Christianity and Authority
Want to turn someone off to Christianity immediately? Explain to them that it is a foundationally authoritarian religion.
It is. Really. Christ did not say "Follow your conscience"; he said "Follow me."
The Bible bristles with commandments and instructions, often to excruciating detail and with elaborate (and frequently violent) punishments for infractions. And it is soaked through with authoritarian imagery: crowns (of thorns), yokes (Christ's gentle one vs. the heavy one of sin), thrones, kingdoms and kings, Fathers and mothers.
Modern man hates all order and authority and therefore cannot tolerate this. So when he does not reject Christianity outright (95% of the time) in favor of either atheism or something that appeals to his instinct for solipsistic self-worship (e.g., Buddhism), he will try to rationalize this business away through flimsy neo-Marcionite heresies, declaring Christ to be the completion and perfection of the mean old fuddy-duddy God of the Old Testament. (For why exactly this is a heresy, consult John 10:30).
So Christianity is necessarily and foundationally authoritarian, and the logical consequence of this is that Catholicism, which adheres most closely to this authoritarian ideal, is a very easy religion to comprehend. The rules are laid out: simply follow them. If you don't like it, if you have doubts, just shut up and follow them, anyway. And it's for this reason that the talk of conscience in the present Catechism strikes me as especially dangerous. Nearly everyone nowadays is pregnant with the spirit of Protestantism and so interprets conscience to mean "whatever I intuit the good to be," which of course has led us to the present catastrophic collapse in the moral integrity of the Church. How many contracepting Catholics have I argued with who have cloaked themselves in the armor of "conscience" and thereby rendered themselves invincible to every appeal to reason, tradition, Scripture, and Catechism? I've lost count. Conscience has become the dagger with which Catholic quislings backstab the bride of Christ. In practice it is not much more than the will to disbelieve.
When I try to explain this -- even to Catholics -- I'm invariably accused of conformity and blind submission. All of which is not only absolutely true but absolutely mandatory of all Christians, which has precisely been my point all along!
Submit to God's will completely and without reservation and be saved, or insist on your autonomy and rot in Hell. It shouldn't be a hard choice.
proph, collapse the blog 78 Comments
[5/26/2012 3:14:55 AM]
Fundie Index: 52