Wednesday 12 September 2012

What should we try to do about evil Leftist pseudo-Christians?


Real Christianity in The West is small and weak and - even where it exists - partial and much less satisfactory than it could or should be.

I believe that many or most modern Western Christian 'churches' are overwhelmingly anti-Christian in their net effect - they are pseudo-Christians, subversives fakes which retain a few 'trappings' of real Christianity but pursue an agenda that is dictated by Leftism.

Think of an Episcopalian church where a priestess is robed in hideous modern vestments, using a rewritten Leftist liturgy and 'inclusive language' Bible, bowdlerized hymns and worship songs, preaching a sermon about the need for socialist policies in Africa. Where is the Christianity? - literally in just a few words, dotted here and there, but clothed in bureaucratic prose stripped of beauty, embedded in a Leftist context, and glossed in a worldly framework.

This kind of thing was prophesied, and is a results of millions of people's bad decisions, and the increased domination of the forces of purposive evil, and reflects that we are in a terrible situation - I mean our society is visibly falling into sin with obvious signs of depravity more common and pervasive every month.


But if you are a Christian, it is not rational to treat 'Christianity' (i.e. The Church - the institution) as if it was the same kind of thing as Universities, The Legal Profession or The Military - that is just another increasingly corrupt institution; because it is of the essence of Christianity that The Church is not primarily a social system.

I saw it well put the other day (from memory) that The Church is a mystery with an institution - and not an institution that contains a mystery.

(I mean, of course, a mystery in the Christian sense.)


This is simply not debatable - The Church is of its essence a mystery.

The institution must grow from this - it is essential, sometimes useful and anyway inevitable, but it is not the essence. And of course the mystery of the Church is not amenable to measurement etc.

Nobody would disagree that it is possible, has happened, that the Christian 'church' may be huge and powerful but without the mystery - a hollow shell.

And something like the opposite could be true, as in the Soviet Union when an intense and surprisingly large Christianity apparently survived in the catacomb church. There were many martyrs for the faith.

Numbers and percentages are not the essence of the Church. Important in a way, but not the essence. Plain example: a Saint has a much much greater impact than large numbers of lower level Christians - let's say someone like Fr Seraphim Rose with a hand worked printing press in a two man skete in rural North California.


I would say (echoing Peter Kreeft) the biggest problem of modern Western Christianity is the lack of Saints - not the lack of numbers (although the two are not completely unrelated).

The US has been the centre of world Christianity for more than a century - but hasn't produced many figures of the stature of Saints; indeed, some Christian denominations are reluctant to allow the reality of qualitatively higher levels of Holiness in some people, which could be a big problem if it prevents people even trying.


In sum, the institution of Christianity is in its essence about Salvation, Holiness... it is about Christian goals, and it is this which must be the focus, and where lie the problems that must be 'fixed'.

Yes, most people who call themselves Christians are wrong about the sexual revolution, yes this does block them from progress and keeps them trapped in Leftism - but while I am horrified and angry about this subversion, ultimately it is a symptom not a cause.

Indeed the sexual revolution is a symptom of a fixation upon worldly and secular matters and a rejection of the transcendental - it is a symptom of hedonism replacing salvation as the ultimate goal of human life.

Secular arguments against Leftism that are based on this-worldly hedonism (i.e. the secular Right) will further damage, not help, Christianity.


So although people should certainly stop being Leftists, rejection of Leftism must not be the focus of Christian life, nor even a prerequisite.

If someone becomes a real Christian, and deepens their faith, then they will shed their Leftism incrementally, a piece at a time.

But shedding their Leftism a piece at a time will not in and of itself do anything at all towards them becoming a Christian - and if they shed their Leftism for worldly reasons, they will simply become a different type of Leftist; because anti-Christian, this-worldly atheism is the root and motivation of Leftism.


[Note: This post was adapted from a Sept 12 comment at Jim's Blog which was in response to a Sept 11 discussion at Foseti ]



Jonathan C said...

A few weeks ago, I attended an evening mass at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral (which is Episcopalian); only the first or second mass I've attended since my return to Christianity. As if to fulfill a cliche, the sermon was a rant about the attitudes of some churches/authorities/whomever to gay issues, especially gay marriage. It was such a direct jump into the liberal political playbook that I had to blink a few times to reassure myself I was in reality and not a TV show.

When the collection plate came around, I felt like I'd be mocking God to put any money in.

It's a shame, as it's such a beautiful cathedral with such a fine organ. I guess I'll keep going for the concerts, but I won't attend another mass there.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JC - it can a bit like a 'black mass' - a subversive parody of the real thing, designed to achieve the opposite of the real thing.

On the other hand, the liturgy (when in traditional language, especially the Book of Common Prayer) and scriptural readings (when from the the 'King James' Bible) may be PURE GOLD; even when the sermon and intercessionary prayers are Leftist garbage.

BruceB said...

Jonathan C,

Try to find a Continuuing Anglican Parish. The major jurisdictions in the U.S. are the Anglican Catholic Church, the Anglican Province of America, the Anglican Church of America, the Anglican Province of Christ the King, and the United Episcopal Church of North America. The Anglican Continuum has their links.

Anonymous said...

I too have had problems finding a Church I think would do more good then harm to my spiritual well being. Sometimes I think I'd settle for one that didn't have a rock band play for most of the sermon.

I feel I'd get a lot more out of Bible study and discussion then mass.

Wurmbrand said...

To American seekers of solid Christianity: Consider the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Ryan said...

"Pope Benedict XVI delivered an address from the Vatican on Sunday in which he suggested that those who disagree with Catholic teachings or do not believe in Jesus Christ should leave the church rather than become betrayers like Judas."

So basically, just a couple weeks ago, and lacking all signs of subtlety, the leader of the largest Christian Church in the world addressed any heterodox pseudo-followers who still pretend to be with Christ and asked them to "kindly leave." This strikes me as rather significant -- more so than one might initially think -- especially when considered along and in light of the following:

"In the early days of his Pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI was quoted to say that he envisioned the immediate future of the Church to be a smaller but more pure Church."

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ryan - I'd like to think there were subtle signs of a shift - but the Pope has been saying this for several years already to my certain knowledge.

However, any genuine shift in the Zeitgeist in a Christian direction, if it happened, would not sneak up on people, and will not be subtle - but will create a sensation and be attacked by the Left - media, politicians, govt officials, teachers etc.

After all, if pseudo-Christians left the RC church it would shrink down to - what? a quarter or less of the lay members, a tenth of priests? At any rate, what was left would be much reduced.

After a while numbers would rise again, and things would be vastly more healthy - but it is getting to the other side of that immediate and apparently catastrophic slump which would be so difficult for the 'organization' to manage - and the organization would not support anyone who proposed such a policy.

Benedict XVI is a wise and holy man, and I believe he would be prepared to pay the price - but I think the people around him would stop it if they could, as they have tried to thwart the Anglican Ordinariate.

BruceB said...

Mr. Nelson, do you recommend WELS or the CLC? We’ve been to a WELS church. They seem more conservative than the Missouri Synod. Are they good confessional Lutherans?