Monday, June 18, 2012

The prophesized Global religion and the return of Christ


Global war resulting in a Global government is also prophesied to see another development - a religious system that will support the one-world government and the antichrist with fanatical fervour.
In his vision, recorded in Revelation chapter 13, John describes what he saw.
"Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. he order them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed" (Rev. 13:11-16).
Here we are told that another governmental system would take its place in the last days. This time it is a religious system with "horns like a lamb", but speaking with the authority of the dragon himself ... identified clearly as satan by the Bible (Rev. chapter 12 and other scriptures).
Notice that this dragon has two horns, speaking of two major religious systems that will unite in these days. The object of their worship will be the World Ruler, a man totally possessed by satan. "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing" (2 Thess. 2:9,10).
The culmination of their worship will be satan himself. "Men worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshipped the beast and asked, Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?" (Rev. 13:4)
John alludes to an incident in the life of the World Ruler that is most interesting. He says that "one of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast" (Rev. 13:3).
This counterfeit resurrection "of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived" (Rev. 13:14) will convince the nations that he is indeed the "Risen Lord". Those who use miracles as a yardstick for judgment would do well to take note.
The religious system will embrace the whole world. "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have not been written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear" (Rev. 13:8,9).
Those who commit themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ during this time will pay the ultimate price. John talks about them in Rev. 6:9. "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the Word of God and the testimony they had maintained ... and they were told to wait a little longer... until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed" (Rev. 6:9-11).
The question we must ask ourselves now is whether a religious coalition is taking place in our generation, embracing all "faiths" and moving towards a common destiny. Are there any two particular groups that stand out above the others in this quest for unity?
Without doubt, the answer is YES to both these questions.
The New Age Movement is very busy indeed promoting the "Interfaith" concept and new age philosophy and theology is infiltrating all religious groups, especially a backslidden "church". By means of new age ecumenical peace prayer services, people are taught to believe that through prayer we can all be one - irrespective of truth and falsehood, good and evil - Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, occultists, animists, satanists, whatever. The Age of Aquarius has arrived and all division must be done away with. God and man, saint and sinner, Christian and heathen ... all must become one harmonious whole, living in peace.
The New Age movement is also behind the "Peace Poles", two-metre high obelisks with lettering in Perspex, which reads: "May peace prevail on earth". Over 60,000 of them have reportedly been planted all over the world. South Africa has one on Table Mountain and another in Bloemfontein. All religions are invited to share in the "peace prayers" offered during the planting ceremonies.
One can't help wondering what Elijah would have had to say to our generation! He refused to pray with the prophets of Baal in his day. "How long will you waver between two opinions?" he cried out. "If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him .You call on the name of your god, and I will call on the Name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire - he is God" (1 Kings 18:21-24). God demonstrated that day that He is the unrivalled God of the Universe. "I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God" (Isa. 45:5).
The quest for unity is on at any price. Leaders of the New Age movement, frustrated at the increasing resistance from "born-again" Christians, are reported to have declared in their 13-point Plan for World Peace that Christians who resist the plan will be dealt with. If necessary, they are to be "exterminated" and the world "purified" (Principle 13 of the Plan).
The Lord Jesus Christ's claim to be the ONLY WAY to God infuriates new age proponents. Christ said: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).

The Early Church believed Him and Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, declared emphatically: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
One of the two major religious groups involved in the "interfaith" concept is today's modernistic, humanistic, apology for the Church of Jesus Christ, very graphically described in Rev. 3:14-22.
It is the Laodicean Church symbolizing elements of the last Church age. "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of My mouth. You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
That is the Lord's opinion of those who name His Name, but refuse to acknowledge Him as Sovereign Lord. What a joy to know that there will always be the true Church of Jesus Christ, kept by the Power of God and standing firm in His Name. Found in every denomination and walk of life, these are the people who love the Lord and serve Him with all their heart and mind and soul and strength.
The Lord has a special word of encouragement for them: "I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept My Word and have not denied My Name ... Since you have kept My command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown" (Rev. 3:8-11).
But it's the end-time apostate "church" that interests us at this point. About to enter into an adulterous and idolatrous union with those who absolutely refuse to acknowledge Jesus Christ as LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS, the powerful (so-called) Christian church is in major trouble as it stand on the threshold of losing it's identity as "Christian", a title given to early believers in Antioch during the first Century A.D. (Acts 11:26).
The challenge of Christ is as relevant for our generation as it has ever been. "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Mat 10:33).
Sadly, it's leaders deny that the Bible is the Word of God, declaring that it should be rewritten so that God will not be seen as only the property of certain religions. The deity of Christ, His virgin birth ("pictorial theology"), His death, resurrection, ascension and return are rejected outright. The Biblical description of Heaven and Hell are described as "crude medieval images" that don't belong to modern times.
You can believe anything you like ... so long as you don't believe in the "Living Word" - the Lord Jesus Christ - and the "Written Word" - the Bible!
The other group that is very involved in the interfaith movement is Islam. The South African Daily News (24/9/92), reported that the Islamic Relief Agency (Isra) were behind the interfaith peace march in Durban on September 25 and that they had issued an invitation to the general public to join their march.

Islam is becoming increasingly militant and powerful in our generation.
A special Eid message from Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Secretariat of the Holy See for relations with believers of others religions, was relayed to Durban's Muslim community in South Africa by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Durban. It read in part: "During the month of Ramadan, you have shown, by prayer and fasting, your faith in God and your submission to His holy will. This faith in the One God, Living and True, a faith which is the heritage of all spiritual children of Abraham, the father of believers, UNITES US as brothers and sisters in God and encourages us to work together for solidarity, justice and peace among all people."
Our generation is observing this unholy marriage, without realizing its implications.

