Are You A Bird In A Gilded Cage?
(A believer is a bird in a cage, a free thinker is an eagle,
parting the clouds with tireless wing -Ingersoll)
When I first read that statement, the title and opening of that old gay 90's tune flashed across my mind: "She's only a bird in a gilded cage---"
I thought, how apropos and befitting a description of the Armstrong cults! Just like a caged parrot, a member is controlled in his or her actions and thoughts, is spoon-fed (dietary laws) brain-fed (Armstrong crap), is taught to speak only when spoken to, taught tricks, (tithe, fast, contribute time, money, effort, food and material goods for the furtherance of God's work). Subject to every whim and fancy of the hierarchy and local ministry, emulating exactly what Herbie depicted us, dumb sheep. So we meekly comply, in this tight enclosure, living a dull life of strenuous religious routine and limited horizons. As our brain slowly atrophies and our mind slowly compresses.
While penned within the confines of this "gilded cage" (the Golden Promise to rule as kings and priests in the world tomorrow, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, a member's mind is overly saturated with "spiritual food". Beginning with the "milk of the word" then graduating to "strong meat". Interpretation; We got you, babe, and now we're going to pour it to you and into you. Then they begin to instill within us the fear of God, Satan, and judgment day. Constantly being warned to refrain from co-habiting with or participating in this evil society where Satan roams about like "a roaring lion seeking to devour you". So we finally succumb to Herbie's Svengalic spell, as he commences to drain our brains and our pocket books.
If you are still unequivocally in that mode and a steadfast believer, then you have to believe-
1. Armstrong, without question, was God's end-time apostle in spite of his 100 failed predictions and his prolonged perversion.
2. That the original Worldwide Church of God and splinter churches that are still into Armstrongism, are the only true churches.
3. That you, together with other devoted followers, are the only ones in this big, wide, wonderful world to whom God revealed His "real truth". In spite of the fact that this earth is populated with a humanity, numbering in the billions with diversified beliefs, that God passed over. So consequently, these billions upon billions are headed for "the lake of fire". What a helluva bonfire THAT'S going to make!
4. That the entire bible is the infallible word of God. If you believe that, then you have to accept the following;
5. The earth is flat.
6. The sun stood still.
7. A jackass talked.
8. O.T. atrocities were commanded and condoned by God, but would never be permitted in "Satan's Society".
9. Homosexuality is an abomination to God, but is accepted as the norm today.
10. Scriptural sermons, bible studies, tapes and seminars must not be questioned. No ifs, ands, or buts. No debates, no disagreements. After all, these ARE God's spokesmen. Just sit there, while they pour it into you. (Lavish praise upon the shepherd if it was an especially good sermon, i.e. getting your brownie points in).
11. The pyramids were built by manpower alone, using primtive tools. (The great pyramid of Giza is 480 feet high. The base lies on 13 acres and is perfectly square. It's weight is estimated to be between 6 and 7 million tons. It rests upon an almost perfectly levelled platform 22 inches thick. It has carried the pyramid's weight for thousands of years. Scientists are puzzled at the precision and advanced engineering of ALL the pyramids. They are convinced that no way in hell manpower and primitive tools could have constructed them. And even if were remotely possible, it would take untold thousands of years to finish).
Finally, this brings me to Thomas Paine's quote on the bible;
"Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women and infants, with which the bible is filled, and bloody persecutions and tortures unto death, and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes ---whence rose they but from this impious thing called revealed religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man? The lies of the Bible have been the cause of the one, and the lies of the Testament of the other". Unquote.
How far would civilization have advanced if we were ALL believers? How much progress could we have made if we ALL sat in our gilded cages, brains washed and blow dried, anxious to exit Satan's world, praying for God's intervention and yearning for His Kingdom? Scientists are concerned with the here and now, and the future. Inventive minds have to be unencumbered from religious chastity belts. Great inventions were created in the past, now even more so are materializing from drawing boards to factories, laboratories and space centers. These, from men of vision with unhampered minds, unhampered room, using their brains to the fullest extent that God gave us all. These are the "Soaring Eagles" parting the clouds with "tireless wing". So that the believer may partake of the amenities, enjoyments and benefits from scientific discoveries. Meanwhile, he stays within the confines of his "Gilded Cage," scorning the "kingdoms of this world" and keeping an eye firmly focused on the coveted prize, the coming heavenly Utopia of tomorrow.
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