The Alabaster Jar of Anti-Sacramental Mystery Part I: Are Liberal and Conservative Extremes Anticipated in the Bible? Probably :)
STUDENT: Did you say Communism and Fascism in the Bible? In the alabaster jar? Are you out of your mind?
TEACHER: Well, it might seem that way, but bear with me. We gonna make some bad-ass arguments. For now, we will start out with the foundation.
STUDENT: Ok, what is the foundation?
TEACHER: Excellent question. We will need to review the previous article in my index, the article exploring the theology of the alabaster jar as regards religious extremes: The Alabaster Jar andReligious Extremes
STUDENT: That sounds good. For the record, if I recall, as that explored the religious extremes, is it not true that secular counterparts emerge from the extremes as they shed their religiosity?
TEACHER: Yes. More specifically, in the article above, the alabaster jar scenes were shown to image New Testament extremes in liberal and conservative churches. That is, one scene was a Pharisee, or conservatives, and one was the Disciples, or liberals. Now, obviously, when the ecclesial extremes divulge, they lead to secular extremes: Fascism, Communism. However, before we attempt to move into this deeper theology, it would befit us to recall some of the main points of theology of that base-founding article above. To begin, let us re-present the Scriptures themselves:
STUDENT: Good, go ahead.
TEACHER: Here they are:
The Alabaster Scriptures
The Scene of Simon, the Pharisee:
And one of the Pharisees desired him to eat with him. And he went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that he sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment; And standing behind at his feet, she began to wash his feet, with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if he were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him, that she is a sinner.
A certain creditor had two debtors, the one who owed five hundred days’ wages, and the other fifty.  And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most?  Simon answering, said: I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said to him: Thou hast judged rightly.  And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them.  Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
 My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed my feet.  Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less.  And he said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee.  And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also?  And he said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe, go in peace.
The Scene of Simon the Leper, Some Disciples and Judas:
And when he was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, and was at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of precious spikenard: and breaking the alabaster box, she poured it out upon his head.  Now there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said: Why was this waste of the ointment made?  For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages, and given to the poor. And they murmured against her.  But Jesus said: Let her alone, why do you molest her? She hath wrought a good work upon me.  For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but me you have not always.
Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, And said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver.
Now for an exegesis of the Scripture. The following summarizes some important theology from the alabaster jar discourse.
The Theology of the Religious Extremes
STUDENT: Yes, I would like to inquire in particular about the head and the feet, in that, in one scene, the woman anoints the feet, and in the other, she pours it upon Jesus’ head.
TEACHER: Yes, that is the first element of the theology, classifying the extremes according to the two dimensions of the Church: the upper and the lower, or, derivatively, the spiritual and the corporal. More specifically, we notice that in the one scene, Simon the Leper, the woman is anointing the head of the Christ, whereas in the other, Simon the Pharisee, the woman is anointing the feet. The head is upper, and the feet are lower, hence, in this rendition, the head can image the spiritual dimension of the Church, and the feet can image the corporal dimension. The traits of the associated extremes then grow out from there:
STUDENT: Good. How would we then, first classify the Pharisee, or hyper-spiritual Christian?
TEACHER: Yes, there are the following characteristics, noting first that the corporal Christians obviously emphasize the corporal works of mercy to the detriment of the spiritual, and the spiritual, or Pharisaical heretics, emphasize the opposite. Let us start with the Pharisaical heretics:
The Pharisaical, or Hyper-Spiritual Community
-hard-headed but hard-hearted
-emphasizes other-worldly works of mercy to the detriment of the corporal; saving souls from hell, not so much their material needs
-fixated on: knowledge; doctrine; “If this Man were a prophet, He would know...”; evangelicals are obsessed with getting right doctrine, so much so that they forget to care for the needy
-types of people; exclusivity; “...He would know what type of woman this is”; “Lord, I thank you that I am not like these sinners”; evangelicals, when they are really hardened, consider their sect to be the true religion, and all others are perishing. “Muslims, Catholics, Jews and Buddhists are perishing because they do not know the Gospel like we do!”
-sinners; judging persons as well as sins; exaggerated culpability; “...and that she is a sinner, He would not let her toucheth Him”; evangelicals judge sins but also sinners. They mainly only see objectivity in moral situations, and little subjective conditions that can diminish culpability, e.g., a promiscuous girl is automatically a harlot (never mind she could be being abused severely at home and is acting out in pain and desperation); the gay person is damned simply for having the desires, let alone for acting upon them;
-literalism; the Pharisee follows the letter of the Law but many times forgets the ultimate point; Fundamentalists are literalists, taking Scripture so literally that many times they forget what matters, e.g., snake handling, healings, creationism, apocalyptic frenzy;
-lack of compassion, judgment of suffering, health and wealth, “Was it this man’s sin or his parents?”; how many countless evangelical preachers are just pop psychologists who tell you how to do well in life, and if that if you just have faith, your problems will disappear. If you are suffering and your prayers don’t work, God is punishing you; if you repent and have faith, you will get better
-hyper-masculine; from our sexuality chapter, man to woman images Creator to creature: just as man comes down upon his bride and penetrates her inmost being, pouring forth the gift of life, so the Creator comes down from above upon the creature, enters its inmost essence, the soul, and there infuses truth and life; hence, with God above and the creature below—or the man above and the woman below—the spiritual dimension of the Church can be imaged by the man and the temporal, the woman; in this vein, because the Pharisee is hyper-spiritual, his religion is then hyper-masculine; evangelicals are hyper masculine, dictator preachers of hell fire and brimstone
STUDENT: Good, and now how about the liberal?
