Friday 9 November 2012

What should Christians do next?


So much bad news for Christians, from so many quarters - yet not unexpected, simply a confirmation and clarification that things are not about to get better.


(Things will not get better by stealth or behind the scenes. If there is a renewal, a reversal of the trend of decades, then it will be preceded by a cataclysmic wave of public, explicit repentance - something that could not and would not be hidden. It's not the kind of thing we would only discover from the voting in an election; not the kind of thing we would need to read about in the newspapers. It would be obvious - for those with eyes to see - wherever we turned.)


I find some sense of relief in knowing that the uncertainty is over, concealments are being cast-aside and the all-out onslaught has begun: the onslaught of Leftism on Christianity; principally on the marriage and family, as constituting the basis of the Christian life.

This is where the hammer blows are falling thick and fast.


(Naturally, since we are dealing with the Left, this is being done dishonestly and indirectly - by means of promoting anything and everything that is not marriage and the family, by weakening marriage and the family due to the miseries it inflicts upon individuals, or due to the misery of those who don't have them, of due to... oh any club will do the job. e.g. 'The family' is media-portrayed - implicitly and by statement - as a hotbed of violence and abuse, by reporting the violence and abuse inflicted by non-family members and casual sexual acquaintances and stating that this is family. And so on.) 


What should we do?

Not try to stop it. Did that work?

Don't cooperate with it? Yes, of course, absolutely: do the right thing (emphasis on 'do').

But strategic political activity cannot be beneficial because the people are unrepentantly evil; they do not acknowledge their own evil.  How, then, could politics lead to anything but more evil (political organizations being staffed almost entirely by people who publicly, explicitly, aggressively want evil things?)


Know our enemies, know that they are enemies.

Don't try to win by argument - arguments can only be won from shared premises, we Christians do not share premises with secular Leftists (and secular Leftists are almost everybody. When you are arguing in public, not just the arguer, but the mass of the audience will be hostile to you).

If it cannot be avoided, and if you must argue; then for Heavens sake argue from explicitly Christian premises.

"We are Christians, we believe xyz, therefore want what we want and not what they want, because we are Christians."

("And if you are not a Christian, then you cannot understand. If you want to understand, please become a Christian. Please.")

That is the essential argument, that should be the basis of every argument: that is what must be made clear. 



ajb said...

"we believe xyz"

I think it is difficult to even communicate what is believed. One can say words that are basically empty placeholders as far as a typical secularist can understand the concepts, and then indicate that therefore, one disagrees about policy xyz.

Bruce Charlton said...

@ajb - What one is able to say on the spur of the moment is one matter - but I meant something like: "For two thousand years, Christians have believed...".

Or, when Liberal Christianity is used as refutation: "Christianity is two thousand years old and eternally true; it wasn't invented in the 1960s."

Or: "I am talking about the beliefs of the most devout and holiest Christians. That is what I am trying to live up to."

The intention is not to 'win' an argument, at least not at that moment - but to stop the argument before it gets started, or else force it back to foundational principles:

"If you have got time and are interested, I can tell you what are my fundamental principles and why I believe them; can you tell me what are yours?"

What the Christian must try to avoid at all costs is to debate Leftist policies using Leftist evaluations - for example to argue about sex, marriage, education suing a utilitarian evaluation. (I read this all the time, arguments like 'wholesale promiscuity is bad because it makes people miserable', or 'affirmative action is bad because is harms those it purports to serve'.

Whether these arguments are valid or not, effective or not; such argument may win the battle at the cost of losing the war.

Alan Roebuck said...

When you say

“If it cannot be avoided, and if you must argue; then for Heavens sake argue from explicitly Christian premises.”

you are right on the money. This point of view is essentially the position of the so-called presuppositionalist school of Christian apologetics: Never adopt the thinking of the world, but instead use Christian thinking to show the irrationality and futility of non-Christian thinking.