Second Coming Jesus Christ Promised to Perfect the Ann Coulter Crowd


A perfect is a bet at the racetrack in which you win if you correctly pick the first and second place finishers in the right order. To trifecta is when you get the first three in the right order. Gamblers use all sorts of tricks to oustsmart the track, including buying the "Daily Racing Form" and analysing the track records of the horses in the race, their previous times, the horses' names, their favorite numbers and divine revelations from God. After the race, you can see the bettors walking around with their long horse faces cursing and saying, "I knew I should have bet on the 5!" Unfortunately there is a lot more at stake today in choosing between Christianity, Islam and Judaism than $2.
The word "perfect" means "complete in all respects, without defect or omission, sound, flawless, completely correct or accurate, exact, precise and pure." This week Ann Coulter created to firestorm by saying on "The Big Idea" with Donny Deutsch that Christians are perfected Jews. The American Jewish Committee, The National Jewish Democratic Council, and the Anti Defamation League did everything but call Ann Coulter Adolf Hitler, and The Anti Defamation League said that "Ann Coulter clearly knows very little about religious theology."
In the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ said to his disciples, "I have told you that I go to prepare to place for you." If I go and prepare to place for you I will come again and will take you to myself so that where I am there you may be also. I am the way and the truth and the life. "No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14: 1-7). The New Testament says, "By a single offering Jesus Christ has perfected for all time those who are sanctified (Believers in Jesus Christ)." (Hebrews 10: 14). The Anti Defamation League said that "Ann Coulter clearly knows very little about religious theology." The leaders of the Anti-Defamtion League with the long faces over Ann Coulter's remark clearly have not read the "Daily Racing Form", America's turf authority since 1894, not to be confused with George Orwell's "1984".
In George Orwell's "1984", Winston Smith lives in London, Oceania. Oceania is a totalitarian society led by Big Brother which censors everyone's behavior including their thoughts. In Oceania falling in love is a criminal offense. The Ministry of Love is the Alcoholics Anonymous rehabilitation center for people who fall in love. When Winston fell in love with Julia, he was sent to the Abu Ghraib Christian Center where he had his love for Julia tortured out of him. He was tortured until his beliefs coincided with those of The Christian Party, just like in the Christian Crusade announced by President Bush in 2003, the 300 year Christian Inquisition, the Pogroms and the Holocaust. If slaughtering and torturing innocent non believing men, women and children for the past thousand years is a perfect religion then George Bush knows what I ' s doing.
The word "perfect" means required. According to the New Testament Christian people must follow "0", "2", "10" or "613" commandments of God the Father. Unfortunately it doesn't work like that at the track, Jack. According to the Christian Holy Bible, Jesus Christ says, "I am God, I am not God." This is why in 325 A.D. at the Council of Arsinoe the Church Fathers voted on whether or not Jesus Christ was God. Jesus Christ was God elected by human beings, although not unanimously, 300 years after his death.
God of Mount Sinai aka Jesus Christ, God the Father, The Holy Spirit, Allah, Yehovah, Elohim said through every Biblical Prophet especially Jesus Christ that when the Messiah came he would purify Judaism, Christianity and Islam to their essences in order to bring down every Jew, Christian and Muslim into the same barn, The Temple of Love aka The Temple of 10ve aka The World Peace Religion. This is all laid out neatly at the Temple of Love website. The heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is sheer perfection. It is the belief that there is a God, that God is the God who carved His Word, "10ve", the 10 commandments into stone Himself, and then gave them to Moses, Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the belief that we all must obey the word of God, "10ve".
The problem with Christianity, Islam and Judaism is that they all say that only their members are perfect, and they command their members to massacre every non believing man, woman and child outside of their group because they are devils. We are now too technologically advanced for nuclear world war III because nuclear every scientist knows that nuclear world war III and its aftermath nuclear winter then ultraviolet summer will leave no survivors.
Islam and Christianity both believe in the Old Testament and the New Testament and that the Messiah Jesus Christ is coming to save them and conquer the world for them. Two billion Christians and 1.3 billion Muslims believe the book of Revelations story that in nuclear world war III, the Apocalypse, Heaven and earth will be destroyed and then a new Heaven and a new earth will appear, and to New Jerusalem will descend from the sky. The New Testament was written in Greek by Greek authors. What the Christian and Muslim people were not taught by their religious teachers is that the story in the book of Revelations about Jesus Christ Prince flying down from Heaven on his flying horse to slay the snake, goat, lion Beast, Satan, is a dead on plagiarism of the Greek fairy tale of Prince Bellerophon on his flying horse Pegasus slaying the snake, goat, lion Chimera. Look it up in the Daily Racing Form, America's Turf Authority since 1894.

