The future of God I will briefly discuss is that of Christianity and its place in the future of Western Civilization. Christianity was obviously foundational in the rise of the West by uniting the European tribes under Christendom, but the Enlightenment and development of forensic science in archeology, natural history, linguistics, and philology have led to Christianity becoming attenuated today and something of an endangered species as the cult underlying our culture.
There are many millions of sincere believers in the risen Jesus of Nazareth in the West but none command the kind of respect among our intelligentsia and bien-pensant as theologians, clerics, prelates, popes did in ages past. At best, the pope today may not even be accorded the amount of respect as the current Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of a very small and obscure Buddhist sect.
Among most leaders and leading thinkers of the traditional Right, Christianity is not always regarded highly or as helpful. While they acknowledge a debt to Christendom and its leading role in the rise of our civilization and defense against Islam; it is important to also acknowledge that Christianity is the real engine of science and intellectual inquiry into the nature of Man, God, and the Universe.
To put it as simply and brusquely as possible (I’m able to offer a longer defense of my propositions if engaged) here are four things a rational and faith filled Christian can or need no longer believe:
1) God writes books. (‘Inspired’ being an undefined circumlocution.)
2) God organizes people into religions.
3) God chooses a people to be special to Him.
4) God assigns missions to prophets and individuals.
Here are things that God does do:
1) God reveals himself directly to people as one of three People or manifests Himself in less obvious ways through grace, apparition, or miracle.
2) God guides the prayerful to knowledge and wisdom. Only the Truth can impart truth.
3) God works through Creation in any manner he chooses with a purpose.
Stripped of unnecessary man-made appurtenances, accretions, aggregations, and strained pieties, Christianity may once again fully inspire and undergird the West if Christianity can reform its theology and jettison claims that no longer persuade rational men.
Christianity is in need of conversion, a change of heart, if it is to survive as the only viable explanation of the meaning of life (and death) that sustains, drives, and inheres for human life to thrive and prosper as moral beings with supernatural being and destiny.
When Christians embrace this simpler, truer, and reborn faith, then they will stand and defend that faith tooth and nail (as they once did against Islam and paganism), rejecting the depravities and corruption of materialism, hedonism, secularism, Marxism, and false religions, especially Islam.
Of course, most people, ruling elites and the masses, will be nominal in their practice of Christianity as they always have been, but the formation of belief, inculcating children with proper morals and mechanics of belief, the possibility of genuine spiritual relief and guidance, will animate civilization and give it backbone, certainty, optimism, and energy. It will renew the arts and sciences.
The defense of the West cannot succeed without a revival of faith, but that old time religion will never suffice against the irrefutable criticism that has accrued over the last few hundred years as science and scholarship eviscerate so many doctrines and assumptions. Studies in historicity of the Old and New Testaments have demonstrated enormous fictions in the Old (Solomon never was, Jericho never fell to Joshua, Sennacherib’s army wasn’t destroyed by plague, etc), and textual problems for the New making attribution to eyewitnesses problematic when a Medieval scribe puts words in Jesus’ mouth.
Human beings can never leave well enough alone. The Resurrection wasn’t enough as the simple basis of faith, i.e. death is not death, love is greater than death, God cares and saves.
Humans had to make salvation more, and explain it with elaborate metaphors and analogies, attaching further supernatural claims, and injecting pious romantic notions onto creeds. They took a simple Cross and remade it into an enormously contrived work of filigree, enamel, jewels, precious metals, icons, saints, canons, webs of theology, and centralized power.
God is the ultimate in simplicity. He is Truth, Love, Beauty, Goodness. What’s simpler than that? Hydrogen is the simplest element, but it leads to a vast complexity of matter and energy. Water is simple, and leads to a stunning variety of life as do four simple nucleic acids. In the Church, people become enamored of elaborate theology and doctrines, pure trivia, rather than submitting to the simple and living God. Men prefer to talk, write, argue, concern themselves with legalisms, create elaborate canons, or build systems than pray their way to communion with the actual living God, distracting themselves with contrived miscellany.
The Church, even the Protestant evangelical ones, is overwhelmed with atavisms, mutations, and corruptions that present sensible men, who sincerely desire salvation and wisdom, with insurmountable burdens in many cases, or imposes on intelligent adherents suspension of reason upon a great many essentially meaningless matters rather than simply following the risen God who has revealed Himself to them. Thus making smart believers into unconvincing apologists having to defend the indefensible, refute the irrefutable, and assert the nonfactual.
