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Return of the Empire

By Matthew Clark

Approxiametely two thousand and twenty years ago Jesus Christ descended to earth in the form of a man. He was a carpenters son, a profession he himself practiced when he assisted his earthly father with chores. Carpentry is a form of architecture, the only artistic discipline which is also utilitarian. Jesus lived in the Middle East, which during his lifetime was controlled by the Roman Empire. By the time of Jesus birth the Roman Empire was a malevolent entity which depended on war to sustain it's economy. Originally a disciplined, individual freedom loving people, the Romans had, over time, morphed into an empire which preyed upon it's neighbours to acquire slaves and resources. The point of no return for the eternal city had been in 146 B.C. when the Romans had conquered both Carthage (located in modern day Tunisia), and Corinth (Greece).

The resulting bounty from these successful military campaigns inspired the Romans to ever greater subjugations. War, not production, became the fundamental characteristic of the Roman Empire.

There could be no greater contrast to the workings of Rome when comparing the teaching and lifestyle of Jesus. Jesus did allow for righteous anger and self defense (the assualt on the moneychangers in the temple) yet he preached, and lived, a life of non-(physical) aggression! "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and "let he who is without sin throw the first stone," are just two examples of the messiahs rule(s) for life.

Famously the Christ, in addressing the role of the state said," Give unto Caesar what is Caesars, give unto God what is God's." By this dictate the Messiah was leaving it up to human beings to indicate their moral priorities on what should be allocated to Caesar, and what homage be given to God. Nevertheless in history the Lord has taught us that those people who decide they will give little to Caesar (government), while bestowing much to God, become the wealthiest of nations, in every way. Those who are generous with Caesar, yet are sparse with the Creator, slide into impoverishment, in all forms, before suffering political and societal collapse!

Three years of preaching peace, the value of individual life (before God slave and master are equal) and the primacy of spiritual (God) over temporal (government), become too much for the Roman authorities, and their satallite pharises, to ignore. Exhibiting true counter productive behaviour so common to authoritarians, they put in place events which resulted in Jesus crucifixon. Power in it's most lethal form was used (futilely) to squash a threat.

Predictably it turned out to be a wasted effort. Christs followers would eventually conquer the Roman Empire. For centuries Christians travelled the globe, often conducting themselves abrasively, as fallible human beings do, still they spread the gospel of hope and the importance of a spiritual life as opposed to temporal (government) institutions.

What was the result?

Over time Christians were rewarded with both spiritual and worldly wealth. They obtained previously unheard of wealth which gradually they extended to many other peoples! Knowledge came into their possession that permitted vast control of natural forces. Spiritual celebrations such as Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday became worldwide events. Abundance in all areas seemed to be the future of our species.

Then strangely Christians turned away from the beliefs which had given them such strength. First and foremost there was a rejection of God. Most (formerly) Christian nations now have less than half their population participating in any type of weekly religious service. Conversely trust and responsibility was given to temporal institutions, particularly those of the state. Government departments now employ hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of individuals. These bureaucrats with the assistance of intrusive technology, control citizens lives in a manner ancient Roman authorities could only dream of. Ominiously the western World, as in the days of Rome, has an overarching empire employed in predation and exploitation. This empire's title is NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) lead by the United States of America. Everywhere NATO military forces stand on it's enemies borders. NATO leaders scream at their adversaries as aggressors while they themselves march, and bomb, these nations in an attempt to subdue them.

Russia whose inhabitants show themselves different from the west in that they are presently going through a religious rejuvenation, is being villified throughout NATO for trying to protect itself. Even worse is the fate of those in the Middle East. The denizens of North Africa and the Middle East have war waged on them by NATO and it's allies. Civillian casualties are astounding, with Israeli ( the major western allie) army snipers having even killed civillian woman taking sanctuary in local churches. Meanwhile in the Pacific NATO forces along with her Pacific allies patrol off the coast of China, spoiling for a fight with the Dragon nation.

This Good Friday/Easter Sunday weekend sees the Western World stuck in the same cycle it occuppied during Jusus Christ time here on earth. War accompanied by government worship are it's contemporary modis operandi. The Roman Empire has been replaced by the NATO Empire! As happened with Rome the new Empire is in a state of recognizable decline. If the political leaders of NATO wish to arrest this trend they would do well to consider on this Easter Weekend the words of author Victor Hugo. " A cannonball travels only two thousnd miles an hour. Light travels two hudred thousand miles a second. Such is the superiority of Jesus Christ over Napleon. "

If we Westerners choose the light, opt for production in economics, complimented with the severest of limits on temporal institutions and responsibilities, we may return to the glories of those energetic Christians who conquered the Roman Empire, then traversed the globe. If not than the fate of Rome likely awaits us.

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