Tuesday 15 January 2019

For Heaven's sake, make an Effort with Christianity (like you do with politics)!

Over the past couple of hundred years, many millions of Western people have made a really major Effort to fix their own political views.

They have expended many hours per week, for many years of their lives - sometimes even their whole lives - learning about politics; reading, thinking, discussing, trying-out ideas; modifying, tinkering, correcting...  Joining parties, changing parties, leaving parties; contributing money and time, going on marches and demonstrations; they do it at work and during leisure.

The mass and social media are full of this - newspapers, magazines, mainstream best selling books, textbooks, TV, movies, college courses... all are full of politics. The social media are full of people arguing about politics, virtue-signalling about politics. Great shoals of people do politics first thing in the morning and last thing at night; and probably dream about politics.

Everybody expects that they need to hammer-out their own particular political view. 

What about Christianity? For several generations, plenty of people have been dissatisfied with Christianity - just like they are dissatisfied with politics. But when it comes to Christianity - they find something they don't like and then... They give up

People don't work on their Christianity like they work on their politics." Christianity?" A glance and then - "Nah!" "I cannot accept what I have vaguely heard it is all about? I can't be bothered". "This church says X, which I am sure is wrong - so that's it. I flush whole thing down the toilet."

And when modern people do work on Christianity, it is usually merely in order to bring their Christianity into line with their politics!

As I say, this has been going on since about 1800. I wrote the other day about an early example of the phenomenon: Ralph Waldo Emerson. As a young man in his twenties, he ran into problems with the church of which he was minister; and gave-up on Christianity altogether. This process has been recapitulated multiple-millions of times since; although the age at which people give-up has become younger and younger.

Yet real life is about religion, not about politics.

Religion addresses the big issues and the minutiae of living for every single person and all the time.

Politics, by contrast, is a tissue of manipulative lies and purely a spectator sport for 99% of its participants. For all that we devote so much of our lives to it; politics consists merely in shouting inaudible encouragement or abuse from the touchlines.

If only people would stop wasting their time on politics and use their precious effort and resources on understanding Christianity and working on it!

Christianity is just the beginning; it is a problem that each person needs to engage for himself; it is not something handed on a plate for immediate consumption or rejection.

People would never briefly peruse a brief list of what it means to be a progressive or a conservative - and then take it or leave it, as a whole, for the rest of their lives, without further discussion. But they adopt exactly this casual and lazy attitude to Christianity.

We have each got to make an effort to fix our Christianity; like we each make an effort to fix our politics. That means doing what it takes, and keeping on doing what it takes until we have fixed it.

It means reading, discussing, trying-out ideas; modifying, tinkering, correcting; joining groups, contributing money and time, at work and during leisure - most of all, and above all, it means thinking


ToTheRightRon said...

Thank you, I needed that. Very timely for me also, wonderful synchronicity with the direction my thoughts have been focused lately. Focusing so intently on politics is focusing on the principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, the spiritual wickedness in high places. Lately I’ve come to realize I’ve historically been obsessed, maybe possessed, in wrong things and directions of thought. My meditation hasn’t been on the true, good and beautiful things of God but on opposition to the works of Satan, particularly in culture and politics. Following politics has become like watching a reality show, or a sports game where you root for your team. It is vanity. Single minded obsession with politics is like interacting with Grima Wormtongue daily. It’s depressing, by design.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ron - I like the Wormtongue comparison!

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I'm happy to report that I currently spend *none* of my time on politics, and I don't even feel guilty about it.

Coyotewise said...

Amen. Politics (both 'left' and 'right') is the soy-based replacement for religion that is responsible for the the weird mutations of men's souls and minds. And even their bodies.