Wm. Lewis on Lawrence Auster on Christian Vulnerability to Liberalism

In a comment here at the Orthosphere, Wm. Lewis quotes Lawrence Auster to great effect in responding to the claim made by some that Protestantism is the mother of Liberalism:

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Some commenters have observed, correctly, that formerly Protestant countries are in the vanguard of liberalism and its destruction of the West. This is due not to some defect within Protestantism; formerly Roman Catholic countries are also being destroyed by liberalism. We also see leaders within the Roman Catholic Church advancing liberal destruction (e.g., American bishops advocating open borders), so vulnerability to liberalism is unique neither to Protestantism nor to Roman Catholicism.

Whence this weakness to liberalism? Any number of factors could be cited, but one of the most important is the inherent risk, as Lawrence Auster put it, of Christian society: Continue reading

An Open Letter to Pope Francis

A guest post by Mark Citadel:

Your Holiness:

I write to you as an outsider. A sincere Roman Catholic might not write such a letter out of his admirable respect for the Papacy, and a letter written by a non-Christian might mean little to you. And so it falls to me to say what must be said. I want to start by saying that we of the Eastern Orthodox tradition consider ourselves to practice our faith in the character of the earliest Christians, and though it might seem arrogant, we hold that through tired eyes Orthodoxy has witnessed many great tragedies; the Diocletian Persecutions, the fall of Constantinople, the abduction of thousands of Serb boys and Greek girls to serve as Janissaries and courtesans, and of course the scourge of Bolshevism that cloaked the entire East in poverty and despair for almost a century. Though you consider us schismatics, I would hope that you do not think us fools, and your cordial relations with His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, as well as your historic meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus, leaves me with hope that you will consider this carefully.

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The Non-religious Objection to Homosexuality Cannot be Sustained

At his blog, [Correction: A commenter says she’s a woman] in a post having nothing to do with the present topic, EvolutionistX writes

Take the most common argument against homosexuality: “God says it is a sin.” Young people are fairly atheist, believe in separation of church and state, and think a god who doesn’t like gay people is a jerk. This argument doesn’t just fail at convincing young people that gay marriage is bad; it also convinces them that God is bad.

By contrast, a simple graph showing STD rates among gay people makes a pretty persuasive argument that the “gay lifestyle” isn’t terribly healthy.

She’s not the only one to make such an observation. Radio talk show host Michael Medved has said much the same thing, that we should avoid religious arguments against homosexuality in the political arena.

Problem is, if God doesn’t oppose homosexuality then there’s ultimately nothing wrong with it. Continue reading

More about the Proposed Christian Pact

In the post proposing the Pact, I wrote

The pact would start with members of the three varieties of Christianity affirming their right to disagree with one another, both in the sense of holding different convictions and of speaking publicly against the errors of the other parties.

This point needs clarification. Here are some situations I had in mind when writing these words: Continue reading

A Pact between Factions of Christendom?

Protestants, Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox might regard each other as different religions (then again, they might not), but our enemies certainly don’t. For liberals, Moslems, homosexualists, feminists, radical environmentalists, et al, the three versions of Christianity are just slightly different flavors of the same poison. Or, to switch metaphors, our common enemies see Christians of all sorts as essentially the same pack of rats who deserve to be exterminated. Continue reading

Rene Girard 1923 – 2015

Girard

I have just learned of the death of Rene Girard.  In a healthy society, Girard would have been recognized as a thinker of the first order – and in a spiritually revived society, he will receive that attribution.  My first “scholarly publication” was an interview with M. Girard prefaced by an introduction to his work in 1986.  Girard treated even my stupid questions as serious.  The experience was in many ways life-changing for me.  Other people report the same.  I did not know Girard well, but I knew him now and again over the years and found him invariably to be friendly, ordinary, magnificently clear-sighted, and helpful.  He will be sorely missed, not only by his family and close friends,but also by his many students and readers.  I offer below an essay from 2008 on “The Gist of Rene Girard.”