Does The Christ, Ratu Adil & Satria Piningit - Revealed? Part 2


The Mystical Christ and the Anti-Christ
Christ may be interpreted mythically, historically, or mystically. In metaphysics we come to realize that there is a distinction between Jesus the man, and Christ the Saviour. From a mystical viewpoint Christ represents a certain occult principle within the microcosm. It is actually what is called the "Higher Self," "Christ Consciousness," or in psychology, the "superconsciousness." Certain esoteric teachings know Christ to be the Spiritual Triad within man's microcosmic being. Concisely, Christ is a part of the spirit within us. The full consciousness or attainment of the awareness of the superconscious mind is the "second-coming," esoterically interpreted. Did not St. Paul declare that we had to develop the "mind" that was in Christ (Jesus)? And that scriptures say that Christ, the higher mind, knocks at the door of our consciousness and waits for its entry? Those who are unaware of this esoteric precept await for the physical appearance of Christ (the Master Jesus, or Lord Maitreya).
However, from a spiritual viewpoint, it is the Christ that awaits our appearance in the higher levels of consciousness where "he" functions. The spiritual attainment of Christhood is facilitated by certain forms of meditation, spiritual disciplines, service to humanity, and metaphysical study. It has naught to do with the unfoldment of psychic or paranormal powers. We mention this for we have seen how many people, especially those who profess to be paranormals deceive themselves into thinking that they are being spiritual and being of great assistance to humanity when in fact they are causing people to go astray with their many misleading "services" and "wares" that do not trigger the evolutionary impulse within the psyche of their patients or clients but simply prolong their state of mortality and spiritual ignorance. Their work offers only temporal relief, nothing more. Like orthodox allopathic medicine, they deal with symptoms but do not go to the heart of the matter. It is the case of the blind leading the blind. We have often been warned of false prophets in scriptures.
According to prophecies, before the advent of the second-coming of Christ, the Anti-Christ would first make his appearance. However, this too should not be taken at face value. That Christ is a spiritual principle to be found within man is also true of his adversary, however, in saying this we do not repudiate the possibility of any individual leader embodying the attributes and spirit of the Anti-Christ. We know that there are many fallen-angels that are presently on earth and are set on corrupting and destroying humanity.
In Islam, the Anti-Christ is referred to as Dajjal. He is the deceiver, the liar, the corrupter. Certain people believe that Dajjal is generally, some person that would shortly make his appearance in world affairs; others interpret the beings navigating UFOs as the cursed Dajjal. As Christ is to be found within man, so is Dajjal, the Anti-Christ to be found within. Dajjal is actually the human ego, or the false ego, the lower self, the beast whose number is 666. This mysterious number that has puzzled Christians for centuries actually has its roots in Kabbalism. In the Arabic alphabet, for instance, every letter has its numerical value. This is called the "Neptu Huruf Hijaiyah" by Islamic occultists in Indonesia. The Greek and Hebrew alphabets likewise have similar numbering systems whereby each letter also represents a value. Certain words in the Greek language meaning or referring to "ego," have letters of which when added-up numerically, give the sum of 666. The beast, or the Anti-Christ, or Dajjal, therefore, is purely symbolic. It represents the human ego in its negative expression. We believe our readers understand the implication of this; hence, we will not dwell on this further, except to inquire: Are we expressing the qualities and nature of Dajjal or Christ in our everyday lives?
From the above illustration regarding the advent of Jesus, the Christ, we can see how important it is to keep an open-mind. It is probably wiser to expect the unexpected rather than to expect something that has no existence aside from being in our own fantasies and beliefs. Even our own interpretations, we admit, are controversial and are susceptible to discussion or debate. We may be wrong in details but not in essence--we know what we speakof.
There is nothing absolute in mortal experience. Even the holy ones may change their approach of assistance to humanity in the solving of karmic problems. Their ways are not wholly predictable, just as the ways of humanity may not totally conform to one's prognostications. There is always the element of free choice that even any individual might not be absolutely certain as to the path he would take when faced with a certain situation where he has to make a decision.
The World-Teacher and Spiritual Directors
It is not known to most people that in the background of the external governments of the world lies a single spiritual government that directs the affairs of planetary evolution. In esoteric teachings, this is the Spiritual Hierarchy of Terra within God's vast kingdom. We may be skeptical as to the existence of this spiritual government/hierarchy, its purpose, and even of the members composing it; nevertheless, many students of the occult have verified their existence through personal experience.
At the head of this Spiritual Hierarchy is the planetary deity, Sanat Kumara. Directly serving under this deity or King of this planet is the Planetary Buddha, presently held by Gautama; and under this officer, the Cosmic Christ. The latter is the director overseeing the three main departments in the Hierarchy: the "Department of Manu," the "Department of the World-Teachers," and the "Department of Civilization," or the office of the Mahachohan. The three departments in turn direct the activities of the guardians of planetary evolution, the Seven Lords of the Rays. The present World-Teachers are Masters Jesus and Kuthumi. It should be understood that the above titles and offices are not always held by the same entities, and that these beings who hold those offices are often well-known historical saints, prophets, avatars, and saviours.
In association with the Spiritual Hierarchy is the Karmic Board, the members and directors of which are called "Lords of Karma." The Karmic Lords regulate and dispense karma to every individual, group and nation on this planet. The Spiritual Hierarchy works in cooperation with the Lords of Karma in their many activities. It should be known that the purpose of the Spiritual Hierarchy and the Karmic Board is to assist humanity and all sentient beings to evolve to a higher state of being. What is relevant to our discussion here is that the Cosmic Christ who formerly held the office of World Teacher is the Great Being and Saviour that humanity is waiting for. All of the world's religions have their source in the department of the World-Teacher, and that divine being who presently holds the post of Cosmic Christ. This entity is the Messiah, Imam Mahdi, Christ, Kalki Avatar, and the Buddha Maitreya expected by religious devotees all over the world. He is generally known as Lord Maitreya, however, this in turn is but a title. His real name is not generally known; some say he goes by the name of "Harjas." Regarding his identity, Virochana Khalsa in his book, "Tantra of the Beloved," believes the present holder of the title Lord Maitreya to be none other than the Great Deathless Avatar, Babaji, alias Nagaraj.
Babaji was born some time in the third century AD. As a physical-immortal, he is said to be alive to this very day. One of his gurus is the Rishi Agastya, also said to be deathless, or an immortal. According to history, this Great Seer once visited the Indonesian archipelago. This is the theme of Poerbatjaraka's book "Agastya di Nusantara ("Agastya in the Indonesian Archipelago)." One of the former theosophical leaders here in Indonesia, R. S. Suyatno, already deceased, believed the real identity of Semar, the "dhanyang," "Manu," or guardian of Indonesia to be none other than Rishi Agastya.
Babaji was the one who sent Paramahansa Yogananda to the Occident, earlier this century, to spread the teachings of Kriya Yoga--a yogic science based on certain esoteric teachings to be found in the Bhagavad Gita. This yogic science accelerates soul-evolution by leaps and bounds.
We should mention here that this planet is host to many cosmic visitors of lofty spiritual development. Sathya Sai Baba who resides in India is just one of the many beings who have descended on earth to assist the evolution of humanity. He is one of the Cosmic Avatars and is considered as an incarnation of Vishnu, or even Shiva.
Then what about Ratu Adil and Satria Piningit? They too are members of the Spiritual Hierarchy and the Karmic Board as these appellations suggests. However, let us first deal with the Christ, Lord Maitreya. We should add before continuing that these beings may or may not possess physical bodies. Most of them work from spiritual levels. These beings are spiritually immortal, meaning basically that they possess a continuity of consciousness encompassing the lowest realms of life to the very Throne of God. Wherever they may be they maintain awareness of their identity, their function, and purpose without ever lapsing into the state of unconsciousness, even should they shift planes or dimensions. They work in many ways and in ancient times, these beings were called, "gods."
Andrew Tomas in his book, "Shamballa: Oasis of Light" narrates of his journey to Tibet and his discussions with certain Lamas. In reply to one of his questions regarding world affairs, one of the senior Lama says: "Maitreya will show the way but it will be up to mankind to tread the road." Tomas then inquired, "How about the advent of Maitreya?" The Lama solemnly replied: "In the last quarter of the twentieth century mankind must prepare for the coming of the Arhats (Saints), even Maitreya himself, at this crucial period of the world's history."
Physically, Maitreya is said to be of Western origin--or at least brought-up in the western culture. Statues depict him sitting as a westerner, in a western pose, with both feet on the floor, instead of the usual "lotus" asana assumed by the many buddhas and bodhisattvas.
Maitreya Buddha, the World Saviour, is associated with the "mythical" land of Shamballa. There are many legends known in Tibet, China, Russia, Ceylon, Burma and many other countries regarding Shamballa. To some Shamballa might represent a city, valley, palace, temple, monastery, or a state of consciousness. James Hilton modeled Shangri-La in his book, "Lost Horizon," after the legend of Shamballa. Many great souls, warriors or knights of the spirit have their training in this mystical place.
According to the Ageless Wisdom Shamballa is the spiritual retreat of the Lord of the World, or the planetary deity, Sanat Kumara, known by Tibetans as Rigden Jyepo. Occult teachings refer to him as the "Youth of Sixteen Summers." Shamballa was established 18 million years ago by Sanat Kumara when he came from Venus with other cosmic beings to take charge of earth's spiritual unfoldment. Shamballa is said to lie over the Gobi desert in the etheric plane; others believe that Shamballa lies physically somewhere in the heart of the Himalayas. Doreal, a student of esotericism, says in his work, "Maitreya, Lord of the World" that Shamballa is believed to cover a vast area, and that it is divided into a Northern and a Southern portion:
"It is divided into two parts. In Southern Shamballa there dwell those beings called masters, adepts, or great Gurus. In Northern Shamballa there dwells the Avatar or new World-Teacher who is to come into the world and that there he has gathered together all of the warriors of Shamballa. That is, all those souls who in past incarnations, have evolved to the place where they are worthy to be the light bearers in the Age (the Aquarian Age) that is to come . . ."
The warriors and knights of Shamballa come armed not with physical swords or armaments, not with physical force; they come with spiritual power in order to conquer the dark forces of the world. Maitreya is said to lead them into Armageddon, the great "Jihad" or spiritual war, riding on his symbolic white steed. The following is a Tibetan prophecy made in 1915:
"It is predicted that the manifestation of Maitreya shall come after the wars. but the final war shall be for the cause of the true teachings (spirituality, in contradistinction to religious dogmas). But each one rising up against Shamballa shall be stricken in all his works. And the waves shall wash away his dwellings. And even a dog shall not answer to his call. Not clouds but lightning shall he see on the final night. And the fiery messenger shall rise up on pillars of Light. Each warrior of Shamballa shall be named the Invincible. The Lord Himself hastens, and his banner is already above the mountains."
The Historical Christ and His Modern Appearance
Several centuries before the appearance of the Master Jesus and his associate, John, the Baptist--who was the prophet Elijah in a past incarnation--preparations were already underway for the coming of the Cosmic Christ. The Essenes, a mystical brotherhood existing on the western shore of the Dead Sea area during the time of the early Roman empire, was established for the purpose of preparing candidates that would be the earthly parents of the "vehicle" or child that the Christ would overshadow, or function through; and also to prepare the child himself for the vital part that he would play in forming a perfect instrument or channel that would be used by the Christ. The Essenes was a mystical branch of the Great White Brotherhood and they were well known as the "brothers in white," indicating that they were perhaps, the forerunners of Islamic Sufism. The historians Pliney, Josephus, and Philo mentioned them in their writings, and the famed "Dead Sea Scrolls" have gained the contemporary public's attention of their former existence. However, it is notable that this mystical sect was not mentioned in the New Testament, except for the various references regarding the men in white who appeared in Jesus' tomb, and at the time of his Ascension. It is also quite odd that they are not mentioned in Rabbinical literature or in the Talmud.
Being the spiritual guardians and teachers of Jesus (not his original name), the Essenes had a strong influence upon the lad and during his ministry in later years, Jesus taught many of the precepts and tenets of the Essenes. One such teaching is that of angelology or perhaps what Islamic occultists here in Indonesia call "Ilmu Khodam."
Through certain mystical means and signs that even the Magi recognized, the council of the Essenes chose a young virgin to be the Mother and an aged carpenter to be the Father. It is related in the gospels how the mother was informed of her coming pregnancy by Angel Gabriel. Some occult students believe this Gabriel to be one of the senior brothers of the Essenes, or at least the channel for the lofty being. Angel, from the Greek "angelos" simply means "messenger." At this time, however, we will not discuss the problem of the "Immaculate Conception" that has so vexed scholars and laymen alike.
Jesus was born to be the vehicle of the Cosmic Christ, or Lord Maitreya, and to assist in the initiating of a spiritual awakening in the inception of the Age of Pisces. The Master Jesus and Lord Maitreya, or the entity that presently holds the title of Cosmic Christ are two different beings. The latter was and still is the Guru of the former.
When the Master Jesus commenced his ministry, Lord Maitreya often took over the body of Jesus to establish physical contact with humanity. This mode of operation was also chosen for the second-coming that would have occurred in the early decades of the 20th century, but somehow failed.
In the early years of the last century, the leaders of the Theosophical Society, Annie Besant, and C.W. Leadbeater were on the lookout for candidates among the young, who would be the vehicle for Lord Maitreya's second-coming--just as Tibetan Lamas would search for their "tulkus," or incarnations of Dalai Lamas and other spiritual dignitaries. They discovered one exceptional child of Indian origin: Krishnamurti. They eventually took him and his brother under their wing, educated them and trained the young Krishnamurti for the tasks that he would have to face ahead. Almost every night Leadbeater took him by means of astral travel to his personal Master, and to do certain work in the astral planes. Krishnamurti's love for his Master and his teachings were immeasurable. It seemed that Krishnamurti's spiritual preparation was progressing smoothly and only the day was waited in which Lord Maitreya would overshadow Krishnamurti's body. Then an unfortunate incident occurred. Krishnamurti's brother became gravely ill. Krishnamurti sought help from his Master and other members of the Spiritual Hierarchy but without a seeming response. His brother eventually passed away and this had a traumatic effect upon his youthful mind. He eventually rejected anything to do with Theosophy, the Masters, and their teachings. He even rejected his role as the vehicle of the Christ and dissolved the Order that was established for the purpose of presenting Lord Maitreya to the world. Although he eventually became a world-teacher in his own right, the holy ones were ever sadden by Krishnamurti's attitude and actions. They said that Krishnamurti's teachings presents a lofty goal to people, but at the same time he takes away the ladder through which the goal could be reached.
According to further communications from the Hierarchy, though, Krishnamurti's refusal to play his part in Maitreya's emergence had a positive effect. Lord Maitreya decided to appear personally on earth without overshadowing or operating through any single individual.
Ruth Montgomery once wrote an article in the Reader's Digest, and in it she quotes a prediction made by Jeane Dixon concerning a world-saviour who was supposed to have been born on Feb 5, 1962. Dixon says that:
"Mankind will begin to feel the great force of this man about 1980, and his power will grow mightily until 1999, at which time there will be peace on earth to all men of goodwill."
Judging by appearances, it seems that this prediction has not been fulfilled. And a 10-year span seems too short for peace to be established worldwide--knowing human-nature. No person is able to establish peace in the world single-handedly. It takes the collective effort and cooperation of humanity.
Perhaps we should consider the phrasing of this prediction for Dixon may have emphasized that peace will descend on earth only to "all men of goodwill." If the latter is the case then the meaning is clear: that peace in one's heart is only established when one has a goodwill-attitude. This indicates that there are many who are experiencing peace at this very moment--these are those with goodwill.
As can be reasoned, the Peace-bringer would focus more on the masses than those few who are already living in bliss--only the sick need healing. But could this person that Dixon predicted be the Lord Maitreya, the Imam Mahdi? People could do nothing but wait in lively anticipation in the ensuing years.
[Note: This paper contains images which may be seen as originally published at our website]

