macho pursuit of gays is exacerbating problems for gays and gay Christians throughout Africa where it has sent some to into depression and suicide and made them vulnerable even to death threats. (See reports from such as “Other Sheep” a gay religious organization which reports on what is going on in African churches). The macho patriotism of Akinola’s protests disguises the extent to which in fact he is weakly appeasing Muslim forces in Nigeria which would attack the church if it showed certain kinds of human rights concerns. Akinola also appears to have had certain ambitions to dominate a separate, schismatic church, so that in no way can his attitudes to homosexuality be considered the disinterested, biblically conservative position that allies like Archbishop Jensen of Sydney will make it out to be.

THREATS TO RELIGIOUS FREE SPEECH AND SPITTING OUT TRUTH'

Akinola-speak encourages nothing but a hate Christ attitude among secular gays internationally. It is the sort of phenomenon which moreover fuels the new hardline approach of the secular society in its opposition to Christianity and religion generally and which (opportunistically one suspects) raising the spectre of homophobia, drastically changes laws to confine abuse but in ways that threaten free speech itself.

Only this past week a worker for England’s St James Community that assists the homeless was dismissed from his post for the crime under new laws of having expressed his view to a co-worker that as a Christian he didn’t believe in same sex relations and gay marriage. Who could and should care that he doesn’t believe in such things as long as he’s not insulting gays or denying them assistance in line with his job? To everyone their beliefs. And who was the Judas of a co-worker friend who went off to report him as politically incorrect? But such is the unfortunate legacy to society that results from the fanatical homophobia historically and still today of clerics of Akinola’s kind and which not even modern western prelates like Jensen have hastened to condemn as they should. So the world will now legally defend people against it, and, because clerics have not troubled to express themselves within bounds of the generous or sensible it will now decide how people in religion will express themselves.

In almost nothing have the Archbishops of our time truly helped us. They are not defenders or proclaimers of the faith nor of human rights in suitable ways. They seem little short of a disaster. One could well wonder how might God see them. I don’t think simply because they probably mean well it would be correct to repeat, mantra-like, clich├ęd phrases like “God loves them very much”. Frankly, one suspects the inveterate confusion represented might be more liable to obtain something like the unsettling judgment on the indifferent Laodicean church - “I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:17).

Monday, April 6, 2009

KEVIN RUDD’S DINNER DISPUTE AND DAVID WILKERSON’S FIREWORKS

RUDD DIETARY PREFERANCES AND A LETTER TO THE PAPER

I’m going to deal with two “explosive” topics. The first is Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd’s airline dinner dispute that's current news (though it happened months ago) and about which I have written to The Australian newspaper. Whether or not the letter is published I duplicate it here and it’s pretty self-explanatory. Rudd, like myself, didn’t want red meat served to him – I have noticed airlines that will serve full vegetarian meals can get into problems if you ask for anything more particular like “no red meat and no dairy products”. For Prime Ministers, airlines should sort themselves out. I wrote….

The fuss over Rudd's bad temper is almost incredible. It's dead annoying not to be served the food one orders especially if health issues are involved and it's remarkable a Prime Minister is not served exactly what he orders. People in leading positions often have "a lot on their plate" besides food and can be expected to suffer more strain than others. That's precisely why in most nations in the world it's considered leaders can and should be a bit pampered. The flight attendant is offended, gets weepy, and files complaint? Fire her! This story is about Opposition party resentments and/or some element of Australian egalitarianism going crazy. Why not be efficient and indulge those with major responsiblities? Almost anywhere else would and almost nowhere would a leader reckon to have to apologize for such trivialities as raising their voice. Unless there are features to this story we don't know about, it's almost certainly Rudd who deserves the apology. Does the public want only to humiliate those in power?

DAVID WILKERSON'S MUSICAL PROBLEMS

To the extent it’s about an explosion of feeling and controversially raising one’s voice in public all this has a loose connection with the next tale. It's a strange one I've unearthed since the last article but which arguably confirms and clarifies assumptions I made there about famed pastor, David Wilkerson, in relation to fires and gays. It’s also, from a certain point of view almost hilarious.