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The Perils of Public Prayer

I agree with the epigraph that stands at the head of the Orthosphere webpage. “Wherever an altar is found, there civilization exists.” If the wise Savoyard had ventured the converse formulation, I would agree with that also. For there can be no civilization where an altar is absent. The reason for this is plain enough. Civilization is man’s attempt to rise from brutality; an altar is a barred gate through which we see how very far we have to go. Remove the altar and there is no prospect of higher ground; remove the prospect of higher ground and we will shrug, turn away, and trudge back to the mire from whence we came.

The same might be said of prayer, as it both confirms and reveals the higher ground. Prayer is rather like a rope with which a benighted wanderer hopes to raise himself from a sucking morass. He casts his coil into the gloom, perchance it catches or is caught, and with this anchored line he heaves and hauls and slowly makes his upward way. This is why civilization cannot survive without prayer. If the rope does not catch, if the rope is not cast, there is nothing to climb. There is nothing but the sucking morass.

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Christian, is the Unbeliever Your Enemy?

Short answer:  In one sense, no. In another sense, maybe. In yet another sense, definitely yes.

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Mark Citadel, at his blog, posts an excellent essay Parallel Blueprint to Victory. In it he points to the successful colonization of parts of Western Europe by Muslims who reject their host societies, and he urges Christians to learn from their success.  This post is not an evaluation of Mr. Citadel’s entire essay, but a meditation on part of it: Are unbelievers our enemies?

Some quotes from Mr. Citadel:

The solution for us [traditionalists] is not much different from the solution that Muslim immigrants to Europe have exemplified.

We call this the ‘parallel society’. This is not the creation of a hermit kingdom, it is the creation of [an] entirely separate and hostile social system that runs alongside the main culture.

…this approach is much more openly hostile than the one which [Rod] Dreher espoused, and I would argue it is this aggressive nature that determines long-term stagnation or long-term victory.

[snip]

Christians primarily need to start raising their children on two essential doctrines of this struggle.

1) You are Christian, you were born Christian, you will die Christian.

2) The world is not Christian. The world is your enemy.

[Emphasis in original.]

The key word for the present discussion is hostile. Since we are Christians, says Mr. Citadel, we should be hostile to those who are hostile to us. But to what extent are unbelievers our enemies? Continue reading

To the Manosphere: There is a Christianity you can Respect

It’s called “Confessional Protestantism.” It’s small, and mostly unknown, but it’s solid.

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The problem with contemporary Christianity is its liberalism. Trying to be popular with the masses, the church generally accepts the thinking of the contemporary world, feminism included. Being Christian, it adds to this mix a belief in Jesus Christ. But when the teachings of Christ conflict with liberalism, today’s church generally sides with the world, even if it tries to dress up worldly thinking in Christian clothing.

Today, many conservative Christians are theologically Christian but philosophically liberal. They believe in the Holy Trinity, and also in multiculturalism. They affirm that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and that we must stop making homosexuals feel excluded. They receive holy communion, and they protest for more rights for immigrants.

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The way to stop this nonsense is first to identify that your highest authority is the written word of God, the Bible. Other authorities can be corrupted, but the Word of God is a matter of public record. Continue reading

A Call to the Christian Manosphere: be More Christian

The Manosphere criticizes Christendom, and it partly deserves it. But there are Christian and non-Christian ways to criticize.

The Manosphere’s basic critique of Western Christendom is that it panders to feminism. Enamored of the world, the church often propagates the worldly, feminist idea that the man is to blame and the woman is justified in rebellion. Instead of affirming biblical and historical Christian teaching that the man is to be the head of the family and that the wife is to submit to her husband’s leadership, many Evangelical churches, while giving an occasional nod to biblical teaching, present a de facto doctrine that gives the woman veto power. Without acknowledging it, they often pander to the wife’s right to feel offended, and sometimes even to divorce, if she feels that her man is mistreating her or not meeting her needs.

Broadly speaking, I agree with the Manosphere’s critique. When they err, it is usually an exaggeration of a valid point rather than a fundamental untruth. But something important is missing.

To understand what’s missing, consider the notion of law versus gospel: Continue reading