5 Controversial Differences Seen As Similarities Between Christianity and Islam


Christians never view Muslims as enemies. And let's leave the Muslims to speak for themselves. But some people are beginning to absorb some misleading issues about the similarities between the two religions, thereby causing Blasphemy, just in the name of making the followers of these two 'religions' re-think and unite. This should never be. If we want to unite, we should use our own human instincts and maturity, our senses of responsibility and senses of peace to do so and not trying to manipulate the word of God.
1. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God of the Old testament. The God of the Christians right from the time of the creation operates as more than one person and this can be found in Genesis 1:26 When He said "Let us make man in our image, according to our Likeness, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on Earth". Also, people should stop this misleading thought that Christians hate non-believers, gay people, atheists and women's right organization. This is totally absurd. Even God loves them all and He said It that it is not His intention that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Christians only preach against their deeds which are against the standard of God. On the other hand, the Muslims vehemently oppose this Truth. They believe God is one in one personality.
2. Someone wrote 'Christians and Muslims love their children". Well! Who doesn't love his children? Must you be a Christian or a Muslim before you love your kids? That seems ambiguous and until this point is very clear, it stands to be very weak.
3. In Christianity, both the end and the means matter a lot. By saying the Muslims and Christians believe in a wonderful Life after Life is quite a similarity. But even this after life is totally different. Christians will get to Heaven only through one way and He is Jesus Christ (Acts4:12), while the Muslims through Mohammed with plenty of golden virgins awaiting them. This can never be found in the eternal home of the Christians.
4. Actually, it is true that both religions believe in specific paths as the only way to God. But Christianity does not preach violence and killing. Even If the middle-east incidence is cited as a reference, the Israelis are mostly the followers of Judaism, which is different from Christianity (though with similar origin). Christianity is far above science which as well came out from Christianity origin and Judaism. That is why science will find it difficult to prove the efficacy of Christianity. The day a son proves how His father came to be will be the day when science will prove the efficacy of Christianity.
5. Islam has a one way approach to its followers and if peradventure you decide to change faith from Islam, the other followers have the right to kill you. But Christianity is not this way. You have the liberty because you have your Bible and God. If you do whatever pleases you, you will definitely face God on the judgment day. The Bible has been translated in different English versions, styles and languages just for believers all around the world to know the truth and all secrets for themselves without been enslaved to their religious leaders. Unlike Islam, if you do not know Arabic, you cannot read the Koran and hence the only option is to listen to your leader.
In conclusion, though the two religions may combine to take over 2 billion out of the over 6 billion people of the world's population, they stand far apart in comparison.



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Difference Between Islamic Banking and Conventional Banking


ISLAMIC bankers, caught between scholar and layman, devote much of their time to educating an often skeptical public about the authenticity of their products. Time well spent. The purgative effects of ridding the Islamic financial sector of pretenders (and there are many) at the hands of an educated consumer are obvious. Too often, however, this educational process is long on theory and short on practical relevance.
Perhaps the easiest way to determine whether Islamic banking is true to Qur'an, Sunna and customer is to see how it actually works in practice. The Islamic banking discussed here is the same one that earns consensual acceptance from the field's leading scholars of the traditional schools of jurisprudence. And while unscrupulous banks do exist, increasing market regulation and customer sophistication ensure that those Islamic banks that are truly Shari'ah-com-pliant lead the industry. By learning the basics about these banks, individuals will be better able to stand their ground when not-so-Islamic bankers push non-compliant instruments in the name of Islam.
At the outset, though, it is necessary to emphasize two important points. First, just because an Islamic product and a conventional product are identical does not render the Islamic pro- duct impermissible. As obvious as this seems, it is an argument detractors often use to discredit Islamic banking. The vast majority of Islamic financial instruments bear a strong resemblance to their conventional counterparts, particularly equity-based ones (see "In Your Interest", Islamica, winter 2003). What distinguishes them from conventional instruments is usually nothing more than a set of processes, which leads to the second point.
In Islam, the difference between whether something is forbidden, offensive, permissible, recommended or obligatory usually depends on a validating process. Two couples, one married the other unmarried, may look the same, but the agreement of a simple marriage contract makes the one Islamically valid and the other not. Two hamburgers, one using Islamically slaughtered meat the other not, may look the same, but a simple process makes one valid. So too, two financial products, one Islamic the other not, is differentiable by a set of steps: ostensibly cosmetic, Islamically defensible.
The following are among the most commonly asked questions by customers new to Islamic banking (ordered in increasing degree of complexity).
There was no Islamic bank during the Prophet's (Allah bless him and give him peace) time, so how can there be Islamic banking now? Sounds like a bid'a (innovation)
Microchips, potato chips and Islamic banks are examples of permissible things for which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) gave us no specific guidance. Rather, he forbade us from engaging in blameworthy innovations (bid'a) that would contravene the Islamic Sacred Law (Shari'ah), rather than from new things that possess no intrinsic blameworthiness. The bid'a is in the blameworthiness, not in the newness.
Admittedly, some Islamic banks do carry out impermissible transactions, but that implicates the entire field of Islamic banking no more than the sins of a few Muslims incriminate the entire Islamic community.
As for the claim that Islamic banking is just part of the "system" and is therefore best avoided, is to put one's head firmly into the sand; romantic anachronists need not apply. As long as Muslims, money and capital markets co-exist,there will always be a need for Muslims to put their money into some kind of a market (even a little money in a checking account circulates into global capital markets). The question Muslims should really be asking themselves is: What now? Whether they would not rather keep their money in the most Islamically acceptable manner available to them given the options. And while new customers might be forgiven some level of healthy skepticism, we should all under- stand the limits of our own unqualified ijtihads1 when declaring something a bid'a.

