Sunday 19 July 2020

What the Christian churches Should have done in the birdemic (and what it means that they did Not)

The response of the main Christian churches to the birdemic was to close churches and cease all sacraments, communal and personal ministry. In both the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches of Britain, the Bishops agreed to shut-down without protest (but instead endorsement); indeed chose to impose (and continue to impose) greatly more extreme (and destructive) behavioural restrictions than even the government asked-of-them.

Thus Christianity - here and worldwide - has suffered the greatest destruction in its history; greatly accelerating the long-term process of secularisation driven on the one hand by corrupt, dishonest and anti-Christian leaders, and embraced by a majority of the laity.

The losers have been serious, devout Christians of all denominations.

But what should have happened? The church leaders should have objected to churches being closed and stopped from functioning; and should have made these objections clear to the laity.

They should have made clear that they complied unwillingly, and that serious Christians ought to be allowed to choose to continue worship, ritual, sacraments, group meetings and prayers - even if they believed that this increased their risk of illness.

The Christian leaders ought to have said that - for Christians - some things are infinitely more important than avoiding illness and/or death; and they and their churches ought to have been willing to accept the criticism and persecution that any such statement of principle/ desire/ intent would be likely to draw.

Among themselves, Christians would have made this clear in their interactions. That, for them, their faith was more important than issues of Health and Safety - and especially more important than the kind of dishonest, incompetent, incoherent, manipulative and counter-productive Fake Health and Safety rules that are imposed worldwide now (and, apparently - the intent is, forever).

But even if the rulers were honest and competent in pursuit of Healthism - impossible though that seems! - Christians would have been clear that this is Not the most important thing in life. Mortal life should be lived in the context of eternal life, not aiming primarily at extending our finite mortal life by a few days, weeks or years at any cost...  

If something like this had happened; at a stroke, suddenly, Christians would have become the bravest and most autonomous group in The West. Genuinely Radical. They would have become self-identified as people of conviction, principle, courage; who were prepared to put Love above fear - and live by it. Those capable of seeing this, would have had a Great Example. 

However, such a course of action was in fact not even considered and rejected; it was not even considered as a genuine possibility. It was not considered because the church leadership and mass of the Christian laity are corrupt hypocrites. That is now crystal clear.

Even worse - much worse - they are not even aware, indeed deny, that they are corrupt hypocrites. They continue to double-down on their corrupt cowardice and worldly enslavement.

Because Christianity is primarily a religion of repentance. Even if the church leaders and laity had, from fear of the birdemic, closed down and shut-up-shop but later repented; and spoken their repentance, made clear their regret, acknowledged their lack of conviction and courage - even this (so little and so late) would save them.

(Christ is always and infinitely merciful to those sinners who repent.) 

But there is no repentance visible - quite the opposite; and unrepentant evil has, as usual, led to further and greater evil - as with the current embrace of the extremity of explicitly evil, explicitly anti-Christian, anti-family,' antiracist' Establishment-sponsored terror and destruction.

Such is the extremity of unrepented evil in the Christian churches that they cannot even see The Problem with what they have done, what they are doing!

Such an extremity of widespread spiritual blindness is not excusable as ignorance, but it itself evidence of a controlling darkness and coldness of hearts that is so very common, so nearly universal, among self-identified Christians - and especially those in positions of power, high status and authority.

This is the lesson that serious Christians need to draw from what has happened, and is happening, in 2020.


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

CJCLDS President Nelson has said, regarding reopening after the birdemic, “Your safety and well-being will always be our utmost concern.” Their utmost concern! Not, you know, salvation or anything like that.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - That is truly shameful. Such things cannot be unsaid - but should certainly be repented: explicitly and forthrightly.

Bruce Charlton said...

From Mike A in Utah - @Wm @Bruce:

A couple of things to keep in mind when discussing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which I am a member:

1) I am not shocked or angry that President Nelson, who I regard as a living prophet, said that my "safety and well-being" is his utmost concern. "Well-being" can refer to both the physical and the spiritual. Furthermore it's disingenuous to presume that his current concern for my physical well-being suddenly means my eternal salvation is somehow less important to him. If I wanted, I could do a deep dive and link you to a multitude of talks given where it taught as doctrine that our spiritual growth and salvation is infinitely more important than our current physical state. One sentence from a video expressing concern for my health doesn't negate all of that..

2) My family and I have not missed a sacrament (holy communion) since the beginning of the pandemic. I am the spiritual leader in my home, not President Nelson, not my Stake President, not my Bishop. If any of those men came to my home during one of my sacrament meetings, I would be the presiding authority, not them. My priesthood authority is just as valid as theirs, and when it comes to my home, I am the High Priest. Also, my 13 year old and 17 year old daughters get a turn each month to give a sermon and teach the group. My wife also takes a turn. I could make the argument that we have had more growth and spiritual development as a family over the last 4 months than over the last 4 years combined.

3). Any person in my local congregation who would like to receive the weekly sacrament may do so. Brethren with the priesthood, like me, would receive an assignment from our Elder's Quorum President (our local leader of men over the age of 18) to go and administer to the family in need. This takes place regularly. We meet weekly as church leaders to discuss the condition of our congregation and minister where needed.

4). Our temples have been re-opening since early May to perform our most sacred ordinance, which is the temple sealing. Each week we receive an update on all of the temples that are re-opening.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Mike - Each must reach his own decision on this vital matter; in line with this new era of universal institutional corruption (to varying degrees, of course) where each Christian must take *full* spiritual responsibility.

But you may not be aware that Wm and I are not viewing this specific announcement in isolation but from having been watching the CJCLDS very closely over many years (esepcially Wm) and observing a strong trend towards convergence - including participating in many discussions at Junior Ganymede (where I am an occasional contributor). So this evaluation is pretty deeply considered.

WmJas was raised an active Mormon in the full sense and served a mission; I call myself a 'theoretical' (i.e. believing) Mormon: although 'my' church is evangelical conservative Anglican.

To take full spiritual responsibility does not mean abandoning the churches; but taking an active role in faith, maintaining discernment in all matters, and eschewing any temptation or habits of passivity in belief.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Mike, just to reiterate what Bruce has already said: I come from an active Mormon family and have a very deep respect for Mormon theology and the Mormon people. I read the Book of Mormon often. I met President Nelson briefly when I was a missionary and he was in the Quorum of the Twelve, and I consider him to be a good man. Nevertheless, the regrettable trend summed up by the line I quoted is a real one.

I am well aware of how easy it is to distort someone's views by quoting him out of context, and of course I don't imagine that President Nelson explicitly believes or would ever dream of saying that health is more important than salvation. Still, look at how readily the "safety first" language came to him, and how un-shocked everyone has been by it. This is a symptom of something very serious indeed.