Francis Berger worries about my recent categorization of Romantic Christianity as inimical to the Church, who is the Body of Christ, and thus of Christ himself, and of the Christian revelation and religion he founded. But he doesn’t quite deny that the shoe fits.
It rather does. I’m not saying this to be mean, but rather as an act of charity in telling the truth. It was not a truth I came to happily, as I have for long read with profit and admiration the writings of several of the Romantic Christians. It was rather forced on me by an honest confrontation with what they had themselves recently written.
I should here enter two notes of caution. First, and far more importantly, I count myself an enemy of Christ and his Church. *Every sinner* is such an enemy, at least a bit. So, I hope Francis and Bruce don’t feel as though they are singled out for special derogation.
Second, I understand that not all Romantic Christians think that Church has been superseded by the development of human consciousness, or that she has been rendered illegitimate by the recent obedience of the hierarchs to the mandates of the civil authorities in respect to covid, or that direct intuition is to be credited more than the writings of all previous Christians. But Francis and Bruce Charlton have indeed recently written such things, and so far as I know they are among the more prominent Romantic Christians out there.
And whether or not the Romantic Christians meant them to do so, such statements controvert the entirety of Christianity – except the bits that live isolate in the heads of the Romantic Christians, that somehow or other arrived there from elsewhere than the Christian patrimony.
To reject “historians” in favor of direct intuition, as Bruce does, is among other things *to reject the historians who wrote the Bible,* which is the very Word of God: the Lógos himself. To reject the altar, as Francis does, is to reject the entire liturgical work of the Church, and the logic – and, indeed, the efficacious economic reality – of sacrifice, ergo of redemption, atonement, and salvation. And to propose that the sins of the hierarchs have ruined the Church in all her manifestations, as Bruce has so often done, is as much as to argue that communal Christian worship is impossible, given all the sinners necessarily involved whenever two or three are gathered together in the Name. It is to suppose that our sins are more powerful than God, so that we sinners can prevent his operations; and that is to demote God from Godhood, instead promoting ourselves above him.
I’m not inventing these conclusions. They are baked into the logic of what the Romantic Christians have themselves written. Until a day or two ago, I had never quite seen these consequences. I much doubt that they had seen them, either. But once you do see them, why there they are, and there is nothing more to be done about it.
The obsolescence of the altar *entails* that church is an utter waste of time. If it has happened, then all those hundreds of millions of Christians who still go to church are simply deluded. The repudiation of all Christian writers as merely second hand reportage *entails* the rejection of the Bible, and all other Christian writing (including that of the Romantic Christians, by the way). And if the sins of the hierarchs ruin the church, why then there cannot be, and has never been, a church to begin with; for, she was founded upon the “rock” of a thrice professed apostate and a company of disciples who ran away from the civil authorities.
I know the Romantic Christians are men of good will, and lovers of Christ. I know they don’t *want* to be enemies of the Body and Word of Christ. I wish all this were not so. But it is.
I would close by saying to the Romantic Christians: “Dude! You are *not smarter* than all the saintly sapient Christians who came before you. Don’t jump off the boat into the sea! Stay aboard with us, and help us fix the leaks in her hull and the mess in her rigging! But, if you are determined to jump ship, well then, for God’s sake, get on with it and stop preaching mutiny.”