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The Apocalypse of Love

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 27 Feb 2024


“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound
the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world
to confound the things which are mighty;”
1 Corinthians 1:27

 

There was a gospel smackdown during Carnaval in Brazil this year.  The contenders for the eternal, heavyweight crown were singers Baby do Brasil and Ivete Sangalo.  After a mutual declaration of their respect, and a rousing rendition of "Menino do Rio," Baby do Brasil took the opportunity to inform Ms. Sangalo, and indeed the entire world, that we are entering the Apocalypse.

Here's the public declaration of mutual admiration, followed by the song.  Be sure to turn on auto-translate, if you don't speak alien bug code.

The video ends just as the gospel smackdown begins, so here's the continuation of the main event, when the spiritual cage match becomes crazy and impassioned.  Baby do Brasil says that we only have 5 to 10 years until the Rapture occurs (years? I was thinking minutes), and Ms. Sangalo informs the audience that Jesus won't allow the Apocalypse, because "God's strength is greater than any commandment," during which Baby do Brasil releases a cry reminiscent of a tropical bird who just escaped from the zoo.

Notable is Ms. Sangalo's association of God and Jesus with "energy," and the proclamation that Jesus is "the greatest energy of all," which is why He will "crush the Apocalypse."  She then declares that some untranslatable word or other is "the Apocalypse of love," at which point the costumed Brazilians break into another song, and the video comes to an end.

This declaration of an "Apocalypse of love" is a result, presumably, of the misplaced faith in the power of the humanist spirit to overcome all obstacles and create a utopian paradise by engaging in denial about the true spiritual condition of man, which is one of sin.  The proposal is attractive, it feels good, and it is full of righteous-feeling energy that fills the untested, default believer with the sense that he or she is capable of anything.

And then it gets pneumonia.

I am reminded of Heather McDonald, who didn't even have a chance to get off the stage before God turned her into a living example of both His power and His mercy (both women survived).

The health problems of both Heather McDonald and Ivete Sangalo could be random coincidence, or they may be "glaring red flags," the dismissal of which may very well be a deadly mistake.  If it isn't taking years for these public declarations of pride to be publicly humbled, perhaps there isn't much time left in which to take the hint.  You are certainly free to gamble your eternal soul on the possibility that the idea of sin is just another brainwashing technique, a dystopian fantasy created by rule-happy control freaks for the purposes of stifling the positive energy bursting like champagne bubbles deep within your soul.  Which is definitely a possibility.

It's also possible that sin is real, regardless of what anybody believes about it, one way or the other.  It's possible our beliefs don't affect the reality of our situation.  The transformation of our society's former live-and-let-live libertines into rule-happy, moralizing control freaks who demand conformity and compliance to their own disorganized religion (yet still a religion, nevertheless) is another hint.  The "devolution" of amoral party people into hyper-moralizing rule-mongers who are incapable of error (or sin) is yet another giant billboard on the highway to hell, declaring that perhaps there's something to the idea of moral culpability after all.  Perhaps we can't avoid it, even if we want to.  As I wrote in "Licking The Fist That Feeds,"

 

"Hanging signs
from every treetop
prohibitions in the wind
everything is illegal,
but nothing is a sin"

 

A society in which everything is illegal but nothing is a sin is a society that is divided against itself without even knowing it.  A society in which people who live an ostensibly-amoral existence believe they are taking the "moral high ground" by passing laws that restrict the freedoms of others (and even themselves) is a society that is divided against itself, and will not stand.  It can not stand.  The moralizing libertine is a living, breathing paradox.  A walking, self-divided advertisement for sin and hell itself.

 

"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;
and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:”
Matthew 12:25

 

The moralizing libertines are advertisements for desolation, destruction, and hell because, just like the rest of us, they are sinners.  Sin is the missing link.  Animals don't have our problems.  There is no penal system in the animal kingdom; no shark or bear has ever been indicted for murder when it mauls someone to death.  And yet we, as human beings, have a conscience.  This is because we have been "created in the image of God," and are therefore capable of both virtue and sin.

The other animals are capable of neither.  They obviously have emotions, and are clearly capable of love, but since this love is obviously natural, and not an act of intent (whether virtuous or sinful), nobody ever takes the bear to court, when he mauls the mailman to death.


“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them.”
Genesis 1:27

 

In fact, when he kills someone, we usually execute the bear without allowing him due process of any kind.  We "put the animal down," because the animal is dangerous.  We put him down, but we don't put him on trial.  We don't offer the bear or the shark the opportunity to defend himself.

Why not?

Because there's nothing to defend.  He ate the mailman.  It's what he does.  We can't have him running around treating the neighborhood like the buffet at Golden Corral, but since we know we're not going to get an explanation (or even any justice, a concept which clearly does not apply), we executed him.  Extrajudicially.  Because we were made in the image of God, and it's in our power (and possibly moral right, may God have mercy on us all) to do so.

It's heavy.  Heart-shaped hand gestures do not adequately express the moral weight of the actual human heart.  In fact, such a glib display of would-be virtue may even be insulting.

How do you effectively dismiss the eternal weight of moral culpability, anyway?  Is there time to even try?  Baby do Brasil clearly has a sense of urgency, or she wouldn't have said anything at a giant party full of licentious carnivores.  I share her sense of urgency.  And of course I don't absolutely know, but unlike Ms. Do Brasil, I personally don't believe we have anywhere near 5 or 10 years to sit around and think about it.  And even if we do, how many people are going to die before that?

 

“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near:”
Isaiah 55:6

 

Do it now.

Thanks for listening.

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket. http://www.pablosmoglives.com


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