Ringing in 2023 With Hope: Ring in the thousand years of peace, Olympic spirit: America ideologies_- aged, corrupt authoritarian, “We are all Catholics Now” Pope Moral Leader

Partisan attacks seem sharper than ever, particularly in Latin America where aged, corrupt authoritarians wielding bankrupt ideologies have returned to power in Nicaragua, Brazil, and elsewhere

By Eric Patterson on January 3, 2023

4 min

As the Sun sets on 2022 and rises on ’23, what are we to make of another annum come and gone?  The year began with hope, epitomized perhaps best by the thrilling sportsmanship of the Beijing Olympics.  The Olympiad was particularly joyous in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic and it seemed 2022 was starting with hope.  Indeed, on New Year’s Day 2022 the entire world yearned for a year of health, of safety, of peace.  

Lord Tennyson heralded the end of one year and the coming of the new in his poem “In Memoriam,” better known as “Ring Out Wild Bells.”  Tennyson’s 1850 New Year’s prayer for the fading year and its successor sounds prophetic:

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Here you and I are now: reflecting back and peering ahead to 2023. Instead of Olympic spirit, China’s dictator class threatens its neighbors and faces a severe recurrence of the pandemic.  Partisan attacks seem sharper than ever, particularly in Latin America where aged, corrupt authoritarians wielding bankrupt ideologies have returned to power in Nicaragua, Brazil, and elsewhere.  In contrast, Tennyson calls for law and civility:

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Even though we expected 2022 to be a year of global recovery, for our health, our finances, and our spirits, parts of the world have not yet recovered from the coronavirus and its debilitating physical and economic impacts.  Tyranny and lawlessness continue from Pyongyang to Kabul, and from Venezuela to the Congo.  The plight of the least of these means they are no less vulnerable than a year ago: Muslim Rohingya, China’s Uighurs, Nigeria’s Christians, and the poorest of the world’s poor.  Tennyson’s words portray compassion for those suffering, while still looking ahead expectantly:

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

What of Ukraine?  Though the flames of war burn elsewhere around the world, Russia’s evil invasion of Ukraine has brought Europe to the brink of continental war for the first time in generations.  The tragedies of the conflict are many—from naive Russian conscripts forced to the frontlines to the grotesque attacks on Ukraine’s hospitals, schools, and churches.  The incredible claims of Russia—that this is a war of liberation and de-Nazification—would be laughable if they were not continuing to be trumpeted around the world by Moscow and Beijing’s media dupes.  The Russians make their claims in terms of blood, and history, and the rights of the victor, rather than what is true, and right and just:

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

As we look ahead to 2023, will we lose hope?  Can we endure another year of illness, poverty, strife, falsehoods, and violence?  Tennyson was not hopeless but hopeful.  He looked into a frosty, starlit, wintry night and heard the church bells pealing, “The old year is going, let him go!”

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

There is hope in the new year, hope that mankind will be “valiant and free,” living with “sweeter manners” and “purer laws” according to “nobler modes of life.”  We hope that we will live in the light of truth and right, that the common good will ring out in our discourse. We hope that there will be peace, both among nations but especially as the result of larger hearts and kindlier hands.  As a Christian, my hope, as Tennyson’s, is in the “Christ that is to be.”  Christ’s redemptive love is the foundation for that hope. Christ’s example of generosity and compassion call on all of us to ring out the “faithless coldness” our own times, the “mournful rhymes” of loss and destruction, and forsake greed and strife.

The bells are ringing—the last bells of Christmas 2022 and the welcoming bells for 2023.  They awaken us to our responsibility to follow Christ’s model of charity, compassion, and hope.  If there is to be kindness and generosity in the new year, it will be our choice.  If there is hope in 2023, it must shine outward from our hearts.  We can show “sweeter manners.”  We can “ring the fuller minstrel in.” We can seek “redress for all mankind.”  We can “ring out the false and ring in the true.”  We can, we must, choose to “ring in the Christ that is to be” in what we say and think and do.

The assertion that God’s judgments are visited upon men for their violation of the Sunday-sabbath, will be repeated; already it is beginning to be urged. And a movement to enforce Sunday observance is fast gaining ground.
Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?
The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests.
History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: “I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity.”—John Dowling, The History of Romanism, b. 5, ch. 6, sec. 55. This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power of the Roman pontiff “that it is lawful for him to depose emperors” and “that he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers.”—Mosheim, b. 3, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 9, note 17. (See also Appendix note for page 447.)
And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.
God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. GC 579.1 – GC 581.2

In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Uncategorized

China | Ukraine

Eric Patterson, Ph.D., is executive vice president of the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, DC, and past dean of the School of Government at Regent University. His expertise, informed by time at the US Department of State and in the military, is on the intersection of war, conflict, and the ethics of security. He is the author or editor of 15 books, including Just American Wars, Politics in a Religious World, and Ending Wars Well.

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