James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tribulation

Future Hi, once a bright spot of optimism, has become future low. Blogger Paul Hughes writes:
I am at a crossroads for sure. What has become overwhelmingly apparent is that the walls of oppression are closing in. I am no longer optimistic about the future. I no longer hold out faith that "the people" via decentralization will overcome centralized tyranny and control. Every day the news in the US gets worse and worse and worse. The political system here has become a one-party facist police state, and they are gearing up for a major show down. You'd have to be a fool to not see that is heading in precisely that direction. I keep thinking there will be some glimmer of hope, of undercurrent change happening that will undermine it all. But I'm not seeing it. I have had to seriously face for the first time in my life, that I may not survive the comming catastrope, collapse, or apocalypse, or whatever you want to call it.


It does feel to me that we're living in some sort of "last days" -- by which I do not mean the end of the world. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if we soon find out that Dispensationalist theology was correct, but that Jesus had already come back, in early 1999, to snatch up all the real Christians. Only to find that there weren't any.

I do think that the Revelation period of Tribulation, seven years, is about right. Perhaps periods in a nation's, or the world's history can be marked in seven-year cycles. Think of seven years of German history beginning in the Spring of 1938, when it annexed Austria.

Indeed, if we really want to look for it, we can find what we are looking for to "prove" our theory by marking an important event, and marking another important event seven years later that seemed to mark a new era. But much of it is subjective -- what I find most significant may not be the most significant to other people.

But I ask myself, when did this begin, where can we mark where our country really ran off the rails? I mark it with the Kosovo War, which began seven years ago this Spring. That outrage, when America went to war against a country completely unprovoked, a country that neither attacked us nor posed any sort of threat to us, and without even the sanction of the United Nations (unlike Korea and the Persian Gulf War), was (up to that point) the great crime of my lifetime. Yet, a lot of people I considered to be thoughtful and morally serious supported this outrage. My own sense of alienation toward my own country began around then.

But thinking about seven year Tribulations caused me to think of seven years before that, and seven years before that. Here I find signficant markers:

Spring, 1985: Mikhail Gorbachev rises to power in the Soviet Union. Era of hope and triumph. It began with the beginning of the end of the Cold War, and in late 1991, to the end of the Soviet Union itself.
Spring, 1992: Rodney King riots, which prompts Washington, after triumphally becoming the world's only superpower, to "come home." Outrages continued both at home and abroad, but they were of a relatively small scale.
Spring, 1999: The bombing of Yuglosavia. Followed by Elian Gonzalez, the 2000 election, 9-11, the Patriot Act, McCain-Feingold, the War on Iraq, the 2004 election, Valerie Plame, NSA scandal, the cartoon riots, and a lot of other evil stuff.
Spring, 2006: ?

I think in the next few weeks we'll mark the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. While we're living it, however, it may be hard to perceive, and we will only discern it years from now. And I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that everything will get even worse. That doesn't mean I have "faith in our system" or in humanity, only that I think there's a chance that things will turn around, even if by accident. Maybe this was it; these past seven years was America's great tribulation and we won't have another in a long time.

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