Is Darwinism false? Yes, but not because the Bible says so, but because scientifically, natural selection can never account for the development and variety of life. Other mechanisms must be at work, and are gradually being discovered, but rational men must acknowledge that life cannot come from non-life.
It took me around ten years from my conversion to Christianity to carve away all the unessential elements of faith. The first great departure came when I was trying to explain to a friend why Mary needed to be a virgin according to Church teachings and pious ruminations. He wondered what difference it would make and why would God necessarily have to operate differently in the making of Jesus than people being created otherwise. God can create a Jesus, virgin mother or not. It wouldn’t matter to God. He doesn’t complicate things, He simplifies them. He doesn’t do two absurd things when one will do. He is the ultimate Occam’s Razor.
The second major awakening occurred when I was reading an interview with Raymond Brown, the Catholic scholar, who simply stated when asked about how the Bible came to be written, “God doesn’t write books. People write books.”
As an author familiar with every kind of writing and sense of writing, I was struck to the core. Knowing God as I did, I understood that God does not condescend in such a manner as to dictate or ‘inspire’ by some sort of whispering susurrus of feeling and approval.
Writing the Truth is a matter of knowing the Truth and finding a way of expressing it that makes sense, is effective, and beautiful. That is why Islam and Mormonism (Joseph Smith based it on Islam, that is, as a fiction he might pull off like Mohammed did, and gull a bunch of people into following him and fulfilling his sexually incontinent desires and will to power) are so obviously phony and evil. They have no beauty and do not correspond to wisdom and sense. Whereas Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, even pagan philosophies have a great deal of wisdom, and beauty but fail to make sense entirely.
Christianity only makes sense, of course, if Jesus is risen and is God, but the primal beauty of this absurdity is that it can be tested. Not through Pascal’s Wager, although that probably works, but in the simple expedient of asking (and you shall receive). If anyone wants to know if Jesus is alive, available, and divine, he only need ask Jesus to reveal himself to him in a way that’s convincing. The catch being a man must be sincere, willing to wait for the response, and serious about following Him once he sees the Truth, since any other response would be folly. If a man asks for the most direct path to the grocery store, and then drives off in every direction but towards the store, who would waste his time advising the man once he knew that about him? God is responsive on His terms. If that’s unacceptable to a man, he gets no response because he is worth none.
Anyway, for the traditional man on the Right, he knows that for the West to survive it must have a cultus, a common mythos of belief in order to survive and prevail. He knows that no kind of paganism will satisfy his soul since Christianity effectively destroyed paganism with its accessible Trinity, the personal triune God. But it is one thing to submit to Jesus, another to have to submit to a host of other enormous and supernatural claims that don’t really have anything to do with salvation. A man wants to know if Jesus really does exist, not if his mother was this or that or if the pope is infallible or if the Bible is perfect. He wants God unfiltered and unfettered. That is why Christianity must grow up and put away the childish things, and become a faith every man can, if not embrace and believe, tip his hat to in respect. In effect, that Christ could be the answer to the question he’s not ready to ask because it’s not as ridiculous as in former times.
A risen dead guy? Yeah, that’s crazy, but if that’s all I have to ponder, think about, ask, and submit myself to, I might do it someday if desperate enough or all out of other answers.
AA is a twelve-step conversion process (very much like the Church’s initiation process) and has its Big Book, but what people are told is to “take what you need and leave the rest.” That’s exactly what most Christians do as they go along. They use what helps them and ignore what they don’t like. I propose that the West, in order to be saved must look at Christianity and take what it needs (the mythos/truth of Christ risen) and leave the rest of what attached itself to Him and hinders Western man from synchronous psychological unity with his fellows and a fruitful life.
There are a number of aspects of Christianity or faith in Christ that will always remain complex in their explication, such as Natural Law. Even as the reformed faith sets aside many doctrines, moral issues remain that the Church was able to previously defend by arguing from authority and tradition such as birth control. Apologetics will often require a shift in the future from proof texting and praxis to different, perhaps less convincing arguments.
For example, the injunction against female priests, bishops, pastors and such is scriptural and traditional. How to justify it further when scripture and tradition carry much less weight? Natural Law, human experience, and the ever-present reality of patriarchy combined with scripture, tradition, and the way of prayer that always leads to conformity in knowledge of God’s will help to stem the perverse spirit of many who always seek their own way regardless of their affronting Wisdom.
Many women, children, the spoiled, or resentful will always claim some rule is unfair and must be altered to suit them or they will huff and puff and scream bloody murder. They must be shown the door as they were in the past. Overweening selfishness is corrupting and should never be countenanced.