So...back to Gotham City where way back in 1987, David Wilkerson, attended a Christian rock concert led by Christian convert, Mylon LeFevre. Wilkerson is entitled not to like rock music, (I’m no great fan myself) and I dare say a few questions could be asked about the phenomenon of Christian rock music (about which I know nothing). However Wilkerson’s reaction turned out explosive beyond explosive and at that around the music making of a person in good standing among musicians (Elvis Presley once used a Mylon song) and Christians to this day who seem never to have understood Wilkerson’s “prophetic” reaction.

Before commenting I excerpt from account of the relevant occasion as described by David Wilkerson at considerable length in “Driven to Darkness” at
http://www.tscpulpitseries.org/english/1980s/ts870803.html
and which at some points I italicize.

IN GOTHAM CITY AND EXPLOSIVELY DECLARING, DAVID WILKERSON STYLE

“Last night I attended a Christian music festival.……Since leaving the concert I have been weeping for hours, groaning in the Spirit feeling the wrath of a holy God burning against what I saw……No preacher [the leader of the rock band, Myron] anywhere could have spoken with more conviction and sincerity - the words were right. [However……]

Suddenly the singer [Myron] yelled in the microphone, "Jesus is coming - He is going to crack the skies - get ready!" The song was entitled, "Crack The Skies." [The song’s subject was the belief in “The Rapture” - Jesus’ return on the clouds]. Suddenly smoke was billowing out of smoke machines, the pounding beat was turned up to a frenzied pitch, eerie lights began flashing, the musicians stood like phantoms rising from a murky swamp. It was ghostly, weird, strange - and the crowd went wild. At the same festival [during the same song?] a wild spiked hair group had entertained - with painted faces, prancing about like homosexual peacocks.
[These sound like punks but gays have never had notable links to punks or punk styles]

At first, I couldn't believe what I was seeing on stage. I said out loud, "This can't be happening at a Christian festival - they can't do this to my Jesus!..... Oh God - what has happened to your church that its leaders, its people, can't see the evil of this abomination?"…… Suddenly I was on the ground, on my back, weeping and sobbing, and groaning in the Spirit. I sat up and took another look at the stage. I was horrified by what I saw in the Spirit. I saw demonic images rising from that stage! I heard Satan laughing! ….I stood to my feet, literally shaking with the fear of God - consumed with a sense of His holy wrath against such wickedness. I rushed into the crowd crying at the top of my voice - Ichabod! (The glory of the Lord has departed!). I ran through the crowd, pushing aside chairs, weeping, shouting at the top of my voice, "Ichabod - this is satanic! Stop! God is grieved!" I was mostly ignored and I think most thought I was a crazy lunatic…. I wanted to get to a microphone and cry like an Elijah - "This is vomit on the table of the Lord!.... [but Elijah never said that] What kind of blasphemy is this?"

I will not shut up on this matter! …….What hurt my spirit the most….is that this particular group, and many others, attend Pentecostal churches. The musician I refer to told me he gave up drugs, drinking, evil sex [is evil as opposed to sinful sex mean to imply gay sex?] and rock and roll performing when he got saved. He cut his long, feminine hair, he quit dressing like an exhibitionist [like a “homosexual”? – Myron is married with kids ] and began to change all his ways. It was a pastor who encouraged him to "quit looking so square and use rock and roll to reach the kids”. ……..It's now the middle of the night and I can't sleep! I can't stop weeping inside. I am shut in with God in my study diligently asking Him to show me what is happening… Has God given up on some who are set on bringing devilish practices into the realm of worship……?”

HOLY HOMOPHOBIA, BATMAN, I CAN FEEL THE FIRES!

We already know that David Wilkerson has a visionary thing about fires and as someone who would anyway probably recall the Harlem riots and fires of 1964 it wouldn’t be hard for him to imagine similar in New York’s future and to feel nervous at the prospect. We also know that where gays are concerned no Michelangelos ever existed, gays are regularly referred to, (much like fires), as social “menace” or “threat” and Wilkerson has preached in Sweden in defence of the pastor in legal trouble for declaring gays to be a “cancer” on the body of society.

