Friar John's Ruminations

Being the thoughts of an Episcopalian Layman. In Search of and service to "Evangelical Truth and Apostolic Order."

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We Have Brought This On Ourselves.

In Ferinheight 451 Professor Faber remarks, while holding a copy of a Bible saved from burning by Montag, that Jesus would be hard pressed recognizing himself in the Corporitist State Controlled media.  In the film version it is claimed by the banal figure of Beatty that books come to be banned so that the ideas they contained would no longer offend those unwilling to be educated. At the end, Montag meets a minister run out of his pulpit for what he preached. In all three of these we find the face of the enemy of the mind that in now romping free across the American landscape. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. I'm not going to try and unpack the complete problem, that is way outside my provence, but I am convinced that no small reason for the rise of the neo-Right is a lack of coherent thought beyond a general "thats not right" to oppose it. Far to often those of us who know better than the way religion, orthodox Christianity in particular, is put forward in the media come off looking like the Vicar in an Eddy Izzard sketch, unable to move other than in the shoulders, and incoherently unable to engage the scriptures at any meaningful level.
We allow those on the "conservative" side of the debate, if a scream followed by a half hearted whimper can be called a "debate," to dominate simply because we have bought into a set of assumptions. The first is the theology, by which I mean the hard work of dogmatics, is unimportant. The second is to play the game of the fundamentalists in so far as we accept Modernism as the determining framework, often by embracing a form of post-modernism that fails to engage. The third is to bow to pressure and be silent in the public square in order to not cause offense to fellow progressives who are of a more secular  bent. In all three cases we refuse to speak our truth before any form of power, all the while reveling in a far more specious "prophetic" ministry of meekly spinning our wheels. We need less of the resolutions at conventions and more of a dynamic claiming of our voice and stepping out in faith. 
We need to attack the Modernist reductionism of Fundamentalism, reject it's false teachings, and voice that it is not "conservative" Christianity at all, but a set of insidious heresies spewed out of fear and hate. We need to reject the false teachings of Objectivism and it blasphemous cousin the "Prosperity Gospel." We must reject and abjure easy power and comfortable social standing to be able to voice our truth. We must also be unashamed of our intellectual and spiritual heritage.  We must allow a Jesus who would recognize Himself to be seen in the world, or we have failed Him.