Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A Heavenly Family Church - a daydream about Western Christian revival

I see little prospect of any of the large mainstream Christian denominations stimulating a modern Western revival. (And the small denominations are too small, too weak.)

Partly because they mostly do not want to - a Christian revival is not their priority - at least not the priority of their leadership - (their priority is Left Wing politics, obviously).  But beyond this there is the problem that the West has already developed immunity against the old churches - the West has resistance - it has antibodies directed against them - the mass of the population are pre-immunized against the old styles of Christianity.

1. The Catholic revival in England began with the Oxford Movement and the Anglo Catholics, and waxed powerful through the late nineteenth century until it dwindled in the early twentieth - but the Roman Catholic Church had a strong revival through the first half of the Twentieth Century.

The Catholic church life was based around the Mass - frequent Mass. But the Catholic revival has long-since ebbed, and there are too few and dwindling numbers of priests, even if people did want daily Mass.

A Christian revival is not going to be led by Catholics.

2. The most recent Evangelical revival began in England about 1960, and was successful for a few decades - taking up some of the slack left by the decline of mainstream (Broad Church Anglican, and Nonconformist) and Catholic Christianity.

The Evangelical revival was based around the personality of Jesus and the study of scripture - backed up by a 'youth friendly' sociable, cheerful kind of church meeting ('Happy Clappy as its detractors called it).

However, this revival is clearly past - and most Evangelicals have lapsed into the mainstream, and taken the radical side (and accepted decline) in the culture wars. Evangelical churches still grow, but there are ever fewer of them, and the general Christian decline is too rapid for them to make up for it.

A Christian revival is not going to be led by Evangelicals.

3. Eastern Orthodoxy is.... Eastern. This is based on participation in the extensive Liturgy at weekends - and to be full and secure requires an Orthodox monarch organizing the whole of society around the church.

Orthodoxy has never got going in the West (except that the Orthodox style pre-schism church church was strong in the West and North of the British Isles), there have been no new Orthodox countries for several centuries, and there is no sign that it will lead a revival.

There has been a very significant revival of Orthodoxy since 1989 in places like Russia and Romania; but that is ... the East.

A Christian revival is not going to be led by Orthodoxy.


The following is, I presume, not going to happen - but I will allow myself to daydream a possible Christian revival in the West.

1. People begin to become Christian (Mere Christian) as individuals - by all sorts of means and from all sorts of directions.

So there is a mass of Christian individuals - the next step is for them to form strong churches.

2. The primary function of the new churches is to provide a serious spiritual environment.

This means that each church must provide some mixture of :

1. Ritual
2. Words
3. Music
4. Arts...

so as to connect with the divine.

In other words, the main reason people attend church is to come into contact with the divine.

This means that this new kind of church is not going to be happy-clappy, not political, not modern and cheerful, not informal and relaxed, not businesslike or bureaucratic, not distracting and hyper-stimulating.

3. The main secondary function of the church is to create and sustain loving and stable families.

Thus the new church is a place for meeting and marrying, and an environment to guide and support family life.


So there you have it! - My idea for the kind of church that is capable of forming the backbone of a Western political revival - which gratifies several of Man's innate needs - and which is sufficiently novel that the forces of secular Leftism have not already pre-defeated it.

Plus it is the kind of church I myself would like best!

No need to point out it won't happen - but a man is allowed his dreams, isn't he?