The unnecessary battle between Hindus and Buddhist brothers


Gautama was born, raised and lived his entire life as a Hindu. Its purpose declared for the teaching of what did was to alleviate the suffering. Never tried to drive a wedge between his compatriots, and I think that it would be enormously saddened to see what some people are doing today in his name - just as it would be to see that carers of the old Hindu religion choose dogma on humanity.
Hinduism and Buddhism are more similar than they are different. The same is true by the way of Islam, or Christianity and Judaism and Islam. Although it is noble to defend what you believe, it is very sad when good people is manipulated in that position by purely emotional arguments of those who would benefit economically and politically the conflict stirred up. So let us analyze differences between Hinduism and Buddhism to see if we can find anything really worth fighting over.
First, however, consider their similarities. Both religions teach an appreciation of the illusory nature of life and the consequences of karmic fall prey of that illusion. Both taught that a soul may transmigrate into a lower life form, and probably an equal proportion of followers of both religions misunderstand how and why happens - but not go into that now.
They have a respect for all forms of life on Earth and believe in deities in higher planes of existence. Both believe in seven Hells and heavens and the detachment of reaction to the world to keep them moving until this last. They both also practice meditation to help keep their minds clear and focused.
These are the basic religious precepts that never challenged to Buddha. However, in its mission to alleviate the suffering of his people, he tried to simplify things. He played in the importance of the ancient Vedas. He never denied his truth or the value of his recitation for many. However, to make life easier to his disciples, had they simply focus on their own integrity.
He taught that we do not need anything! Ultimately, the ancient, sacred Vedas included. Because of the time knew, it wasn't an assault that practice or who find useful. It was simply a refocus attention on him that would bring peace to his disciples as quickly as possible.
For this reason also optimized ego of Gautama of his cosmology. We have already analyzed detachment from worldly affairs, but most do not understand is that a detachment of such is very difficult when you think ultimately of himself as an entity that needs to move forward, if not in this life, then in the next.
I sincerely believe that the Buddha knew of the existence of the soul or Atman. Already it never denied the seven heaven and hell, I'm sure of this great soul understanding on the evolution of the soul. However, he took the decision to teach the higher principle of unity.
Thus, in life, his disciples could shift its attention from their personal hell, their empty stomachs, disease, toothache, desperate poverty, etc. and instead put the beauty of nature and the life around them. In the same way, I would be looking forward to a life then where blend in great unity, without doing anything.
The thought that they would eventually be pop out of that unit with an individual perspective again was irrelevant to their immediate need to alleviate your anguish. As a surgeon on a battlefield, Buddha took the practical approach and had cured he could give people a simple and workable philosophy.
He grew up in a religion, which had also streamlined necessary contemplations of the Hindu Trinity of the chela (student and disciple). Here again, Gautama was a Hindu and never denied the existence of the Trinity of destruction, the maintenance and the Renaissance forces. Even so, Trinidad was simply not important in the fulfilment of its mission to make life bearable for the suffering masses.
While Hindus rightly recognize four arhtas (goals) in life: dharma (do the right thing), artha (prosperity), kama (inclinations and desires) and moksha (salvation); followers of Buddha were only trying to get with little pain as possible. Also, Hindus recognize four stages or ashrams in life. Buddhist simplification of the stages of life in the eternal now, and tried not to think about anything else. Again, this was more a technique of survival than a religious instruction, but has become a philosophy of life deeply practical for many.
A difference is that Buddhists organized together for group support, and have monks to help remind you of the teachings. Hindus do not seem to need that kind of support from the group. Even so, is it any reason to pursue those who do?
Today, the conflict between Hindus and Buddhists is fierce in places such as Sri Lanka. Still, when you look at all the similarities between religions has to wonder why...
The cosmological simplifications that Lord Gautama promoted were simply help his compatriots treat a little better the difficulties of their tough lives. Aware of this, I believe that any spiritually minded Hindu extend at least tolerance, if not empathy, his Buddhist brothers and sisters today.
Also, although it may not seem relevant to what is really important to Buddhists thing that Hindus believe, also, of course, is not a justification for the war. Power and control or survive looking for stuff of the invading forces are the reasons just to go to war. Fortunately, Buddhists and Hindus greatly value his detachment of power and the things of the world. Even so, taking account of the current conflicts, perhaps is time of Buddhists and Hindus to rise up against the political pressure and get a little more religious of this core belief.

