The One True Faith

What is Christianity? What is its essence? What is absolutely essential to it and what can be adapted to local conditions? And how does one determine this? And finally, what should be done about people who call themselves Christians who, whether intentionally or not, in some way compromise on what is essential? Before, I have tried to avoid these types of questions, not because I don’t believe they are important, but because they would complicate further the difficult problems I have been considering. This has given some the false impression that I am willing to compromise, or even totally disregard, matters of ultimate truth, for the sake of lesser, purely material concerns. That is not what I am doing.

I am not a relativist. I believe there is One God and that there is One Truth. But that God is not Yahweh. And that Truth is not Christianity. Nor is it paganism. As I said before, I believe that different religions are appropriate for different people, because people themselves are different and not interchangeable, and therefore there is not, nor can there be, one true religion for all people everywhere. That there is Truth but not One True religion may seem like a contradiction, but it is not. Ultimate Truth is beyond any religion, any scripture, any ritual, any god. Different people use different means to reach the same end. The proper spiritual means for the people of Europe is paganism. It is true that paganism degenerated over time, but that says nothing about Christianity. Whether Christianity is or is not also an appropriate spiritual means for the people of Europe depends on if it preserves what is essential from paganism, which in its true form, is prior to and superior to Christianity. Of course, I am well aware that Orthodox Christians could not accept that position, nor do I expect them to, but as I said before, I am writing from a non-Christian perspective.

At one time, it seems that Christianity was, or was believed to be, appropriate for the people of Europe. The Church was the center of society, most considered themselves to be Christian, and there was not too much conflict between Church and state. This is no longer the case. What happened? For many complex reasons, some of them having to do with Christianity itself, some having to do with the specific circumstances of the Holy Roman Empire, Protestantism happened. And in part due to the violence that resulted from the conflict between Catholics and Protestants, eventually Christianity in Western Europe was largely replaced by secularism.

I have not attacked secularism because that is already done more than sufficiently elsewhere. The secular society cannot be reformed and must be destroyed. I have instead criticized the Church, something that may still be able to serve as the foundation of a new civilization in the West, in the hope that it can be reformed and renewed. And beyond simple criticism I have made some recommendations. But it is probably true that even if the Church was to adopt all of the recommendations I made, those changes would not restore the Church to the position it held in Medieval Europe, in part because it would make the Church look unreliable and compromising. While great discretion and indeed secrecy would be a requirement for successfully implementing any of those changes, they would still remain flawed in that they would appear to be more effective at preventing Protestantism, rather than at solving the long term problems created by Protestantism.

However, I still think it would be valuable to understand the reasons for considering these changes. While it is true that Christianity preserved elements of pagan culture to varying degrees, from a non-Christian perspective it is outrageous that the mythology of Thor and Hercules are reduced to folklore, while foreign Hebrew mythology of Abraham and Moses is elevated to the status of sacred scripture. While, in my view, unconvincing arguments can be made for the unique status of Christian civilization, I do not believe any argument can be made for the special elect status of the ancient Hebrews, other than that it is a part of Christian dogma. Essentially what I am saying is that I have a much higher regard for the culture of the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Norse, the Chinese, the Indians, the Aztecs, and indeed of many other cultures than I do of the Hebrews. It is odious both to my reason and my sense of pride to believe that stories and beliefs of that people are more important, and according to the Church infinitely more important, than the stories and beliefs of my own people, and of all the people of the world. It is not that there is anything wrong with Hebrew mythology, or that I have anything against those stories, but rather that it has been elevated far beyond its proper place. It is the mythology of a particular people. It is not universal. That the Church takes it to be universal is one of its greatest errors, and that error is responsible for a great amount of conflict and destruction.

With that being said, even though I am not a Christian, and have serious objections to many aspects of that religion, I still greatly value the Christian tradition, and I do not want to see it destroyed. I genuinely mean this. While I recognize that if the Church is destroyed, Europe will be destroyed along with it, I have a high regard for the Church independently of that. So what is to be done? How can Christianity be brought back to the center of European life? What responsibility does the Church have to bring this about? And the Church does have a responsibility, as the Church could have never become what it did without the people of Europe. It has a duty and obligation to them. Retreating behind its stone walls is not an option as that would amount to cowardice and betrayal.

Evangelism is clearly inadequate to this task. Much stronger measures are obviously required. But does the Church, even a small part of it, have the will to do what must be done? If the Church is legitimate it will fulfill its obligations. If it does not, then outsiders would be fully justified in removing and replacing the existing leadership and making whatever changes to the Church they believed were necessary.