TEACHER: Yes, here are their characteristics:
The Sadducaical or Hyper-Corporal Community
-soft-hearted but soft-headed
-emphasizing corporal works of mercy to the detriment of the spiritual; “Why this waste? This jar could have been sold for much and given to the poor!”; liberal churches are primarily hubs for temporal charity. They are soft headed when it regards doctrine; vague and effeminate intellectually.
-inclusivity; concern for the poor makes them condescend to the little ones; modern liberal churches are so bent over to help the downtrodden, that they possess a hyper-universalism, an “all are welcome” mentality, even the unrepentant deviants.
vague unknowing; because the liberal churches emphasize the corporal to the spiritual, they are disillusioned by the conservatives who claim to have “doctrinal answers”; hence, if the pharisees tend to have to objective absolute answers with no exceptions [such as the sabbath and the like], the sadducees have nothing but exceptions and subjective conditions and no objective answers, e.g., the Fundamentalists’ rigid moral and doctrinal codes that admit of few exceptions.
-non-judgemental: judge neither sinner nor sin; hence, if the pharisees judge not only the sin but the sinner, accusing them of being unworthy of mercy, the liberals always exonerate the sinner and even say the sin is not a sin because of mitigating circumstances
-exaggerated compassion on suffering; the pharisee judges the suffering one as being in sin; the liberal has compassion, but so much so that he is willing and able to cross serious moral boundaries to alleviate crosses, e.g., abortion, euthanasia, same-sex activity...
-hyper-allegory; if it is true that the pharisees rightly believed in the resurrection but debated the marital questions in the hereafter, the sadducee denies it outright; too, as the Fundamentalist asserts legitimate doctrines, but in such manner as to get caught up in issues that don’t matter—e.g, creation, fall, flood—the liberal just throws them all away with the bath water, as they do with most of the other Scriptures: explaining away even orthodox miracles as fully allegorical in the name of refined intellectual depth.
hyper-feminine; as above with hyper-masculinity in the religion stationed above, the liberal is down-below, the place of the woman in the Creator/creature analogy, and so becomes hyper-effiminate, e.g., women priests, bishops, lesbian leadership, effeminate tendencies in religion; weak religion
STUDENT: Very good. Now, where do we go from here?
TEACHER: Here, we look at how these errors divulge into the secular extremes.
STUDENT: Good, let us proceed.
TEACHER: Good, here we go:
The Theology of the Secular Extremes
When extreme forms of Christianity lose all Christological elements, they become secular, truth becomes propaganda, and the State replaces God. When the State replaces God, the characteristics of the Christian extremes follow to their logical ends, meaning that all sense of the supernatural or spiritual is replaced by worldly counterparts.
STUDENT: That makes sense. Show me.
TEACHER: Ok, here we go; in short, Pharisaical Christianity divulges to Fascism, and Sadducaical Christianity divulges to Communism. Like Jesus’ prophetic proclamation of salvation to all who turn from sin and toward God for love and mercy, secular messianism promises peace and prosperity but without God. It is a lie. Not new. Babel, Noah, Babylon, Greece, Rome, our modern secular godless age. It is an idea that we can totally walk away from God and have lasting happiness purely with material means. But the reality is, when you leave God, things collapse; see: The ten horns.
Both Fascism and Communism are secular messianism. The difference is, Communism is universal secularism and fascism is bigoted, or nationalistic, secularism.
STUDENT: This is scary but true, even self-evident. What about Fascism?
TEACHER: Yes, here:
-other-worldly works of mercy are fulfilled in worldly and horrific senses: laws and “truths” that inspire fear and bigotry, or superiority complexes, just as the Pharisees are bigoted.
--doctrine and knowledge of God becomes propaganda of the state.
types of people that the Pharisees looked down upon because of spiritual characteristics are transferred to worldly categorization of individuals, both by race and within race [the Arians are superior, we must kill the Jews, and other nations that have lower intellect and power must be enslaved to Germany].
-the hard-hearted bigotry of the Pharisee translates to the racism and inherent “inequality of human persons” ideology.
the Fascist state has severely judgmental characteristics in how it treats persons that it considers inferior. Similarly, the Pharisee judges the woman at the feet of Christ as unworthy of mercy.
with its vehement bigotry and animosity, it has an exaggerated conception of culpability; the “different ones” are persecuted; obviously, fascist states are not compassionate
STUDENT: So true. What else can be said?
TEACHER: This is reflected in the two extremes above: for the liberal, to care for the poor implies a solidarity with all human beings, especially the marginalized and suffering, which eventually leads to persons or groups who do not fit the mold. Hence, a reckless inclusiveness, or unviersalism. The counterpart, the Pharisaical mode, is hyper-exclusivity: those persons are sinners and poor and suffering. They are not of us. We are superior.
Let us move to Communism.
-this worldly works of mercy: communism’s main goal is to eliminate poverty by bringing necessary goods to all men; “...could have been sold and given to the poor.”
-inclusivity: Communism espouses the equality of all men, unlike Nazism, which sees men as unequal.
exaggerated compassion on suffering: will do terrible things to secure the so-called utopia; will do terrible things to keep the general populace with provisions; e.g., tens of millions murdered to keep the socialist state in standard and uniform
STUDENT: This is all good. Where do we go from here? For example, the “anti-Sacramental Mystery” of which you speak? Continued...