My "sins of omission":
In my eagerness to defend the prophecy of elder Ignatii of Harbin, I fear I overemphasized one part of my views, to the neglect of another.
I've been thinking about the following posts:
And that context would be that of the persons who are putting this statement forth to, I gather, rouse concern and negative feelings, perhaps.
Some really pushy and obnoxious fundamentalists and some grim ultra-conservative Catholics have received the ire of some ultra-liberal commentators and politicians (more often for demeanor and judgmental-ness, rather than ethical stances).
It always both amazes and disturbs me at how pessimistic some religious people (and it doesn't matter what religion) tend to be. Many of the faithful always see either persecution some end of the world scenario around every corner and spend all their time whining about it to the rest of us. Why does religion, which is generally supposed to give people comfort and hope to bear their burdens, also have this dark, moody, side to it?
There are two points of view about prophecies which are wrong.
The first is those who don't want to believe in the gift of prophecy.
The second, which is just as bad, is when some people use prophecy to get into negative emotional states.
Some will read prophecies (both biblical and post-biblical) and then get upset, disturbed, or outright depressed. That's not what prophecies are about. Paradoxically, even the most negative prophecies are ways for God to comfort us in times of affliction. They're His way of saying, "See, I knew this was going to happen beforehand. Don't fear, because I'm in charge, and I'm with you." Even the Apocalypse, the scariest book in the Bible, is ultimately a positive book. Its not, in the end, about the power of Antichrist, but about the triumph of the Church.
Others will read prophecies as an excuse to exercice their pride, arrogance, and paranoia. They judge others. They look for others to point to and say, "You are the cause of the apostasy." To them, God's prophecies say, "I know your inner self. I know who you really are. So look to your own sins, first. Do good and I'll be with you. Do evil, including pride, arrogance, and judgement, and I will be against you."
Finally, for all of us, prophecies are like an alarm-clock waking us up from a night's sleep. Its one way God rouses us from our spiritual sleep, kindles our conscience, and gets us to be more serious about our spiritual lives.
I should have mentioned these things sooner.
As the cable-company says:
"We apologize for the inconvenience."