Contra “The Dead Spirituality” of The Catholic Church: Against the Caricature That The Church Causes Division and Strife and Aids in Justifying Injustices   Leave a comment

1. Introduction

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

As a child coming of age into young adult years, my Reversion to Catholicism is one marked by an initial hatred for The Catholic Church as I understood it. I was the poster child of Progressive Modernist thought who yet embodied a fierce New Age Protestantism about things pertaining to The Church and the surrounding cultural and spiritual developments that I found myself growing up around in. This series is written to rebuke the writings of my Youth, a sort of self-imposed Penance to atone for my own personal ignorance. The writings of my youth are held on the internet at the Yahoo! Voices website, there are 4 Articles written between July to November 2007, just after my graduation from High School. It should be noted that the rebuke is thematically addressed rather than chronologically answered.

The First Article written in July 2007 was titled, “Christianity Vs. True Christianity: A Problem with the Church?” This article embodied perfectly my Anti-Catholic view influenced by Progressive Modernism, Protestant propaganda yet New Age influences at the time. The Second Article written in August 2007 was title, “Church of Christ: The Church is Not the Real Thing!” This article embodied my confusion and the varieties of cultural propaganda set against the Church, this article sounds most like what I hear today, and that I have come to most fight against today. The Third Article was written in the same month and was titled, “Is the Bible Really Full and Complete?” This article was my argument that the Bible was incomplete and that since it has been left to many revisions it is no longer a trustworthy book, this attack the notion that The Bible was the Complete and Final Word of God. The Fourth and Final Article was written in November 2007 and was titled, “My Road to Christian Gnosticism” Here it is showcased for all to see my love of Heterodoxy and lack of understanding of Orthodoxy, of course in celebrating fighting against the superstitious ignorance of the Church I now confess that I was the one being superstitious and ignorant.



II. My Argument Against My Past Self

When I was a teenager I was much under the influence of the Progressivist, Politically Correct, New Age Occult Coexist-crowd while somehow being contradictory in being absolutely intolerant of the Catholic Faith. I was one of those people who said, “Religion causes Conflict, Spirituality beings Harmony!” I joined the Coexist crowd thinking I was fighting against Division, Strife, and Injustice. I absolutely disdained these qualities because I saw them as qualities that even Christ Himself would deny. Turns out I was Half-Right once again with regard to this subject too. I was found to be incorrect because Christ said it Himself that He sought to bring Division and Discord into the world, and His Church in one respect is designed to do just that as well. I was found to be Right however, because Christ and His Church sought to have a different expression of how this battle was to be perceived and waged. In this article I want to talk about the meaning of Christ’s Dividing of the World as well as what a real Christian is called to do. As well I would like to briefly talk about, how Christianity is the Eternal Counter-Cultural Movement.

On The Strife Caused By Christ

When I was a teen much influenced by the Coexist crowd and liberal ideology I sought to use Jesus as my justification for Multiculturalism. However as I got older, I came to admit that there are doctrinal difference between the world religious and wisdom traditions and all of them really did not worship the same God. Those who embrace the Coexist message have either actively or passively admitted to their own intellectual laziness when it comes down to it. Should we treat each other with a certain degree of respect and dignity? Sure, but we shouldn’t seek to throw all the colors into the wash in the hopes of making gray, for there are difference between these traditions that cannot be reduced to, “worshiping the same thing.”

So what’s my point? The point is Jesus Christ would probably be against Multiculturalism, not only because it seeks to equate His own message as being the same as say, Mohammad’s message, but it in fact denies Him the ability to call Himself the Son of God. How so? Because in order for Multiculturalism to work you need to make all the founders of religious traditions equal with one another, that means elevating some and lowering others. Jesus Christ claim to Divinity would surely need to be lowered by those who adopt the Multicultural Politically Correct position, because if Jesus says who He says He is, then we have to give our life to Him and His Teachings, and admit that all the others have their varying degrees of error.

But the Problem here is that Multiculturalism as a formal idea, cannot allow for Politically Incorrect talk, it cannot allow for people to rock the boat, but Jesus when He makes such a claim, does indeed Rock the Boat! It is funny of course, that Jesus did make it clear several times at key moments in the New Testament who He really was, and gave us the Ultimatum that you are with Him or against Him! With such a statement as that though, how can you use Jesus as the #1 Advancer of Multiculturalism? The answer is clear you cannot, and you either decide to be with Him and Against Multiculturalism or you side with Multiculturalism and Against Jesus Christ, but you cannot support both.