So it’s noticeable in Wilkerson’s account of the concert that he becomes troubled when the beat becomes frenzied and there is smoke and flashes of light, like flames. This has him worked up and disturbed – fireworks are going off in his mind - but tension is increased, or has been building up, through the presence at the concert of men like “homosexual peacocks” and near to this man who once had, and apparently on advice again has, “feminine” (some, might have said “wild” but Wilkerson says “feminine”) long hair.

The fact that the music is “abomination” suggestively links it to the abomination of same sex (probably sacred prostitution though fundamentalists would ignore that point) as defined by Leviticus. The combined effect of noise, fire and sexual associations is truly overwhelming. The pastor is now weeping, shaking and apparently thrown on his back with the intensity of it all! The next thing is that Wilkerson is – almost necessarily - seeing and hearing Satan himself, surely the only reason for him legitimately and self- righteously to back away from what the supposedly religious message from the supposedly genuinely religious performer is otherwise telling the pastor about life, religion, art, eros or just himself. Is the fear of God he refers to and that the other Christians are not feeling, fear of himself? If holy homophobia could ever suffer long negative orgasm this could be the nearest, most historic instance!

Once again it looks like it’s a case of “the heaven’s declare…” (Ps 19). Interestingly David Wilkerson’s rocking super drama occurs at the beginning of August ‘87 with transiting Mars (anything to do with sex, with macho, with aggression, noise, with Rock etc) is hovering around 17 Leo, the fire sign of high dramas and big effects and violent tempers and declarations if once loosed. And David Wilkerson was born with Mars in this fiery sign and at this degree so his Mars is getting stimulated and released in his chart at this time. And recall how I noted last article that his natal Mars was aspected because those other related factors will be suitably triggered along with the Mars. It’s a prescription for big fireworks.

As in the charts of many gays Wilkerson’s natal Mars is in favourable aspect (trine) to the gay planet, Uranus, and in this case in raw sex sign, Aries. Given a natal Mars in Leo Wilkerson would necessarily see and respond in some strong way or another to any strutting gay peacocks….or his Mars would if his Uranus weren’t also afflicting or afflicted by Jupiter (beliefs and religion) in watery Cancer. This Jupiter is disposed not only to make all things gay appear bad with all the potential exaggeration of Jupiter and to be shockingly and surprisingly lachrymose water sign style where religion is concerned but also to bring up “phantoms from a murky swamp” i.e., the wet and tearful worlds of feminine Cancer who in this affliction won’t like the men who steal from her realm by wearing “feminine” hair.

Given the previous article I feel the point is now sufficiently made that David Wilkerson wants to be a prophet, (apparently an Elijah shouting things Elijah never said), and has a strong vein of the fantasist or sensationalist about him. Accordingly, and even though we do inhabit a period of quasi-apocalyptic crises and disasters – the Italian quake is the latest headline - I feel it would be unwise to listen too closely to his “urgent” prophecies for our times. They look to represent an over-active imagination and the negative side of Pentecostalism which is precisely over-active imagination with sometimes a repression that permits false readings of the self or others. This denomination does nonetheless now and again turn up the genuine prophet with the fulfilled forecast. I make the point in the course of my forthcoming Cosmic Father book.

CONCERNING COSMIC FATHER

This project I’ve mentioned before is now very much underway. I have received a proof, have made some corrections and so must now receive a new and hopefully last proof. Towards month’s end it is likely the book will be out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

THE AMERICAN AND DAVID WILKERSON DISASTER SYNDROME

ONE PROPHECY TOO MANY?

American films and culture thrive on disaster scenarios. It may have something to do with the role of the apocalyptic in American religion or the feeling engendered by the competitive atmosphere of American capitalism that life itself is one big crisis. It's rare however with so many false prophets and doomsters in America that a preacher can have a forecast made on only his Blog internationally known and into sceptical press outlets like The Australian. But David Wilkerson as founder of Teen Challenge, (now World Challenge) and one of the first pastors anywhere back in the sixties to tackle inner city drug and crime problems and as such himself once the subject of a bestseller and a film, can go further than most.

