The German Opera Faust became a simile for the struggle between good and evil in the middle 1800's.The
protagonist Faust is pitted against Mephistopheles the evil antagonist: Mephistopheles makes a bargain with
the aging Faust to exchange youth and worldly pleasures, if he will give his soul to Mephistopheles in death.
The literary context of Faust has been allegorized into a myriad of poems, plays, books, musicals and existential-type
writings. In this commentary, we will consider the political and religious aspects of this diabolical plot between mankind's
seemingly unquenchable thirst for power/indulgence and the evil intentions of others (natural and supernatural).
 Faust is
viewed by many as representing 'carnal humanity' while Mephistopheles embodies the
cunning of evil which preys upon
man's unchecked lusts, desires, and inherent weaknesses in the flesh.
The religious overtones of the Opera Faust are undeniable.  The maiden in distress receives a 'default' salvation at the very
end, yet
Faust has no such privilege sans his soul ceded to Mephistopheles.  In today's world, reality can and often does,
trump fiction.  Certain current events would seem to defy fundamental tenants in Christendom e.g., "
we all pray to and
worship the same god"
.(1)   By extension, this axiom promotes all religions are ostensibly the same, yet call their god(s) by
different names and believe their similarities far out weigh the 'incidental' differences.
Nowhere are the psychosocial gospel, Dominion Now doctrine, and/or Gaia (earth) theology more readily witnessed than
in several of the Mega-Churches that have emerged in America during the past several years.  The ecumenical church (all
religions are welcomed to worship and fellowship together, no matter which 'god' they serve) is rapidly increasing in size
and locations.  The Universal Ecumenical Church has all of the characteristics to be found in an endtime world-wide
.(3)  The ecumenical movement is morphing into several sects e.g., United Religions Initiative ... no matter what
nomenclature used, it still promotes an amoebic
faith community.
The emerging inter-faith community is directed towards religious enclaves which have some similar emphasis on
religiosity, vs. the
unity in faith directed by Christ, "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son
of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ".
(2)  It is not unity in the community
per se, but unity
in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, Christ Jesus.  This distinction clearly separates the
ecumenical from the evangelical communities forming across Christendom in America.
The spirit of Faust is alive and well i.e., the eager willingness, during times of get uncertainty and distress, to bargain
away the
absolutes of God for the immediacy of attempting to maintain the status-quo, pacify Christian fundamentalism,
and assuage-way the seismic religious upheavals just over the near-far horizon.
Not since the ratification of the US Constitution have we seen religion and politics become so rancorous to one another,
yet attempt a "negotiated" get-along relationship.  In the coming days religion and politics will become
strange bedfellows,
Islam is already there, as we continue to witness the dysfunctional symbiosis in that religious stronghold.  Escalating global
terrorism will be one of the essential drivers in uniting "religions" under some form of
ecumenical unity banner, against a
common nemesis (fig.).  However, this
ecumenical unity will be used by the antichrist during the second half of the
Tribulation Period to advance his own nefarious agenda.
We are warned by Christ and His apostles, that during the last-days there will come false prophets, teachers, Christs, and
those filled with great heresies.
(4)Â  There are identifiable Faust-like political figures entering the international stage which
will be easy prey for the antichrist to co-opt into his satanically-empowered global government.  If America continues
along it current self-determined and increasingly Godless pathway, it will bargain away the
divine covering which comes
from honoring God's absolutes, decrees, and commandments.
We are already seeking situational, circumstantial, and intermediate quick-fixes for our domestic and international mounting
enigmatic dilemmas.  Enigmatic because no one seems to be able to determine
why we are facing dire straits on several
critical fronts simultaneously.  The secular world has little comprehension, much less understanding, of the bible prophesy
set out in 2 Thes. 2:3-4.
(5) As America continues to forfeit its reliance on In God We (place our)Trust and remain
determined to "got-it-our-own-way", we will continue to suffer the consequences of
His Divine covering being withdrawn.
