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?”
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."
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."
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..."
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."
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."
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.