La diferencia entre sunitas y chiĆ­tas musulmanes 1


The immense carnage of WWI was caused by one gunshot in Yugoslavia, "The shot heard round the world." The Apocalypse, the sudden violent end of life on Earth forever has now been set in motion by people ignoring their 100 things in common and focusing on their 1 difference.
Prior to 911, how many Americans knew where Afghanistan was? Today, Feb. 23, 2006, how many Americans know the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni Muslim? The cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad triggered a world wide Muslim stampede which is now escalating into an Iraqi civil war between the Shi'a and the Sunni Muslims, and the Christian Americans are caught right in the middle of it. If the Sunnis win, then they will free Saddam Hussein, and he will likely go into exile with his Swiss Oil Billions in a friendly Muslim country, until his triumphant return to power in Iraq, as did the Ayatollah returning to replace the American Iranian puppet the Shah of Iran. Had George Bush spent 3 cents on 1 bullet and executed Saddam in his rabbit hole, this never would have happened. Imagine Scott Peterson coming into court in his underwear, constantly standing up and calling the Judge a puppet of the Americans, and winning. Saddam Hussein has got to be laughing his head off at George Bush right now, Mr. "Mission Accomplished.", the son of his father Abu George, Mr. "Read my lips, no new taxes." Unfortunately the Democrats are such weaklings, like Hubert Humphrey Dumptey and Walter Mondale that they can't knock out the Republican Party that has already knocked itself out on the domestic and world stage, plunging America into bankruptcy and making it the black sheep of the World. Don't worry because soon it will all be over.
Earthlings are the laughing stock, the comedy channel of the Universe. Many Americans today are wondering why the Bushes, whose oil company was financed by the Bin Laden family and who sit on the board of directors of their puppets the Saudi Royal family are now selling the American ports to the Muslim United Arab Emirates. The question is, "Who is pulling whose strings?" The House of Saud is obviously funneling billions into the Bushes Swiss bank accounts for keeping them in power and safe from Osama Bin Laden, the well known video star. Video did not kill the radio star. To say this is to blaspheme Howard Stern. Yeshua aka Joshua aka Jesus aka South Park Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi with a black hat and a black coat and long sideburns aka pais who created the Universe and everything in it, according to 2,000,000,000 Christians. 1,000,000,000 Christians believe that the successor to Joshua Goldstein was Peter aka The Pope aka His Holiness "Mr. Infallible", Mr. incapable of error. Another 1,000,000,000 Christians don't believe this. This disagreement over the successor to Jesus has led to countless wars and murders and raping and pillaging of innocent Christian men, women and children. It is so easy to see insanity in others but impossible to see it in ourselves. Yesterday my friend Isabelle attended a Hermes scarf club luncheon. One woman brought 30 of her 400 $500 Hermes scarves for show and tell. The Hermes head scarf is $5,000. The female Miami stevedores love their new uniform, burkas. The Jebusites and the Hittites are making a comeback at Disneyworld, which was recently purchased by the House of Saud aka the BarbJennaBush Development Corporation. Who needs screenwriters when truth is stranger than fiction?
So, what separates Sunni Muslims from Shiite Muslims other than their battle for the power, control and oil of Iraq? Well, the Prophet Muhammad lived about 1,400 years ago on a planet 5 billion years old with human skeletons named Lucy 4 million years old. A Prophet is a person, like Joshua Goldfarb, who speaks to God and gets the game plan. Today he would either be a schizophrenic undergoing electro shock therapy and a lobotomy or a best selling author. The Prophet Muhammad could not read or write, and he did not speak directly to God of Mount Sinai, aka Allah, God the Father, The Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Adonai, Yehovah, Elohim, Hashem, etc. Instead he spoke to the same Angel Gabriel who brought the good news to the Virgin Mary aka Mirriam Goldstein that God the Father had impregnated her with his Holy Spirit and she was about to give birth to the Messiah immaculately.
The Prophet Muhammad had a scribe, and he dictated his prophecies to the scribe and 50 years after the Prophet died the Muslim Bible Writers came up with the Muslim Holy Scriptures: The Hebrew Old Testament, The Christian New Testament and the Koran. Perhaps they did not notice that in the Old Testament it says that the Messiah will kill every non Jew and the Christian New Testament says that the Messiah will kill every non Christian upon his arrival on a flying white horse from Heaven.
So, what separates Sunni Muslims from Shiite Muslims? God of Mount Sinai, in his very first commandment carved by Him personally in stone says, "Do not worship, bow down to or idolize or revere anyone on Earth." The Muslims revere the Prophet Muhammad as the Christians revere the Prophet Jesus as the Jews revere Knicks tickets and corned beef sandwiches on rye with kimel, Jesus' favorite dish. The Prophet Muhammad had a son in law named Ali ibn Abi Talib aka Imam Ali. The Shiites believe that he was the leader of Islam after Muhammad, the proper successor to Muhammad, and follow his heirs. The Sunnis do not. They believe that the true successor of Muhammad was his lieutenant Abu (father of) Baker. Bob Dole is a UAE port lobbyist. Prior to Jesus usurping power from the Roman Gods and Goddesses upon his election as God at the Council of Nicaea 300 years after his death, the Roman Empire and the Greek Empire worshipped their own Gods and Goddesses including the Greek Goddess of Love Aphrodite renamed Venus by the Romans. I'm your Venus, I'm your fire, I'm your desire.
In the fairy tale, Uranus was castrated by his son Cronus. Jesus, the Prince of Peace says, "I have not come to bring you Peace, but the sword, to turn son against father..". Uranus' severed testicles fell into the sea and fertilized the ocean water which began to bubble and from the concoction was born an 18 year old naked Goddess Aphrodite. Venus was painted by Sandro Boticelli. You can pick the painting up on eBay for $325 million. They do accept Pay Pal. Jesus stars in his own cable show "Jesus and Pals" on South Fork. The New Testament does not contain one word of description of Jesus yet his likeness appears on the cross in every Catholic Church to scare the Hell out of every Catholic child. Jesus never said the word Hell in his life. Every time he says Sheol or Gehenna in the Holy Bible the modern Bible Writers substitute the word Hell to scare the Hell out of every Christian child. Fear and guilt are the classic brainwashing techniques. Gehenna was where the Jewish and non Jewish people sacrificed their first born children alive on fire altars 2,500 years ago just south of Jerusalem. Sheol was the place underground where both the good and the bad spirits went to live together after death according to Jesus Christ in the original Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.
According to the Shi'a Muslims depictions of Muhammad are verboten. According to the Sunni Muslims they are allowed. This controversy stirred up by the cartoon is the root of the now exploding Iraq civil war. Cartoons are a form of art as old as hieroglyphics and paintings by our ancestors on cave walls. After the last American Civil War there were cartoons of carpetbaggers being hung from trees and donkeys branded with the emblem KKK. The triple K's were disgruntled Americans from the southern states numbering in the millions who crucified blacks, Jews and Catholics and set the crosses on fire less than 200 years ago. Our ancestors were sadistic and masochistic freaks and we are their clones. Don't worry because soon it will all be over.
The only thing on Earth that sells better then sex is the right to commit murder and the Religions have the market cornered. Islam rewards the murder of Christians and Jews with eternal paradise in Heaven with God and 72 virgins, crystal clear springs and unlimited wine with no side effects. (Koran Sura 9:29-30, Sura 56). Jesus is soon returning to throw all of the non Christians into the fire and to Rapture the Christians into Paradise for doing this for him. (Matthew 13:36-43). The Jewish Messiah is coming soon to smash every non believer into a million pieces like a potter's vessel and conquer the world for the Jews. (Psalm 2). Every single nuclear scientist knows that nuclear world war III and its aftermath nuclear winter then ultraviolet summer will have zero survivors. The only way for us to survive is through world peace. The Temple of Love - The World Peace Religion, makes Peace among and unites Christianity, Islam, Judaism and everyone else by tying them together with their common threads and resolving all of their differences once and for all. The problem is that selling Peace to bloodthirsty Earthlings massacring innocent children because fairy tales command them to is like trying to teach great white sharks not to eat fish. At least they don't eat pork.

Differences among religions after Post 9/11


Since the September 9/11 event, everything happens so fast that you can simply look at them to harassment. The war of Afghanistan, war of Iraq, attacks in Pakistan, London and Madrid. Everything seems devastating when I look. Each new day brings news of new murders and attacks.
These events are also giving another matter of concern to us, in other words, the differences between Islam and other religions, the gap between the Western societies and Eastern. These gaps are increasing and increasing day by day. I am afraid that this is loss of long term we are going to have in the near future. So it is a need of the time overcoming the shadows that are occupying us and create only the differences. We must realize that no religion or nation is going to kill each other. Each religion originated basically for the improvement of human beings. No religion requires to annihilate other human beings on the face of the Earth. We have to live on this earth and if they are not there; the end could be devastating in the future.
In this sense one of the most important factors is to understand the nature and problems of each side. We need issues the most important along with poverty and illiteracy, because they are two big sources of terrorism. We have to realize that every human being has the right to live in freedom and basic necessary. This can be achieved by offering only a normal co of State around the world.
Although it seems like a dream to get multiple world now, but I can see few growing Nations which may puts the world again in a stable note. We really do have that give each nation has two scenarios of its political face fold, one is the international and other national issues. We need only work with international face and leave it to resolve its internal affairs. Because the Government is the will of the people of that nation for which no nation has the right to put his thoughts on them. We must therefore must set limits and rules to protect the integrity of the Nations.
I must say that this is the time to think about this because if the gaps are beginning of enlargement, we have not ceased to fill again.
The prosperity of the world depends on the integration of each community in one. We can not combine if we cannot have a broad and open mind to others. We must realize this and if we do, then we can expect that world is becoming peace again.

