Friday, 5 October 2012

Strategic dilemma for Christians: re-conquest or subculture

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The situation for Christianity in the West is that - at least according to worldly calculations and in terms that can be used in the public arena - the remaining Christians are too few and too weak (and too hated and despised) - and too dispersed - to win the culture war.

We have lost the culture war; yet of course there is no question of surrender.

We will continue to fight, although we have lost. 

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So what does it actually mean for Christians to continue to fight the culture war?

What does 'fighting' entail?

What would need to happen?

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The two basic strategies are (I think) re-conquest or subculture. 

Re-conquest is the normal way in which such matters are discussed. The idea that although we are weak and getting weaker, we should try to re-take the cultural strongholds: government, public administration, education, law, and that centre of Leftism: the mass media.

This entails continued engagement in the public arena - elections (despite that democracy is anti-Christian in tendency), the media space (despite that the mass media is essentially a phenomenon destructive of Christianity), public administration (despite that bureaucracy is anti-Christian)... and so on.

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The point is that this plan of re-conquest involves Christians fighting on enemy ground using the enemies' weapons.

Under such circumstances, can we actually remain Christian?

Yes - if we are strong in faith. But are we strong?

And if we are not yet strong in faith, how can we possibly get to be strong in face of apparently overwhelming and all-but pervasive force and propaganda from secular Leftism?

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The other alternative is for Christians to build and strengthen the Christian subculture. To develop alternative institutions.

Not to re-conquer Western culture, but not to comply with culture - to live (as much as can be managed) in a subculture.

Of course, this kind of thing has been going on in the West for centuries, with small, exclusive and geographically-compact groups (but typically mutually hostile); however, can it be done for multiple small, linked, dispersed groups who fight on the same side because linked by Mere Christianity, but not institutionally-united by denominational membership?

That, at any rate, is what would need to happen.

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Such subcultural places already exist in the media (this is one of them); but would also need to exist in schools and colleges, and so on.

A point to remember is that the aimed-at autonomy is spiritual - this is primarily a subculture of faith; and material autonomy is needed only to the extent that it supports spiritual autonomy.

I think it is probably necessary that any such subculture would be based around geographically-concentrated denominations; and that Christians would need to relocate to create such concentrations where they do not already exist.

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But no single denomination is strong enough to make the subculture; so the possibility hinges on coalitions or alliances between denominations.

Could a focus of Roman Catholics in one place ally with a focus of Baptists in another place and Orthodox in a third place? To make a Christian sub-culture that was strong in its parts and strong enough in its unity to fight the war and not fight each other?

That, at any rate, is what would need to happen. 

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