03 January 2012

Constantine Can't Rescue Britain- 5

Granted in some ways Georgian or Victorian society would have been nicer to live in than today's pajama wearing in public, body pierced and spitting on the sidewalk culture. But in other ways Victorian culture was stifling. Counterfeit Christianity didn't just abound as it does today...it ruled and tyrannically wielded tremendous power. The gospel was stifled and crushed by a society which confused its social mores and laws with Biblical revelation. Jane Austen movies have assuaged the harshness of this reality. Certainly those on top of the pyramid had pretty nice lives, even with the occasional grief and difficulty. But most of the people didn't live in Jane Austen world...they lived in Bronte land or the realm of Hardy. They didn't think Victorian society to be so grand. For them it was akin to an oppressive terror.

In the United States, many dream of a better time, one of civility, decorum, and order, a time of respect, modest dress, and conservative values. But many British have mixed feelings. They are just as likely to associate that time period with class-consciousness, humiliation, domination by a spoiled and undeserving caste, hypocrisy, poverty and sickness often magnified by the pollution which gripped the great cities. For those more attuned, they will observe the massive wealth and corruption accompanying the inevitable rape and pillage accompanying all Imperial projects.

We are filled with awe as we gaze upon the grand old estate houses peppering the British countryside serving as backdrop to many a period film. It cannot be denied, they are impressive to behold. But to those who lived at the time they were built, to those who lived with a boot on the back of their neck, whether in Britain, Africa, or Asia...these great houses represented the stolen wealth of the world. The residents of these estates, living in splendour and overshadowing society were the great robber-barons, the great thieves and scoundrels of the age. The fact they wore manners on their sleeve and dropped a coin into the vicar's golden plate served only to increase the outrage against them. Is it any wonder this has all led to a backlash at home? The wonder is how long it took. The wonder is that Britain was able to escape the bloodbath experienced across the Channel.

Is it any great surprise the British Empire has shamed Christianity, has dragged the name of Christ through the mud? Missionaries for Christ doubling as agents for Empire brought the Constantinian gospel to many a foreign land. Some were saved, but what a cost...embracing the Empire which crushed their land and stole from them! What a pill to swallow...the British Empire was Christ's Kingdom, the British Jerusalem on earth? Thanks to the British Empire, (and all Harlot Empires, also known as Christian states,) Christianity has suffered. The cause of Christ has been brought into disrepute. The agents of false religion are given a foothold in men's hearts. A right and understandable anger can now be focused on this conquering culture and the religion it has tied itself to. At home it meant sweeping social change. Abroad it led to blood and war. Even though the British largely divested themselves of Empire by the mid-20th century, the world is still suffering from the fallout. Only look to Ireland, Africa...the Indian Subcontinent.

How many people hate Christianity and yet do not have the first clue as to what it is?

Today we live in a seeming chaos of incivility, a morally bankrupt cesspool. But just like in Roman times this also provides a tremendous opportunity for the Gospel to spread. It's not a good time for the Sacralist, but for the Gospel-minded, our post-modern social disaster, very much like the Greco-Roman Hellenistic world is quite fertile.

So to David Cameron I can only use the famous words of another Sacralist.... thanks but no thanks.

I would rather see Canterbury Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, and the Tower Bridge collapse in a cloud of dust than see a return of British Jerusalem.

Merry Olde England is gone and won't be back. It's a sad thing to be sure, but then again Merry Olde England was like Tolkien's Shire...it wasn't real. Times were better in days past...in some ways. But much of it is a made up dream.


7 comments:

Cal said...

I was unaware my habit of spitting (sometimes on sidewalks no less!) was a marker of the end of the West and civilization as we know it.

Very good post, I got nothing else to add.

Cal

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Proto!
I have very much enjoyed the series.

One of the things that comes to mind is the facade of the beast system is very appealing - especially the fictionalized version of it.
I think of movies and novels where victims are mere props - you don't see their lives and how their circumstances affect others.
In real life the victims of the beast are not just props - but people - with lives and connections to other lives...with eternity before them.

It's tempting to look back to an easier, simpler time. A time of manners and civility.
There really never was such a time. It was a facade. Step out of line of those "Christian" manners and find out what's behind them. Forgiveness? Love?

Life was much grittier than we know for most people. Our grandparents grew up, for the most part, in a "better" time - but that's because they were children and didn't know of the evil of the world. I say in the most part because I know of some older people who's childhoods were full of tragedy and abuse. They don't necessarily wax poetic about the good old days.

Thank you for again lifting the veil.
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, very good series indeed. Last semester my daughter had to write a research paper about the Victorian era. She chose to write about child labor, debtors prisons etc. It was not a very pretty picture compared to what most people think of in regards to that particular time period.

Janet

Anonymous said...

My great-great grandpa was orphaned at the age of 10 in England in the 1860's or early 70's. There was nowhere for him to go. No one to take him in. My great-grandpa told me that his dad had to go to work for a "land-owner".
And we don't know why he was orphaned - death, disease or poverty. He'd never talk about it.
He came here to have land of his own.
Lisa

Protoprotestant said...

Spitting on the sidewalk!

Well!

Protoprotestant said...

To the non-Expectorators...thanks.

Lisa, yes the movies don't always convey very well...that real people lived through this scenarios...and still do. In an upcoming series, I'm going to share a story of a sad encounter I had recently, with someone who worships the beast and yet has suffered because of it. It's really sad. He made me angry, but I also pitied him.

Debtor's prison!....I think there are more than a few people who'd like to see that reinstituted in society.

There are many things about America we can be thankful for. In years past I can see why people really wanted to come here...but that doesn't mean it's God's Kingdom or anything close to perfect. It's always had its dark side too. Today some things are worse...people spitting on sidewalks!.......but some things are better...blacks are treated like human beings, things like that.

Anonymous said...

I don't think my gr. gr. grandpa was a Christian. He came not because of religious freedom - but because in England he could never hope to have land of his own.

The more we look into history - the more we see the dark side of it, don't we. It's easy to gloss over all that - and the history books certainly do that! I'm constantly having to dig deeper to get at the truth when teaching history to our daughter.

Ha! Spitting on sidewalks? My great-grandpa used to spit everywhere! Well, maybe not in front of ladies - he chewed tobacco. Got my mother in the face once - from the front car window and into the back on their way down the road. lol.
Lisa