Superfan Kate forwarded me an email she received when attempting to contact the maker of the film Return of Christ. Rather than a simple “hi, thanks for contacting me”, Kate got a long diatribe about this man’s own personal world view. What I found most intriguing is how Josiah has mentally justified his beliefs. Here is the first part of the letter:
My Hope is the first thing that distinguishes me from this world. While far secondary to LOVE, HOPE is just as important, if not more important than FAITH.
Unlike many faiths, my HOPE is full of humility and love, not arrogance and contention. I do not arrogantly proclaim to know that I am right. For all I know, there is no GOD. Never-the-less, I continue to Hope. I believe that my Hope is the same hope that Noah had when he built the ark. The same Hope that Abraham had when he left his country to find the promised land. The same Hope that Moses dreamed of as he journeyed through the desert to find a promised land, and the same hope that Jesus promised to fulfill.
In the end, I believe that all those who ask to be changed shall be changed (physically and spiritually). In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, the corrupt shall be made incorrupt. Until then, do not let anyone tell you that you have Victory.
Until then, Hope for LOVE. Love is far above anything else. Most religions focus on faith and/or works, but both faith and works are dead without Love. Terrorists are the epitome of undoubting faith. Anything can be justified when you know that you are right… when you know that you are God’s chosen.
The religious leaders of this planet (earth) have changed the meaning of the word “faith” into a adverb that defines how strongly they believe. I say again, there is no virtue in undoubting faith. Biblical Faith is a noun. It is simply your beliefs, and can best be understood in a question like; “What is your faith?” or… “Of what faith are you?”
I will not proclaim that I know that I am going to heaven (or to a new world). I hope that there will be a new world and I hope that I will be a part of it, but I know nothing.
If my faith is wrong, and such a perfect heavenly world does not exist??? If the ways of this “survival of the fittest” planet are the ways of the whole Universe, then I am certainly hopeless.
If I am wrong, and the survival of the fittest way is the way of the the entire Universe, then Satan has won whether he really exists or not (in other words, from my perspective, he has won symbolically even if not literally). In which case, the strong will continue to dominate the weak, and the rich will continue to oppress the poor.
Christ clearly stated that He is not a part of this world. Sadly, as it is written, Satan is the God of this world. A third of the angels of heaven chose to follow Satan’s survival of the fittest ideas, so they were cast down to earth. Satan is not the stereotypical creature that most people perceive him to be. He is righteous in his own eyes. He believes this earth is a beautiful and righteous place.
As you can see, Josiah seems to focus entirely on hope, a feeling he believes is impossible without his specific worldview. Although I can admire his ability to see the destructive power of faith, his inability to see just how irrational and paranoid his own beliefs are is scary to say the least. His conclusions about evolution also sound very misguided. Natural selection is neither good nor evil; though it can sometimes appear that way to us. Yes, nature is often cruel, but it is not a directed process. If you try and combine science with theology, this is the kind of predictable reaction you can expect.
The rest of his letter is the literal interpretation of The Book of Revelation, complete with plagues, famine, death and destruction. This bleak world view makes his whole speech about hope seem utterly pointless, if not a tad bit ironic. For if the prophecies were revealed to him to be false, no doubt he would feel a sense of loss at the idea humanity was not about to embark in a epic and bloody conflict between Satan and Jesus.
Considering how nutty this guy seems to be, I’m all the more intrigued to see his movie now!