Perhaps, somehow, Christianity can be brought back to the center of European life, and without making the kinds of dramatic changes that I have considered. I don’t know how. I don’t think anyone knows how. But if it is to be done, it is the responsibility of the Church, and its alone.

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Hotherus

The House Pagan

4 thoughts on “The One True Faith

  1. First off, obviously, I disagree that there cannot be one True Religion for all men; if there is one Truth, there can be one True Religion, for Religion is nothing, if not man’s encounter with Truth. Does this mean there are no differences? Of course not. The Church has always recognized the legitimacy of local rites and customs, each of which has expressed the genius of its people. A Mexican Mission Church, with its tiled side chapels, baroque facades and white, Romanesque towers, resounding with the sounds of Manuel de Zumaya, is not an English Catholic Cathedral with its Norman Romanesque architecture, intimate and intricate altar screens, and angelically pure voices of boy choristers. And neither of these are the Serbian monastery, covered with icons and throbbing with the drone of the ison under a mellowed form of the Byzantine chants.

    Plenty of Greco-Roman mythology is obviously mythology, and was acknowledged as such by the Greeks and Romans (and Celts and Saxons and Norse, etc.). But it may surprise you to learn that men of the Church routinely assumed that the basic gist of stories about the founding of Rome, the battle of Troy, etc., were true. Perhaps you are influence by later, Protestant ideas that place an undue emphasis on Scripture as the only true collection of literature purporting to give the ethnic history of a people. And even then, the Church has always acknowledged that there is a profound truth to myth, which is why it continued to exercise such a powerful influence on art and literature all through the Middle Ages, and into the Renaissance. I do not have a problem affirming that the distinct thing about Christianity, is precisely that it is the one Faith where Myth became Real; in other religions and mythologies, glimpses of the Truth that would be fully revealed in this Incarnation, are found in abundance. Christianity takes nothing true or beautiful away from our pagan pasts; it gives us the touchstone that fully realizes their beauties, and purges away whatever imperfections they had.

    Now, as to the point you make in the latter parts of your post; the Church had long seen this coming. It is prophesied in Sacred Scripture (the Great Apostasy, along with “the great delusion that will deceive, if possible, even the elect”). In the past centuries, moreover, numerous apparitions of the Virgin warned it was coming, chiefly at La Salette and Fatima. The popes warned about the imminent danger of an antipope and an apostasy in their encyclicals in the century prior to its actual occurrence; Leo XIII in particular, instituted prayers for the protection of the Church, to be said after every public Mass, after he heard God promise Satan that he would soon be granted his request of time and power to try and destroy the Church, if indeed he thought he could. So, the present situation was acutely foreseen by the Church. The coming situation was called “an eclipse of the Church,” wherein a false body of apostasy would occlude the Church and block her light.

    Now, the doctrine and laws of the Church, themselves affirm the automatic excommunication of all persons who publicly and knowingly disregard the Tradition of the Church as authoritatively exposited (i.e., the Magisterium). Pope Leo XIII summarized the perennial practice of the Church: “The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium.” Thus, this eclipse of the apostasy began under John XXIII, an open heretic before and after his papal election, and has continued. Since then, the faith has been utterly destroyed in many souls, many more have been raised without ever being taught the Catholic Faith, and many of the few, remaining faithful who wish to stay true to the Church, remain in error of fact on many points because one must study the matter carefully in order to disentangle the multiple strands of deceit.

    The nature of the crisis, is such that the small remnant of faithful are unable to address it, in any way that would prove successful. Now, if this whole state of affairs had simply sprung out of the blue, it might make for a probable-sounding argument against the validity of the Church. But, preceded by so many prophetic warnings and prudent insights, and reflecting as it does the judgment of almighty God upon five centuries of ever-increasing apostasy and immorality in Europe, the whole affair in my mind confirms rather than undermines the Church’s crucial importance. It is not coincidence, that the “abomination of desolation” in the Church, coincides with the utter self-evacuation of European identity. So, I would not look to “the Church” (by which I imagine you mean the men and the bureaucratic institutions on the Vatican hill) for a resolution to this crisis. It is my personal belief that Europe will be plunged into the fire of judgment, the Church (meaning the meagre, barely visible remnant) will finally be free to do the necessary thing (the consecration of Russia), and then God Himself will avenge Himself of His enemies, and restore the Church. Thus, at least, is the most natural understanding of prophecy heretofore. Until then, I can only conclude with the words of Romano Armerio’s “Iota Unum:”

