The undiluted voice of otherworldly Christianity

I have often said that Christianity by itself does not provide the form for any political society, and therefore must rely on non-Christian sources (e.g., the Classical republican tradition, or the Old Testament tradition) in order to maintain a functioning society on this earth; and that Western civilization is precisely such an amalgam of Christian and other traditions. Well, here’s a letter from a Christian who fully embraces the type of Christianity I’ve warned against, followed by my reply:

You wrote about conservativism,

“The religious conservatives, exemplified by Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition, uphold the historic spiritual core of Western civilization, which is Christian faith. But religious faith, however fervent, and opposition to abortion and homosexuality, however principled, do not comprise a complete or balanced cultural vision. Defining American civilization solely in terms of Christianity and its ethical absolutes, the Christian conservatives are religious reductionists, who are ill-equipped to defend America against the larger challenges of multiculturalism and globalism.”

There is a flaw to your argument. Christianity as defined in the New Testament is not a handmaiden to any culture or country. Faith in Christ is not secondary to one’s national citizenship or cultural context. On the contrary, this faith is absolute and universal, not relative or contextual.

Hebrews 12:22-24 states that “You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.”

This is the city of the believer—not the US or France or Brazil. It superceded all earthly habitation or conditions.

Hebrews 11:10 says that we, like Abraham, are looking “for the city which has foundation, whose architect and builder is God.”

That is the final home for the faithful and it is a present reality according to Hebrews 12:22-24—“You have come”—not you will come…

This is a global and universal objective. As Jesus said in the gospel of John, “If I be lifted up, I will draw ALL men to myself.” Irrespective of race, culture and time.

This is confirmed by Paul in Timothy that “it is the will of God to save ALL men.” Once again in Galatians 3:28 he says that in Christ there is neither Jew or Greek, male or female. All distinctions are mute!

All this signifies that America is secondary in significance for the Christian. In fact America is destined for the scrap heap in two ways. 2 Peter says that the world will be destroyed by fire in the end and that includes America. There is no provision for the American culture to be saved or salvaged apart from any other worldly realm. In fact America is destined to slide further and further into disgrace—2 Timothy 3 shows that the world will become a disgraceful place through a complete regression into sin. There is no progression through culture or government into “better things.” If there were then Christ would not be required.

To think of America as some kind of moral beacon in this world, or in time and history, is ludicrous. Everything is going into the ash heap, the U.S. included. That is why the Book of Hebrews is all about “better things”—a better city, a better saviour, a better outcome. The U.S. is a 200 year mirage in which everyone dies one way or another. So 70 American years counts as nothing.

God’s city is a global and universal in-gathering of folk of all sorts. Multiculturalism and multiracialism will not be problems then nor should they bother a true Christian today. The only task a true Christian has is to bring people into the kingdom of God—and the more opportunities he has because the unsaved and unwashed are teeming at his shores the better.

True Christians are not conservatives because frankly there is nothing good in this world to conserve. If there were, then God would not be creating a new heaven and a new earth (as per Revelation).

I replied:

You’ve just confirmed what I’ve said many times, that the New Testament by itself does not provide a guide for the organization and survival of any earthly society. That’s why Christianity, though it as at the core of Western civilization, is not the whole of it.

For you, America or any earthly city is not just “secondary,” as you put it. It is nothing, it is to be wiped out. That is not a position that a person who cares about his country or his civilization can take.

It’s clear that you have no knowledge of or respect for the Western Christian tradition, which, following Jesus, articulates the universe into the spiritual realm and the secular realm. For your type of Christian, there is only the spiritual realm.

What do you have to say, then, to anyone who cares about the preservation of his earthly society? Nothing, except that it must be left behind and destroyed. Thus you stand outside of and opposed to all normal political concerns of normal people. You have no more connection with politics than Jim Jones and his Kool-Aid drinkers, or that group in California a few years ago that committed suicide so that they could go up to some space ship.

For anyone who cares about his earthly society and its survival, Christians like you are evidence that Christianity can be a dissolving and destructive force, as dangerous to civilization as is liberalism or Communism or Islam.

That is not Christianity as I understand it, nor the Christianity of Augustine or Patrick or Boniface or Bernard or Aquinas or a thousand other great Christian priests and laymen over the centuries. It is a sectarian Christianity, split off from the traditions of the various branches of orthodox Christianity, from any rational understanding of the Bible, and from this world.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 21, 2005 09:32 AM | Send

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