Friday, January 22, 2010

Christianity and Pseudo-Christianity

I've subscribed to First Things this past year, and when the February 2010 issue arrived in the letter box to-day (scarily early, you'll agree) I was interested in the article within it about the failure of "Christianity Lite" or what I would more robustly term pseudo-Christianity, that modern pestiferous misbelief which consists in dumping doctrine and morals in favour of utter conformity to the low standards of the carnal world: for, surprise, surprise, persons pursuing such an agenda find that ultimately they believe nothing nor have any distinctive practices, and slump into practical atheism, thereby joining the massa damnata.

Such has been the trajectory of Anglicanism, for instance: in the 1950's, about half of the members of the C. of E. attended church on Sundays, now only 7% does; unsurprisingly, this decline, which if anything has only sped up markedly since the introduction of women's ordination and similar mischief, is self-evidently terminal.

The author (Mary Eberstadt) essentially establishes a corollary to Chesterton's bon mot that Christianity has not so much been tried and found wanting, as not been tried!  This fake pseudo-Christian pap has proved repulsive, not attractive - simply because it contains hardly anything.  Even a Protestantism that believes something and teaches moral strictures possesses something of good and is therefore attractive to the will; a modern mainline Protestant denial of most anything supernatural, being eviscerated of most truth, goodness and beauty, dies of inanition because it has no allure at all.

Eberstadt notes in particular that it is the area of sexual morality that has been the especial zone of contention, or rather of surrender to worldly ways, proceeding through three phases: from initial allowance of some formerly-forbidden behaviour as a special derogation, through increasing spread, to complete ex post facto acceptance as an imagined good or even a positive duty.  The classic example is the shameful great betrayal at the 1930 Lambeth Conference of all of Christian historic opposition to contraception: its notorious Resolution 15 permitted contraception only within marriage in very narrowly-defined cases, but from this Anglican cave-in the diseased contraceptive mentality rapidly took hold throughout most of Protestantism (initially, Lutherans fulminated against it, but within a generation commonly practised this crime), and soon it became extolled as a positive good, to counteract the myth of population explosion (whose subtext was, We don't want a tidal wave of Catholics and lesser breeds to swamp WASP's).  All succeeding extensions of approval of sexual immorality, down to the pro-homosexual madness of U.S. Episcopalians, have proceeded in the same manner, but faster...

Of course, the irony is that all sects permitting contraception, divorce, fornication, unnatural acts and so forth, naming what is evil as good, have compassed their own demographic demise - every sin is its own punishment, after all, and by sinning against the right use of reproduction (which as any biologist would explain is ordered to the propagation of the species, and indeed results in the survival of the fittest), they have gained sterility.  Sociologists in America have calculated that a large fraction of the decline in mainstream Protestant groups is explainable by their lack of offspring!

Catholicism of course is tainted, on the popular level (and among clergy afflicted with the contraceptive and abortifacient mentality - the latter being evident in the self-hating priests and bishops who delight in getting rid of seminarians), by this plague: well, put simply, those who practice what is opposed to a right theology of the body will end having no bodies to follow them.  The future belongs to those who have children and pass onto them the faith, giving birth to them naturally, then assisting at their supernatural rebirth.  Thanks be to God, the Church is indefectible, and will not be wanting those kept faithful by the Lord, faithfully initiating new generations.

Holy Mother Church, bringing forth the faithful children of righteousness, sons of God and co-heirs of Christ from the font made fertile by the Holy Ghost, necessarily opposes all misuse of the natural generative faculties.  Only pseudo-Christians are so mad as to make their pretended churches quite literally fruitless, having neither physical descendants nor engendering and nurturing in the Faith new believers.


umblepie said...

A thoughtful and informative post. All you say makes good sense, both spiritually and humanly speaking. Thanks.

Anthony Bidgood said...

Dear Joshua,

Orthodox Bishop Ware's essay, "Strange but Familiar" gives an interesting and thoughtful account of 1950's Anglicanism.

I have a photograph from the Plymouth Independent 'captioned',
"DAY OUT: Members of the St Mark Mothers' Union from Bristol prepare for an outing to visit churches in Somerset". This was from the 1950's and it seems unimaginable, even in the West Country today.

In Christo,

Matthias said...

"all sects permitting contraception, divorce, fornication, unnatural acts and so forth, naming what is evil as good, have compassed their own demographic demise" being an ex member of the UCA i can see that your remarks are very well spot on.
In my own Baptist church there have been quite a few babies born and i think there are at least 6 more in the wings.
oh and Happy New year Joshua