    “The Church will continue to open itself to the world, and to conform itself to that world – i.e., will continue to undo its own nature; but its supernatural life will endure, restricted to a faithful remnant, and its supernatural end will continue to be pursued faithfully by that part of it, which is left in the world. The misleading well-being of a Church that is dissolving itself into the world will be matched by the progressive contraction and wretchedness of a small number of people, a tiny minority that seems insignificant and doomed to die, but which in fact contains the concentration of God’s elect, an indefectible witness to the true Faith. The Church will be an handful of defeated men, as Paul VI foresaw in his speech of 18 February, 1976. [Here he speaks for a few paragraphs about the “passion of the Church,” and the age-old habit of God’s, whereby He brings renewed life and exaltation out of deadly abasement] …Faith in Providence thus proclaims the possibility that the world might rise and be healed by a ‘metanoia’ which it cannot initiate, but which it is capable of accepting once offered. The Church’s critical task in this moment is not to attempt to “read the signs of the times,” because ‘non est vestrum nosse tempora vel momenta;’ it is rather to read the signs of the eternal will, that are there to be read in every age, and to stand steadfast… It must seem that our considerations have come to a conclusion that amounts to a negative, hypothetical, shadowy and twilight understanding, if not indeed to a knowledge that is a dark night. And so it is. The veil cannot be pierced; we feel our way beneath a darkling light. ‘Custos, quid de nocte? Custos quid de nocte? Dixit custos, venit mane et nox. Si quaeritis, quaerite, convertimini, venite.'”

    1. AureliusMoner: I think you are making an assumption that the author of this post (while he himself has admitted to not being a Christian) is referring to the Roman Catholic Church when s/he uses the term “The Church”. He uses “Christianity” interchangeably with the term “Church.” If you are a Roman Catholic, you know that that is incorrect. But I wanted to ask about your assumption.
      “Christianity” (stemming from Roman Catholicism, which is recognized by many as The One True Church) is better called a “philosophy” rather than a “Church” or a “religion.”

      1. Anne,

        I agree or disagree, depending upon what you mean. Some people, by “Christianity,” mean the body of Christian doctrine and practice. In this sense, Christianity is not the Church itself, but is the philosophy and practice proposed by the Church. In that case, my view would be that Christianity is not identical to the Catholic Church, but it is essentially the Catholic Faith. Some people, by “Christianity,” mean “the whole group of Christians.” As you point out, this article’s author often uses “Christianity” and “Church” to mean the same thing.

        Thus, going with that premise – i.e., Christianity as the assembly of Christians, i.e., the Church – my view, which is that of the Catholic Church, is that Christianity and the Catholic Church are the same thing. There are no Christians, sensu stricto, outside the Catholic Church. There may be some without visible ties to the body of the Church, who will yet be saved through Christ, and who are bound only by internal ties to the Church. But, setting aside hard cases and specific exceptions, to be a Christian is to be a member of the Catholic Church.

  2. It is easily recognized, and unfortunately, often seen as a good thing that Europe suffered to loss of it’s aristocracy. Bureaucrats have always been around, but the absolutist monarchs gave them way too much power, and the revolutionary meme gave them a faux morality which which to destroy the few remaining people capable of keeping them in check.
    Now, exactly the same thing happened to the Church, but nobody seems to notice. Possibly more of the bureaucrats who now inhabit the church are a bit more reactionary against whatever it is the secular bureaucrats want to do, but still, these are not the same men, not the sons of noble houses who once ran the Church while their older brother ran the temporal side of Christendom.

    From a theological perspective, the bureaucrat’s rise was accompanied by a decoupling of God as perfection (noun). Technically, Christians weren’t monotheists- the bible mentions other gods, but this God of the Christians was not one among many but beyond all that. Not even an apex creature, for an apex creature is still among the created order. Under the ancient regime, the mystery of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit related a situation in which we, who had no innate hope of perfecting ourselves, could nonetheless struggle towards perfection, for Perfection itself would bridge the gap.

    The bureaucrat’s struggle is to free himself from the consequences of his actions. He feels best when he feels neither the profit motive, nor the breath of an owner of whatever it is he is responsible for administrating down his back. The struggle to get other people to accept made up pronouns seems to be an extreme example of such behavior.

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