Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The nature of a possible Christian mass revival in The West - a speculation

I believe that all good reform and repair in the West (a reversal of its corruption, nihilism, self-hatred, alienation; and embrace of evil as the inversion of Good) awaits a mass Christian revival among the native population - lacking which we lack the necessary quality and strength of motivation actually to make things net-better.

I do not think a mass Christian revival seems likely - but if it happened what might it look like?

First some negatives:

1. Revival will not come from an Episcopal church - that is, a church ruled by full-time Bishops. The Western malaise comes from the secular Leftism of the ruling elites, the Bishops are members of this elite and the Bishops have been corrupted into secular Leftism along with the rest of their class: they have led their churches into apostasy and ruin because they care more for their status among their class, than before God.

2. It should go without saying, but revival certainly will not come from a Liberal' church. Not all Liberal policies are anti-Christian, but those that are not, are nonetheless signed suicide notes. For example, the feminization of a church is not so much a theological problem, as a matter of stepping onto a greasy slope leading down to the extinction (or utter subordination) of that church: there have been innumerable examples and no counter examples.

Liberalization is secularism - Liberal church priorities are secular priorities. But real Christian priorities are usually the opposite of secular priorities; because the institutional role of the church is often to counteract the lopsided blindnesses of mainstream politics.

3. Not evangelical. The most successful Christian churches over the past half century in the West and among the native population have been Evangelical Protestant, Bible based churches (i.e. those whose attitude to scripture is that it is 'inerrant' - i.e. the churches that get called 'fundamentalist'). (This category also includes the charismatic and Pentecostal type churches.)

These churches have been the only mainstream groups that have bucked the trend of decline, expanding in numbers, attracting men and young people, and sustaining above replacement sized families.

But mainstream secularism seems to have got the measure of the Evangelical challenge, and the growth is now mainly among immigrants rather than natives, and some transfers of serious Christians from collapsing liberal churches. Also, there has been a general failure of the Evangelical leadership, and most have picked the secular side on one or more of the litmus test issues to do with the sexual revolution (e.g. 'no fault' divorce, ordination of women, status of extra-marital sexual relationships, redefinition of marriage).

If the Evangelical movement was going to lead to revival, it would have happened by now. And what applies to Evangelicals, also applies to small denominations and new Christian churches that have had some success in growing over the past century; including Mormons, Jehovah's witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists - they remain each very small, and growth among native Westerners has plateaued, and they are becoming increasingly immigrant churches.

(Which is fine from a Christian perspective, in a sense; but not from the premise of this essay - which is the need for a Western Christian revival before Western civilization can cease becoming more and more evils in many ways.)

So, my general conclusion is that if there is to be a mass Christian revival in the West, and among native Westerners, it will be some new kind of thing - some new kind of church.

1. It would need a great leader, or else it would not happen. It would need to recruit most of its leadership class from outwith the Western elites - because Western elites are so deeply corrupt.

2. Because it is new, the church would need to show signs of divine validation - to 'prove' or at least show that it really is a Christian revival, and not just a mass cult. So there would need to be many and convincing miracles and other strong evidence of the Holy Ghost at work.  (I suspect that modern miracles would need to go beyond healing in order to be convincing - because we are used to 'medical miracles' and can explain away almost anything miraculous in the medical realm.)

3. Membership would need to be 'instant' (and not after prolonged education or preparation - there being no suitable people to do this) - rather like the conversions in the Acts of the Aspostles; presumably by immersive baptism. Like all successful churches it would need to recruit predominantly from men, from young men particularly - and among them including plenty of vigorous and healthy young men.

4. The basic message would arise from repentance and recognition of the corruption and evil craziness of the modern West; but would need to be one of great hope and optimism, but not for this world but the next: in other words, it would be a 'Millennial' kind of movement. The message would, of course, need to be clear and simple (as for any mass movement).

But, due to the extent of corruption among the Western leadership class, it 'lifestyle' would not be as rule based as in the past (because there is no-one, no elite cadre, to enforce complex and detailed rules) - so the rules would need to be few and simple and clear; and a lot of the practical morality would need to be a matter of discerning and following inner guidance.

These speculations are Not a blueprint for the kind of church that I personally would like - although I would be pleased to see any kind of Christian revival. They are intended to give an idea of what might, potentially, happen.

And to alert myself and others to the fact that an effective modern Christian revival might have features that are new and in contrast with most existing churches; it might well appear to be a rather strange and unrespectable and scary kind of thing. This would present a problem in the sense that the Politically Correct secular Left elite would find it easy and justifiable to exterminate any incipient organized and growing, energetic religious movement among young native men - on the basis that it is a species of 'fascism'.

This would mean, I think, that the movement would be, would need to be, apparently 'harmless' and indeed apparently one which fitted well with the plans and needs of the ruling elites - at least until it had grown large and could protect itself.

Yet of course, if a movement is truly Christian it cannot be deceptive or dishonest about its intentions.

From this I infer that such a movement would achieve its successes not by any kind of active resistance, or confrontation, or 'fighting': but in a miraculous way - by remarkable 'coincidences' and strokes of 'luck'; by their enemies plans somehow having the opposite to intended effects...

The movement might be a fire in the hearts, a sense of destiny, a preparation and waiting... and then very soon that destiny visibly unrolling, and the simple and solid faith that this will continue.


Bruce B. said...

From my (American) point of view, the Christian groups that look the healthiest are conservative/fundamentalist Baptists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Traditionaistl Catholics.

Bruce Charlton said...

@BB - Indeed, yet we do not have a revival but instead accelerating collapse; so I infer *mass* revival - IF it happens - will probably Not come from this direction.

Bruce B. said...

I do not think there will be a mass revival in the west because I think, in a general sense, we are at the end of times. Of course, I don’t have some special gift of prophesy.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Yes, it would need to focus on attracting men. In particular, young, healthy men. Almost sounds like the Alt-Right.

Bruce Charlton said...

@LBF - But a Christian revival would potentially be *both* 1. Good, and 2. Able to motivate the healthy young men - unlike the Alt-Right, which is either one or the other.

ajb said...

I am interested in whether this post represents a shift in your views about Mormonism and its role in the West. Did you previously think Mormonism might be able to lead this kind of revival of Christianity within the West?

Bruce Charlton said...

@ajb - Well, Mormonism might *lead* (as it leads me) but the full active membership constitutes an elite religion of priests.

Odin's Raven said...

Not in the West, which is finished; but in the East, where an apparently miraculous revival of Orthodoxy is taking place under (effectively) a Christian Emperor.
Just possibly a bit later in China, where state controlled religion is growing. When the Communist Dynasty goes down, in the usual way and for the usual reasons, who can tell what might happen? It almost happened in the 19th c. when the leader of the Tai Ping rebels claimed to be the younger brother of Jesus.

Odin's Raven said...

Surprisingly, Christianity is gaining adherents in Albania.
Perhaps after several generations of persecution,there might be signs of a re-growth of Christianity in the West.

Bruce Charlton said...

@OR - Welcome as this would be, I do not count Albania as The West - at most it is very marginally such. So far The West shows no signs of the mass repentance (an explicit recognition that we have been - overall and overwhelmingly, for decades and increasingly - subverting and inverting God's wishes, plans and laws) which would be the necessary pre-requisite and beginning to a Christian revivial.