‘Who knoweth, if to die
Be but to live;
And that called life by
Mortals, be but Death”
During the cold war, leftists used to chant: BETTER RED THAN DEAD! This was a rallying cry at demonstrations as mindless leftists protested anything that was related to freedom and safety. Today we are faced again with mindless protests funded by traitors like George Soros who support riots and dissention. Noted speakers like Ann Coulter are banned from speaking at the University of California, Berkeley, yet claim that they are champions of free speech. Universities like Notre Dame, former champions of free speech, are now awarding prestigious medals to pro-abortionists and radicals. The last eight years of the Obama Administration served as a breeding ground for the ‘snowflakes’ that now seem to have taken over college campuses.
Those who fall for the siren call of Communism should be exposed to what it is like to live in a communist paradise. During the cold war, I had the opportunity to visit East Berlin. The experience was traumatic. As our bus entered Checkpoint Charlie, a number of communist soldiers entered the bus and began looking at our papers. There was an aura of doom during this process. On the outside, soldiers were sliding mirrors under the bus to see if anyone might be hiding under the bus.
As we entered East Berlin, I could sense a pall of gloom over the country and the people. There was no joy there; everyone looked so depressed, and the place was more like a prison than a country. Our tour included statues to Communist Leaders and propaganda of the greatness of communism.
Finally, I returned to West Berlin. The short drive through Checkpoint Charlie was more like time travel; I had gone from the 1200’s to the twentieth century! West Berlin was lit up like a carnival atmosphere, people were rushing about with smiles on their faces, and the experience was forever burned into my mind.
Why any mindless person would choose Communism over Freedom is beyond comprehension! Communism is a Godless philosophy that requires denouncing God, removes freedom, and rewards its subjects with the benefits of slavery, depression and oppression. Only a fool or a Godless person would embrace Communism.
During the cold war, advocates for communism flooded the university campuses under the guise of phony names like, “Students for a Democratic Society,” a communist front. When I was a student at San Jose State College after World War II, a number of these groups found a home there. A friend of mine tried to have me attend their meetings; but I refused, with good cause.
Years later, I was in the Army Chemical Corps at Edgewood Arsenal and required SECRET clearance. I filled out my forms; and on that form was asked if I had ever attended a meeting of SDS. Several other men in my detachment had unfortunately attended, so they were denied security clearance and were transferred to nearby Korea.
Students, be careful what you get involved in; it may come back to haunt you!
An amusing instance occurred at Emory University when someone wrote “TRUMP” on each step in front of a building. The snowflakes were traumatized and had to seek council, pacifiers and refuge from this “assault.”
Coming back to the title of this essay, let us examine some aspects of the idea of life over death. Christians who live by the teachings of the Bible have little or no fear of death. A good friend of mine died on the operating table and had a ‘Near Death Experience.” When she recovered, she told me of her experience and told me how beautiful it is on the other side, and that we have no need to fear dying. Those who survived a Near Death Experience regret having come back!
Many religions place great emphasis on praying for the dead. This is puzzling in view of the quoted remarks of Euripides cited above. An examination of the New Testament shows that death may not be what it seems, that it is a dead end. Consider the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He was beaten to within an inch of His life, thirsty, in extreme pain and should have died before being nailed onto the cross. To make matters worse, His relationship to God was severed; God denied Him as an abomination since He represented our sin and had no communion with God during that time. This rejection alone would be enough to destroy Jesus mentally.
But, Jesus died!
After His resurrection, Jesus was healed completely. He paid the price for our Salvation and gave us Eternal Life. He also promised that we would be like Him, indicating that there will be no more sorrow or pain; and having died, we would live eternally (Rev.21:4). (An interesting aside is that there is one thing created on Earth that is now in Heaven; and that is the wounds of Jesus!)
If this is so, why do we mourn our dead? The Catholic Church teaches that, upon dying, a soul is required to stay in Purgatory to cleanse any remaining sins before being admitted to Paradise (Cat.103). In fact, the early Church made a very profitable invention of indulgences whereby the living could buy indulgences to bail out those loved ones in Purgatory. How do the living ever know when the ransom is paid? The result was the Protestant Reformation whereby Martin Luther smelled a rat and posted his ’95 Theses’ to the door of the Wittenberg Catholic Church. The result of this revolt diminished the power of the Catholic Church and the development of different sects.
Today, we still have many religious organizations that make a profit in praying for the dead. In view of the above comments, it would seem that the opposite should occur. The dead in Christ are at peace and in perpetual light. Those prayers would appear to be more meaningful to those who live on earth and are in constant danger from sin, violence, politicians, hunger and other threats that we face daily.
There are many good reasons to mourn our dead! The loss of a loved one has an enormous effect on those left behind. Many of the mourners grieve for a long time, while others can overcome their loss and continue on with their lives. In my case, my sorrow has been short-lived, since I live with Carol’s presence in my life. Everything she left behind – her beautiful gardens, her musical talent, her good sense of judgment and her overall love – has tempered my loss; but overall, the knowledge that she is now pain-free, in the virtual presence of the Prince of Peace, becomes an encouragement rather than a sorrow.
The very fact that this is real gives us all hope that the future is so much greater for believers than we could ever dream!
COPYRIGHT©THOMAS J. MIRANDA MAY 11, 2017