Now, with that being said, does that mean that you need to be exclusive in your relation to other Wisdom Traditions? No, that’s the beauty of Authentic Christianity; previous religions are not destroyed but fulfilled! So that means, we do not say, “Oh Taoism or Buddhism is from the Devil!” or “Oh the Pagan Philosophers are from the Devil!” Rather we say, these people had something to contribute on the Human end of the path to finding The Spirit, but ultimately by fact of the faults that all wisdom traditions recognize we have, The Spirit would need to reveal itself to us so that we may be found! Authentic Christianity would say that the Revealing of The Spirit is grounded in a non-sentimental Love through the Life of Christ.

So something similar to Multiculturalism takes place, rather than making all the traditions equal, Christianity is elevated to the Height of Religion and all the other wisdom traditions are seen as paths that could potentially lead that person up the mountain of The Sublime Religion of Christ, this is not to say these paths are rejected or denied rather it is to say that the search does not stop at these wisdom traditions, they point along the way.

To give an example, like most people coming of age I looked East, I looked to Buddhism and Taoism for Spiritual Direction, I was even Heretical being a Gnostic and Semi-practicing Occultist, yet God in His Grace was able to lead me back to what I once rejected, and this wouldn’t be the first time God has done such a thing for people. Even Jungianism, a school of psychological thought whose founder was profoundly Anti-Catholic, was able to lead me back to the Catholic Church. Now, all these things are put into the Catholic understanding and reintegrated into a Catholic worldview. To this I conclude that the Intellectually Honest seeker, moved by that feeling of incompleteness will be lead to the Catholic Church.

On The Christian Call To And Expression Of Warfare

In keeping true to Christ’s Ultimatum, those of us who believe in Christ’s Being Two Natures in One need to be Militant, for many other people have many ideas as to who Christ is and they are opinions not based on revelation which I spoke about in the previous paragraph as necessary for man to have: Revelation. We are called The Church Militant, because we advance the worldview of Christ in this fallen world of ours in all things and most of all we proclaim The Good News to the fallen world as we – fallen that we are – by God’s Help – called Grace – apply the Good News in our own lives. The Church Militant militates against The Fallen World with its errors and Against the Adversary who seeks the ruin of souls.

The Christian is called to a different expression of Warfare, true is there physical violence? Yes, but at its best it adheres to the Just War Doctrine and the proper notions of Self-Defense, however likewise it also has its own notions of Non-Violent Resistance, inspire first and foremost by the teacher Himself. Most importantly, the war is called spiritual exactly because, we are not out to merely win the debate but to bring about a conversion of heart and mind, we know that people are animated by the ideas and subtle influences that are going on in their interior life. The authentic Christian then ought to have a very active interior life so as to check these subtle influences, which is the point to all these seeming rules and regulations in the Church, to control ourselves and direct ourselves for an interior liberation so that we may live our outward lives more fully.

In today’s highly politicized world, we see propaganda before us, everyone has an agenda and truly it is up to the individual to pick a side. We say, “Oh it’s bad to have an agenda!” I say, wrong, an agenda is created out of a response of convictions that one has, so they retort and say “convictions, believing something without cause is dangerous!” I say I believe but not without cause, tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions and tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society, I don’t know about you but I want to live not die except in Christ, but Christ gives the Consolation of True Conviction! Everyone has convictions, even those who believe in Tolerance, they have the Conviction that politically correct Tolerance brings something Good, so their agenda is to spread that idea.

Agendas are everywhere, some are harmful, some are beneficial but in the end, one will need to choose which Agenda they hold, for even Christ has an Agenda and so does the Adversary. One will need to choose if they are to be a mercenary for some Agenda or the True Defender of some Agenda. I was once a Mercenary for Multiple Agendas, the parts that advanced what I wanted, but then I realized over time that even those Agendas sought to work against me in other ways, eventually I was posed with a choice: To continue being a Mercenary for Multiple Agendas for my own selfish desires and narrow opinions or become a True Defender of one, I made my choice, The Catholic Church, The Church Militant.

On The Eternal Counter-Cultural Movement That Is Christianity

When I was a rebellious teen who thought he knew what he was rebelling against I saw orthodox Christianity as one of those things, we are human beings and we long to do the right thing, but as I got older I realized that nearly every ideology I picked up, every justification I had was prolonging the very thing I sought to rebel against. Then I realized that orthodox Christianity, the Authentic Christianity contained within Catholicism is the Eternal Counter-Cultural Movement, for it and it alone out of all the other ideas out there proclaims, “Death to the World”.

