04 August 2011

Constantinianism and the state of things--- Westernism, Sacralism's Deadly Third Category, Francis Schaeffer and why we don't need to save Leonardo.

First, a quick revisit of some basic concepts....

As we've stated many times, Sacralism redefines Christianity. Biblically we can speak in terms of the individual being redeemed and joined to Christ. We can speak of the collective body of Christians....the Church of Jesus Christ....His body.

Sacralism adds a third extra-Biblical category, that of Christian nation, culture, or civilization. Of course the Bible speaks in terms of a Christian nation, but this is applicable to the Church, the Kingdom of Priests.

Nowhere do we find any notion of a nation entering into covenant with the Almighty. The one exception to this, Old Testament Israel was initiated by God and He set the terms of their covenant relationship. Moab, Edom, Babylon...none of these nations could become Yahwist or Jehovah-ite nations. If they wanted to convert.....they became Jews, which meant abandoning their nations and entering into the fold of the covenant people. They didn't transform their nation into Judeo-covenantal states, they left their nations and became Jews.

In the New Testament the holy nation, the Israel of God (Galatians 6.16) is the Church composed of all nations and peoples. They retain their earthly citizenship but enter into and participate in the heavenly kingdom.

Sacralism adds an additional tier (a supra-collective category) that cannot be located or extrapolated from Scripture. It is derived from philosophical speculation stemming from a wrong theological method and a grave misunderstanding of the Kingdom if not the entire message of the New Covenant.

Sacralism tips its hat so to speak at the notion of a Spiritual Kingdom but on a de facto level it's all about constructing a literal and physical world super-power...the very dream of the Pharisees that was completely repudiated by our Lord Himself.

Sacralism speaks of Christian nations and cultures. What is that? Where can I read about that? Show me one verse (they cannot) in the New Testament that shows me how we accomplish this or even motivates us to do so? All their appeals fall back on Old Covenant Israel, and demonstrates that ultimately this heresy is a Judaizing one. It misses the message of the New Covenant and reads it (the New) in light of the Old, rather than the other way around. It's theological cousin, the other great Judaizing heresy of our day... Dispensationalism does the same thing. But because they systems commence at different foundational points, they diverge and go off in seemingly opposite directions. Nevertheless they are hermeneutical cousins when it comes to their reading of the Old Testament. Both systems fall into the same trap that ensnared the Galatian community in the first century...it's a Judaized Gospel, a Gospel and....something. The Spiritual Kingdom built on the Gospel is not enough. The kingdom dream of post-exilic or 2nd Temple Judaism lives on in both of these camps.

As we've seen in the United States, these two modern Judaizing camps are not incompatible. We have many Dispensationalists who promote Christian nationalism and are rabid proponents of Culture War....even though it makes no sense in light of their eschatological position. One would think they would celebrate the collapse of Christendom. It means the so-called Rapture (the invisible 2nd Coming) will be occurring soon and ultimately lead to the 2nd Coming (the 3rd in their system). But their love of 'Christian Nation' seems to trump this. They can't stand the thought of their idol (for that's what it is)...the United States falling into dishonour. And so the task of Reconstruction, the task of Reform, the Crusade to Recapture America is sanctified on a large scale...it is a Holy Task.

Just to clarify for those whom I may have just confused... I wholeheartedly believe that Christ is coming again and look forward to it above all things. Woe to those who do not. But I reject the 19th century Secret Rapture schema, which removes the 'church' in a quasi-2nd coming, followed by the actual 2nd Coming seven years later. While it may seem trivial, it is derived from a very serious doctrinal assertion....that God has two people, the Gentile Church and the Jews who will be reinstated. This system rejects the New Testament teaching that all has been fulfilled in Christ (2 Corinthians 1.20).

Many have begrudgingly admitted that when they say Christian Nation it just means that the societal structure is influenced by Christianity and even though everyone isn't actually a Christian, they act like they are. It's interesting that this type of thinking comes from people who are often Baptists. One would think they would be extra careful to define what a Christian is. All their pagan neighbours are somehow included with a Christian framework but then they exclude their own children?

Again, before you treat the label Christian in a trivial manner, where can I read about Christian Nations...even in this broad sense? Is this way of thinking helpful? What does it do to our politics, our attitude toward the military and foreign policy? It adds a whole different dimension to it.

The early Church thought about Rome in a detached way until the Constantinian Shift...then Rome's policies became Christian policies. Except often Rome's or more properly at that point Constantinople's policies were not Christian policies, oftentimes they were in fact wicked policies, which presents no small problem for the Church attempting to maintains its identity. It can't it's too late. It's gone through the process of acculturation. It's no longer Christian...it's Roman. And of course the same was patently and painfully clear during the British Empire and today in the United States.

Anyway, we've seen how Sacralism provides for us models of so-called Christian Art, Christian Architecture, Christian Music, Christian Politics and Economics. Of course all these terms are synonymous with basically the Western Tradition. That's what they mean....Christendom and the language of Christian Civilization is Westernism.

This has been aggressively promoted since Francis Schaeffer and others began to stir in the Evangelical community in the 1970's. The West as they knew it was in peril. Of course the language concerning the West and the Church and the Kingdom often are muddled and used interchangeably leading to a great deal of confusion. We've talked about this. Just watch the pronouns. You listen to Evangelical leaders and one moment they're talking about the woes within the Church, modern trends, bad teaching etc...., and what WE have to do about it. And then without missing a beat they're talking about the Democrats, and social policies and what WE have to do about that. Nation and Church are blended and confused. You even catch this in the political rhetoric of the day. The 'real' and 'true' American is the Christian one. They love their country....that is the 'real' country. The rest of it which is in fact the numerical majority they don't love at all and it's quite apparent by the language and actions.

In the post-Schaeffer era, history and many other things are being revised. Suddenly the Crusades are not only good...they're superlatively Christian. The art of the Middle Ages was Christian. Suddenly Rome is transformed from being a false Church to the True Church...at least until the Council of Trent in the 1500's, and for many it is still a True Church...just a little wayward.

Since the Roman Catholics share that same desire for the Medieval Unity of all society under the banner of Christendom...I don't think very many actually do anymore...they are allies and friends in this quest.

We've even seen one Evangelical author suggest that we need to 'save' Leonardo Da Vinci. You see because even though we all know he was lost and is burning in hell, he was (according to the Sacralist) a Christian. His productions were generated(supposedly) by a Christian Worldview. It's kind of like he was a Christian but just didn't know it. And so the Church needs to go back to these older glory days when society was supposedly Christian and recover these tools to both build and remember.

Don't get me wrong. I love Europe and I love history. I can walk around European cities looking at historical buildings, ruins, art objects, and can appreciate them. But I don't view them as somehow Christian or sanctified by God or in any way contributing to His Kingdom. I can also walk around India, China, or the Middle East and observe with wonder the architecture and art of those Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic civilizations and appreciate them in the same way. They're all Babels. Their towers are truly impressive and often very alluring, but I would never want to confuse them with the true Zion.

I'm just uninformed some would say. If I had a Christian Worldview I would see the superior godliness and beauty of the Western items. Actually those that argue this way show they know precious little about Western Art History, the development of Western/Christian Architecture or Music.

If they did, they would not try to argue this way. For their arguments are not based on Scripture, and the history will often prove rather embarrassing to them. Through and through, the so-called Western tradition is an endless series of syncretisms....Constantinian/Pagan synthesis. Some realize this and try to argue the Kingdom is shown to be powerful by appropriating the glories of Egypt so to speak and transforming them, making them fit for Holy Use.

Where can I read about that in the New Testament?



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