Postmodern naysayers are proclaiming we are all suffering from the effects of :El Niño and escalating carbon-based global
warming; accelerated depletion of natural recourses; an angry "mother nature"; international indifference to expanding
(HIV/AIDS) and Avian Flu; outsourcing; neoconservative backwardness; religious intolerances etc. Short answer,
again, as we progressively move away from
In God We (place our) Trust and forfeit our absolute reliance on "Thou art the
Christ, the Son of the living God"
(6) , the vagaries of the natural world and forces which dominate them, will continue to
reek havoc upon the believing and unbelieving world alike.
It is the ever-increasing forces of evil, running rampant across the face of the earth, which will bring famine, pestilence
and plague, and not La
Niña and El Niño, as such.  Mankind continues to obsess over consequences, projects causation
onto external objects, and refuses to look for the t
horn of offense in its own flesh.  What have we learned from Faust,
several seminal axioms:
Evil has had six-thousand years to develop and refine its snares and entrapments, they are field tested, and have a    
 plus/minus fifty percent success rate.  Faust was no match for Mephistopheles, without the power of the Holy
Spirit and His sword
Those which dabble in alchemy and the occult (as did Faust) open themselves to a profound type of wickedness.  
It would come as a startling surprise to most to know the number of US Presidents, since 1900, which have
listened to astrologers, crystal ball gazers, and sought counsel from 'visionaries'.
The cunning of
evil tailors itself to the weaknesses of the individual targeted for destruction.  Mephistopheles knew
Faust better than Faust knew himself.
Oftentimes, mankind's self-absorbing narcissism blinds it to stratagems of the enemy and saccharinizes the
consequences for becoming a spoil to the enemy.  Thus, we have a character study of
Faust and his seeming
insatiable appetite for
delicacies of the flesh.  As the saying goes, one can stay too long at the county fair ...
America may have lingered too long, as did
Faust, without a repentant heart, or a sensed-need to repent of much of
anything, until it is too late.
A Mephistopheles is unforgiving, unchanging, patient, and totally goal oriented.  The
ends always justify the means
in their calculus of deception.  These  deceivers not only stalk individuals, but are lodged in places of power(s) over
cities, nations and continents.
America is struggling with all of the above consequences as it continues to fall away (apostasia) from God's Word,
Commandments, and exaltation of His Son, Christ Jesus.
We can expect an exponential increase in paranormal (demonic) manifestations during the days to come e.g., spontaneous
apparitions, unidentifiable airborne objects, strange-happenings, unexplainable signs-n-wonders, geologic events, increasing
turbulent weather patterns etc.  The fullness of Time is at the threshold of "Jacob's Troubles" (Tribulation Period), yet the
all-knowing secular world is in the throws of castigating Christendom and Jewry, while ardently pursuing the ecumenical
one-size-fits-all religiosity.
Israel is not in much better stead with worldly affairs than America, and is the epicenter for tumultuous looming events in
the Middle East, which will irrecoverably reorder the constellation of worldly alliances.  America if facing the age-old
question is the glass half-full, or half-empty. The non-binding relativism and situational-choice morality prancing
throughout America is a  
Fausting of this Nation as we bargain/trade away God's covering  "for ways which seemeth right
unto a man".
(9)  God help us prepare and be ready for your forthcoming judgments, as well as your deliverance from on
high.  Today's schizophrenogenic national politic and the Executive Branch's social-progressive contrivances are diabolical
in character and fit well into a Faustian-type genre of endtime betrayals.   
Jon D. Hannum, Ph. D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
(1)  President Bush - Oct. 26, 2004;  Oct. 7, 2007 et al.
(2)  Eph. 4:13
(3)  Rev. 13:11 -
(4)  2 Pet. 2:1-3, Matt. 24:24
(5)  2 Thes. 2:3-4 - "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a
falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself
above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple  of God, showing
himself that he is God."
(6)  Mat. 16:16
(7)  Eph. 6:17
(8)  Dan. 10
(9)  Prov. 14:12