Friday, 19 June 2015

CHINOs = Christians In Name Only

I propose the acronym of CHINOs as shorthand for the usual situation with self-identified Christians in the West - especially among the leadership (e.g. bishops, pastors, ministers, priests and priestesses) of the mainstream self-identified Christian denominations.

They are Christians in name only, by a fairly exact definition: they name themselves Christians, but their fundamental allegiance is to the secular mainstream mish-mash of Leftist ideology.

They name themselves Christians, and they use Christian language and concepts - but they use it to rationalize and defend an ideology that is derived from modern, mainstream secular culture: the usual range of politically correct concerns such as equality, diversity, social justice, socialist economics, feminism, antiracism and sexual revolution.

Instead of missionary work, CHINOs have social work and foreign economic aid, and international projects; they worry about global warming and reducing their carbon footprints instead of worrying about sin and repentance; instead of Bible study, they have seminars on patriarchy, racism, the environment; instead of learning Christian history, they research other religions.

CHINOs are placid about attacks on Christians and the (almost complete) extermination of Christianity in the Middle East; but 'passionate' about their politics.

CHIONs are 'inclusive' with respect to anti-Christian ideologies and lifestyles, but support for anti-Left groups is regarded as the ultimate evil ('fascism') and is absolutely forbidden among CHINO leaders. Failure actively and explicitly to support the CHINO progressive agenda (especially wrt the sexual revolution) is regarded as an anti-Christian act of hatred.   

For CHINOs, the main priority is not the collapse of Christian belief and increasing persecution of (real) Christians in the West - nor even the extermination and ethnic cleansing of Christians and Christianity in the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia... but that the Western church bureaucracy needs to catch-up with the post-sixties sexual revolution by being more 'inclusive' (= 'acceptance' moving-towards positive encouragement of sexual activity out-with traditional marriage, including whatever laws and policies are necessary to support this).

The rapid growth of (real) Christianity is Africa, South America, and China is either ignored are regarded with something akin to horror - since these new Christians oppose the progressive ideology to which CHINOs are primarily loyal. When Christianity and political correctness come into conflict - for CHINOs, Leftist ideology and progressive politics is always the winner.

There are far more CHINOs than real Christians nowadays, especially in England. Official Christianity is run by CHINOs and for CHINOs. CHINOs have the power, the money, the status and honours, the teaching positions; CHINOs publish most of the most prominent books about Christianity, and CHINOs are holding the mass media megaphone.

Indeed, subtract the CHINOs and 'real Christians' are a tiny minority - just a few percent - and many of these few are in small churches which are often regarded as heretical by the adherents of the (at present) larger and more powerful denominations^.

Anyway, CHINOs is here presented as a shorthand for something real Christians know well.


Note: CHINO is - obviously - an adaptation of the US usage of RINO to refer to 'Republicans In Name Only' - who talk the talk of Republicanism to get elected, but vote with the Democrats whenever the stakes are high.

Chinos are also a type of trousers; which makes the acronym a real name- but the specific trousers don't have any symbolic significance - except perhaps that 'Preppies' are fond of wearing chinos, and when they call themselves Christians, most Preppies are typical CHINOs.

^The contrast with CHINOs is 'real Christians' - and I would include in real Christians not only traditionalists in the mainstream catholic and protestant denominations, but also some other self-identified Christians such as Mormons (obviously!) and Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs are indeed the most visible real Christians in my normal everyday life, due to their admirably-conducted street missionary activities). 

Real Christians are, simply, self-identified Christians with Christ-focused religions who regard religion as more fundamental than political ideology. 

PS - Although I spontaneously thought of the name myself, just now; a swift search on Google shows that I am far from the first person to use CHINOs in this general way. 



imnobody said...

Agreed. I only wanted to add that, in Spanish, "chinos" means Chinese men, Chinese people or Chinese things

Bruce Charlton said...

@Imn - Ah, didn't know that. And it doesn't fit, since there are now more Christians in China than Europe - and the Chinese Christians seem mostly 'real'.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

"Real Christians are, simply, self-identified Christians with Christ-focused religions who regard religion as more fundamental than political ideology."

But you yourself seem to regard political ideology as pretty fundamental, taking the stance that self-identified Christians who support the political ideology of Leftism are eo ipso not real Christians.

At least that's the impression I get from your writing, but perhaps I am wrong. Do you accept the existence of Leftist Christians -- real Christians who are Christians first and Leftists second?

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - In theory yes; in the past, yes frequently; nowadays in practice - yes but only rarely.

Four generations of socialism makes a difference to what is possible in practice.

So, my remark is a generalization - not something logically entailed.