During the last convocation, when we listened to Herb’s latest exposition, a lively round of discussions broke out on Revelation, which led to me employing my time honored idiom of making movie references to explain my points. In fact, one of the brethren remarked, jovially, “to understand Dave, you have to have seen every movie ever made”. While technically untrue, since I would never willingly see a rom-com without sexual enticement, it is symbolic of my totem and tribe. I do frequently use film to express a deeper, metaphorical idea, as I am about to now. In this post, I will referencing a movie long buried in past, whose villain, The Tall Man, must arise from his slumber and serve as a simulacrum for our good Mr Montgomery. The movie in question is Phantasm.
The eponymous character was not a person, in the traditional sense. Rather, it was flying weapon, whose role, like Nemesis of old, was to hunt down and punish the wicked-or the teenaged. Phantasm was semi-sentient, able to, upon being sent my the Tall Man, seek out a victim-and, upon finding one, exude a sharp metal blade from its’ frame. The silvery sphere would then fly straightway into the victim’s forehead, causing the death of the mark. What fortune, to be felled so quickly.
I, on the other hand, was pursued by far more agonizing a hunter than this. My Tall Man, Mr Montgomery, unleashed an argentine assassin all his own, a Phantasm to run me down without mercy. It came when he tried to explain that El was not violent, but was only violent when humans made Him be. Just like the film, I could not escape: the dreaded harbinger hunted me down, and slammed its’ wicked blade in my skull.
Or, at least, it felt that way. I have no better way of describing my dumb-founded shock at hearing the lecturer say something so utterly ludicrous that I was stunned that no one called him on it. Perhaps they, too, had a Phantasm all their own, burrowing vigorously into their now-disjointed mind. Whatever the case, I was utterly unable to believe that he really meant it. But the presenter of the material confirmed that this was a position that Montgomery held not only consistently, but with fervor. El was really a Lamb; only man made Him get destructive.
The Bible is a rampage of violence, some of which is very definitely sponsored by El. 6 chapters into the book, Yahweh drowns a planet. The whole planet. Wherever Noah was from, that world’s entire bio-matrix was abluted in sum toto. Later, He would obliterate the 5 cities of the plains, including the headliners, Sodom and Gamorrah. Then, when Israel is called into the desert, they make an idol, which gets 3000 of them killed by the sword.
Shortly, the ground opened up and swallowed 3000 more. 14000 are killed in a plague from Yah. Finally, they are showed the Promised Land-which must be purified by genocide. Now, people will respond ‘see, He was just passing right judgment’. Ok, but the animals of Noah’s world were judged for the sins of man. The chabbabs, or bosom-nursers, of Amalek were ordered slain. When Sennacherib threatened Judah, his army was destroyed. not him. By the blast of the trumpet, 185,000 men died on the spot.
Which leads then to the howler of the night: Jesus didn’t actually threaten anyone in the Temple. Rather, He chased the animals out, in a display of non-violent resistance (Herb’s penchant for revisionism is flush and vivid indeed). Here, the lightning orb slams full into my skull, and from it shall not depart. I have been Phantasmed, with no escape possible. His attempts to turn an I shudder absolute monarch into a hippie revolutionary are febrile, but useless. Equally so is this Ghandi Jesus.
I have to have some pity for the Tall Man, even though his assertions lodge metal fury into my brain-for he, too, is a victim. He was Phantasmed, the same as I: only in his case, the object smacking him in the cranium was reality. Living in absolute denial of the collision between his assertions and the Bible, he refuses to give up. I guess I have to respect that. But Herb;s talents are being wasted in this enterprise. His creative genius would be well-rewarded in Hollywood, where they are down to making movies about board games.
I certainly don’t want to hurt Mr Montgomery as a person. But I also don’t want to have to run screaming down the hall, when I hear the signature whine of the Phantasm. I shudder to think of what might lie ahead: for in the sequel, the Tall Man captures the teen heroes, even when they thought it was all over. It remains to be see if he will part the curtain, at the end, and declare “No: it’s not!”