There are 2 Definitions that are used in defining “The World” first one is the place where peoples are guided by secular ideas rather than by religious principles, and whose primary concern is for well-being in this life and not in the life to come, this is the fallen world for it focuses on the creature and the temporal, which is not to say that creatures and temporal are bad but to say that we allow ourselves to focus too much on them. Hence “worldliness” is a mindset that pervades the fallen world and those lead into it. The second definition is more specific it comes from the St. Isaac The Syrian,

“The world is the general name for all passions. When we wish to call the passions by a common name, we call them the world. But when we wish to distinguish them by their special names, we call them passions. The passions are the following: love of riches, desire for possessions, bodily pleasures from which comes sexual passion, love of honor gives rise to envy, lust for power, arrogance and pride of position, the craving to adorn oneself with luxurious clothing and vain ornaments, the itch for human glory which is a source of rancor and resentment, and physical fear. Where these passions cease to be active, there the world is dead.”

Consider every “counter-cultural movement” from even the past 50 years and you will see that these “revolutionary movements” are more like reform movements or conservative movements for all they have ever done is affirm what already rules. Go to the Free-Love 60s and you see Love of Bodily Pleasures on full display and come up to the Present Day and see not only Love of Bodily Pleasures amplified to an astounding degree, but so also with Desire for Possessions and Love of Honor by way of Arrogance and Pride of Position amplified by way of the cultural messages and affirmations we repeat to ourselves as well, and how often do we see on TV and Advertisements images flashed before our eyes of people craving to adorn themselves with luxurious clothing and vain ornaments? Can you not sense the superficiality of it all? That is the point of course, to make sure people do not pay attention to their interior life, rather drowned that out with as much noise and stimulation as possible. I would find it pretty funny if it weren’t affecting so many people’s lives in such a negative way, how people are in so much of a bind and how the Popes of the Past Century told us it would unfold.

The World fashionably tells us that, losing your virginity and having multiple partners is cool so long as you wear ‘protection’, but then they see divorce rates going up, people addicted to pornographic material, and abortion rates ironically skyrocket too. Whereas the Church says to us, by losing your Virginity and giving up on Chastity you lose a sense of peace that you had prior and relationships of such a profound sort ought to be exclusive between you and one other person, and we see that divorce rates back then were relatively under control, pornographic addictions were infrequent, and abortion was under control and was understood as undermining human life.

The World fashionably tells us that, owning a lot of things and self-aggrandizing yourself to advance yourself in the world is the only way to live the good life, but then we see families crushed by debt and financial despair and people running the rat race dedicating their time and energy to utilitarian work rather than leisure and enjoyment, feeling disturbed by way of a sense of inadequacy if they do not have a lot of things. Whereas the Church says to us, that having too many attachments makes us slaves to them, that we need to practice detachment so that we might be free; a culture of pride produces a culture a culture incapable of looking past itself, so humility needs to be at the heart of society lest we get caught up in the pretense of self-knowledge and knowledge of others. From this we saw Jubilees practiced, as well as anxiety and mood disorders more so in check, and a culture capable of self-reflection and learning.

The World fashionably tells us that, appearances are everything from the image of your body to what you wear, and then we wonder why more women believing this lie have eating disorders and how some men have become so emasculated and in the irony in such a Self-Aggrandizing Culture we feel depressed and insecure about ourselves all the more, exactly because we become a culture of extroverted comparer’s. But the Church teaches us, that decking ourselves out in such a vain concern over the superficial appearance while ignoring the interior life and neglecting the suffering of this world is but a mere narcissistic distraction. Now does this mean that we cannot enjoy life or attend to our bodies? No, but when the culture begins to obsess over it that’s where the problem are made.

Can you see why I support the Church Militant? Can you see how Christianity is the Eternal Counter Cultural Movement? Can you see why I am glad the dogmas do not change? The world changes, to get swept up by the Spirit of the Age is something that Christians are not merely called to avoid but are called to appropriate so that The Kingdom of Heaven may advance itself regardless of the Spirit of the Age. The Church is unpopular because it goes against the fleeting fads, popular fancies and cultural orthodoxies, the same way as our Founder did, the Founder who was and had Wisdom to see past the changing forms and see the substance of things as they really are. Therefore an Insight: There maybe times when society agrees in part or not at all or mostly, but there will always be something until Christ comes Again, that will require people to make a choice, this changing fleeting world or the Eternal Kingdom of God and His Christ.

Man desires Justice, man like God longs to set things right, it wouldn’t make any sense to side with anything less than that Eternal Desire of God to set things right, and the only place after all my spiritual travels, intellectual dialog, my experiences and accumulated understandings from 9 Years would be The Catholic Church. When I was teen, I thought all orthodox things were the things I was trying to fight against, but now as an adult orthodox Christianity, authentic Christianity is inherently counter-cultural others do think and I certainly – being quite the counter-cultural person myself – find the Catholic Church pretty cool.


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