Wilkerson enjoys trust and respect not reliant upon alleged prophetic gifts. And despite negative things I shall say here I have to concede this preacher and activist deserves some respect as a pioneer and a person of integrity who has raised a voice against corruption among such as tele-evangelists in America. But like the angels who lost their first estate one feels he really shouldn't have aspired to the role of prophet he periodically assumes and now so devastatingly.

This time he has it that “soon” - but he doesn't know when - there will be an earth shattering event in which especially New York but other cities in America and even the world will be in flames as gangs pillage and loot and the scenario will be so terrible people will be trembling with fear. You can read his declaration of March 7th at this address.

http://davidwilkersontoday.blogspot.com/
and click the corner with Urgent Message

I don't terribly believe this forecast for reasons that will become apparent, but it's an interesting case and there are reasons not to dismiss it completely. So I want to do two things: a) say something about Wilkerson himself and his reliability and b) indicate when it's most likely his calamity would eventuate if it should happen to do so “soon” this year at all.

DAVID WILKERSON AS WOULD-BE PROPHET

Wilkerson, a Pentecostal, has never claimed in strict charismatic – pentecostal terms to be a prophet (i.e. someone given the specific role and giftings of a prophet) he is just someone who has prophetic flashes now and again. Critics may deem this position almost a cop-out seeing he has repeatedly spoken dogmatically and as though he were a prophet and no matter how wrong he has been. And prophets are not supposed to be wrong or they should be silent and strictly speaking the biblical rule is that those who fail are not supposed to be listened to either. (Fundamentalists however can read their Bibles more selectively than they admit!)

David Wilkerson's bestselling and still highly influential work of 1973, The Vision, includes the information that the late healer, Kathryn Kuhlmann, would be persecuted (she never was) similarly to Billy Graham who now nearly ninety enjoys a good reputation he is not now likely to lose. The book foresaw (soon!) a vast economic crisis and collapse leading to a one world order, but it begins in Europe not America like the current crisis, the most serious since the 1930s. If by chance W was glimpsing events today (even accurate prophets can get wrong time frames) he does see banks and the automobile industry collapsing, that much can be granted him. But this pastor would subsequently predict total collapse through the Y2K and then total economic collapse in 2004. He also maintained America would “die” back in August '98 when a gay Jesus play which didn't last long on Broadway, was premiered. Back in 1994 he was predicting that within five years America would have no further gospel networks but they are still with us like the reputation of Reagan who was supposed to leave office in disgrace, just as America was supposed to lose the Gulf War. Well over 30 years after his initial main vision nudity is not featured on at any rate mainstream US TV and there is certainly no nude dancing in churches.

DAVID WILKERSON AND HOMOSEXUAL PANIC

No amount of failure can diminish Wilkerson's influence as prophet even if people get hurt and misled along the way like people back in 1993 told to stock up with a month or more's goods in order to manage the impending crisis. (The latest warning advises similarly). Gays could well complain that Wilkerson's The Vision, along with other statements, is virtual fons et origo of much contemporary Christian conservative prejudice and paranoia since the book saw gays as becoming so strong and “brazen” (W's image of gays is derived almost wholly from pride parades!) they will be raping kids in the parks – as the Bible forecasts (which of course it doesn't). I don't have my copy of The Vision to supply page and exact quote for that but I recall my shock at reading the libel and I see from a published book of mine that on p. 78. W associates gays with the coming church of the Antichrist. There's not a thing in or out of religion or public space gays could do right!

Wilkerson is seriously one of the homosexual panic types for whom no real distinction exists between homosexual and pedophile, a confusion conservatives almost need to keep alive in order to protest the laws as they do. Given this assumption everything becomes a slippery slope towards pedophilia if society tolerates gays and a slippery slope nationally towards fires from heaven too since any tolerance duplicates doomed Sodom. Wilkerson has been so far from risking fires from heaven and contamination for himself and associates that in the past I recall reading somewhere he excluded gays from his drug cure programs. If so, it's one of the most questionable, unattractive things about him and which if it went on overtly today would have him up for politically incorrect behaviour, one imagines.

