The Grand Inquisitor's Swindle: the Abomination of Desolation Standing in the Holy Place

In Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel, "The Brothers Karamazov," (1879-1880) the Grand Inquisitor is an important part of the novel because the character represents Dostoevsky's penetrating insight into the fallen human psyche and one of its' most important endowments: moral freedom.   In particular, the Grand Inquisitor symbolizes the principle of nihilism (negation) and rebellion in mortal men such Hegel, Max Stirner, Karl Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Teilhard de Chardin, and Sartre, who though not the actual devil are of like mind with him. 

The Grand Inquisitor is a conscious swindler who knows that the living Triune God of Revelation exists, yet perversely chooses to rebel against God as revealed through Jesus Christ despite that he knows that his own life is by the grace of the living God. 

In "Political Apocalypse: A Study of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor," Ellis Sandoz writes that when Marx found himself compelled to negate his own being (soul/spirit, or self) because of his perverse desire to show that "man owes his existence (only) to man," and to establish that the "entire so-called history of the world is nothing but the creation of man," he virtually recapitulated Aquinas' argument:

"A being only considers himself independent when he stands on his own feet; and he only stands on his own feet when he owes his existence to himself.  A man who lives by the grace of another regards himself as a dependent being (and) I live completely by the grace of another if I owe him not only the maintenance of my life, but if he has, moreover, created my life---if he is the source of my life.  When it is not of my own creation, my life has necessarily a source of this kind outside of it.  The creation is therefore an idea very difficult to dislodge from popular consciousness.  The fact that nature and man exist in their own account is incomprehensible to it, because it contradicts everything tangible in practical life."(pp. 113-114)

Being of one mind with the devil, the Grand Inquisitor (Marx) suggests that in order to affirm that man is god, the denial of the existence of God has in the past been necessary, thus to further his swindle, he asserts antitheism rather than atheism, which is merely a negation of God that nevertheless postulates the existence of man through this negation.  The complete negation of God requires that man and nature (matter) be of the same substance.  As matter is soulless, then so is man.

For the conscious swindler, the prudent course is to flatly deny the existence of God and enforce this dictate by way of psychological manipulation and if need be, by murder.  Terrorize believers into groveling submission, and even better, accommodation, by way of harsh scorn, cruel ridicule, slander and charges of insanity.  

 The Inquisitor also knows that if men are deprived of the living God they will worship something else.  Thus as Marx, the Inquisitor proffers the natural religion of scientific socialism and dialectical materialism (evolutionary theory).  But when Darwin published his own theory, the Inquisitor immediately perceived its' philosophical materialist implications.  The idea that humans evolved by chance and natural selection from primordial water or lifeless chemicals lay the axe at the very foundation of the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo and provided the scientific framework to support the economic infrastructure on which Marx could build his godless communist utopia:

"...the biggest thing going for Darwinism was that it finally broke the tyranny in which Christianity had held the minds of men for so many centuries." (F. Hoyle and C. Wickramasinghe, "Evolution From Space," 1983, pp. xiii-xxii, 81 and 145)

In the time-tested knowledge that appeals to pride work most every time, the Inquisitor describes the Genesis account as nothing but myth believed by backward unscientific rubes. All of the really forward-thinking people, cooed the Inquisitor, believe evolution.  Evolution is a scientific fact that not only tells us where we come from  but,

"....tells us where we came from, how we got here, and perhaps where we are going. Quite simply, it is science’s version of Roots, except it is the story of us all." (Professor S.J. Gould, quoted in Time, May 1983, p. 35)

The Inquisitor (Teilhard) knows that men long to deify themselves as of old so he begins a New Religion that combines Darwinian evolution, Hermetic magic and Hindu-style mystical pantheism.  This will be a better Christianity.  Look,  I've taken the personal God out of His heaven so He will,

".....become the soul of the world; our religious and cultural stage calls for this.” (Lettres a Leontine Zanta, quoted by von Hildebrand in Trojan Horse in the City of God, 1967, p. 239)

See, we have killed Him, declared the Inquisitor (Nietzsche).  And now,

 "Do we not dash on unceasingly?  Backwards, sideways, forwards, in all directions?  Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray...through infinite nothingness?  Does not empty space breathe upon us?  ...Does not night come on continually, darker and darker?"  (Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age, Eugene Rose, p. 108)

It was Nietzsche, the apostate Christian philosopher who was the first to gaze fully upon man's loss of the personal God and faith and its terrifying consequences.  With no living God to obstruct his vision, the nihilism he saw was agonizing.  

In "The Gnostic Religion," Hans Jonas provides a full-scale study of the heretical world of pre-Christian and Christian era Gnostic nihilism together with its modern variant--- metaphysical nihilism, the consequence of the complete negation of God and reduction of man to matter.

Jonas writes that while ancient Gnostic man is thrown,

"...into an antagonistic, anti-divine, and therefore anti-human nature, modern (Gnostic) man (is thrown) into an indifferent one." (p. 338, emphasis added)

Whereas the ancient gnostic conception is still anthropomorphic despite the nihilism, hostility and demonic, its modern counterpart with its' indifferent nature, its' completely godless, soulless, spiritless nature, represents the "absolute vacuum, the really bottomless pit."

