Saturday, 14 May 2016

Should we yearn for a strong state Christian church?

Christians in The West sometimes yearn for a cohesive Christian church - a strong Christian church, with strong leaders, and strong support from many adherents - with power to resist, roll-back and take-over the nihilistic secular regimes of our day to restore (some denomination of) Christianity as the national religion.

But I suspect this is a deception, a delusion, and impossible...

At any rate we are further from such a situation than any society ever has been in the past 2000 years. The main role such an idea plays is to set Catholics against Protestants, and Eastern and Western Catholics against each other - and to divert Christianity into abstract political speculations about imaginary SciFi scenarios where they have somehow been handed power and need to decide what to do with it...

The growing points of devout, life-changing Christianity in the West are mostly at a much smaller scale of organization - even when they occur within the framework of large church organizations, the 'good things' are happening at a small scale and among tiny minorities.

This seems understandable, given that the problem with modern Western Christianity is weakness of faith, not difficulties of organization - indeed, the nature of corruption in the West being top-down emanating from the ruling elites, and given the extreme corruption of those elites (especially by the sexual revolution), means that it is the organizational structures which are most destructive of Christianity, even when those structures are 'A Church'.

(i.e. With a corrupt ruling class, insofar as church leaders are drawn from that upper class, any church of whatever denomination is intrinsically more of a mainstream generic - hence secular Leftist - organization than it is specifically a church.)

From where we stand, we simply can't return to the previous situation of being Christian secondary to unconscious adherence to a church. Probably that would not be a good thing even if we could - but we cannot. Now, even the most strict and 'ultramontaine' Roman Catholics are Protestants in their minds - in the sense that they choose to whom to give their allegiance; they are aware that the leadership is working for secular Leftism; they are forced to choose and they know that they personally have-chosen (and could have chosen otherwise).

Because of the nature of our society - the simple, taken-for granted state/ church faith of much of history is impossible.

In sum, worldly political strength and effectiveness points in one direction - towards the lost world of a state Christian church - and encourages us to yearn for that world. Spiritual strength points in the opposite direction; but such inner-driven Christian churches seem intrinsically fissile - seem to divide Christians into ever small units, until we inhabit single-building denominations, home churches or operate as unaffiliated Christian individuals. From this there is no possibility of effective political action.

However, maybe that is how things are supposed to be in these End Times? Perhaps Christians are supposed to acknowledge that we have lost The World, and to put aside yearnings to establish another international Christian Empire (which were deeply defective, tyrannical and corrupt and secularized, when such Empires did exist).

We may be compelled to put our faith into a life 'Not of this World' - and to get life satisfaction from non-material and unperceived sources. And such compulsion may be our destiny: part of the divine plan as it unfolds toward the second coming.

Successes, likewise, would not be attained by force - because Christians are so politically weak and dispersed; but by miracles. And those miracles granted to sustain trusting faith of specific persons, to en-courage, to enable hope - but not any more miracles of societal strength and political conquest.

This, at any rate, seems to be the general nature of Christianity in those places where it is currently most vigorous, growing in adherents, and apparently most devout - for example in parts of Africa and China. These Christians are politically weak and persecuted (sometimes savagely so) - but as individuals their faith in Jesus is apparently very strong, and ultimately that is what matters: that is what it is all about.

The specific features of African and Chinese Christianity will not transfer to The West, I don't think; but there is no compelling reason why the general nature and type of these churches may not be replicated in The West, especially as persecution continues to increase.