I am sitting on a few comments to the recent posts that focus on the coming apart of Christendom, and am not sure I will post these. I am finding these destructive, not constructive. I do not like the mudslinging between traditions.
Yesterday’s post was based on a Protestant scholar’s evaluation of Protestantism; the post tomorrow is based on the concerns of two Protestant pastors about their own tradition. Such things are positive signs for me, that people are willing to consider the log in their own eye instead of the speck in another’s. Some of the commenters could learn something from this.
An example of an individual from one tradition looking into the history of all Christian traditions is John Strickland, through his books on the history of Christendom. Strickland, an Orthodox priest, treats all traditions with respect, but offers criticism where he sees it.
Another example is Paul VanderKLay, who demonstrates an excellent characteristic of being able to hold respectful conversations with Catholics, Orthodox, atheists, whatever – and this from a Dutch Reformed pastor, whose tradition considered the pope the anti-Christ.
There is value in each tradition, and there are reasons to find fault in each. Going back through history, the opportunities to find examples of either are almost endless.
So, what is my point in writing posts such as these, especially when I know that those who are new to this blog don’t understand my ground rules and purpose? Certainly, it is not to debate theology or doctrine. No one who reads this blog is qualified to speak authoritatively on such topics.
My point is simple: the world is coming apart, and our liberties are being crushed – and this has accelerated in the last twenty months. Only one institution can turn this tide, and the vast majority of the official representatives of this institution have failed completely – if not, in fact, are in service to the enemy.
There is a remnant, to be found out of each tradition, that sees and understands this. The battle this remnant faces is captured in Ephesians 6:12, and I have best described it here.
Those who see the world this way need not tear each other down. We are all we’ve got.
Thank you Bionic. We really are all in it together, in spite of the unfortunate and misleading use to which this phrase has been put in the last number of months. I am heartened by this post today. PegReplyDelete
Thank you, Peg.Delete
I agree with your basic analysis, especially your final point. May I add one thing?ReplyDelete
When Cardinal Newman, now saint, who was an Anglican, decided to look back into the history of the Church he found Catholicism. Now, an Orthodox could rightly counter what he found was Orthodoxy. As a Catholic, I find this debate almost comical, if it was not so divisive, as the Great Schism was, from what I've found, a division of two sides of the same coin. I've never understood why Orthodoxy is sometimes classified as a part of Protestantism. An interesting book from an Orthodox point of view is His Broken Body by Laurent Cleenewerk.
For a restoration of Christendom — that is, a politically decentralized confederacy of peaceful nations all joined together culturally by a shared reverence for Christ, the tradition of His Apostles, and the faith that He was and is the Son of God who actually died on the cross for the forgiveness of all our sins — we need not bend and distort the faith to the whims and fancies of our modern (and often damaged) contemporaries who dubiously claim the mantle of science and/or morality. Neither should we subject it to the unpredictable and infinitely variable winds of 'Sheila-ism' or the religion of ‘do as thou wilt’.ReplyDelete
We must instead focus on developing the disciplined personal zeal, knowledge, community, and love for Christ, our Lord and Savior, as He advised us to in the Gospels (sacred revelation), and as those whom He entrusted with safeguarding His message for at least a millennium advised us with the guidance of the Holy Spirit (sacred tradition), despite what the modern world pushes us to believe in the way of spurious science or so called social justice.
“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” — G.K. Chesterton
In order to accomplish this, we must go against the stream of modernity — the hedonism, the materialism, the nihilism, the democratism, and the centralization, militarization, and politicization of earthly authority. We must work toward a revival and a renewal of ‘the Church’, and not just the Catholic one, but in the words of C.S. Lewis, the one “spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity” , which to any demon looks as “terrible as an army with banners,” providing a magnificent “spectacle which makes [their] boldest tempters uneasy.”
We need a new flagship composed of all the valuable pieces of the shabby water laden vessels we’re currently floating on to fight the currents of the modern world leading us over the falls. This ship would have many banners and emblazoned sails, and though each of them alone could strike fear into the heart of any demon, together they’d make for a truly fearsome vanguard in the face of all the enemies of Christ.
I’m not advocating that all Christians should have a uniform theology and liturgy. Again, uniformity is not our God’s way. I’m advocating unity despite our differences, but in order to bring people together there must be some common ground to stand on. We need to at least agree on the historical reality of Jesus, His death on the cross, and the universality and veracity of His claims in the Gospels.
(I wrote the above conclusion in a 'Medium' post analyzing the dangers of Progressive Christianity. There was a fair amount of mud slinging in it towards them [all justified in my book. Lol], but I feel like for the most part, it fits with what you're talking about here. It was my only post on Medium.)