It's worth mentioning in parenthesis that when a couple of years ago I tried to communicate some criticisms to Rev Wilkerson I found that like most American religious orgs one is against a fortress system which wants to limit and rank any questions and suggestion in advance thus making almost any personal contact with the “star” figure impossible, (though W's latest development towards influential blogging appears to allow contact). Whatever, there is no question that Wilkerson's reading should include such as Dr Michael Carden's study, Sodomy: The Story of a Christian Biblical Myth (2004). Its scholarship conclusively demonstrates that Sodom as home of homosexuality and judged for it from heaven is a late invention of Christian rather than Jewish rabbinic commentators and some Christians, like especially medieval fanatic, Peter Damien, similarly to Wilkerson, are happy to misquote scripture to have the kind of Sodom, Sodomy and Sodomites they choose to imagine.

There is a lot of choosing to do where Wilkerson is concerned. I was amazed that he released his recent urgent prophecy to unburden himself. Normally one would expect a prophet would release a major forecast under the immediate direction of God and granted he does begin by saying the Holy Spirit compels him - a major claim he should really hesitate to make given his history of failures - but it's typical of the ambiguities that attend his absolutes that he speaks of an unburdening of soul to us which, given his history and style, is very likely the case. But as though introducing an element of doubt he suggests we do with the message as we choose. If this really is a divine message whatever happened to the uncompromising delivery “Thus says the Lord”?

DAVID WILKERSON, CULT FIGURE

As a well-established figure people want, even need, to believe Wilkerson. I see there is even an urban myth (someone who recently used it to “prove” to a religion site that believers must listen to Wilkerson as a true prophet has since apologized for mentioning it) that he and his Times Square Church people foresaw 9/11 to the point they prepared sandwiches the night before to be given out to those in distress. There is another myth that Wilkerson's org itself has had to deny that he forecast the closing of all American banks following troubles in Latin America. The forecast is from someone many years ago but keeps getting recycled to this day. Such myths arise because to a certain sensibility W's forecasts, often delivered in woeful and even weeping when not angry tones (one wonders does this pastor/prophet ever laugh) seem wonderfully stirring and sensational; it's some people's idea of the biblical “real thing” even though, so far as one can see, it's either untrue or at most half true.

Ironically, the relative success of the gay movement that W never understood, is the nearest to his hitting the prophetic gong and for good reason. Though his various forecasts in 1973 of the advent of gay clergy and acceptance of gayness as gift etc probably seem magically accurate to his average reader, someone living in the major gay centre of New York and aware the MCC church was founded in 1968 by an excommunicated Pentecostal pastor who had been ordaining gays and preaching an inclusive message, would supply Wilkerson his rumour-like prophecies. Noticeably W's prophecies in this area didn’t extend to foreseeing the more recent and unexpected movement for gay marriages which slippery slope conservatives now have to portray as an attack upon marriage itself.

Wilkerson’s latest urgent forecast seems strangely like a re-hashed enlargement of the fires and mayhem in New York vision that he released in 1993 and gave the next year as the latest time for its fulfillment. It's as though the pastor has an idee fixe around fires, the fires of anger and lust, the fires of hell, of judgment fires from heaven and now the fires of Manhattan.

But let's imagine for a moment that Wilkerson, like people who certifiably had insistent dreams about the sinking of the Titanic, is seeing fires because they will be coming. To some extent it's almost inevitable they will, whether or not W has the information from divine inspiration or the collective unconscious or simple deduction...

CHANCES FOR A NEW YORK DISASTER.

Forecasting fires and mayhem in at least New York is by now almost as sure a bet as declaring there will be a major earthquake in California - surely it's just a matter of time! And America is now in big trouble that is going to cause disturbances because despite appearances to the contrary, things are not going to be getting better in that country quickly. Despite the fact that for Wilkerson, astrology, biblical though it is through the Magi, is demonic, occult and always wrong, the fact is that good astrologers like Richard Nolle have been forecasting the collapse of the world economic system and what has happened to America for some time now and would insist that the US and the world hasn't seen the worst yet. We haven't yet approached the kind of aspects that prevailed at the worst of the Depression in the thirties, but we have had the initial socio-economic reality check that factors like the entry of Pluto in Capricorn last year warned would strike us. So, hopes of improvement will for the time being prove illusory and worse will come, hence one can indeed expect some protest leading to mayhem on the streets.

