Monday 11 April 2022

How much does it matter (ultimately) that nowadays nobody on earth lives in a Christian society?

It is a huge fact, yet one that is seldom made explicit, that nowadays nobody on earth lives in a Christian society. 

Of course, it could reasonably be said that - judging by the highest standards, as we should judge - nobody ever has! 

Nonetheless, there have been, throughout history and in several places, whole empires or nations where the rulers and the principles by which they ruled were explicitly Christian -- starting with the Roman Empire from Constantine and its descendants in Orthodox Eastern Europe and Catholic Western Europe; then later Protestant societies in Western Europe and its diaspora... and other relatively recent places such as Deseret (Utah) under Brigham Young. 

But now no such situation exists anywhere in the world, so far as I know. Furthermore, the world-as-a-whole has become actively anti-Christian - and operates a strategy of subversion, destruction and inversion of Christian churches and states that has now reached an advanced stage. 

Nobody now lives in a Christian society - and every Christian is experiencing the consequences of the ongoing corruption and 'convergence' of self-identified churches and (especially) church leaders; as these become assimilated to a Satan-affiliated global bureaucratic-media System.  

How much does this matter - ultimately? That is, in terms of our personal salvation and theosis? 

(In terms, that is, of our ability to choose to follow Jesus Christ to Heaven, and to learn the lessons of life that divine providence places in our path.)

Well, it matters greatly and fatally if we assume that our Christianity comes from without - if we assume that salvation and theosis are meant to be a matter of individual Men following the rules and practices of the society in which they find themselves.  

If salvation and theosis really depend on us obeying the sources of social authority around us - then in a world without Christian societies, nations or empires - there does not seem to be much, or any, chance of being a real Christian. 

Yet, if we assume instead that God (who is the prime creator) is able to create a divine providence for each individual one of His children; and if this personal concern is assumed to extend to providing the necessary means of salvation and the life-lessons for theosis - then it may not matter ultimately what kind of 'society' we dwell in. 

It would then be the case that God would simply take 'whatever this world has to offer', and shape it such that each and every Christian (who has chosen to follow Jesus Christ to Heaven) will get enough of what he needs from The World to be able to achieve his heart-felt goals...

And that this will be the case whatever kind of society that Christian happens to dwell-within. 

This is certainly how I see it. 

While I certainly do yearn-for, and try to attain, a Christian society (instead of - as I regard our current world - By-Far the most evil society that ever has been in human history)... 

Nonetheless, when my faith is strongest; I trust that God is always working via ongoing-creation to provide whatever I personally require for salvation and theosis; using those materials with which Men's evil choices have supplied Him. 

And that what applies for me, applies equally for all of God's other children whose desire is to follow Jesus. 


Bruce Charlton said...

Comment from KH "The first question I have is this: what is required for a society to be
considered Christian?"

I'm glad you asked me that! (as British politicians always used to say to their TV interviewers).

I mean that a society is *officially* Christian, including its rulers, and the principles and laws by which it is administered. Typically, the monarch was approved by the national/ or Catholic church, and a member of the church; all institutions must conform to religious principles.

This can happen by many different systems and several different religions; and it was normal (indeed necessary) for all coherent and robust societies before the transition towards the modern era.

John Venlet said...

Though I shared the same concerns you express about a Christian society, actually a lack thereof of such, I've arrived at the conclusion that a Christian society is not possible in this world. I base my conclusion on the Scriptural guidance that Christians are not to live in this world, even though we must live in this world, but not in the manner of which society in general lives in this world. This means that I must expect to be hated because of my refusal to live in this world, my refusal to not accept societal guidance in any way, shape, or form. While this is extremely difficult to accomplish, especially when one's own family members who do profess to be Christians ridicule you for your standoffishness of societal norms, which are actually abnormal, I think one must still refuse to live in the world. Will one be shunned, ridiculed, and at times be the only individual standing athwart the world? Yes. So be it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JV - I agree that this is what is Good - I would, however, add that Christ came to save sinners; and this means that while we should know and uphold the Good - we are not expected to live in full accordance with Good.