On the issue of Turkey-EU membership - Yes, No and everything between


Intro
To ask the question of whether Turkey should or should not join the European Union is to completely misunderstand the context in which current negotiations are taking place. In other words, when France adamantly and vociferously maintains that if and when Turkey will be "ready" to join the EU, it will leave it up to its electorate to decide by means of a referendum, it completely misses the point. The primary objective of this paper is to briefly outline the contextual backdrop onto which accession talks have been, and continue to be made, by critically engaging with a cross-section of the current academic literature on this subject. Furthermore, the last section will offer a more pragmatic analysis of the possible directions in which Turkey-EU negotiations could be potentially taken. This will hopefully provide a coherent response to the reality that Turkey's political, cultural and economical future, will not by any means, be less successful or promising, without full EU membership.
Background
There is nothing "organic" about the way in which the modern Turkish republic came into existence. While it may be true that European modernity was the product of a centuries long industrialization process, a process influenced and fueled by revolutionary advancements in technological competence, the Turkish case is distinctly different. With the Ottoman Empire having suffered continued defeat "at the hands of the major European powers," modernity came to be seen as the best possible defensive strategy, offering renewed military competence and in short, provide the solution to a lack-of-competitiveness problem. Initially, modernity was not a ubiquitous and omnipresent fact of life, but limited to the military.
It is not difficult to conceptualize why the Ottoman Empire opted for modernity as a way of staying competitive among the other European powers and empires, of the 18th and 19th centuries. A modern army, however, also requires modern institutions to "train military officers and to offer medical services to military men." Schools were added for the purpose of training these officers. In addition, "capable administrators who could, among other functions, develop reliable systems for drafting soldiers and collecting taxes," soon followed, for the following reason. The Ottoman war-machine required a systematic approach to the administration of public and natural resources, as well as the human capital required to make it all possible. One caveat however, does exist. While new and modern institutions that dealt with realizing the primary objective of increasing the overall effectiveness of the military were being erected, traditional institutions, such as the medreses (schools charged with transmitting Islamic theology and religious law) were still in operation and often stood in contradiction with their modern counterparts.
It is at this point in the history of the Ottoman Empire, that a distinction can be made between a modern interpretation and a more traditional understanding of state governance. Modernity in pre-republican Turkey benefited a select few and alienated many, unemployment being the major pathology of modernity in 19th century. Because of this exclusionary effect, the modern Ottoman Empire came to antagonize those individuals who entertained more traditional approaches. Those who had been brought up and schooled under modern institutions "became aware of the backwardness" of their society. With the end of the First World War and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, modernization reforms became possible. Justified by the inefficacy of the old regime, the Republic People's Party (RPP), led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, institutionalized modernity in 1923, by establishing the Turkish republic.
Secular Kemalism has been a predominant feature of Turkish politics, a point of constant contention that often found Turkey under great political turmoil, instability and uncertainty. Between 1923 and 1946, Turkey operated under a single party system. The RPP was "the original tutelary single party that was associated with the founding of the republic and the westernizing reforms of Ataturk." RPP reforms were particularly intrusive, repressive and designed by the Kemalist state elites to "keep society under control and realize change through state action." As already mentioned, these state elites, having been brought up and trained under modern institutions and schools, felt justified in being the ones to guide a backward society. The only way this was possible in their view, was to adopt a doctrine of "security maximization," using as many top-down authoritarian measures as deemed necessary.
Turkey held elections in 1946 and in 1950, "power changed hands peacefully." Celal Bayar, a private banker, became Turkey's president. This is often referred to as the inflection point in Turkish politics, as with the end of one-party rule "came a distinction between the state elites of military leaders and bureaucrats and the political elites represented by elected officers." As it was the case in the past, the tension between those state elites who subscribed to secularism and nationalism as a way of reinforcing Turkey's interest to remain internationally competitive, and the political elites who were more sensitive to electoral impulses, reemerged from a period of dormancy. However, more important was Turkey's shift from the previous paradigm of "security maximization," to one of "prosperity maximization." Democracy, for the newly elected political elites in power, was seen as the only legitimate way of catering to the "wishes of the people."
However, the prospect of democratic consolidation was cut short in 1960 when the military intervened by means of a coup d'etat. In 1980, the military intervened once again, this time imposing the dissolution of all political parties. To fill in the newly created void, the military tried to impose a two-party system that although was favoured by military commanders, failed to materialize. The 1971 forced change in government by the military, acts as a further example of the instability of Turkish politics in the past.
Ilter Turan argues that there needs to be a reassessment of the extent to which politics in Turkey has really been a stable undertaking. While the current Turkish President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer is himself a state elite and staunch advocate of "strict secularism and absolute national sovereignty," the Turkish Prime Minister is less divorced from electoral politics. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey's PM and while his party, the Justice and Development Party (or AKP) are comfortable in power, with a majority of seats in parliament under their control, it is doubtful whether the up and coming presidential elections, in May of 2007, will see Erdogan succeed Sezer.
Turkey-EU Relations Background
Turkey signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 1963. In 1987 Turkey applied for EU membership but was rejected in 1987 due to a lack of economic development, a political and civil rights deficit, and a chronic unemployment rate that was considered to destabilize EU markets. In 1995, a Customs Agreement was negotiated and signed, followed by the EU Commission's decision in 1997, at the Luxembourg summit, to not grant candidate status to Turkey. However, new membership talks started once again in 1999. While Turkey was invited in 1999 by the European Council in Helsinki to join the CEEC (Central and Eastern European Countries) candidates, the European Commission refused to "set up a timetable for starting accession talks." Once again, the lack of political and economic reform was cited as having been the impetus driving the decision to refrain from taking the revolutionary step of accepting Turkey into the European club.
While Turkey reopened negations with the EU, after significant political, civil and legal reforms had been implemented, the EU had once again made its position clear: that "Turkey would have to be in full formal compliance with the Copenhagen criteria," as adopted at the EU summit in Denmark in 1993, if it is to be considered. The primary features of this Copenhagen criteria ask that Turkey "(i) be a stable democracy, respecting human rights, the rule of law and the protection of minorities, have (ii) a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with the competitive pressures and market forces within the Union and (iii) adopt the common rules, standards and policies that make up the body of EU law," (also known as the acquis communitaire). As it currently stands, Turkey will have to wait until 2014 (at the earliest), before being given the green light to accede.
Secularism Unpacked
It could be argued that multiculturalism is no longer an example of successful policy in some European countries. While violence has nonetheless been a prominent feature of events in France, Germany and the Netherlands, violence alone says little about the underlying tensions causing it. What may perhaps help bridge the gap between cause and effect is a discussion of the role of religion in the public affairs of the state. Reality in Europe dictates that "ambiguity and ambivalence embedded in the connection between religion and secular European modernity," is actually indicative of the "far from settled" interconnections between "religion, secularism and multiculturalism."
Fuat Keyman asks us to revisit Turkey's secular past and be conscious of the challenge Islam "and its powerful symbolic and cultural role," has constantly posed to Turkish Kemalist secularism. Keyman is a proponent of Turkish-EU integration. However, this is not what matters. His analysis of secularism leads him to observe that while authoritarian secularism in Turkey was successfully institutionalized so as to maintain an objective "social-structural process," this was only half the battle. An assumption that secularism is an inherent corollary of modernity, and that private individuals will proportionally adopt rational interpretations of their surroundings, the more acute modernity becomes, failed. In fact, the opposite of this has happened. Islam in Turkey, never having fully been discarded by private citizens, acted as the paradigm in which uncertainty was made more certain. Although Turkish history is dominated by laicist repression of religious manifestations, both in public and private life, it also speaks of the "inability to respond to the various Islamic identity claims to recognition and cultural-group rights."
The tension between Turkish state elites, committed to maintaining secularism, and political elites, more sensitive to the identity claims and cultural-group rights of their respective electorate, has recently become more apparent. The European Union's hesitant response to Turkish-EU accession negotiations however, has actually more to do with Europe than Turkey. This irony is made clear by Elizabeth Hurd when she argues that the latest strand of Turkish secularism, neither traditional laicism (or Kemalism, a version of laicism), nor "Judeo-Christian" secularism, "threatens not only the Kemalist establishment in Turkey but European secularists as well." Furthermore, the implications of this phenomenon are such that "Turkey's potential accession to the EU has propelled the controversial question of what it means to be both 'secular' and 'European' into the public spotlight." In other words, questions of the role of religion in politics, previously perceived to have been historically resolved, have reappeared. However, as Hurd approximates Keyman when she says that the reasons why such questions have been awoken from a prolonged period of subdued dormancy, have everything to do with the fact that approaches to religion and to religious minorities, are not "set in stone but must be constantly renegotiated."
