15 July 2010 (Chamashee/Teruah)|
Day #122, 5934 AM
The Telsiai Perplexion
Meditations on a Turbluent Life to Come
My current 'bathroom read' is a rather weighty book I bought last week in a flea market about the history, culture, education, art, religion and politics of a small region in Lithuania called Telsiai (Telsche in German) north-east of Memel (Klaipeda). Having got 'in' to it over seven days I appreciated how easily it is to get 'lost' in an environment and to get caught up in events.
This small town was once a part of the Grant Duchy of Lithuania, was swallowed up into Poland, became a part of Imperial Russia after the Polish partitions in the 18th century, was marked as part of the Jewish Pale of Settlement and had a huge influx of Jews fleeing from pogroms in other parts of Russia, was swallowed up by the First World War when it was occupied by Imperial Germany, was then occupied by the communists before becoming an independent republic. It both illegally seized territory that was not its own in the Memelland as well as itself becoming the victim of Polish imperialism when it lost its capital, Vilnius (Wilna/Wilno) to that nation after it broke the Treaty of Riga (several days later) that had guaranteed the new border. By the outbreak of the Second World War this little Baltic state was under its own fascist government, participated in the partition of Poland in 1939 (getting Vilnius back viā the Soviets), was then occupied by the Soviets after a bogus referendum, then by the Nazis following invasion, then by the Soviets again before finally getting its independence in 1990, the first of the cessionist states of the USSR. Now it is a part of the new bourgoisie EU soviet.
Countries like the UK, Australia and USA who haven't had a foreign army on their territory for centuries do not easily grasp what continental Europe has been through, or what it has been like to live the Gospel here. And countries like Lithuania who have experienced violent change again and again find it equally hard to comprehend the comparative tranquility of lands like America and Britain. That is, of course, now changing with the EU soviet imposing its rule on the UK and Obama trying to turn the USA (and ultimately the whole of North America) into an 'EU' all of its own.
And then I think of communities like Telsiai and what it must have been like in the turbulent 20th century. It has never enjoyed independence for long - about 20 years after the First World War and only 13 years since it broke away from the USSR in 1991, only to be gobbled up by the EU empire in 2004 and to lose its sovereignty again in 2010 (this year) when the EU became a state - again barely 20 years of freedom.
And then I think of the life of Telsiaians trying to make sense of life and of God in a predominantly Catholic and Jewish setting. We, in lands like the USA and UK, tend to view our Christian or Messianic faith through the ordered lenses of relative stability and liberty. We do not know what oppression is like at all and start squealing over the littlest infringements. The European peace is virtually over for the West - 55 years of liberty is now giving way to the new Europeism, a kind of bourgoisie middle class communism with fascist elements all mixed together, sometimes known as the 'Third Way'. It is doomed to failure like all man-made systems and will degenerate into complete totalitarianism after a few more political mutations. Telsai and other communities in Eastern Europe only recently liberated from communist oppression will fare better within the new EU Big Brother state than we in the West will since they know how to knuckle down and survive under tyrants. We are to get our first taste of dictatorship since 1945 (excepting fascist Spain). Like believers in the former Soviet hegemony, we are going to have to learn what it like to be underground believers, and though it may take a little longer to impose in the USA, Americans are also going to have to get used to it.
I know that most people in the West refuse to believe that this is coming and when it does they will be in a state of shock and disbelief. They will yell and scream for a while but after they have been beaten and killed into silence they will learn what it is like to live under dictatorship. It's been gradually coming over the years as the EU shows its true colours but it will accellerate since the signing of the Lisbon Treaty. Then we will have to learn from people like the good citizens of Telsiai how to survive in a very unfamiliar and dangerous New World Order until Christ returns, learning to lean fully on Him and not on our own 'cleverness'.
"Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him" (Nah.1:7, NKJV).