Men are not created capable of living without sin (i.e. in full harmony with God's divine intent for us), nor does this world allow it.

Indeed, for many people the choice is sin or death (sooner or not much later).

What this means is simply that we need to know that we sin, and repent it - and that is sufficient.

It is not, however, easy; because extremely few people will acknowledge their many and frequent sins.

For example, nowadays, particularly for middle class and professional people (lawyers, doctors, professors, teachers etc), their job entails that they lie nearly all the time - lie deliberately and strategically. They are also called upon to agree with (and actively advocate) evil-motivated socio-political strategies in relation to (for instance) the birdemic-peck, antiracism/ diversity, climate change and the sexual revolution... (all major institutions are pushing one or more of these evil agendas).

Yet how few can recognize or will acknowledge such facts? And if they do not acknowledge that they sin - every hour of every day - how can they repent?

...Well, maybe they Can repent as and when they are convinced of their sins (e.g. after death, when their spirits meet Jesus) and Then realize that such repentance is necessary for resurrection into Heaven and eternal life - But this will Only happen if they have Not made these sins into core/ bottom-line pseudo-virtues - which is, of course, the official morality of the Global Establishment.

(eg surgical-mutilation, hormone-poisoning and sexual-grooming of children is now officially a virtue - praised, subsidized, and mandatorily enforced by the state, mass media and all major institutions. Anyone who agree that this behaviour is a virtue, is hardly likely to repent their sins.)

My point is that although we can, in theory, get to Heaven on very easy terms - i.e. we don't need to stop sinning, we 'just' need to repent - in practice it seems that many or most people will not want Heaven, even at this amazingly generous price; because they have decided that Heaven is the 'real' evil, and (therefore) Hell is the place they want to be.

Lady Mermaid said...

This brings up a point that Francis Berger made recently about individual versus collective Christianity.

What many people miss is that a Christian society must consist of Christian individuals. It took nearly three hundred years of evangelism and persecution before the beginning of Christendom through Constatine. It's not possible to tack on a Christian government onto a secular population. This was tried w/ the Republic of Ireland and Franco's Spain. These governments were based on traditional Catholicism. However, the hearts and minds of the people were not transformed leading these societies to collapse within decades. Today, the Republic of Ireland is probably one of the most anti-Christian societies on earth. I long for a Christian society, but it can only come through individual changes of the heart, not top down system edicts.

Bruce Charlton said...

@LM - I agree with what you say.

But what was impossible in the twentieth century seems to have been possible some hundreds of years earlier. When I read about the best periods of the early centuries of the Eastern Roman Empire; or of some times and places in Medieval Western Europe - for example - I get a strong sense of a unity of life that was genuine and significant, albeit partial and imperfect (as all thing of this world will be). It used to be possible for nearly all the activities of living to be permeated by a Christian spirit in a community-wide sense - and for individuals to be immersed-in this life in a largely unselfconscious way.

So I can understand and feel the yearning for this kind of world - even though I regard it as impossible, and harmful to try, to achieve it from where and who we are now.

John Venlet said...

Dr. Charlton, your reply outlines a truth which I think about often, especially when I consider that I do have a board in my eye, and not just a sliver. I am thankful His grace is sufficient for me, if I sincerely repent.

A case in point, today, which touches on your thoughts about virtue signals, is the wearing of the mask. While at a doctor's appointment this morning, I had to don a mask. I did not wear one when I arrived. As soon as I stepped into the building, a staffer immediately rushed over and handed me a mask. I asked the person if they realized the pathogen, which the mask allegedly protects against, was smaller than the permeable barrier the mask is supposed to protect against. Although they agreed the mask was useless, they still insisted I don the mask. In doing so, I was participating in the lie that the mask provides protection, which, in my mind, means I was participating in the promulgation of the lie in a most visible way, and though this may seem a "little white lie" to individuals, because of masking being a worldwide phenomenon, the lie has great power.

@Lady Mermaid - I was unaware of how great the problem of anti-Christian sentiment is in the Republic of Ireland. I thought Finland was the leader in anti-Christian sentiment, as Finnish Christians have been charged with crimes in Finland for quoting The Scriptures.