I now myself turn to a little astrology and prediction. I have noticed something that could prove relevant to disaster in N York and further afield and perhaps this year. There is an interestingly exact and potent placement of the asteroid Manhattan (there is no New York asteroid) opposite America's natal Neptune and this pair stand in close affliction square to America's Mars. By the usual rules this does suggest a real potential for serious Manhattan disaster one day given sufficient activation of the foundation pattern. Neptune is a malefic with a variety of associations, obviously floods but also various forms of human loss and within certain patterns quakes, while Mars is certainly involved with violence, mayhem, fires, reckless action and disturbances of many kinds. One just needs the right eclipse, progression or mix of heavy transits to set this kind of potential off.

Predicting for America is nevertheless a tougher than usual job for astrologers because no one is agreed on the foundation time but I follow Michael O'Reilly, Marc Penfield and the White House acknowledged time of around 2.20 pm which gives a Scorpio rising pattern. This seems to work accurately and highlights present problems. This year, though at least there aren't the hits to America's dangerous Uranus that seem to manifest with major disasters like Hurricane Katrina and which therefore should ideally be present for Wilkerson's world shattering calamity, nevertheless there are factors that could increase the nation's current challenges and disturbance levels.

There is a solar eclipse in July challengingly and ponderously opposite the national Pluto, (ruler of the whole pattern if we have the right birth time), and two lunar eclipses, one in July opposite the national sun and in August near to a conjunction with the base of the chart (which could have implications for the land, property and phenomena like weather patterns). During much of this time, (if we have the right birth time), transiting malefic Neptune is necessarily conjuncting the national moon in its sector of home base, land, property.

What perhaps most gathers up all these tricky negative indicators and moreover does so when serious Pluto has returned to a world point - a potent point for report of international events and disasters - is the lunation of 20th August. This falls in a fire sign setting up various interesting connections including to Wilkerson's own chart which would need to be engaged if his forecast came true and put him in the news. I feel, then, that overall if there are to be any of the earth shattering, fiery calamities starting in Manhattan and that I remain sceptical about, then mid August to mid September looks to have most potential for them.

ASTROLOGY, A PICTURE OF TRENDS

Astrology is not prophecy or fortune telling or divination (though people like Wilkerson are always saying so to demonize it) but one can usually “get the idea”, at least a general idea of trends and prevailing energies through astrology. On this Blog and not knowing Obama's birth time and given doubts about his birth place (an important point), I forecast that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election but that if she didn't there seemed to be positive factors for her and her family despite this so that she and they would be quite happy in losing.

This of course was correct because early in the year factors like a lunar eclipse suggesting an advance for Hillary's career was in fact linked to assumption of the role of Secretary of State. I'll say it was easier for me to see this using Hillary's personal chart than dealing with questions around the disputed US pattern. So...to summarize and repeat. I have serious doubts that Wilkerson is right but if he should be so, I'd be most careful to watch the summer period, from July on and especially mid August to mid September since most potential for trouble seems to lie there. But the period could just mark another challenging period for America within its current cycle of ongoing challenges.

As to Wilkerson himself, a (stubborn, persistent) Taurean born May 19th 1931, can we see his burdens and obsessions in his natal pattern? Actually, yes, and even very much so. His Uranus (shocks, surprises, revolutions, and in some contexts anything to do with the gays and astrologers he doesn't favour) is significantly placed in fire sign Aries in major close affliction to a Jupiter/Pluto conjunction itself much involved with his being famous – there are more people in Who's Who with Jupiter/Pluto aspects than anything. This negative aspect alone, I don't say there aren't others, will dispose Wilkerson to think, sometimes mistakenly, in terms of big fires (Jupiter enlarges) and big and ominous threats (Pluto) from gays (Uranus). “The heavens declare....” (Ps 19). It's a pity for himself and all of us Rev. Wilkerson isn't listening and watching them more.