Tuesday 29 April 2014

Compensation and Christianity - some of those who have difficulty with churches are cats, not goats?


Given that people are so different one from another, it would make sense from a Christian perspective if there were different possible paths through life - it would make sense if personality and ability were subject to a law of compensation.

(Otherwise, surely we would all be born the same? - equally well fitted to following the usual path.)


In other words, if disadvantages from one perspective were actually advantages from another perspective: then self-knowledge could be used to chart a potentially successful and valid course through life.

The only major alternative to compensation would seem to be that most people are born seriously defective - and (through no fault of their own that they know of) have very little chance of making any spiritual progress/ theosis - and indeed are highly likely to fall back into sin and damnation.


This implies that people with personality types that are impulsive, aggressive, unempathic, solitary and so on - in other words people whose basic character is so ill-suited to church membership and the usually-best path - 'must' have compensatory advantages.

If these advantages could be discovered, and understood from a Christian perspective - then many more people might be able to regard themselves as Christian; and accept Christ's salvation, and embark of a successful life of spiritual progression - even when their relationship with the groups of people who constitute the churches would necessarily be either distant or uncomfortable.


In fact, not only should such people (must they) have a valid path to Christian spiritual progression - but this path 'must' also be one that enhances the spiritual progress of other people including those whose personality and path lies within the church (if regarded in the proper light - if properly understood and appropriately used).


Perhaps this is another, and better, way of regarding those who are too awkward a fit for the church - instead of trying to hammer square pegs into round holes pre-prepared for them...

Or, to change the metaphor, instead of regarding the non-sheep - who will not stay with the herd - as necessarily goats (although some will be goats); could not some such people instead be regarded as cats?

You cannot herd cats like sheep can be herded - and cats are often selfish, solitary and lazy; but there is such a thing as a Good cat!


The fullest description of Compensation - indeed although inspired, beautiful and assured; nonetheless a very extreme and unconvincing account - comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay of that name:



Note added - to extend/ torture the sheep/ goats/ cats metaphor even further, it should be noted that most of the most public dissenters and critics and leavers of the real Christian churches of the past several decades are none of these - but might be termed Black Sheep. That is to say the 'Liberals' who are constantly engaged in attacking and subverting the real Christian churches are sheep - but they are sheep of another religion - they are sheep of secular Leftism.

That is: they are sheep like in terms of their docility, obedience, conscientiousness, empathy, groupishness and general herd-ability - they are 'joiners'. They are not independent-minded cats, they are merely looking for a different kind of herd: as I say, sheep of secular Leftism. 

Another groups are 'sheep of a different species' - that is, they are real Christian sheep, but looking for a different Christian herd: for example those real Christians who change to another real Christian denomination. The sincere ones do so - not to find somewhere less onerous and where they can be more disobedient and get away with it - but in order to find a church where they can be more involved, more devout, more strict in their obedience to the church's rules. 

1 comment:

Don said...

I found that my Church no longer was interested in the good news nor in Salvation, nor indeed in anything that Christ might have done but in political posturing, celebrating deviancy, and undermining my society. I could still get the Gospel on my own but listening to one more sermon on how I was obligated to accept and embrace the sin-nature of my brother because we were 'all brothers in Christ' finally drove me away.

Now I sup elsewhere.