At least the ancient Gnostic dualism, as fantastic as it was, was at least self-consistent, as there was a source for 'self' (being).   Not so for its' modern counterpart:

"So radically has anthropomorphism been banned from....nature that even man must cease to be conceived anthropomorphically if he is just an accident of nature.  As the product of the indifferent, his being, too, must be indifferent.  Then the facing of his mortality would simply warrant the reaction, 'Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die." (p. 339)

Peering into the void, the Inquisitor (Nietzsche)  saw only darkness---no entry from the outside into this hermetically sealed world, a world devoid of God, higher truth, moral law, eternity, soul, meaning, and purpose.  The paralyzing darkness that took possession of him was an inner blinding that spreading outward, briefly lifted up its horn to trumpet the death of God before falling into madness.

Hans Jonas comments:

"...modern nihilism (is) infinitely more radical and more desperate than gnostic nihilism ever could be for all its panic terror of the world and its defiant contempt of its laws.  That nature does not care, one way or the other, is the true abyss.  That only man cares, in his finitude facing nothing but death, alone with....the objective meaninglessness of his projected meanings, is a truly unprecedented situation." (Jonas, p. 339)

This was precisely the Inquisitor's point.  With the death of God objective meaninglessness and universal madness would eventually penetrate every avenue of thought and life, making life itself unbearable. 

"...they seek my soul to destroy it..." Psalm 63:9

 The Inquisitor's great swindle has succeeded beyond all expectation.  The triumph of naturalism, Darwinism and other naturalistic evolutionary conceptions in the nineteenth century has meant the negation of the Divinely inspired Genesis account of creation ex nihilo delivered to Moses who was in the wilderness with the angel.

The “angel” who spoke with Moses at Sinai, delivering unto him the “living oracles” (Scriptures) was the Word begotten of God before all creation (John 1:1-5), the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in a pre-incarnate theophany:

"... which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us." (Acts 7:38)

Jesus Christ, the “angel” who spoke with Moses at Sinai, is the Creator.  Foremost of His miracles is creation out of nothing—six acts or days of creation rather than the billions of years of evolutionary process out of lifeless matter in conjunction with transmigration and reincarnation as modern wisdom holds:

The first moment of time is the moment of God’s creative act and of creation’s simultaneous coming to be.” (Philosopher and New Testament scholar William Lane Craig quoted in “If God created the universe, then who created God?’ by Jonathan Sarfati, Creation Ministries International)

On the miraculous creation of the first man Church Father John Chrysostom writes:

And God formed man of dust from the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul….the inbreathing communicated to the one created out of earth the power of life, and thus the nature of the soul was formed.  What does a living soul mean?  An active soul, which has the members of the body as the implements of its activities, submissive to its will.” (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Seraphim Rose, p.215)

The negation of our Lord's Divine revelation results in the following consequences:

First, whether wittingly or unwittingly, Jesus Christ has been made into a liar.

Second, there is no logical source for either life or soul/spirit:

"Instead of Adam, our ancestry is traced to the most grotesque of creatures; thought is phosphorous; the soul complex nerves, and our moral sense a secretion of sugar."  (Disraeli, quoted by John Passmore "A Hundred Years of Philosophy," p. 36)

Third, the Abomination of Desolation now stands in the Holy place materializing the souls and blinding the eyes of men that they not see Jesus Christ, the Physician of our souls who came to heal the spiritually sick that they may live:

"..... I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life..." Deuteronomy 30:19-20

But sinful men really prefer the bread (stones) of the world to Jesus Christ's heavenly bread, intoned the Inquisitor (Teilhard).   Like me they detest,

 "...all those goody-goody romances about the saints and the martyrs! Whatever normal child would want to spend eternity in such boring company?" (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 584)

Being of one mind with the devil, the Inquisitor knows the secret of human nature.  It was made known during the time that God spent on earth as the Christ and was tempted in the wilderness.   The secret was made known there but was ignored, said the Inquisitor, because God would not deprive men of the freedom of good and evil and of either heavenly bread and paradise or earthly bread and outer darkness.

The secret and fundamental axiom of the devil is that "mankind worships its belly," which means that the,

"...promised bread of heaven can never compare with 'earthly bread in the eyes of the weak, ever sinful and ignoble race of man." (Sandoz, p. 117)

The devil adds that among sinful rebellious men at every level of society there is a universal craving to find "community of worship" where there will be no dispute about whatever earthly stones are to be worshipped.   It must be established so that all can agree and be united in satisfying their pungent cravings.    Whether inside or outside of the apostate and accommodating church,

"....earthly bread fills these qualifications better than anything else" since  man's "greatest anxiety is to be rid of his freedom."   From President to Congressman, Hollywood actor, scientist, lawmaker and priest, man can readily dupe himself into surrendering his moral freedom,

" those who are skillful enough to appease his conscience." (Sandoz, pp. 117-118)

The triumph of the devil and his Inquisitors is seen by the masses of dehumanized Westerners and Americans, both secular and worldly Christian, who being thoroughly preoccupied with the bread and circuses of this world, cannot apprehend the lie of naturalism and evolution or perceive the Abomination of Desolation standing in the Holy Place.

@Linda Kimball