Hurd outlines the paradigms in which both European secularists and European exclusivists (read: Judeo-Christian secularists) operate. The ethnocentric biases are beyond obvious. For Judeo-Christians, "secularist separation of religion from politics," is a unique "Western achievement that is superior to its non-Western rivals." Furthermore, the inability of "others," non Judeo-Christians to transcend these fixed definitional presuppositions, disables Islamic societies to fully realize true secularism. Inclusive European laicists or secularists are equally biased and ethnocentric. This line of argument maintains that Turkey only differs "from Europe solely in terms of acquired characteristics." Turkish accession to the EU will only be made possible when these "shortcomings," will be "overcome through the importation of Western-style democracy and the secularization of politics and society."
When the introduction mentioned that France would completely miss the point, if it would leave the question of whether Turkey should or should not join the EU, to its electorate, it was not by any means an attack on democratic principle of majoritarian politics. It was actually a criticism of the lack-of democratic sensitivities in France, to those cultural and religious minorities within their own borders. The shift currently taking place in Turkey, while framed as an erosion of secularism by some, is actually becoming more sensitive to actual electoral and political realities. This is not to say that Turkey is a textbook example of how a perfect democracy should be. To make such an argument would be a mistake. However, and as Hurd herself leaves open to interpretation, secularism is a social construct that can be broken down, contested and reconstructed. Perhaps Hurd's most crucial contribution comes at the end of her article, when she makes it explicit that, notwithstanding her main argument that Europe would have to revisit its own understanding of secularism (before Turkish integration into the EU will be successful),
If Europe cannot be articulated in terms of complex space and complex time that allow for multiple ways of life (and not merely multiple identities) to flourish, it may be fated to be no more than the common market of an imperial civilization, always anxious about (Muslim) exiles within its gates and (Muslim) barbarians beyond.
John Redmond makes it explicit that if Turkey is to join, it must do so as a full member. Anything less than full membership is worrisome for the following reasons. First, Turkey would not have access to the EU single market, thereby making the economic benefits of integration political (and for security purposes) only. Second, there would be a lack of structural funds flowing from the European Union to Turkey. Third, the most important reason of all, Turkey would have "no seat at the EU decision-making table." It is important to ask the question of why Turkey would even be considered as a second-class member. The main argument for this however is unfortunately one designed with populist politics in mind and not something premised on a more cogent line of reasoning.
To quote Redmond, Turkey is still "seen as an outsider to the European mainstream, condemned to irresolvable difference from its western neighbours on historical, religious and cultural grounds." The general European public finds Turkey to be "too big, too poor, too far away and too Islamic." In other words, Turkey does not fit into the social construct that goes by the name of "Europeanness." Redmond himself points out that this is but "a ludicrous concept," a distraction from factual reality that speaks of the purpose of EU integration as still being "predominantly economic." However, Turkish economics and the success of organizations such as MUSIAD (Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association) have proved that Islam is compatible with market-based economies and the democratic tendencies that follow as by-products of such markets.
Economics
Mousseau presents his argument in a rather straightforward way. Corruption and little respect for law are both cushioned between "collective, traditional and social associations for income" and "state-led, feudal or command economies." Contracts bind individuals and create "cooperation, compromise and tolerance of different interests." Individuals have an interest in maintaining the rule of law so as to protect these agreements or contracts between them. When disagreements surface, the state intervenes and acts as a dispute resolution mechanism. Limiting the role of the state in this sense would therefore require a thin understanding of a liberal democracy.
However, a duality exists between maintaining state neutrality both in politics and economic endeavors on one hand, and the establishing of electorally sensitive political parties. The rise of the Turkish private sector during the 1980s and 1990s, has replaced "Turkey's clientalist politics with the market and rule of law." If one is to entertain Mousseau's argument, that market economies and the opportunities attached to them, will eventually and naturally lead Turkey to adopt Western-style civil-rights and democracy, then the reality that culturally and traditionally loaded Islamic capitalism can succeed and has succeeded, fails to be recognized as an alternative mean to a similar end.
Analysis
Part I
There are a few scenarios that could unfold. The first is that Turkey will not end up joining the European Union. However, this would offer more costs than benefits for a few reasons. One such reason is that the current public antagonism towards Turkey and Islam will only become more acrimonious. The dehumanization and disconnection between the EU (read: the West) and Turkey (read: the East) cannot possibly have any positive consequences. Turkey is not Europe's or the West's enemy. Islam is not incompatible with democracy and it certainly isn't incompatible with market-based liberal economies.
The duality that is found in the EU's acquis communitaire is indicative of the double standards of such institution. While the EU's Copenhagen criteria may push turkey towards maintaining the current secularist status-quo, this is simply unacceptable if Turkey is also to develop an electorally sensitive democracy. Religion, and more importantly, Islam, has and will continue to dominate both private and increasingly as of late, public life. As it has been pointed out before, secularism is a construct that is constantly being reinterpreted to keep in-sync with the dynamic complexities of change. In other words, the ethnocentric features of EU's integration process is borderline imperialistic, failing to address local and regional uniqueness and even more worryingly, as is the case in Turkey, inadvertently preventing democracy fundamentals from taking root. It is precisely because of this, that Turkey's future cannot be said to be less certain or more bleak as a result of not having been made a full member of the European Union.
However, if Turkey is to join the European Union, this will need to be more than just a mechanical and technical process. Europe, as was the point of some of the authors discussed, must engage in redefining for themselves the role of religion in society and the extent to which secularism is but a superficial and ignorant misunderstanding of the more bona fide realities of pragmatic politics. Sure Turkey will have access to structural funds, the promising EU single-market and a seat at the decision-making table. This unfortunately does not suffice. Market-oriented economics and the contracts that provides the glue that holds it all together simply cannot function if the European courts put in charge of arbitrating contract disputes, cloak their bias towards EU parties in rhetoric that dehumanizes Islam by maintaining the "us" (read: the West, the good) versus "them" (read: the East, the bad, the enemies) paradigm.
Part II
Seeing Islam as a problem in need of a solution is also particularly problematic. The questions of whether the European Union is engaged in an economic integration exercise, or in a political and ideological one, is arguable. There is a sense that Islam belongs to a crude, unjust and barbaric past, incompatible with a more modern understanding of secular democracy and rationally founded and sound public policy. However, the sophisticated present, with all its modern bells and whistles, has not yet been fully successful at creating electorally sensitive political parties, nor has it yet been entirely successful at completely eschewing religion from the subjective life of private individuals. This is true for both Europe and Turkey.
Although not entirely part of the scope of this paper, racial and cultural discrimination and distinctions are arguably corollaries of a wider accepted gamut of scientifically derived, and culturally based, evaluations of what is and isn't rational. In addition to this, public awareness and public scrutiny of social and cultural constructs may not be sufficient to safeguard from the potential pathologies of the imperialist nature of Western rationality. A further dimension is required, one that asks the electorate in both Turkey and Europe to critically engage, debate and discuss the possible effects of a Turkey-EU integration, or the lack thereof.
Conclusion
Turkey's democracy is moving towards becoming more electorally responsive and, contrary to the more ominous suspicions of some of its critics, not relapsing into a tyrannical display of Islamic authoritarianism. A wider recognition of human rights as they apply both to minorities as well as dominant cultural and religious groups, will naturally follow as a result of this. However, the key catalyst providing the impetus for the aforementioned, as argued by Mousseau, is the introduction of a liberal market economy and the possibility for economic opportunities that, albeit loaded with Islamic traditional values of community and reciprocal trust, produce beneficial results and allows for the further development and subsequent consolidation Turkey's democracy.
Future relations between the West and East, the European Union and Turkey, will depend on both European reevaluations of the role of religion and secularist constructs, as well as on future Turkish advancements towards a more open society, sensitive to unique regional cultural minorities and majorities. However, if the EU persists on applying its conditions for membership through a top-down approach, as if to say that only Western modernity and rationality is democratic, Turkey will simply end up with having swapped the Kemalist state elites, one hegemon, for another, the EU technocrats. This dilemma forms a paradox that is missing from current debates on Turkish-EU affairs; one that needs to be further studied, discussed and appreciated.



I was born with a disorder: talking too much. When I was two, my superiors bought me a keyboard. I began to shut up. After a while I was told that silence is an awful way to exit a building. So I didn't look back, make a fuss or trip over any partially-charged electrical chord. I started writing. Now I inconvenience people, angry academics and stick dynamite in people's blackberries. I'm known, I'm loved and I would like to think that my writing is at least read, if not heard.