Sunday, December 31, 2017

The New Year and Early Christian Perspectives on Politics and Faith

As the sun sets on 2017 the cold winds of winter descend upon us, and we welcome the New Year. I find myself reflecting on all that has occurred in the past year, much as all of you are I am sure. On the personal level we have each experienced laughter and tears, triumphs and loss. Hopefully we have all shared as well our faith in Christ as we celebrated and mourned. Our Savior was indeed there with us through each and every moment, and we all have much to be thankful for.

Beyond these personal experiences of the outgoing year are those national, cultural issues and experiences which have, to one degree or another, also had an impact on all of us. That is, the racial strife, the economic perils, the international sabre rattling, and the general sense that the world's "leaders" have gone stark raving mad. These sad realities have impressed itself upon me this; I believe we have discovered beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Western political process no longer works as perhaps it should, or as we thought it would. Elections give us candidates who say what is convenient to get elected, and once we have expended money, time and energy in advancing the perceived agenda of these candidates and they are elected, we find ourselves disappointed at the outcome. Once again we have elected men and women who have betrayed us, who likely never truly held the same ideals as we. They do not serve us, our interests, or seek our highest good. In fact, while paying lip service to these things they do exactly the opposite. It is no wonder the early Christians had the attitude toward government that they did. They, too, lived in a decadent pagan culture that dispossessed them and persecuted them. Our government cannot say that it is any different. It is ruled over by self centered men and women, sold out to special interests for personal gain; special interests which never have the good of the people in mind. Both parties, Republican and Democrat, are liberal movements. Both advance a liberal agenda. Both are the enemies of truth, of a healthy organic culture, and- if we are to speak honestly- of the Christian worldview. Part of the problem is we have so fused our faith to Americanisms like "liberty" and "equality", and to liberal humanistic/deistic documents like the Constitution and Bill of Rights, that many sectors of modern American evangelicalism could legitimately be called an Americanist heresy. The truths that this nations was not founded as a Christian nation, nor does it exist as one are entirely lost on many evangelicals, who would point to the revisionist pablum of the likes of David Barton for a defense. Make no mistake about it: the United States is not now, nor ever has been, a Christian nation.

"By the counsels of holy men, states are managed well."                           - Clement of Alexandria

If our state is not  managed well (and it is not), it is only because we have no holy men giving it moral and ethical guidance. Not only are there no holy men giving it counsel, but holy men are disqualified from doing so at the outset by virtue of the anti-Christian attitudes of a society under the control of Cultural Marxism and a "separation of church and state" that would have made Voltaire smile with pride. 

To be sure, there are those Christian brothers and sisters who, meaning well, tell us we must work within this corrupt, diseased system; that we must continually vote for candidates based not on which is virtuous and most likely to advance the cause of Christian morals, values and ethics, but on the flimsy basis of pragmatism. That is, choose the lesser of the evils offered to us. In the last election it was either vote for Trump (who falsely proposed some solid ideals), or for Clinton. Any suggestion that a Christian could not or should not vote for either was met with derision and shrill cries of "A vote for (fill in the blank), or abstaining from voting is a vote for Hillary!" As I said then, I say now: show me anywhere in Scripture where Christ advises us to opt for an evil, even a lesser one. This constant compromise is exactly why Christians are facing the disenfranchisement we are today. You cannot compromise with evil.

What, then, are we to do? Elections do nothing to advance the cause of a healthy Christian culture. What must be done is to look to our traditions- those things that we know have worked, and worked for our forebears in the Faith. So, one of the things I will personally begin to explore are alternatives to this continual process of compromise we see in modern Christianity. As per my usual method, I will be looking primarily to the early church throughout 2018 for answers to the following questions:

  • How is being "in the world, but not of the world" best practiced in the current year?
  • How did the early church view community and what can that understanding do for us now?
  • What did the early Christian community look like as it moved about in a hostile pagan culture, and how can that help inform us as to what we should look like in the modern hostile pagan culture?
  • Is there a place for the intentional village approach, or are we simply doomed to live in the urban ghettos of Modernity?
  • How can such intentional Christian Traditionalist villages be realized in concrete terms?
  • What are the implications of such a shift in lifestyle/worldview for both individuals and families?
I hope you will continue to follow this website in 2018 as we explore these questions and much, much more. Your continued readership and prayers are needed and appreciated. I also encourage those with a passion for the early church to consider contributing to the website by submitting your articles as well. 

May our Lord bless each of you and guide you throughout the New Year!

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