Burning Man is a late-summer festival held annually in Nevada’s Black Rock desert north of Reno. Fifty thousand people gather on the barren alkali lake-bed to camp, party, create art, culminating in the immolation of a large effigy, the source of the festival’s title. During the week it exists, it is Nevada’s fourth largest city.
For a week, it becomes a city full of carnival and spectacle, filled with creative art, avant garde music, and counter cultural costumes and communicators. It is also a city full of spiritual seekers who are fulfilling their vision for a utopian society and imbibing and implementing a style of life that its adherents believe can change the world.
“ARMSTRONG WAS A MAN UTTERLY WITHOUT HONOR, WITHOUT PRINCIPLES, WITHOUT A SHRED OF GENUINE DECENCY OR PATRIOTISM. HE WAS THE ULTIMATE EXTERMINATOR OF RELIGIOUS LIFE FOR THOUSANDS, AND THE GRAND COMPELLING CREATOR OF A VAST ARMY OF ATHEISTS.”
A significant portion of the American population has ditched church attendance. Burners have found little in the church to keep them, but are still hungry for spiritual connections and purpose. The vacuum is being filled. (1)
“For many people art, displacing religion, has become the justification of life, whether as the saving grace of an ugly civilization or as the pattern of the only noble career.”
-Historian Jacques Barzun
Here are some short videos to get you acquainted.
Burning Man Live:
Burning Man might look like a religion but it is not. It is a link to transcendent experiences, and it accomplishes something else that the modern world desperately needs: it gets people from vastly different backgrounds to sublimate to a common cause. Not a common belief, but a common cause. There is no common meaning among the participants.
To the closed mind of the religionists, who lives his life by a book, we read:
On Saturday night, the hell-themed [festival] reached its crescendo in the form of a drama….These people were literally celebrating the fact that one day they would enter hell. To simulate their journey, the camp’s center stage was transformed into the “Vestibule of Hell.” The guest of honor was none other than “Papa Satan.”….As the lecherous Papa Satan bowed in mock chains before a placard reading “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” a group called “Idiot Flesh,” [supposedly Christians] dressed as hooded executioners, began to play a discordant dirge accompanied by flashing strobes. When the crowd started its torchlight procession toward the Gates of Hell and an eerie, sculpted castle called The City of Dis, I sensed an unmistakable chill in the air. Our march had been joined by unseen, malevolent guests….nudist and a moving sea of devil banners [also] moved around us….At the tri-tower City of Dis, our descent into the Inferno reached a demonic sanctuary….While massive loudspeakers pumped out a hellish bass tone accompanied by tormented screams….people dressed as demonic insects celebrated by copulating with other captured souls. It was a scene that looked as if it had been plucked from a horrific nightmare. Mesmerized by the evocative music, the performers began to chant, “Devil’s delight, fire tonight!” Wood piles inside the towers of Dis were ignited, causing orange flames to belch forth from the eyes and mouths of demonic gargoyles built onto the turrets. As the heat became more intense, the entourage danced around the towers. Satan had defeated the church.-George Otis Jr. President of The Sentinel Group. A Christian research agency.
Expect the same rhetoric from your pastor. After all, church is big business.
(1)The WCG and the daughter churches have helped to create the mess that is now called the “armstrongism”. They have pushed the people away and into the abyss they themselves have created.